β-glucans also referred as Beta Glucan are a group of molecules which vary in molecular mass, solubility, viscosity, and the molecular configuration. Beta glucans are beneficial in some human nutrition aspects and they help as a texturing agents or as soluble fiber supplements. They are found naturally in plant cellulose, the bran of cereal grains like oats, cell wall of baker's yeast, mushrooms like Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake, etc. They are sometimes used as medicine.
Beta glucan is a sugar like compound derived from a yeast called saccharomyces. Beta glucan is thought to reduce sun damage, aid in antiaging, and speed the healing of wounds. Beta glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. They are sometimes used as medicine.
Beta Glucans are also used in food additive in salad dressings, frozen desserts, cheese spreads, etc.
Beta-glucan are generally considered safe. There are some concerns about its disadvantage of reducing the blood sugar. Hence people with hypoglycemia should consult a the doctor or therapist before using beta-glucan.
According to the US Food & Drug Administration and UK Joint Health Claims Initiative one person can consume about three grams of beta glucan in one day. To measure it in the quantity of grains, 100 grams of rolled oats contains about 4 grams of beta glucan. So select the cereals which contains oats. You can include barley in your soups. You can also go for bread which has oats and barley as added ingredients.
Raising the beta-glucan intake by adding naturally occuring grains like oats, barley, and mushrooms in your diet may help raise your overall well being. If you plan to use Beta Glucan for the treatment or cure of any medical conndition, you should go and check with your doctor or health care professional before starting it.
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