Beta glucan and cholesterol lowering, does this dietary supplement help, can it be combined with other dietary supplement pills? Does it lower lipid levels?
Oat research and the influence of this nutrient on immune system health
February 15 2016

Benefits and medical conditions it can be used for
Beta glucan is a naturally derived polysaccharide which has been studied for its anti-tumor and immuno-stimulating properties, and also for blood sugar and cholesterol.

Beta Glucan and cholesterol management
Fruit drinks enriched with the soluble fiber beta-glucan can lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, according to results of a study conducted in the Netherlands. Dr. Ronald P. Mensink, of Maastricht University, and colleagues evaluated 25 healthy subjects who drank a fruit drink containing beta-glucan from oats and 22 healthy subjects who drank a fruit drink containing 5 grams of rice starch, which served as a placebo. All of the subjects drank the juice every day for five weeks. Blood samples were obtained before and after the study to measure fats, fat proteins and fat-soluble antioxidants. Non-cholesterol sterols were also measured as markers of cholesterol absorption, and lathosterol was measured to evaluate cholesterol synthesis. Compared with the placebo group, total cholesterol was reduced by 4.8 percent and LDL cholesterol by 7.7 percent in the beta-glucan group. The investigators also found that the beta-glucan drink decreased cholesterol absorption and increased synthesis, without affecting levels of fat-soluble antioxidants. The reason beta-glucan lowers LDL cholesterol is not known, they continue. One possible mechanism is that beta-glucan binds with bile acids or increases intestinal viscosity. This results in a decreased reabsorption of bile acids and increased fecal bile acid excretion. As a result, there is an increase in bile acid synthesis and excretion in the intestine. Cholesterol synthesis in the liver increases at the same time due to a greater need for cholesterol in bile acid production. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2006.

Beta glucan and blood pressure, role in hypertension
Effects of consuming foods containing oat beta-glucan on blood pressure, carbohydrate metabolism and biomarkers of oxidative stress in men and women with elevated blood pressure.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007. Maki KC, Galant R, Samuel P, Tesser J, Witchger MS, Ribaya-Mercado JD, Blumberg JB, Geohas J. Radiant Research, Chicago, IL, USA.
Ninety-seven men and women with resting systolic blood pressure 130-179 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure 85-109 mm Hg were randomly assigned to consume foods containing oat beta-glucan or control foods for 12 weeks. The results of the present trial suggest beneficial effects of foods containing beta-glucan from oats on carbohydrate metabolism, and on blood pressure in obese subjects.

Source Naturals Beta Glucan for cholesterol management

Beta Glucan is a unique polysaccharide composed of glucose molecules extracted and purified from the cell wall of common baker’s yeast  Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is used to maintain or stimulate the effectiveness of the immune system.  Animal  and human cell culture studies have shown that beta glucan can stimulate several aspects of immune function, such as phagocytosis and interleukin production.  Source Naturals Beta Glucan uses a purification process that removes the manoproteins and yeast residues that may reduce its effectiveness.

Immunity and beta glucan
The carbohydrate polymers known as beta-1,3-d-glucans exert potent effects on the immune system – stimulating anti-tumor and antimicrobial activity, for example – by binding to receptors on macrophages and other white blood cells and activating them. Although beta-glucans are known to bind to receptors, such as complement receptor 3, there is evidence that another beta-glucan receptor is present on macrophages.

Medical conditions where Beta glucan product may be effective
Beta glucan may be helpful in  diabetes and heart disease. The addition of beta-glucan predictably reduces the Glycemic Index. In a 50 g carbohydrate portion each gram of beta-glucan reduces the GI by 4 units, making it a useful functional food component for reducing postprandial glycemia.

Beta-Glucan studies
Sweeteners and beta-glucans improve metabolic and anthropometrics variables in well controlled type 2 diabetic patients.
Reyna NY. University of Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Am J Ther. 2003.
The introduction of fat and carbohydrates replacers has been a revolutionary advance in treating obesity and diabetes mellitus. Since these materials have shown to have beneficial effects on the metabolic profiles of diabetic patients, they should be useful in designing specific foods for patients with diabetes. To compare metabolic and anthropometric improvements elicited by a diet based on the American Diabetic Association’s nutrition recommendations with a modified, low-energy diet incorporating fat replacers and non-sucrose sweeteners. A total of 16 male, well controlled type 2 diabetes patients were divided into two groups of eight; one group received the diet based on the American Diabetic Association’s nutrition recommendations, and the other was fed a modified, low-calorie diet containing a fat replacer (beta-glucans derived from oats) and the sweeteners, sucralose and fructose. Both groups were maintained on their respective diets for 4 weeks. All patients performed daily aerobic exercise consisting of walking for 60 minutes. Body weight, body mass index, basal glycemia, hemoglobin HbA1C, and lipid profile were determined in each patient before starting the diets and after 4 weeks of dietary intervention. Both diets produced significant improvements in weight, body mass index, lipid profile, basal glucose, and HbA1C. However, the experimental diet was superior to the American Diabetic Association’s diet in improving metabolic and anthropometric profile: greater increase in HDL cholesterol and larger decreases in HbA1C, weight, and body mass index. A diet incorporating a beta-glucans and non-sucrose sweeteners produced a greater improvement in metabolic and anthropometric variables in well controlled type 2 diabetic patients when compared with a diet based on American Diabetic Association’s nutrition recommendations.

Beta glucan supplement benefit questions
I have celiac disease. I assume the barley beta glucan has gluten in it, but want to make sure as I would like to be able to take it.
This is a good question. We are not sure whether it would have any effect, positive or negative, in those with celiac disease.

Does yohimbe plant interact with beta glucan benefits and cause side effects?
We doubt beta glucan effects will be influenced or the immune system influenced by the occasional use of the aphrodisiac product.

Zantac is a pharmaceutical drug that blocks the action of histamine on stomach cells. Would the use of beta glucan interfere with its action?
We don’t think so but we can’t be sure.