Beta-glucans can provide several health benefits, including supporting immune system modulation. In addition to helping ward off infections, beta-glucans support gut health, cholesterol levels and blood sugar management. Unfortunately, our bodies do not naturally produce beta-glucans, leaving a beta-glucan supplement an appealing option to reap the benefits.
Beta-glucans can be found in various bacteria and fungi, with abundant amounts found living in mushrooms' cell walls. Eating mushrooms consistently is one way to receive the beneficial properties of beta-glucans, but there may be better options to suit your lifestyle. Mushroom beta-glucan supplements offer convenient alternatives to receiving beta-glucan nutrients and the many additional benefits that functional mushrooms provide.
What Are Beta-Glucans?
Beta-glucans are water-soluble fibers found in the following sources:
- Functional mushrooms
Beta-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides—long chains of carbohydrates connected in complex ways. Polysaccharides are the most abundant carbohydrate found in various foods and the most robust and well-known components of functional mushrooms. Polysaccharides can make up 50% of the dry matter in some mushroom species, with water, antioxidants, amino acids, proteins, and other bioactive compounds comprising the rest.
Beta-glucans are only one specific type of polysaccharide and differ by their chain of glucose units, which can affect the characteristics offered. However, research has found that most beta-glucans are potent immunomodulators that affect both innate and adaptive immunity by stimulating the activation of macrophages—white blood cells that fight off bacteria and infections.
As a soluble fiber, beta-glucans dissolve in water, forming a gel-like substance that helps slow the transit of food to the intestines. This process supports better gut health and can even help support cholesterol levels, as beta-glucans act as a sponge that absorbs extra cholesterol and sugars, supporting blood sugar level management.
What Are Beta-D-Glucans?
Mushrooms contain many nutrients and beta-D-glucans are the most common polysaccharides found living in the cell walls. Beta-D-glucans are biologic response modifiers (BRMs) that contain a repeating structure of d-glucose polymers which bind to immune system cells offering better support against harmful pathogens. BRMs act as immunomodulators, with the ability to either stimulate an underactive immune system or suppress an overactive one.
Beta-D-glucans are found in all functional mushrooms, including the following species
- Lion’s mane
- Turkey tail
The beta-glucan content found in mushrooms will differ based on the mushroom species, and environmental growing conditions.
Mushroom Beta-Glucan Supplements: What To Look For
As discussed above, our bodies do not naturally produce beta-glucans, leaving it up to the foods we consume to offer related benefits. While many may desire a healthy, well-rounded diet, it’s often difficult to achieve on a daily basis. Mushroom beta-glucan supplements offer a simple solution to achieve the desired effects of beta-glucans each day.
Functional mushrooms, also known as medicinal mushrooms, have been used as healing agents for centuries in traditional Chinese Medicine. The tradition of using dried and powdered mushroom species has carried over into present-day health and wellness supplements.
By seeking a mushroom beta-glucan supplement for your daily wellness, you not only add valuable beta-glucans to your diet, but you also are adding the many benefits of functional mushrooms to your daily regimen. Mushroom supplements contain:
- Amino acids
- Bioactive compounds
The mushroom beta-glucan supplement type may differ based on your desired needs. For example, a reishi mushroom supplement supports the body’s natural immune responses.‡ It’s also a natural adaptogen that helps the body better manage stress.‡ A cordyceps supplement promotes stamina and endurance, providing better oxygen support during exercise.‡ Lion’s mane has been found to support cognitive and nerve health, leaving a daily supplement as an excellent option for improving mental clarity and focus.‡
Whichever species you desire for your daily intake, it’s essential to ensure the safety and purity of your mushroom supplement product. Om Mushroom Superfood® offers mushroom supplements cultivated and processed under controlled conditions that eliminate dangerous toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides from their products. Om® offers versatile mushroom powder blends that can be stirred into recipes, beverages, or smoothies. The same quality mushroom powder is available in convenient capsules as an alternative option. Capsules provide a daily dose that is portable and easy to take.
The benefits of beta-glucan supplements are profound. Current research has found that consuming beta-glucan supplements can help maintain healthy gut bacteria, and support cholesterol levels, blood sugar management, and immune system functionality.‡ But as with any supplement, it’s recommended you speak with your healthcare provider before taking a mushroom supplement.
‡These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Functional mushroom products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.