Want to kickstart your immune system to protect against cancer? Beta glucan cancer prevention and treatment may be something to check out.
There are many ways to give your immune system a natural boost. But, it’s difficult to weed through the studies to conclude whether these various methods are effective.
One substance that has received a lot of press on cancer prevention is known as beta glucan. Although it sounds like something out of Star Trek, it’s actually not out of this world. In fact, the compound is all-natural. And, you might even be getting it from your diet.
Below, you’ll learn which foods have the highest amount of this magical substance. You’ll also find out what’s the best supplement.
What is beta glucan?
This natural immune system booster is a fiber. Specifically, it’s a soluble fiber. Soluble fibers help slow digestion down. It mixes with water. And it produces a gel like substance. Research studies prove soluble fiber reduces cholesterol. In addition, this type of fiber can lower your blood sugar. It can also make you less sensitive to insulin.
How does beta glucan cancer prevention work?
Although beta glucan can help prevent metabolic disease, it’s really great for boosting your immunity. In fact, using it for cancer treatment may be effective. Preliminary research for cancer treatment is promising. Research studies like this one show how it can kill cancer cells.
Beta glucan cancer prevention may work as specific immune cells are activated by the compound. Some of these cells are macrophages. Macrophages are like a vacuum cleaner. They suck up stuff that shouldn’t be in your body.
To simplify, this amazing soluble fiber can make your immune system smarter. And stronger. Consuming it appears to unleash a torrent of immune functions. These functions may prevent you from getting sick.
Typically, beta glucans are found in bacteria and fungus cell walls. They initiate a strong anti-microbial response. Lab studies show that beta glucans act on several immune receptors. Macrophages aren’t the only immune cells beta glucans trigger. They also activate neutrophils. And monocytes. In addition, beta glucans stimulate natural killer cells and dendritic cells.
For this reason, beta glucan cancer therapy may be effective.
How else can beta glucans help your immune system?
In addition to beta glucan’s potential in cancer fighting, there are other benefits. They may be able to kill bacteria. But not just any bacteria. In fact, beta glucans may be able to neutralize antibiotic resistant bacteria. Moreover, they can kill certain viruses. Including viruses that lead to the common cold. Or, upper respiratory infections.
Remember what macrophages are? They are a type of immune system cell. Beta glucans put macrophages to work. Consequently, macrophages release cytokines. Cytokines are chemicals. These chemicals enhance immune cell communication. What happens when your immune cells communicate better? The chance for infection is less likely.
Also, beta glucans kick your white blood cells into action. Specifically, the white blood cells known as lymphocytes. Lymphocytes secrete chemicals. These chemicals kill viruses. Even tumors can be neutralized by lymphocytes. That’s why beta glucan cancer treatment is a focus of clinical research.
So where can you get beta glucans?
Some foods naturally contain beta glucans. But you can also buy supplements with beta glucans. However, not all beta glucans are equal. And not all beta glucan supplements are equal. There are different types of beta glucans. Each type has a different molecular structure. These different structures affect your immune system in different ways.
There’s a downside to getting enough beta glucans from food. Many of the foods rich in the soluble fiber are also high in carbs. Are you low carb? Then you might want to take a beta glucan supplement.
Transfer Point Beta Glucan
However, as mentioned, not all supplements are equal. Some stimulate the immune system better than others. One of the most reputable brands is Transfer Point. Only a few companies use the active ingredient that’s in Transfer Point. This ingredient is Beta glucan 300®.
As mentioned, there are different types of beta glucans. Transfer Point contains beta 1,3-D. According to the company, Transfer Point’s product is the most potent on the market.
Beta glucan foods
What foods contain beta glucan to boost your immune system?
According to the Life Extension Foundation, baker’s yeast has it. So do shiitake mushrooms. In addition, cereal grains are a rich source. In light of this, you might want to eat some barley, oats, rye, and wheat.
However, cereal grains are often heavily processed. In fact, they’re often GMO foods. This is especially true of wheat. Moreover, wheat and other grains may spike your blood sugar. Therefore, limit your intake of grains. And make sure they’re organic.
Barley has the most beta glucan of the grains. Next is oats. Love oatmeal? Then you’re probably getting a few grams of this soluble fiber. Just make sure you’re burning off all those carbs. Exercise!
Sea vegetables are another source. Next time you go for sushi, get a seaweed salad. Does the thought of that gross you out? Then buy an algae supplement. Algae also contains this immune booster.
Beta glucan dosage
According to Todaysdietitian.com, there’s not enough info about dosage. This is due to a lack of research. Not about the fiber in general. But specifically, assessing different dosages. Another complication: there are different types of this soluble fiber. One type can be more or less effective than another type.
Transfer Point Beta Glucan offers both a 100mg and 500mg dose. If your immune system is compromised, is it better to take the higher dose? There’s not enough data to say for sure. Consult with a health professional before self-administering.
To complicate matters further, supplements may behave differently than food sources.
Beta glucan side effects
Can beta glucan cancer treatment work? Is your immune system weak? Do you have an autoimmune disorder? If so, should you take lots of this soluble fiber? After all, it stimulates the immune system. The problem is researchers aren’t exactly sure if it can help with certain diseases. But it may be worth exploring. Again, consult with a health professional.
One reason to seek an expert is side effects. According to WebMD, there are side effects from beta glucan injection. These include headache, joint pain, chills and fever. Other side effects of injecting it: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, blood pressure fluctuation and more. Injections can also produce a paradoxical consequence. It can actually decrease the number of disease-fighting white blood cells. Finally, WebMD states people with AIDS may develop thickening of the hands and feet.
However, these side effects aren’t from food. Or from supplements.
The bottom line is this. Eat a whole-food diet. If you do, you’ll benefit from beta glucans. But is your diet poor? If your life full of stress? Then maybe consider taking a beta glucan supplement.