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1. Beta glucan can lower LDL cholesterol and reduce your heart disease risk.
Looking to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease? Eating foods high in beta glucan sugars may help. B-glucan foods lower overall LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in people with mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol).
The evidence is so strong that this fiber is one of the few natural substances the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to make a health claim about. In 1997, they approved a health claim that the beta glucan from oats definitively helps to reduce cholesterol levels and, in turn, reduce the risk of heart disease. Basically, when you consume oats, research suggests your bad cholesterol should go down between 5-7 percent overall.
While beta glucan benefits don’t extend to increasing HDL cholesterol, which is also a good thing for heart health, it’s still a powerful cholesterol-lowering dietary fiber.
Dosage: At least 3 grams daily to reduce LDL cholesterol
2. Beta glucan fiber may improve gut health.
It’s no surprise that a type of soluble fiber like beta glucan would be good for the gut, and research backs this up.
In general, prebiotic supplements and foods, like those containing beta glucan, are beneficial to the health of your gut microbiome. This delicate balance of bacteria is where 70-80 percent of your immune system lives, so keeping it fully operational is a big deal for the health of your entire body.
When volunteers in one study ate high-beta glucan foods, researchers found that they produced more short-chain fatty acids in their digestive system. These fatty acids are a great marker of the health of the intestines, suggesting beta glucan supports digestion.
Then, a 2017 review pitted beta glucan and a few other digestion-promoting nutrients to the test: They gave a mixture to patients with irritable bowel syndrome. This form of inflammatory bowel disease is an incredibly painful and treatment-resistant digestive condition.
While this mixture did not improve every part of IBS, the people who took it had a significant drop in several symptoms over the four-week study period, including:
- Less bloating
- Less flatulence
- Less stomach pain
- Better overall well-being
3. A beta glucan gel improves the time wounds take to heal.
Like many substances used in medicine today, various forms of beta glucan were tested in lab and animal studies to find out the extent of its benefits.
One of the most remarkable of these was the way a gel made from beta glucan seemed to speed the healing of wounds. In rats, this nanofiber wound dressing resulted in much faster healing compared to the control group.
Then, the experiment was moved into a human trial. The volunteers had to fit into a very challenging category: they needed to have wounds that, after four weeks, had stopped getting better. Normally, these are the most frustrating wounds for doctors to treat.
But the beta glucan gel did not disappoint. After six months, the patients within the study had experience between two and four times the normal rate of healing after using beta glucan gel.
Plus, researchers noted the faster healing was also extremely beneficial in saving costs for both the doctors and patients.
However, this study, while done well and with a decent number of subjects, still needs to be replicated before we can say for sure the exact effects of beta glucan skin wound healing. Research shows promise so far, but there is no agreed-upon dosage or consistent product known to be effective yet.
4. Beta glucan supplements may reduce the frequency of respiratory infections.
When taken daily, beta glucan seems to significantly reduce the number and severity of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and common cold in multiple circumstances.
High-Intensity Activity: Taking 250 milligrams per day of beta glucan was found to cause fewer infections and less missed days of training in multiple studies conducted in marathon runners and other hardcore athletes. One reason for this seems to be that beta glucan helps prevent the immune system weakness often seen after hard workouts.
Not only for heavy-duty athletes, but the same also appears to be true for people who are only moderately athletic.
In addition to improving risk for URTIs, beta glucan also helped to improve some psychological markers in marathon runners, like mood, stress, and anger levels.
Firefighters experience high-intensity activity every day. Beta glucan suppressed URTI symptoms in firefighters in one two-week trial and improved their overall quality of health, too.
Normal Stress Levels: It’s impossible to live a life free of stress. However, when we experience chronic stress, it taxes our bodies and immune cells. Stressed-out people typically get sicker more often and have a harder time getting better.
Women undergoing consistent stress were given beta glucans for 12 weeks and found that it decreased their chances for respiratory infections and improved their response to stress. This is interesting in particular because beta glucans are highly present in some medicinal mushrooms that act as adaptogens. Adaptogens are foods that improve your body’s response to stress.
Aging: The older you get, the harder it is for your body to fight off infections. Taking beta glucan seemed to be an effective way to reduce the number and duration of upper respiratory tract infections within the 17 people taking the supplement.
Children: A 12-week study was conducted in 174 children in China to see what effects, if any, beta glucan might have on their risk for infections. With very few side effects, it helped reduce the number of respiratory infections.
As in some of the other studies, beta glucan was not tested on its own. In this study in China, the beverage given to the children in the study also contained omega-3s, other prebiotics, zinc, vitamin A, and iron. It’s important to be careful, therefore, about how these results are interpreted.
The same study was replicated for 28 weeks in children between the ages of three and four with similar results. Importantly, the kids treated with beta glucans were able to take fewer antibiotics, which is notable in this age of rampant antibiotic resistance.
Healthy Adults: Finally, beta glucan supplements seems to be at least somewhat effective against respiratory infection in healthy adults.
5. Consuming beta glucan may improve allergies.
Two studies have found improvements in allergy symptoms after supplementing with beta glucan.
In the first, 250 milligrams of beta glucan was given for four weeks and resulted in better results all around. Participants not only found they had less severe allergic reactions to ragweed than before but also that they felt less stressed out and more content in life.
Similar beta glucan benefits were found when children between one and three were given beta glucan supplements.
Introducing Beta Glucan Powder 1,3 & 1,6
85% Raw Ultra Potent, Maximum Strength, Beta Glucan Powder – Premium Quality Beta Glucans – 1,3/1,6, (Saccaromyces Cerevisiae) Supports Immune System* – Maximum Bioavailability*
Precious Health Beta Glucan Powder 1, 3 Glucans Dietary Supplement is a bioavailable (so the powders absorb into the system quickly to begin providing benefits straight away) beta glucan supplement that may promote healthier cholesterol and a healthier immune system.
Add 1 gram to a glass of water or fruit juice to make a delicious smoothie. Can be served prior to breakfast, lunch or dinner.