By Lou DeMers and Neil Levin, NOW Quality Assurance Dept.
Immune response relies on the stimulation of macrophages – white blood cells that scour the body on ‘search and destroy’ missions targeting harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, these “Special Forces” are not always on duty - they must first be activated. And that’s the role of beta-glucans. They give the “go order” to the body’s macrophages. The more beta-glucans in the system, the more macrophages will be called into action. *
TECHNICAL TALK ABOUT BETA GLUCANS
Polysaccharides containing D-glucose as the only monomer are commonly referred to as D-glucans. Starches, Glycogen and Cellulose are chemically ‘glucans’; but the glucose molecules are 1,4-linked and are not the immuno-stimulant type of “glucans”.
The immunostimulatory b-glucans however, are those in which the glucose molecules are 1,3-linked, and are commonly known as b-glucans. When the b-1,3-linkage glucose molecules have branches attached in position 6 of the glucose in the backbone chain, they are defined as the b-1,3/1,6-D-glucans. These glucans exist in foods such as oats, barley, and some medicinal mushrooms but the NOW Foods’ product is derived from the cell walls of Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
Polysaccharide tests have been designed to distinguish between the different types of glucose linkages, and therefore make it possible to identify the type of glucan in question. NOW Foods utilizes such testing to ensure its customers are receiving the immuno-stimulatory b-glucan with the appropriate activity.
NOW PRODUCTS CONTAINING BETA GLUCANS
Beta 1,3/1,6- D -Glucan 100 mg
Product # 8565
NOW Beta 1-3 Glucan formula is comprised of the most concentrated sources available – Saccharomyces Cerevisae (the inner cell walls of baker’s yeast) and Maitake mushroom. As research evolves, consumers are increasingly turning to beta-glucans to give their immune function added firepower.*
Product # 16952
NOW® Immune Renew™ is a potent immune system supporting formulation containing Standardized Astragalus Extract and a High Beta-Glucan Proprietary Mushroom Blend Astragalus has been shown in non-clinical studies to support a number of aspects of healthy immune function, including the enhancement of T-Cell and Natural Killer Cell activity. Natural killer cells are so named because they destroy unhealthy cells in the body virtually on contact.
NOW's Proprietary Blend of eight organic mushrooms provides additional immune support due to its high 1,3 Beta Glucan content. 1-3 beta glucans are especially valuable to immune system response, though they're increasingly lacking in today's typical diet. Scientific studies have demonstrated that the 1,3 form of Beta Glucan found in mushrooms possesses remarkable abilities to support both innate and adaptive immunity. A strong, responsive immune system is the foundation of good health.
Fermented Soy Powder
Product # 5445
NOW® Fermented Soy Powder combines the nutritive value of soy with the benefits of fermentation in one convenient daily serving. Fermented Soy offers a broader nutrient profile than traditional soy products with its higher content of bioavailable isoflavones, including Genistein and Daidzein. Fermentation also produces pre-digested soy protein, which naturally improves flavor and texture.
Disclaimers: These statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Textbook of Organic Chemistry, 1942, pp198-201
Organic Chemistry - An Advanced Treatise, 1949, pp 1664-1667
London South Bank University, March 13, 2005 internet update
Assaying beta-glucans, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia-Athens