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Nutritional Supplement

Beta-Glucan

Beta-glucan is a fiber-type complex sugar (polysaccharide) derived from the cell wall of baker’s yeast, oat and barley fiber, and many medicinal mushrooms, such as maitake. In their natural states, yeast and mushrooms contain a mixture of beta-1,3-glucan and beta-1,6-glucan. Oats and barley contain a mixture of beta-1,3-glucan and beta-1,4-glucan. In addition to purified beta-1,3-glucan from these sources, you may see products listed as beta-1,3/1,6-glucan in the case of yeast-derived products and as beta-1,3/1,4-glucan when derived from oats. Similar (if not identical) properties have been shown for beta-glucan-rich extracts and purified beta-glucan derived from oats, baker’s yeast, and mushrooms.

References

1. Bell S, Goldman VM, Bistrian BR, et al. Effect of beta-glucan from oats and yeast on serum lipids. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1999;39:189-202 [review].

2. Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch J. Effect of beta-glucan level in oat fiber extracts on blood lipids in men and women. J Am Coll Nutr 1997;16:46-51.

3. Braaten JT, Wood PJ, Scott FW, et al. Oat beta-glucan reduces blood cholesterol concentration in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 1994;48:465-74.

4. Davidson MH, Dugan LD, Burns JH, et al. The hypocholesterolemic effects of beta-glucan in oatmeal and oat bran. A dose-controlled study. JAMA 1991;265:1833-9.

5. Wood PJ. Physicochemical properties and physiological effects of the (1----3)(1----4)-beta-D-glucan from oats. Adv Exp Med Biol 1990;270:119-27.

6. Uusitupa MI, Miettinen TA, Sarkkinen ES, et al. Lathosterol and other non-cholesterol sterols during treatment of hypercholesterolaemia with beta-glucan-rich oat bran. Eur J Clin Nutr 1997;51:607-11.

7. Lia A, Hallmans G, Sandberg AS, et al. Oat beta-glucan increases bile acid excretion and a fiber-rich barley fraction increases cholesterol excretion in ileostomy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;62:1245-51.

8. Nicolosi R, Bell SJ, Bistrian BR, et al. Plasma lipid changes after supplementation with beta-glucan fiber from yeast. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:208-12.

9. Uusitupa MI, Ruuskanen E, Makinen E, et al. A controlled study on the effect of beta-glucan-rich oat bran on serum lipids in hypercholesterolemic subjects: relation to apolipoprotein E phenotype. J Am Coll Nutr 1992;11:651-9.

10. Czop JK. The role of beta-glucan receptors on blood and tissue leukocytes in phagocytosis and metabolic activation. Pathol Immunopathol Res 1986;5:286-96.

11. Wakshull E, Brunke-Reese D, Lindermuth J, et al. PGG-glucan, a soluble beta-(1,3)-glucan, enhances the oxidative burst response, microbicidal activity, and activates an NF-kappa B-like factor in human PMN: evidence for a glycosphingolipid beta-(1,3)-glucan receptor. Immunopharmacology 1999;41:89-107.

12. Czop JK, Kay J. Isolation and characterization of beta-glucan receptors on human mononuclear phagocytes. J Exp Med 1991;173:1511-20.

13. Czop JK, Puglisi AV, Miorandi DZ, Austen KF. Perturbation of beta-glucan receptors on human neutrophils initiates phagocytosis and leukotriene B4 production. J Immunol 1988;141:3170-6.

14. Estrada A, Yun CH, Van Kessel A, et al. Immunomodulatory activities of oat beta-glucan in vitro and in vivo. Microbiol Immunol 1997;41:991-8.

15. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem 2000;7:715-29 [review].

16. Ross GD, Vetvicka V, Yan J, et al. Therapeutic intervention with complement and beta-glucan in cancer. Immunopharmacology 1999;42:61-74.

17. Di Renzo L, Yefenof E, Klein E. The function of human NK cells is enhanced by beta-glucan, a ligand of CR3 (CD11b/CD18). Eur J Immunol 1991;21:1755-8.

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