Beta-glucans are beneficial sugars called polysaccharides that form in the cell walls of certain types of fungi and bacteria. There are quite a few different types of these polysaccharides, but the 1,3/1,6 beta-glucans used by Feel are derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the scientific name for brewer’s yeast.
As a form of soluble fibre, beta-glucans improve digestion and help your body absorb carbohydrates at a healthy pace. In addition, contemporary research suggests that beta-glucans may be beneficial to your cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune health.
Beta-glucans are water-soluble, which means that they break down in your body’s aqueous fluids.
Beta-glucans are found in most types of yeast, beneficial bacteria, and mushrooms. These beneficial sugars are also present in oats.
While these substances appear to be highly beneficial, 1,3/1,6 beta-glucans have not been recognised as essential nutrients. In clinical studies, however, beta-glucan doses between 100-500mg have been used.
Unless you consume oats, brewer’s yeast, or mushrooms every day, consuming beta-glucans in food can be challenging. In addition, these foods generally contain very low levels of beta-glucans, and these beneficial sugars have reduced bioavailability in food.
As a type of dietary fibre, beta-glucans seem to help your body digest food efficiently, which improves your energy levels and general well-being. Specifically, however, beta-glucans appear to regulate the rate at which your body absorbs glucose from food, which could potentially make these healthy sugars helpful for people with diabetes or other metabolic conditions.
If you have type 2 diabetes, beta-glucans could significantly improve the rate at which your body absorbs glucose, which would reduce your blood sugar levels and make it easier for insulin to perform its critical task. Obesity is often comorbid with diabetes, and taking beta-glucans also appears to be a good idea if you’re trying to lose weight. Regardless of your current health status, beta-glucans appear to offer potent digestive, cardiovascular, and immune benefits that could improve your longevity and overall well-being.
Beta-glucans do not need to be absorbed into your body tissues to function, so the benefits of these healthy sugars may kick in almost immediately.
Beta-glucans rapidly adhere to the walls of your digestive tract instead of absorbing into your tissues.
Research indicates that beta-glucans remain in your digestive tract for a few days before flushing out.
Beta-glucans do not appear to exert direct antioxidant activity. However, these sugars appear to support the function of antioxidant systems throughout your body, which means that beta-glucans may act as indirect antioxidants.
Beta-glucans have low toxicity and do not appear to have any significant side effects. Research indicates, however, that taking large doses of beta-glucans does not improve their beneficial effects.
Beta-glucans build up in the digestive tract for a few days before they flush out of your body.
Beta-glucans appear to improve your digestion and help you lose weight, which makes these beneficial sugars ideal supplements to take while dieting. In addition, beta-glucans are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
In 2013, Chinese scientists synthesised a form of beta-glucan as part of a study into this substance’s immunomodulatory effects. To date, however, it does not appear that there have been any efforts to market synthetic beta-glucans to consumers.
The Chinese study referenced above did not provide any data on the bioavailability of synthetic beta-glucans, and no other data are available on this subject.
Natural beta-glucans are the only types of these substances currently available to consumers.
Beta-glucans can be consumed in certain forms of food, and these beneficial sugars can also be ingested in oral supplements.
In 2020, a study was published indicating that beta-glucans may be useful in attenuating your circadian rhythm during seasonal light shifts, which is promising news for anyone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Also this year, a scientific review indicated that there is ample evidence of beta-glucans reducing the blood glucose spike that commonly occurs after meals, which further indicates that these healthy sugars could be highly useful for people with diabetes.