As I write, it's supposed to be Spring. The daffs are out, we're all sick of winter...but we're caught in an endless cold snap! London is gloomy and cold and elsewhere there's still snow!
Unsurprisingly, coughs and colds continue to plague us.
So let's look at an amazing supplement, Beta Glucans 1,3/1,6. Not only can they perk up your immune system if you're run down at the moment, they can help with the upcoming hayfever season too!
What are Beta Glucans?
Beta Glucans are polysaccharides; essentially carbohydrates formed of multiple sugar molecules. But the important thing about Beta Glucans is that certain types are found in the cell walls of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.
Throughout evolution, all species’ immune systems developed to recognise them as ‘other’. It’s part of how your immune system is able to recognise and launch an attack on those pathogens.
This doesn't mean Beta Glucans are a harmful substance - remember, they’re a type of carbohydrate - and are also found in food.
This means that when we consume Beta Glucans from safe sources, like edible mushrooms or supplements, they can have a stimulating effect on the immune system.
Beta Glucans as a supplement have a very low risk of side-effects.
Why Beta Glucans help with hayfever
Beta Glucans are classed as ‘immunomodulators’.
They interact with your immune system in a balancing way, up- or down-regulating immune functions as needed.
Where do Beta Glucan supplements come from?
In supplements we don’t derive the Beta Glucans from pathogenic bacteria or fungi! They come from a safe yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, on which most research on the benefits of Beta Glucans is carried out.
Although research is newly discovering how they interact with the immune system, people have actually used Beta Glucans for thousands of years!
The benefits of mushrooms historically prized for their healing properties (e.g. Reishi, Maitake and Cordyceps) are now known to come from their Beta Glucan content.
How to get more benefit from Beta Glucans
You can add the aforementioned mushrooms to your diet - there are all kinds of interesting mushrooms, powders or capsules available, including mushroom coffee! You can even get Shitake in some supermarkets.
And for a bigger dose of Beta Glucans, they’re available in Immune Support together with Elderberry plus your essential immune nutrients Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Zinc. An excellent complex for winter and hayfever season.