It’s been suggested for centuries now, that there is a link between the immune system and the majority of age-related conditions, such as arthritis, chronic inflammation, heart disease, viral infections, bacterial infections, obesity, and a whole host of other killers.
Should you pump up your immune system?
This was the subject of a recent New York Times Article, in which Matt Richtel suggested that we should immunize more as our immune systems are under constant assault.
Overall, immunotherapy works in most people — and it usually involves checkpoint inhibitors and CAR-T cells. But scientists are also trying to open more natural avenues to strengthen your immune system by exercising it. Nothing works better.
Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan has the unique ability to prepare the immune system to respond quickly and adequately to infections. Here’s how beta glucan works:
The unique shape of the Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan molecule appears to your immune system like an invader. Your immune system naturally readies itself for an invasion that never happens as the beta 1,3/1,6 glucan molecule, after activating key immune receptors, passes harmlessly through your body. Each time your immune system is exposed to beta 1,3/1,6 glucan through daily use it gets stronger, much stronger, the same way your muscles get stronger with daily exercise. The key word is daily. You know what happens to your muscles when you stop exercising daily. The same thing happens to your immune system. It weakens.
Our infection defense system falls into three distinct lines. The first one is formed by the epithelium, the second lies in the tissue structure (the so-called mesenchymal defense) and the third is the specific immune system connected with the function of lymphocytes.
There is a close functional connection between the innate immunity and the adaptive infection defenses. Innate immune cells in the tissue surfaces, including macrophages and dendritic cells, detect foreign elements and destroy invading microorganisms. Immune cells that become activated as a result of such natural challenge by infectious microbes produce signal molecules (cytokines) that recruit more immune cells to the infected region and prepare cells in the specific arm of the immune system (B- and T-cells) to produce antibodies against the intruder. In turn, when the specific immune system is provoked, cytokines are produced which have a positive feedback effect on innate immunity, making it even more effective.
Activation of innate immunity by microbial products
Macrophages can either be resting—which is normal—or be active. Activation can occur as a result of a normal infection process or by isolated bacterial and fungal products such as immune-stimulants or immune-modulators. The response to infection, or to microbial products, is an example of immune mechanisms developed through evolution that quickly register structures unique to individual microbes and which therefore have become reliable alarm signals for infection. Examples of bacterial agents which can activate macrophages directly are lipopolysacharides, peptidoglycans, lipotheoic acid, lipoarabinomannan, lipopeptides, and beta-1,3-glucans.1
Beta-1,3/1,6-glucans have a long history in medical practice and are therefore closer to far-reaching pharmaceutical applications. Beta- 1,3/1,6-glucans have a very basic mode of action and may affect many immune related disorders. Further, existing and historical use of beta- 1,3/1,6-glucans have already given a strong foundation of anecdotal information about the most promising indications for further clinical development.
In experimental systems, beta-1,3/1,6-glucans have proven extremely effective as immune stimulants that enhance resistance to infection by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.2 They show no toxic effects, even in concentrations much higher than those normally used in fighting infection. Beta-1,3/1,6-glucans work not only by increasing the ability of the organism to kill microbes, but they also protect against shock produced by bacterial endotoxins (lipopolysacharides). This protection is connected with the fact that beta-1,3/1,6-glucan counteracts endotoxin-induced production of tumor necrosis factor3 and lipopolysacharide-induced toxicity.4
Fungal beta-1,3/1,6-glucans have a 3000-year long history as a medical treatise in traditional Eastern medicine, a practice also adapted in clinical cancer therapy in Japan today.5 The research on beta-1,3/1,6-glucans in the Western Hemisphere has mainly focused on beta-1,3/1,6-glucans from baker’s yeast. The compound is regarded as very safe in use when administered orally or topically. It is isolated from, and a major part of, a GRAS organism and it is composed solely of glucose units. For years, beta-1,3/1,6-glucans isolated from yeast have been used as dietary supplements for humans6 and for topical applications7 with no reports of adverse or toxic effects. The few toxicological events observed after administration of yeast beta-1,3/1,6-glucans are restricted to intravenous or intraperitoneal injection of beta-1,3/1,6- glucans.8
We have to get away from the idea that our immune systems are an unspecified and “blind” defense mechanism. Immune cells have evolved in a natural environment with hostile micro-organisms and require continuous challenge. Modern thinking leans toward stimulating immunity with substances that skew the immune response in so-called Th-1 direction rather than suppressing symptoms of such inadequate immune reactions.
In short, from a wellness standpoint, you should pump your immune with beta 1,3/1,6 glucan. Nothing is more effective.
- Raa 1996
- Seljelid et al. 1987; Kaneko and Chihara 1992; Maeda et al. 1994; Williams et al. 1998
- Seljelid et al. 1997
- Williams et al. 1995; Vereschagin et al. 1998; Rylander and Holt, 1998; Soltys and Quinn, 1999
- Noda et al. 1992
- Bell et al. 1999
- Zülli et al. 1997
- Di Luzio et al. 1980; Takahashi et al. 2001; Williams et al. 1996