Emerging research shows beta-glucans may support innate immunity and immunosurveillance

July 24, 2020

A recent scientific review of yeast-derived beta-glucans highlights a number of promising insights into the activity of beta-glucans on the immune system.

A recent scientific review1 of yeast-derived beta-glucans highlights a number of promising insights into the activity of beta-glucans on the immune system. Namely, emerging research suggests that beta-glucans can modulate inflammatory and antimicrobial activity of neutrophils and macrophages through innate immune “training.” Immune “training” is a newly recognized phenomenon wherein compounds train innate immune cells so that monocytes and macrophage precursor biology is altered to mount a more robust immune response.

The review authors also cite pre-clinical research that suggests beta‐1,3/1,6‐glucan derived from baker's yeast may increase immuno-surveillance, although human evidence in this area is currently weak. Overall, the review highlights areas where additional research is necessary to better understand the mechanisms of action and demonstrate efficacy in humans. A number of the studies used in the review used the Wellmune brand of beta-glucans produced by the Kerry Group (Beloit, WI).

“The portfolio of human clinical research demonstrating Wellmune’s efficacy has long made it a ‘hero ingredient’ for immune support. This review pulls together all those clinical studies and demonstrates the sheer depth of evidence that supports Wellmune,” says John Quilter, vice president and general manager at Kerry, in a press release. “However, there is much we still don’t know, which is why we are committed to continuing research, both into the mechanism of action of beta glucans, and their benefits for immune health.”

Reference

  1. Castro, De Marco E et al. “Beta‐1,3/1,6‐glucans and immunity: state of the art and future directions.” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Published online ahead of print on March 29, 2020