In This Article:
Mushrooms have been prized for their health benefits and medicinal effects for centuries. One of the special components found in mushrooms is beta-glucan, which is predominantly composed in the fungal cell wall and is mostly composed of beta-D-glucose.
In many types of research, beta-glucan effectively stimulates the host immune response to defend against viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections. In addition, it is known as a biological response modifier since it primarily achieves its disease protective activity through modulating the host immune system.
The stimulation of beta-glucan to macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer (NK) cells is proved by binding to the receptor (dectin-1) of these cells and modulating the systems. In clinical applications, beta-glucan is frequently used as an adjuvant to improve the effectiveness of the medicine.
To sum up the experimental and clinical results, the potential anticancer activity from beta-glucan has been proven, and thus beta-glucan has been gaining importance in clinical research during the past few years.