Beta-glucans are soluble fibers found in cell walls of the following: bacteria, yeasts, mushrooms, algae, lichens, oats and barley. Most people consume food which contains carbohydrates consisting of both water soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers slow the absorption of sugars in the gut and are useful in diabetes. Insoluble fibers are cellulose, lignin, and some hemicelluloses.
Beta-glucans treat and prevent cancer, reduce blood cholesterol, treat HIV, reduce diabetes and increase immune function. They are obtained from oats and barley, guar and other gums, locust beans and other beans, and pectin, which help in control of blood sugar levels. They also reduce hypertension, decrease LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Oat bran and barley also lower cholesterol, and beta-glucan found in baker’s yeast has anti-cancer effects. Beta-glucans can be used to prevent infections, have antimicrobial effects, and are safe when taken by mouth. They also help in radiation exposure and in septic shock.
Supplemental beta-glucans are best taken on an empty stomach. They are acid resistant and unchanged by the stomach. They are also active in the intestine.
CONCLUSION: Beta-glucans are natural soluble fibers which have multiple beneficial effects, including anti-cancer, anti-diabetes and immune-stimulation benefits.
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