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Beta Glucan in the Fight Against Cancer

12 Jun

Since the first scientific discovery 40 years ago, the anti-tumor activity of beta glucan has been clearly demonstrated in numerous animal and human studies involving a wide range of tumors including breast, lung, and gastrointestinal cancer. In Japan, beta glucan is a licensed immunostimulant for cancer treatment and numerous clinical trials are currently under way, both in the United States and in several European countries.

Cancer cells have mechanisms to evade the body’s defenses and make them difficult to destroy. These cells have changed their normal characteristics and constantly attack our body in an effort to either overcome the immune system, which, after some time, becomes exhausted, or escape recognition and subsequent destruction by our natural defense mechanisms.     Cancer overwhelms or overpowers our numerous immune cells (white blood cells including macrophages, dendritic cells and natural killer or NK cells).

In healthy bodies, these defender cells successfully manage to fight the invading pathogens and tumor cells, but the ability of our body to heal is not endless.  In addition, stress, allergies, pollutants and age have negative effects on the strength of our natural defensive reactions. Under normal conditions, the immune system is able to overcome the invasion of cancer cells, but at times of extreme conditions, the natural line of defense is often just not strong enough. When the immune system is compromised, there is severe risk of the development of tumors. Clearly, our immune cells need any help they can get, and this is the reason immunomodulators like beta glucan are so important.  <More Read Full Article>

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