Strengthening the body’s own defences is the best health protection. This fact makes the efforts of nutrient scientists understandable, to systematically search for food ingredients that have immune-enhancing properties. One such substance is beta-glucan, a Polysaccharide obtained from the cell walls of baker’s yeast.
Beta-glucan activates the most important immune cells of our body: the macrophages. The macrophages circulate throughout our body and fight viruses, bacteria, fungi, cancer cells and other potential pests. The strength of our immune system is directly related to the performance of the macrophages.
Orthomolecular physicians use the immune nutrient primarily to control viral infections, including HIV. Some of these viruses, e.g. herpes viruses, are (latently) detectable in many people, and only a weakened immune status leads to these viruses becoming virulent.
Incidentally, the same applies to the Epstein-Barr virus, which is considered to be the trigger of chronic fatigue syndrome, which unfortunately affects more and more people. The first and most important countermeasure here, as in the defence against chronic infections or yeast fungus infections, is to strengthen the body’s own immune system.
In animal experiments it has been proven that beta-glucan offers strong protection against radiation damage. If these observations are also confirmed in humans, this could be an important aid for cancer patients who have to undergo radiation treatment.
But above all, healthy people can also benefit from the immune-strengthening properties of beta-glucan. Competitive athletes, for example, are exposed to severe oxidative stress, which weakens their immune system and makes them susceptible to infections.
And older people should also pay careful attention to maintaining their natural defences, as the strength of the immune system naturally decreases with increasing age and therefore requires additional support.