Beta glucan is a soluble fiber that helps improve cholesterol, heart health, and blood sugar levels. Beta-Glucan. Beta-glucans are defined chemically as linear molecules of beta-1, 3-and beta-1,4-linked d-glucopyranose units that are associated with cell wall. Beta glucan is a scientifically proven biological response modifier (BRM) that nutritionally potentiates, modulates and helps normalize the immune response.

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Beta Glucan: Health Benefits in Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Research suggests this type of fiber can improve blood glucose control, insulin resistance, and cholesterol levels. What your clients may not know is that not all dietary fibers are created equal, both in terms of chemical structure and potential health benefits.

Soluble and insoluble fibers are betw most commonly recognized categories of fiber, but each can be divided into many subcategories depending on the food source, molecular weight, and resistance to digestion. One type of fiber that has received much attention lately is beta-glucan, a glucose polymer found in the cell walls of cereals eg, oats, barleycertain types of mushrooms eg, reishi, shiitake, maitakeyeasts, seaweed, and algae.

A lesser amount is found in wheat, rye, and sorghum.

glicana Among these sources, barley typically has the highest beta-glucan content and oats the second highest. One and a half cups of cooked oatmeal or three packets of instant oatmeal provide 3 g of beta-glucans; 1 cup of cooked pearl barley contains approximately 2.

Beta-glucan – Wikipedia

Beta-glucans have been the subject of intensifying research because they may have beneficial roles in lowering insulin resistance and blood cholesterol, reducing the risk of obesity, and boosting the immune system to fight cancer. Benefits For the past eight years, health claims glucans beta-glucan—containing gluxana have been allowed in the United States, Canada, Gucana, Finland, and the United Kingdom. Focusing on a recommendation for overall health is complicated by the fact that not all beta-glucans are created equal.


Tosh, PhD, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, an organization that provides information, research, and technology programs and policies related to food and agriculture.

While some studies suggest that a boost in immunity markers occurs from consuming oat beta-glucans,7 most of the research on beta-glucans and immunity has been done on mushroom extracts, not oats or barley. Medicinal mushrooms, especially Coriolus versicolor known as yun zhi in Chinacommonly are used in traditional Oriental medicine and have been for centuries.

In other studies, researchers have examined the association between beta-glucans and weight. For example, one study found that consuming a beverage containing 2.

Research has suggested that a minimum of 4 to 6 g of beta-glucans are needed for appetite suppression. How Beta-Glucans Work Many plant-derived polysaccharides, such as beta-glucans, regulate the immune system as they pass through the intestinal tract. Viscous fibers such as psyllium, beta-glucans, and pectin may form a gel in the small intestine, which acts to delay nutrient absorption, slowing the delivery of glucose into the bloodstream and reducing the need for insulin.

Bacteria ferment beta-glucans in the intestinal tract, producing short-chain fatty acids. These may stimulate insulin release from the pancreas and alter glycogen breakdown by the liver and therefore play a role in glucose metabolism and protect against insulin resistance.


Advice for Clients Beta-glucans are present in various commonly eaten foods, and intake is believed to be safe for most people.

However, if beta-glucans can stimulate the immune system, this could theoretically pose problems for people suffering from autoimmune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. According to Gregory J. Potential of the beta-glucans to enhance innate resistance to biological agents.

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. Issues surrounding health claims for barley. Major cereal grain fibers and psyllium in relation to cardiovascular health. Dietary fiber, glycemic load, and risk of non—insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in women. Plant Glucsna Hum Nutr. Daou C, Zhang H. Immunostimulatory properties and antitumor activities of glucans Review. Accessed March 4, The effect of fibre amount, energy level and viscosity of beverages containing oat fibre supplement on perceived satiety.

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Effect of high beta-glucan barley on serum cholesterol concentrations and visceral fat area in Japanese men—a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Oat bran concentrate bread products improve long-term control of diabetes: J Am Glufana Assoc. Clark M, Slavin J.

The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: J Am Coll Nutr. Dietary fiber, glycemic load, and risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in women. Great Valley Publishing Company, Inc. Publisher of Today’s Dietitian. Advertise Media Kit Gift Shop. Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions.