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. But if you’re confused as to what beta glucans exactly are and the job they do in the health of your gut, fret not – we’re here to break it down for you.
As many of you know, the immune system is our body’s natural defence system –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 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 this healthy bacteria thrives (and promotes a healthy immune system), so picking the right foods and supplements will help to ensure we don’t get sick!
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. You may not have heard of these, but they’re a kind of soluble fibre made up of polysaccharides, or combined sugars. As they’re 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 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 these 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.
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).
Immune Complex also contains probiotics (more ‘friendly’ bacteria to keep your gut ticking over), as well as Vitamins C and D, which are renowned when it comes to maintaining healthy immunity. Click here to discover more and try for yourself.