Here’s an excerpt from the NYBC info sheet on Beta Glucans, an extract of yeast cell walls which has been used in immune-compromised patients.
Function: Cholesterol regulation, immune support. May also modestly improve blood pressure.
Beta glucans enhance the power of the immune system by activating a certain type of white blood cell known as macrophages. These cells patrol the body and fend off foreign invaders such as bacteria and fungi by engulfing them.
Beta glucans are also well known to be effective in lowering blood lipid levels and are the key factor for why oat bran is so beneficial in this regard. Like other soluble fiber components, beta glucans work by binding cholesterol, facilitating its elimination from the body. Because beta glucans lower the bad LDL and increase the good HDL blood cholesterol levels, they are useful in preventing coronary heart disease.
See also the NYBC entry on