Mechanism of Action: How Beta Glucan Works and Affects Immune Cells

Beta Glucan is absorbed in the GALT, where it then moves to other Immune Cells through the Lymphatic System.

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As Answered By AJ Lanigan

For 40 years or more, researchers have studied how Beta-1, 3D Glucan works in the immune system. There are well over 10,000 research papers that are published here in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan on beta glucans. Literally, everybody that is somebody, in the field of immunology, knows about Beta Glucan and its effect on enhancing immune support. Research has, and is still taking place in many academic institutions like the University of Louisville, Tulane University, Harvard University, Brown, McGill and many more. To look up the research go to government funded, impartial third party sites like “Medline” and “PubMed”. Everything published by them is a peer-reviewed medical article, meaning it has met certain quality standards. Sites like the aforementioned are where physicians and researchers alike, turn to for quality references because they respect and trust their findings. The research done with Beta Glucan is indisputable regarding its benefit to the immune system. It’s not like echinacea, where about half the studies are positive and the other half are negative . Across the board, studies prove that Beta Glucan is safe and beneficial to our health and longevity.

As Answered By AJ Lanigan

I would suggest chasing the Beta Glucan with a 4oz glass of water. Once the Beta Glucan goes down the esophagus, it passes into the stomach. Keep in mind that Beta Glucan is a complex carbohydrate, nature’s armor, and that the stomach acid is not going to affect it at all. It will then pass from the stomach into the small intestine. The Beta Glucan micro-particles are going to be seen and consumed by M-cells, or microfold cells, inside your Peyer’s Patches in your small intestine. Think of the Peyer’s Patches as little Venus flytraps the physically reach up and grab these particles. They do not soak through the intestines. There is an actual grabbing of the particles which then pulls them through the lining of the intestine. Once inside these pockets, the particles are now inside the intestinal wall in what is called the GALT (Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue). There are millions of immune cells sitting and sampling everything that comes through the gut and they are going to be attracted to the Beta Glucan; which holds the fingerprint of the yeast, yet it does not cause any of the reactions that yeast may cause. Once the particles are gobbled up and internalized, they will begin to travel throughout the body. They go to the lymph system through the lymph-nodes and then into the liver; and soon into the kidneys, lungs, and bone marrow. We have tracked this material all throughout the entire body and as it is traveling, it’s breaking down these insoluble particles into water soluble molecules that are just the perfect shape and size to fit that CR-3 receptor and activate the immune cells all over the body.

As Answered By Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

It goes through the stomach basically unchanged because we cannot process this type of saccharides. Only horses and animals basically eating grass can do it. We cannot. So it goes through the stomach and inside the intestine there are small patches of cells called Peyer’s Patches and they have a lot of different cells inside which have the receptor for the glucan.

So when the glucan slowly passes through, they actively see the molecules of glucan, bind it, catch them and suck them in. By doing it, now they have the glucan inside. They start slowly to chew it up into smaller parts, it leaves the Peyer’s Patches into the other organs of the body releasing the fragments and in this way, the glucan is slowly spreading around our body. And it takes a couple of days. That is why I said it takes three days to see any results because it goes from one organ to another, cells are, exchanging glucan molecules.

As Answered By Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

Yeah, that is the best explanation. We have to remember that these cells constantly talk to each other. It’s constant interaction. They never work alone without thinking and helping each other. And if you kick up one activity, it starts producing different cytokines, different molecules and the others are picking it up saying, “yep, something is here, let’s work more, start divide, and so on.” So you are basically kick-starting the whole system.

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Meet The Experts

Picture of AJ Lanigan

AJ Lanigan

A.J. Lanigan has over 20 years experience in various disciplines of immunology. He was educated at the University of South Carolina, College of Pharmacy from 1971-1975.
Picture of Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka is a Professor and Vice Chairman, Director of Research at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville. Dr. Vetvicka graduated in 1978 from Charles University in Prague with a doctorate degree in biology and obtained his Ph.D. in 1983 from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Microbiology.

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