What is Beta Glucan?
Beta-glucans are types of fiber found in the cells of certain types of yeast, algae, bacteria, and fungi. They are also found in certain plants, such as oats and barley. Beta-glucans made from yeast may help lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that they may slightly lower total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. However, they do not seem to affect HDL (“good”) cholesterol and triglycerides. Beta-glucans have been studied in people with certain types of cancer. For example, one study showed that combining a type of beta-glucans called lentinan with chemotherapy can help people with gastric cancer live longer. More research is needed to see how effective it might be. Studies also show that beta-glucans may help people with cervical and head and neck cancers. They may also increase survival time in some people with advanced cancers. Again, more studies are needed. Beta-glucans do not seem to directly kill cancer. However, scientists think they may help your immune system better fight tumors and bacteria.