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What Are Beta Glucans? The Benefits to Health - Nummies

What Are Beta Glucans? The Benefits to Health

As more companies arise in the market, it is becoming quite normal to hear about Functional Mushrooms. But with a lot of offers comes confusion. A lot of consumers don't know where to look first or how to differentiate what is good quality vs. what is not.

When we started this company, we wanted to ensure our supplements contained the right compounds that were necessary to gain health benefits. Ultimately, this compounds are what makes mushrooms medicinal. 

Understanding Beta-Glucans

Let's start by unraveling the mystery behind Beta-D-Glucans. These mighty molecules are polysaccharides found in various natural sources, with mushrooms being one of the richest reservoirs.

In simple terms,  Polysaccharides are water-soluble chemical compounds that make up chains of complex carbohydrates. Beta-d-glucans are a type of soluble fiber found in the cell walls of yeast, oat bran, bacteria, algae, plants, and food sources like mushrooms. From shiitake mushrooms to reishi, cellular walls of mushrooms are brimming with these potent compounds, ready to bestow their wellness benefits upon us. Every medicinal mushroom has a different beta-d-glucan content, but two of the functional mushrooms that contain the most beta-d-glucans are Reishi and TurkeyTail with approx 50 percent of the mushroom. 

Mushrooms like Shiitake, Maitake, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, or Turkey Tail, do best when hot water extraction is used. 

The Benefits of Beta-Glucans

Now, let's talk about the perks of embracing Beta-Glucans into your life. A robust immune health system standing guard, shielding you from external threats. The important role of Beta-Glucans – they strengthen our body's defenses or immune function, empowering us to thrive in the face of adversity and fight diseases/ viruses, autoimmune disorders, tumor cells, and certain cancers. But that's not all; Beta-Glucans also boast antioxidant properties, combating oxidative stress and promoting radiant skin from within. And let's not forget their role in nurturing our gut health, ensuring smooth digestion and absorption of nutrients. For us, when incorporated into our diet, beta-glucans act as a source of soluble, fermentable dietary fibers or prebiotic fiber which impacts our gut microbiome, gastrointestinal tract or digestive and immune function. 

The health benefits of beta-glucans are well-documented. Some of these are:

Boosting the Immune System

One of the most well-known benefits of beta-glucans is their ability to boost the immune system. They work by stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection.

They can help to prevent and treat a variety of infections, including the common cold, upper respiratory tract infections, and ear infections. They may also help to reduce the severity and duration of these infections.

B-glucans are polysaccharides that are present in the cell walls of fungi, bacteria, algae, and some plants. They have a range of effects on the immune system, including the promotion of the activity of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that play a key role in immunity.

B-glucans can also help to reduce the immunosuppressive effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and they are helpful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

In addition, B-glucans can help to improve the function of hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the production of blood cells. Consequently, B-glucans have a range of potential applications in the field of immunology.

Lowering Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol is a serious health problem in the United States, with over 73 million people affected. It is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, which are two of the top three killers in our country. Beta-glucans are an effective way to lower cholesterol levels.

Beta-glucan intake is associated with a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is considered bad cholesterol, the type that can build up in your arteries and cause blockages. A reduction in LDL cholesterol levels can lead to a decrease in the risk of heart disease and stroke.

In one study, 60 adults with high cholesterol were given either a placebo or 3 grams of beta-glucan per day for 12 weeks. The group taking beta-glucan showed a significantly greater reduction in LDL cholesterol levels than the placebo group. They also had a significant increase in HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol that helps remove LDL from your arteries.

Regulating Blood Sugar Levels

Beta-glucans can also help to regulate blood sugar levels. They slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. This is especially beneficial for people with diabetes.

People who took beta-glucan supplements for 12 weeks had significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c levels. HbA1c is a marker of long-term blood sugar control.

Reducing Inflammation

Beta-glucans have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is a major contributing factor to a variety of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

B-glucan helps to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by immune cells. Cytokines are signaling molecules that play a key role in inflammation.

Beta-glucan helps reduce both local and systemic inflammation in people with arthritis. Local inflammation is the inflammation at the site of injury or disease. Systemic inflammation is when the entire body is in a state of low-grade inflammation.

It also helps treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is a chronic condition.

Fighting Cancer

There is some evidence that beta-glucans may help to fight cancer. Studies have shown that they can improve the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy. They may also help to prevent cancer cells from spreading.

It does this by stimulating the immune system and by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors.

Beta-glucan supplement increased the survival rate of mice with colon cancer The mice were given the supplement before and after surgery to remove the tumor. Beta-glucans may also help to treat other types of cancer, such as breast cancer, skin cancer, and stomach cancer.

Improving Digestion

Beta-glucan helps to improve digestion with several mechanisms. First, beta-glucan increases the viscosity of food as it passes through the digestive system. This increase in viscosity slows down the passage of food through the intestine, giving digestive enzymes more time to break down food molecules.

In addition, beta-glucan forms a thick gel that coats the intestinal wall. This gel binds to toxins and other harmful substances present in the intestine and helps escort them out of the body. Finally, beta-glucan stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. These bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids which support digestive health.

Supports Brain Function

It helps support brain function by promoting the growth of new neurons and preventing inflammation in the brain. It also helps improve communication between cells, which is essential for healthy brain function. It does this by binding to receptors on cells and stimulating the release of certain neurotransmitters.

Beta-glucan also helps to improve cognitive function in older adults. Additionally, beta-glucan has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress levels.

While more research is needed, beta-glucan appears to be a promising supplement for supporting brain function.

Anti-microbial

Beta-glucans have a long history of use in traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments. More recently, scientists have discovered that beta-glucans have powerful antimicrobial properties.

In fact, beta-glucans are one of the most effective natural antimicrobials known. They are effective against a wide range of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains. and they also have antifungal and antiviral properties.

Beta-glucans are safe and non-toxic, making them an excellent choice for the treatment of microbial infections.

Beta-glucans also have antimicrobial properties. This means that they can help to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They may also help to prevent these microbes from attaching to cells.

Bone Health

Beta-glucan is a natural plant polysaccharide that helps to support bone health. It does this by promoting the production of osteoblasts, cells that are responsible for creating new bone tissue. Additionally, Beta-glucans helps to improve the absorption of calcium and other minerals necessary for healthy bones. This makes Beta-glucan an important part of any bone health regimen.

Beta-glucans have been also found to mobilize progenitor cells from bone marrow and enhance hematopoietic recovery after bone marrow injury. This makes them a potentially useful treatment for conditions like leukemia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia.

Weight Loss

Beta-glucan is a natural fiber that helps people lose weight in two ways. It helps to reduce the number of calories people absorb from food. Second, it makes people feel full after eating, so they eat less.

Beta-glucan is also a prebiotic, which means it helps to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. This can help improve overall health and make it easier to lose weight.

Diabetes

Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber that helps treat and prevent diabetes. Beta-glucan can improve blood sugar control, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It does this by slowing down the absorption of sugar from the gut, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.

How to intake Beta-Glucans: integrating into our diet

Beta-glucans are available in supplement form. They are also found in some foods, such as mushrooms and oats.

The recommended dosage of beta-glucans depends on the reason you are taking them. For example, the recommended dosage for people with diabetes is 1,000 mg per day. But, for people who want to boost their immune system, the recommended dosage is 3-6 grams per day.

It's important to talk to your doctor before taking beta-glucans or any other supplement. This is because supplements can interact with medications and cause side effects.

A lot of supplements might claim functional mushroom benefits, but it is important to understand the composition and amount of medicinal compounds they have, such as beta-glucans. Look for supplement brands that have third-party lab testing. The extraction of compounds in mushrooms is a key process here, it is what makes the beta-glucan bioavailable. A lot of brands offered pulverized mushrooms which however the important compounds like beta-glucans are not bioavailable to the human body because they have not been extracted properly. We, at Nummies, go through a double and triple extraction to ensure you can get all the good juices necessary to ensure beta-glucan intake. 

 

To make it simple, we have crafted delicious mushroom gummies and alcohol free tinctures to add to any diet. With the gummies, we find they are so practical and tasty. Our Tinctures are highly potent, with a maple like taste, no sugar or extra ingredients, just vegetable glycerin and highly absorbable. You can take them sublingual or add them to your favorite recipe. 

Side Effects of consuming Beta-Glucans

Beta-glucans are generally safe and well-tolerated. The most common side effects are bloating and gas. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.

 

Rarely, beta-glucans can cause an allergic reaction. If you have a history of allergies or asthma, you should be cautious when taking beta-glucans.

Talk to your doctor before taking beta-glucans if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. There is not enough research to know if beta-glucans are safe for these groups of people.

If you have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, research the origin of your beta-glucan supplement. 

This is because beta-glucans can also come from wheat, barley, and rye. These ingredients can trigger a reaction in people with celiac disease or a wheat allergy.

Do not take beta-glucans if you have a bleeding disorder. This is because beta-glucans can increase the risk of bleeding.

 

Addressing Common Concerns and FAQs

Now, let's address some common queries and concerns you may have about Beta-Glucans.

Is it safe to consume? 

Absolutely – Beta-Glucans are well-tolerated by most individuals, with minimal risk of adverse effects. 

Can I take them alongside other supplements? 

Of course – Beta-Glucans play well with others, enhancing the efficacy of your wellness arsenal.

As we draw to a close, I invite you to reflect on the wealth of knowledge we've uncovered together. Beta-Glucans may be small in size, but their impact on our health is nothing short of monumental. 

If you're looking for a way to improve your blood sugar control, beta glucans may be the answer. This type of soluble fiber is found in some foods and supplements and has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as improve insulin sensitivity.

Getnummies offers Functional Mushroom Gummies with Turkey Tail, Reishi, and other types of mushrooms with incredible immune-boosting benefits. See all the ingredients and benefits when you shop here.

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