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The Synergy Difference: The Science Behind Beta 1, 3 Glucan (And Why It Matters!)

There are multiple forms of beta glucan. But there is only one specific configuration of beta glucan that has the powerful immune-supportive effects validated by research. It’s called beta 1,3 glucan.

While certain cereal grains like oats and barley also contain beta glucan, they are not in the 1,3 configuration, hence do not have the same immune benefits. These types of grain beta glucans are an excellent source of soluble fiber, but do not interact with your immune system in the same way. Not to get too technical, but all of this has to do with how the beta glucan molecules are attached to each other — called linkages. For the proper immune effect, there must be unique linkages between the first and third carbons of the different beta glucan molecules, with no other side branch linkages.


Beta 1,3 glucan linked in this way creates a linear chain versus a branched chain. This linear chain is very natural for your body to easily absorb, thereby making it very easy for your immune system to recognize the beta 1,3 glucan compounds as something good and beneficial. The freshwater algae known as Euglena gracilis has an abundance of these 1,3 linkages, far more than yeast or mushrooms. As previously mentioned, grains like oats do not have any of the1,3 linkages to speak of and hence do not interact effectively with your immune system. Here is a “molecular” drawing of beta 1,3 glucan showing the 1,3 linkages:


The key takeaway point is that if you are looking for the immune support aspect from beta glucan, beta 1,3 glucan is the only way to go. Even better, opt for a supplement with a source that is highly concentrated in these specific linkages.


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