What is Beta-glucan?
Beta-glucans are the most medicinally-beneficial compound found in mushrooms. They make up to 50% of the cell wall structure of fungi and yeast, and are also found in the cell walls of seaweed and grains. Beta-glucans are polymers of glucose and are of varying lengths and degrees of branching that convey special properties to each fungus and yeast. Once they are ingested, beta-glucans bind to receptors on the intestinal macrophages (a phagocytic white blood cell), which then carry them to other organs such as spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and reticuloendothelial tissues. The macrophages metabolize the beta-glucans glucans into smaller, more immunologically active metabolites which bond to and activate the complement receptors on bone marrow granulocytes (stem cells), thus increasing immune competence (see: Wikipedia)