We know, probably now more than ever, how vital our immune system is. But what you may not know is that you can support it by feeding your gut with the right nutrients, such as beta-glucans. If you’re confused as to what beta-glucans are and the job they do in the health of your gut, fret not – we’re here to break it down for you.
What are beta-glucans?
Beta-glucans is an immunity complex which contains beta 1,3 and beta 1,6, which are derived from the cell walls of baker’s yeast. These healthy fibres are absorbed into tissue in the small intestines, which bind to neutrophils, the most abundant immune cells in the body. Recent studies have shown how beta-glucans can support the functional activity of certain cells within both the innate and adaptive immune systems.
Why are beta-glucan supplements good for you?
As many of you know, the immune system is our body’s natural defence system – more specifically, a network of cells and proteins that swing into action when they think the body is under attack from infection. It does this by sending its ‘troops’, which are mainly white blood cells, to attack microbes that can cause the body harm. The most abundant type of these white blood cells is called neutrophils (which you’ll hear more about later). The clever thing about neutrophils is that they are able to memorise the different microbes they have defeated, kind of like a ‘hit list’, so they can react and destroy them more quickly if they re-enter the body.
Scientists have discovered in recent years that our immune system resides predominantly in our gut. In fact, 70% of our immune system is housed within our gut wall, which is presided over by ‘friendly’ bacteria. Whatever we eat determines whether these healthy bacteria thrive (and promote a healthy immune system), so picking the right foods and supplements will help to ensure we don’t get sick!
Studies have also linked beta-glucans to other health benefits such as reducing cholesterol, wound healing, supporting a healthy heart and balancing blood sugar levels (so you’re less likely to get hunger pangs and energy crashes).
What Rejuvenated product contains a beta-glucan supplement?
Supplements are an easy way of giving your gut everything it needs to keep those friendly bacteria and white blood cells happy – and hence infection at bay. Rejuvenated has launched Immune Complex, a natural supplement whose hero ingredient is beta-glucans. As beta-glucan is not naturally found in the body, you can only get them via the foods or supplements you ingest.
The types of beta-glucans used in our Immune Complex are beta 1,3 and glucan 1,6. They are derived from the cell walls of a special type of yeast called baker’s yeast (which, as you can guess, is commonly used in bread and other baked goods). Studies have shown that this yeast-derived beta-glucans support the immune system via the small intestine, through which they get absorbed and latch on to neutrophils (remember those white blood cells from earlier?). These neutrophils identify it as a pathogen, i.e. an enemy, which stimulates them to go into ‘defence mode’. This then primes them to react quickly if there is an actual infection.