Oat Beta Glucan Benefits
Apr 08, 2021

Oat Beta Glucan Benefits

Oat β‐glucans lower cholesterol level and promote heart health

According to scientific research results it has been known to scientists for over 2 decades that β‐glucan (oat β‐glucan) has strong cholesterol and triglyceride lowering properties leading to reduced cardiovascular diseases.

Oat Beta Glucan Benefits

Beta Glucans and Heart Health

No doubt you've heard about the heart health benefits associated with a diet that includes consuming oats. That's partly because oats are good sources of the soluble fiber beta glucan. In a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland, beta glucan was concentrated into an oat fiber extract so it could be easily incorporated into a typical diet. Male and female study participants with mildly high cholesterol were put on a maintenance diet for one week and then were given an oat fiber extract containing either 1% or 10% beta glucan. After five weeks of receiving the beta glucan extract, both groups showed a significant reduction of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL).What's more, total cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the group who received the higher beta glucan extract diet than in those on the low beta glucan diet.

Mounting Support to Fight Cancer

With about 560,000 deaths from cancer each year,4 researchers have spent decades searching for substances with cancer-fighting properties. Lentinan, a type of beta glucan found in shiitake mushrooms, is believed to reduce tumor activity and lessen the side effects of cancer treatment.5 Researchers at Teikyo University's Biotechnology Research Center in Kawasaki, Japan, showed that lentinan has anti-tumor properties, suppressing the formation and development of tumors.

Mounting Support to Fight Cancer

"Results of the clinical application of lentinan have proven prolongation of life span of the patients with advanced and recurrent stomach, colorectal, and breast cancer with only little toxic side effect," wrote the study's authors. It also appears that lentinan restores or boosts the responsiveness of cytokines, which interact with immune cells and regulate the response to the disease.6

In an earlier Japanese study, mice with tumors that received beta glucans, including lentinan, experienced a rapid decrease in the number of tumor cells as well as a notable increase in neutrophils in solid tumors.7 Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that destroys invaders—in this case, cancerous cells—by ingesting them and using chemicals to break them down. In fact, beta glucans have been used as an immunoadjuvant therapy (an immune system stimulant) for cancer since 1980, mostly in Japan.

Helping the Body Conquer Infections

In addition to beta glucan's assistance in the fight against cancer, studies show they also help the body do battle with bacteria resistant to antibiotic treatment and viruses that cause upper respiratory infections. At Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, researchers found that the compound enhances antibiotic efficacy in rats infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Rats with intra-abdominal sepsis due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria—namely, Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus —were given a type of beta glucan (PGG glucan) that enhances the function of macrophages and neutrophils. Researchers looked at beta glucan's ability to work in partnership with antibiotics to decrease mortality of the rats. "Results of these studies demonstrated that prophylaxis with PGG glucan in combination with antibiotics provided enhanced protection against lethal challenge with Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus as compared with the use of antibiotics alone," wrote the researchers.

Further animal research highlights beta glucan's impact on a form of Escherichia coli (ETEC), the culprit behind traveler's diarrhea. Belgian scientists orally administered three different beta-glucans in pigs with an ETEC infection that had just been weaned. The study found that pigs fed for two weeks after weaning with the glucans were less susceptible to the infection (evidenced by a lower incidence of diarrhea) compared to the control group.

"This study showed that beta-glucans can protect against an ETEC infection," concluded the researchers. "To our knowledge, this is the first in vivo study, in which the use of beta-glucans as feed ingredient for just-weaned piglets was tested for their protective effects against ETEC infection."

Helping the Body Conquer Infections

Beta glucans also appear to mitigate the symptoms of the common cold—or at least reduce the number of days people call in sick to work. The Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism examined beta glucans' ability to mitigate upper respiratory infections in a single blind, randomized trial in 2008.

The scientists chose firefighters as their subjects since they are regularly bombarded with smoke and fumes as they battle blazes and are more susceptible to respiratory troubles as a result.

Researchers provided the group of firefighters with either a beta-glucan-containing supplement or a placebo and asked participants to write down any cold symptoms (runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, colored discharge) or flu symptoms (fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, chest discomfort, cough). Firefighters who recorded having these symptoms for two consecutive days were classified as having an upper respiratory tract infection.

Oat Beta Glucan Skin Benefits

Oat Beta Glucan Skin Benefits

If you suffer with dry skin, products with oat beta glucan can greatly improve the skin's moisture level. It naturally forms a protective thin film over the skins surface. The film helps moisture to be locked into the skin. It’s very effective at soothing and reduce the skin's scarring and roughness.

Beta Glucan Benefits Skin

For those who have compromised skin barriers like eczema or dermatitis, beta-glucan can help fight virus and pathogens that pass through your skin barrier.

Deeply Hydrate The Skin: According to Son, beta-glucans act as a humectant in the skin, which means they lock hydration in and prevent moisture loss. Here's where it gets interesting: Like retinol, hyaluronic acid is one of the beauty industry's most beloved and buzzworthy skincare ingredients as it's been found to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water1—thus giving skin deep and lightweight hydration.

L-lysine & beta glucan benefits

L-Lysine is a powerful amino acid that serves as one of the building blocks for muscles, and also helps fight and prevent cold sores. Beta Glucan, a naturally occurring sugar, provides a multitude of benefits with one of the most important being immune support. Beta Glucan has also been shown to help protect against high cholesterol, and diabetes. Together, these two natural substances provide protection and support for the entire body.

Beta glucan benefits for immune system

Currently, there is a lack of clinical trials supporting the claim that beta-glucan can "rev up" the immune system and stave off colds, flu, and other types of infection.

How does beta glucan help immune system

Beta-glucans might lower blood cholesterol by preventing the absorption of cholesterol from food in the stomach and intestines, when it is taken by mouth. When given by injection, beta-glucans might stimulate the immune system by increasing chemicals which prevent infections.

Foods Rich in Beta Glucan

Beta-glucan foods(Foods Rich in Beta Glucan)

Beta Glucan exists as a kind of fiber that’s dissolved in liquid and attaches itself to acids in the bile and excretes these acids off the body by way of feces. These acids stay produced in the liver through the use of the body’s stored cholesterol.

Thus, when these acids are driven out as excrement, the liver’s required to utilize more cholesterol to properly make new acids in the bile. In the process, the cholesterol levels of the body are decreased. Pretty cool, right? Now, where can we naturally get beta-glucans in foods?

Oats – These are one of the richest suppliers of beta-glucan as evidenced by the U.S. FDA allowing health assertions to be gotten by foods that have rolled oats, and oat bran or flour. And this is owing to the elevated intensity of fiber from beta-glucan in oats.

Barley - The food fiber in this cereal is also famous to be rich in beta-glucan. In addition, it boasts the extra benefit of having propionic acid that may overpower the HMG-CoA enzyme that catalyzes reduction. This enzyme remains responsible for the liver’s production of cholesterol.

Mushrooms – Specifically, reishi, shiitake, and maitake, mushrooms stands as another rich food source of beta-glucan. Known also to contain polysaccharides and phytonutrients, mushrooms are supposed to have properties that fight disease bolstering immunity.

Baker’s Yeasts - Purified beta-glucan in yeast is simpler to include within food products as compared to beta-glucan in barley or oats. Since yeast beta-glucan doesn’t break up in water, it’s easier for the body to absorb when purified than innate beta-glucan.

Seaweed and Algae – The beta-glucan from seaweeds and algae are generally extracted, isolated, processed, and used for supplements and food additives. The brown seaweed and Euglena algae are among the myriad of various beta-glucan sources under this category.

Whole Grains – Particularly, wheat, rye, and sorghum, beta-glucan is present, but in small quantities. When unrefined, they are highly nutritious dietary sources and offers a wholesome supply of various B vitamins, protein, and minerals, such as magnesium and iron.

Vegetables – Commonly consumed worldwide, beans, peas, lentils, broccoli, sweet potato, and eggplants contain some beta-glucan. They are also rich sources of various B vitamins, fiber, and minerals. In fact, beans are a great meat replacement being a vegetarian protein source.

Fruits – Predominantly apples, strawberries, and prunes, these beta-glucan sources are also among the healthiest foods people eat. They exist high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants while being low in calories, besides having no cholesterol and fat.

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