The effects of beta glucans derived from microalgae on the immune system
Consumers are more concerned about their health than ever, especially in today’s post-COVID world.
According to a recent report from Mindshare, 66% of the world population is “paying more attention” to their health now than they did before COVID-19. Moreover, a 2022 FONA report shows that immune system health is a top priority for consumers, with 70% saying they’ve shifted their diets and lifestyles to boost their immunity.
But the most common way consumers have chosen to support immunity, according to FONA is through the purchase of supplements and vitamins.
Among the most studied immune supplements are beta-glucans, which have been shown to be beneficial to immune cells. By activating and enhancing immune cells, beta-glucans help the body fight off viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.
Beta glucan derived from microalgae is a 100% natural, bioavailable, cost-efficient, and effective ingredient that can be used in dietary supplements for immune support.
Want to learn more? Read on!
What are beta glucans?
Beta glucans are polysaccharides that naturally occur in cereals, yeast, bacteria, fungi and algae. Beta glucans are found naturally in food and can also be taken in oral supplements or applied to the skin in lotions and creams. They are commonly used to either fight high cholesterol and heart disease or to support immunity depending on their unique structure. Cosmetic products that contain Beta glucan such as creams and lotions are used for soothing and hydration.
Beta-glucan sources differ in their primary structures, molecular weight, solubility, branching proportion, types of linkages, physiological effects like hypocholesterolemia and immunomodulation, as well as their health benefits.
In beta glucans derived from algae, glucose monomers are linked via β-(1→3) glycosidic bonds, whereas in yeast and mushroom beta glucans, they are linked via β-(1→3) and β-(1→6) glycosidic bonds.
What’s so great about beta glucan derived from microalgae?
Beta glucan derived from microalgae from the microalgae Euglena gracilis. Is linear 1,3- beta glucans and is known for its immuno-modulatory functions. In other words, it helps the immune system to respond faster and more efficiently to pathogens’ attacks through the activation of innate immune cells.
Euglena uses the Beta glucan as a principal energy-storage compound. It can accumulate a large amount of paramylon, deposited as granules within the cell. Euglena itself lacks a cell wall, making the process of beta glucan absorption much easier, simpler, and safer (no solvents or additives required!), plus a higher yield of β-glucans.
Immunity benefits of beta glucans derived from microalgae
The immune system has evolved to recognize beta glucans as they are found on the surface of disease-causing fungi and are specifically recognized by cellular receptors which activate the immune system. These receptors are mainly present in innate immune cells like macrophages. The primary receptor for recognizing beta glucans is Dectin-1, although it is not the only one.
The true glory of beta glucans is that they are capable of inducing trained immunity, a relatively new term used to describe a functional reprogramming of innate immune cells in response to stimuli, which results in an enhanced response to a second stimulus. In other words, trained immunity refers to the ability of the immune system to react quickly and robustly to a second challenge by a similar or dissimilar microbe or fungus.
A clinical study that was conducted with beta glucan from Euglena Graciliis showed after 90 days of consumption fewer symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection such as: coughing, runny nose and incidences of sore throat.
Why beta glucan derived from algae is ideal for nutraceutical?
Microalgae beta glucan is ideal for use in nutraceuticals for several reasons:
- Structure: The beta-glucans are concentrated inside free-floating granules within the algae, whereas in yeast and fungi sources, they are stuck to the cell walls. This makes the isolation and extraction process much easier, and it’s free from solvents or additives.
- Cost efficient: Growth of microalgae beta glucans is more cost-efficient than yeast-derived beta glucans.
- Availability: Microalgae beta glucans are derived from a readily available single-cell microalga, Euglena gracilis, that lives in most freshwater habitats. E. gracilis is easily digested and in the stomach the β-Glucan is easily released from the whole algae.
- Additional benefits: The algae also contain proteins, essential vitamins, and minerals.
BioGlena™ by Solabia – Algaetch Nutrition
BioGlena™ is an ideal source of beta glucans derived from microalgae. It is 100% natural whole Euglena gracilis microalgae containing a minimum of 55% linear 1,3 beta -glucan. The product does not require any extraction process, so it contains no additives or solvents. It is suitable for the entire family to use.
COVID might be “over” (even though it’s still around), but consumers have learned the lesson that anything can happen at any time. They’ve learned that having immunity-supporting supplements on hand is essential for the surprises of tomorrow. Nutraceutical manufacturers should respond to consumer demand with quality products that can get them through the tough times.
As a leading beta glucan manufacturer, we produced our BioGlena™ is produced using proprietary fermentation technology that ensures a high β-glucan content (>55%) in addition to complete protein plus essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that finds naturally in the algae.