Beta Glucan and the Fight Against Cancer

  • FDA Disclaimer
    The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. Learn More
  • Affliliate Disclosure
    In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site: Many of the links on are affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. If I post an affiliate link to a product, it is something that I personally use, support and would recommend without an affiliate link. Learn More
  • Privacy Policy
    Please read the Privacy Policy carefully before you start to use By using or by clicking to accept or agree to Terms of Use when this option is made available to you, you accept and agree to be bound and abide by the Privacy Policy. Learn More
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Health Benefits of Beta Glucan

Much of the chronic disease of the 21st century is due to a breakdown in the coordination and balance of the immune system.  Immunomodulation is a key term that refers to the control and coordination of the immune system.

Specific herbs, nutrients and botanical co-factors help to improve the immunodulatory systems of the body.  Beta glucans have been shown to be one of the best immunomodulating substances with powerful health benefits.

The immune system is designed to be highly sensitive to the presence of pathogenic microorganisms that pose a threat to the body.  It is also designed to produce a strong inflammatory reaction with minimal collateral damage to the body.

When the body becomes overstressed it impairs the coordination of the immune system.  This can lead to lowered or elevated immune activity.  One with a lowered immune activity is at risk for various infections and cancer cell development.  An individual with elevated immune activity is at risk for chronic inflammatory disorders such as allergies and asthma and auto-immune disorders.

beta glucan

Beta Glucan and the Immune System:

Beta glucan is a powerful immune stimulating compound found in several mushrooms, yeasts and other foods.  Beta glucan is a polysaccharide that is made up of multiple sugar molecules linked together.  The major beta glucan molecule is called 1,3-D glucan.

Polysaccharides are a diverse class of macromolecules that have a high capacity for carrying biological information due to their large structural variability. Polysaccharides interconnect at various points and form a wide range of branched structures.  The position and length of the branching gives them specific labels such as the Beta 1,3D glucan which you can learn more about here.

Beta glucans are known by scientists as “biological response modifiers” that bind to the surface of innate immune cells which allows the cells to have better coordination in their attack.  This reduces the tendancy towards auto-immune reactions and hyperinflamatory activity when the body is under attack.

beta glucan

Beta Glucan and Cancer:

Even a healthy immune system can get easily overwhelmed with fast growing cancer cells.  Beta glucan acts to bind to the surface of the antibodies, macrophages and NK cells in order to activate them and coordinate their attack.  This provides a significantly stronger and more efficient immune response.

Beta glucan also helps the anti-body antigen response by priming the immune cells to recognize complement –antibody complexes in order to kill the tumor cells.  The cooperation of antibodies with beta glucan is more potent than radiation or chemotherapy.  This also acts without the delirious side-effects that these traditional treatments have.

This compound activates certain immune cells such as key T-cells, macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells and the cytokines interleukin (IL) 1 and 2.  Studies have shown that it inhibits the growth of cancer and strengthens the immune response to microbial invaders. (1)

NK cells are a critical player in keeping tumor growth under control as that is there primary life focus.  These cells are designed to search the body, target and eliminate cancerous growths all day long.

beta glucan

Immune Stem Cells:

Beta glucan also helps stimulate the production of immune stem cells within the bone marrow.  This leads to the release of new immunocytes into the bloodstream and various lymphoid organs.

This increases the immune surveillance against potential invaders and improves the attack against cancer cells.  This is even more important when the individual is also receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation.  These conventional therapies lower circulating immune complexes and decrease immunocyte numbers making the body more susceptible to infection.

Beta glucan also stimulates various cells in the body to release anti-cancerous molecules throughout the body.  These include tumor necrosis factor, interleukins 1 & 6, hydrogen peroxide and gamma interferon which are all proven effective in the fight against cancer and invading microorganisms. (2)

beta glucan

Beta Glucan Helps Fight Infection:

Beta glucans have been studied for their ability to mitigate cancer cell growth and reduce the symptoms of the common cold.  In one report by the Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism they studied firefighters and tracked their cold/flu symptoms.   Firefighters have very physically and emotionally stressful positions that demand a lot out of them.

The results of the study showed that those who took beta glucan instead of the placebo had a 23% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections. (3) “These results are consistent with previous clinical research involving marathoners, individuals with high stress lifestyles and the general population,” wrote Brent C. Rudy, the director of the Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism.

Beta Glucan Beats Traditional Therapies:

Beta glucans ability to stimulate immunoactive molecules and improve the immune-modulation within the body is quite remarkable.   Priming and coordinating the immune system is one of the most important factors in preventing infection and the development of chronic inflammatory diseases.

There are over a thousand published scientific studies describing the various biological effects of beta glucan.(4)  The cancerostatic and immunostimulating properties that beta glucan brings to the table make it one of the safest and most potent substances available.  It is very low-cost compared to various medical interventions and much safer which make it an attractive addition to a natural cancer prevention or cancer healing program.

How Is Beta Glucan Harvested?

Beta glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharide molecules that are extracted from the cell walls of yeast.  Insoluble (1,3/1,6) B-glucans are found in brewers yeast or saccharomyces boulardii and medicinal mushrooms such as maitake, reishi and agaricus blazei murrill mushrooms.  Oats and barley contain soluble (1,3/1,4) B-glucans in their indigestible soluble fiber.  This fiber has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

Research has demonstrated that insoluble (1,3/1,6) B glucans have greater biological activity and immune modulating effects than the soluble form.(5)  Many individuals will benefit from consuming these through fermented foods and medicinal mushrooms.

It is also recommended to supplement with this insoluble B glucan in order to enhance your immune system function.  The specific supplemental versions of beta glucans are isolates that have removed all the potentially harmful proteins for those who are sensitive or allergic to yeast.

The Best Beta Glucan Supplement:

Not all glucans are created equal, not all sources are equal. Glucans widely differ in physiochemical and biological properties. Some glucans have no biological activity at all. This is why it is so important you know which one is the best.

After reviewing the literature, I have found that Transfer Point’s active ingredient, Glucan 300, is the most effective dietary supplement for a healthy immune system on the market.

Every single batch of TP ingredients is tested twice: when it’s first made, and then again when it is ready to be encapsulated or mixed in a formula. This ensures that the ingredient has not degraded, and that it has retained complete purity and full potency.

All the assays are conducted by independent 3rd parties. Few other supplement manufacturers can say the same. in fact, many supplement manufacturers don’t even bother to test regularly. Some of them use certificates of authenticity that are years old, which means the current lot has not been tested.

Transfer Point has every single lot receive its own certificate of analysis and they put that information right on the bottle.  I value the extra energy they put forth into guaranteeing there product is pure and effective and I know I can trust it to get my clients the results they need!  You can get this supplement for the lowest rate through my friends at BetterWay Health.

I recommend 500mg daily for good immune support, 1000 mg for high level immune support and 1000 mg – 2x daily for advanced disease cases.  Always take Beta Glucan away from food to maximize absorption.  I typically recommend 30 mins – 1 hour before a meal.


Sources For This Article Include:

1. Akramiene D, Kondrotas A, Didziapetriene J, Kevelaitis E. Effects of beta-glucans on the immune system. Medicina (Kaunas). 2007;43(8):597-606. PMID: 17895634
2. Beta13DGlucan – Beta Glucan in the Fight Against Cancer Link Here
3. Talbott SM, Talbott JA. Baker’s yeast beta-glucan supplement reduces upper respiratory symptoms and improves mood state in stressed women. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):295-300. PMID: 23378458
4. Beta Glucan Research – Condition, Function and Disease Indexed References Link Here
5. LeBlanc BW et al. The effect of PGG-beta-glucan on neutrophil chemotaxis in vivo. J Leukoc Biol. 2006 Apr;79(4):667-75. Epub 2006 Jan 13.
6. Harger-Domitrovich et al. Effects of an Immunomodulating Supplement on Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Symptoms in Wildland Firefighters. Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism, University of Montana, Missoula MT. Presented American College of Sports Medicine, 2008.

phytonutrients, Phytonutrients: What Are They, Benefits and Sources

Was this article helpful?

Let's Improve Your Health Today!

Get instant access to 2 FREE eBooks when you subscribe to Dr. Jockers’ newsletter.


"Join my tribe today to discover hidden strategies to improve your energy, brain, digestion & metabolism."

— Dr. David Jockers
Dr Jockers




  1. expensive but cheaper than chemotherapy which has what a 2 to 4% sucess rate.chemo is a 900billion $ a year in sales a tremendous unethical profit.It kills you by destroying your organs of course it kills 90%of the cancer.which comes back again and again.The fda approves ofthis .I have heard that when f d a people get cancer they go to germany for the cure like reagan did.

  2. Can beta-glucan be taken if I have autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease? Are there any autoimmune sufferers who have benefited from taking it? Any research..studies…testimonials? Thanks in advance.

    1. Yes, Beta glucan can absolutely help someone with an autoimmune disease. Unless the individual has a hypersensitivity to the beta glucans (very rare), it will help to tame the immune system and reduce antibody formation and overall inflammation.

    1. I am doing the ketogenic diet and recently bumped up my dose of this supplement (I have cancer) and found that I was spilling fewer ketones which indicates that the carbs in this are significant. I looked for more concrete nutritional facts on the product but they are seemingly not available. I now view it, nutritionally, as pure sugar by weight.

  3. Can you take this product if you are already taking chemo pills for Stage4Breast Cancer? I am looking for things I can take in additio to chemo that are safe. Thank you.

  4. Hi Dr. Jockers

    I have Labyrinthitis – inflammation of the inner ear caused by a bacterial or viral infection. I have had this for 2.5 years now and have exhausted all avenues. I am interested in beta glucan but I have found some things to aggravate my symptoms.

    My question is, Obviously the immune system’s natural response to a bacterial or viral infection is inflammation, which is what is happening in my ears (inflammation) so when taking the beta glucan when it supercharges the immune system will that inflammation actually increase even more? or does taking the beta glucan have the opposite reaction and cause the immune system to attenuate the inflammation in the presence of bacterial/viral infection?

    I do know taking beta glucan will help my immune system fight the infection overall but my concern is what will it do for the inflammation in the interim since its increases the immune system function.

    Do you think it would be okay to take in my case? I am nervous that inflammation increases as the symptoms are unbearable as it is, so any increase is tough to bear.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Claire,

      So very sorry to hear about this! I would suggest taking the Beta Glucan as it is an immune modulator that will help to improve the intelligence of the immune system so it creates the appropriate immunological response.

  5. Hello,
    My mom (54yrs) is diagnosed with multiple myeloma (CARB, only Bone lesion is shown), she’s nt taking any treatment. Is it safe for her to take (beta glucan (1,3/1,6) (maitake mushroom)?

  6. Dear Dr. Jockers, I do not have cancer but my 63 yr old body always has osteo arthritic pain in the knees, lower back and other areas. I know that I have to completely eleminate sugar in my diet as that increaes inflammation, What foods does one need to consume to get more Beta Glucan in their diet ? I realize that probably one could not eat enough of the foods required to get the dose of Beta Glucans that we require. Thank you !

  7. It’s only now, at a young 76 that I discover the fact that a healthy pH is 7.4 and blame the “business doctors & pharmafias”, for they never ever tested my pH or informed me about the consequences of acidosis! Also, I and none-of my friends ever heard of Dr. Warburg. Whenever I see my doctor, he only speaks some 3 words, as not to waste his precious time in order to cash in on more consultations. I truly lost faith in doctors!
    Now my blood test showed a PSA of 6.2 and my biopsy resulted in prostate cancer. The CAT-scan and PET-scan (DOG-scan missing?) shows that my cancer hasn’t spread.
    When the result is clear, I’m not going to accept any of their 3 treatment options: that of Chemo-Th., Radiation or removal of prostate.
    Instead I started the Bicarb cure: After raising my pH to 9, I intake a mixture of 1 Teasp. Bicarb with some honey in the morning and evening, measuring my pH level (2nd streem in the morning) to maintain my pH for several weeks at 9 to 9.5.
    After intake of this mixture I relax 1 Hr to allow the cancer cells gorging themselves on the suicidal glucose/ Bicarb mix. Also, during this period I refrain from eating any acidic food, such as animal meats or milk products and mainly eat Veggies & ripe fruits.
    Today arrived two 200g tins of (“Blooms) Beta Glucans powder, which might help to rehabilitate my immune system. – The good thing is that I experience none-of the symptoms of prostate cancer patients.
    Please good Dr. Jockers, be so kind to check out if I’m on the right track.
    Saludos cordiales, Joh

  8. Hello, my husband diagnosed of Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma, it is effective for him to take beta glucan? Please advise the dosage. thank you

  9. Interesting! I have multiple myeloma. Would this help or woild it cause more bad cells to be made in my bone marrow? I want to ramp up my immune system to keep my m spike number down. Help! 😊

    Do you have any actual, first hand experience treating multiple myeloma?

    Thank you for your time.

  10. WebMD says you never take more than 15 mg a day…

    “Do not take more than 15 grams per day by mouth, and do not use it for longer than 8 weeks.”

    Side Effects:
    Beta-glucans are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, used intravenously (by IV), injected into the muscle, or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts for a short time period. Do not take more than 15 grams per day by mouth, and do not use it for longer than 8 weeks. Intravenous solutions that have microparticles are not safe. They might cause spleen problems, blood clots, and other dangerous disorders.

    For high cholesterol: 7.5 grams twice daily beta glucans fiber from yeast added to juice has been used. Barley-derived beta glucans have also been used in doses of 3-10 grams/day.

  11. My mum has stage 3 rectal cancer which has gone to her lymph nodes near her pelvis.she has only been offered radiotherapy. Could I start her on beta glucans. She is a diabetic and cardiomythaphy heart

  12. Hey Doc, any knowledge whether elite glucans by pro formulations md is a good product? On par with transfer point?

    Happy health,

  13. Hi Doc,
    Thank you for the great info! I have been taking beta glucan now for about 5 months. The benefits have given me back my life. i can now sleep 8 hours, my brain works and I have energy and almost no body pain. The problem is that after about 4 months I began to get a very dry bloody nose that remits when I stop taking BG. I have fibromyalgia ( potential Sjogrens not showing in tests) and therefore experience dry eye and occasionally dry mouth. Could it be the lower end product I am using? How do you suggest I cycle it? Since I have stopped using it, I am back to 4 hours of broken sleep. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hey Kath, I am glad to hear that you are experiencing improvement in your life! It sounds like you have a lot going on. Every individual has unique health requirements. I would recommend that you consult with a functional health practitioner who can take a look at your health history and create a specific plan for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.