Beta 1,3-Glucans


Beta-glucans are soluble fibers derived from the cell walls of algae, bacteria, fungi, yeast, and plants such as oat and barley. Mymmunity uses Yeast-Derived Beta Glucan.

Chemical Name


Immune support

Beta-1, 3-Glucan is a “biological response modifier”, antioxidant, and exerts broad spectrum defense against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. 

Other uses

B-1, 3-Glucan is also used in treatment of hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Taking beta-glucans made from oats or barley seems to reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol after several weeks of treatment. The typical dose used is 3-10 grams daily.

How it works

Beta-glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. They are sometimes used as medicine.

Beta-glucans are taken by mouth for high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, and canker sores. Beta-glucans are also taken by mouth to boost the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakened by conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome; physical and emotional stress; or by treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy. Beta-glucans are also taken by mouth for colds, influenza (flu), swine flu, respiratory tract infections, allergies, hepatitis, Lyme disease, asthma, ear infections, aging, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, pain after surgery, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

People apply beta-glucans to the skin for dermatitis, eczema, wrinkles, bedsores, wounds, burns, diabetic ulcers, and radiation burns.

Healthcare providers sometimes give beta-glucans by IV (intravenously) or by injection into the muscle to treat cancer and to boost the immune system in people with HIV/AIDS and AIDS-related conditions. Beta-glucans are also given by IV to prevent infection in people after surgery.

Healthcare providers sometimes give beta-glucans by a shot under the skin (subcutaneously) for treating and reducing the size of skin tumors resulting from cancer that has spread.

In manufacturing, beta-glucans are used as a food additive in products such as salad dressings, frozen desserts, sour cream, and cheese spreads.


Beta-glucans are LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods.

Beta-glucans are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, applied topically to the skin, used intravenously (by IV), or injected into the muscle in medicinal amounts for a short time period.

There have been no reported side effects from taking beta-glucans by mouth. When applied topically, beta-glucans can cause skin rash. When used by injection, beta-glucans can cause chills, fever, pain at the injection site, headache, back and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, high or low blood pressure, flushing, rashes, tiredness, decreased number of white blood cells, and increased urine.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of beta-glucans during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

AIDS/HIV or AIDS-related complex (ARC): Thick patches of skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet (keratoderma) can develop in people with AIDS/HIV or ARC who receive beta-glucans made from yeast. The condition can start during the first 2 weeks of treatment and then disappear 2 to 4 weeks after use of beta-glucans stops.

Interactions with medications


Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Taking beta -glucans with the drug indomethacin might increase the risk developing for life-threatening side effects to indomethacin. Until more is known about this potential interaction, be cautious when taking beta -glucans with indomethacin.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Beta-glucans might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking beta-glucans along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. However, it is not known if this is a big concern. Do not take too much beta-glucans if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Beta-glucans increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, beta-glucans might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Interactions with Herbs, Supplements, and Foods

Beta-glucans might lower blood pressure. Using it along with other herbs and supplements that have this same effect might increase the risk of blood pressure dropping too low in some people. Some of these products include andrographis, casein peptides, cat's claw, coenzyme Q-10, fish oil, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, theanine, and others.

There are no known interactions with foods.


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