Text Size   +  + +

Put Immune Support on Your Travel Plans

Electricity and the Effect on the Immune SystemFor most of us, travel is fun. We get to see new things and emerse ourselves in an environment completely unlike our own. Many of us, however, have already deduced that exposure to environments different from our own are not always as healthy as sitting home on the couch. A recent study revealed that up to 2/3 of all travelers worry about catching germs and take extra precautions when they travel.

The study also showed that 22% of travelers take extra vitamins or other supplements before and during traveling. A full 43% drink extra water on the trip and 7% take immune support products when they are on a vacation or traveling. These people are probably not off the mark in taking extra precautions, especially when traveling to a foreign country or third world nation. What travelers don't know is that the flight itself may be just as risky as drinking the local water.

It has been well established that the air one breathes in an airplane is not as healthy as the air on the ground. Often, the same stale air is breathed and re-breathed by everyone on the flight. Any harmful infectious disease that one person on the plane has is one that everyone on board is at risk for. For example, experts believe that the next worldwide influenza pandemic will travel via the airlines at the outset before establishing itself in areas throughout the world.

Radiation exposure is higher on airplanes is higher than on the ground and should be a consideration for any frequent travelers (remember, airplanes are made of metal but not lead). Radiation exposure is a documented occupational hazard in jet airline workers.

Beta Glucan Helps Support Your Immune System During Travel

With all these hazards facing you on what should be a fun and adventurous vacation, Beta glucan may be the one thing on your travel list you won't want to forget. For many reasons, as you'll soon see, Beta-glucan is a nutritional supplement that covers all your travel health needs. An all-natural polysaccharide isolated from Baker's yeast, Beta glucan is completely safe and free of side effects. Once inside the body, the polysaccharide molecules are known to enhance the immune system, be protective against infections and help the body's bone marrow to recover more quickly from an insult, such as damage from radiation.

Let's look at the benefits of taking Beta-glucan to counteract airplane radiation. Multiple studies have shown that taking Beta glucan prior to exposure to radiation may reduce the cancer-causing and infection-causing effects of such exposure. The authors of one study summed up the ways in which Beta-glucan counteracts the dangers of radiation:

(1) Beta glucan increases macrophage-mediated resistance to opportunistic infections that can occur following radiation exposure. Macrophages have receptor sites for Beta-glucan and it is believed that, by taking Beta glucan inside the cell cytoplasm, the cells seem to be protected from radiation damage.

(2) Beta glucan is known to increase the precursor cells for the body's immune cells, such as neutrophils, natural killer cells and other lymphocytes. It seems to do this following a radiation insult to the body much faster than when the body isn't given Beta glucan.

(3) Beta glucan speeds up the maturation of immune cells from precursor cells. Precursor cells are important, but unless they can quickly mature, they don't help the immune system very much.

Even if not traveling by plane, Beta-glucan has immune-enhancing properties that are highly important when in an environment where the people, the food and the water all have the potential to carry disease-causing germs to which the traveler is not immune. Food-borne pathogens that cause conditions like traveler's diarrhea are found in areas all over the world and not just in third world countries. Anywhere you travel has bacteria that you have not been exposed to before and can result in traveler's diarrhea. Beta glucan, can enhance the intestinal macrophages, to help support immune system function during these types of challenges.

Research studies show that Beta glucan enhances the pathogen-killing properties of macrophages. Macrophages are considered one of our first lines of defense against unhealthy microorganisms. Unlike other immune responses that sometimes take days to be effective, macrophages are effective in killing a pathogen as soon as one comes in contact with it.

Multiple research studies have shown in animal models that Beta glucan improved resistance to infections from environmental organisms or from unclean water. This doesn't mean you should go against the food and water consumption recommendations for the area in which you are traveling; however, the use of Beta glucan during the trip should provide the added protection you need against unknown pathogens.

Beta glucan has been shown to have antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are important in reducing the overkill that sometimes happens in the immune system when one is infected with a serious infection. It is known that some of the organ and tissue damage in an infection comes from oxidative stress and not simply by the pathogen itself. By modulating the effects of oxidative stress, it is known to reduce tissue injury as a result of immune system-related oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is what results in an excess of dangerous free radicals in the body. Besides serious infection, excessive exposure to the sun or to radiation (as on the airplane) causes oxidative stress in the body. Using Beta-glucan on a sun-drenched holiday may protect your skin from the damage you sustain when your sunblock wears off or is insufficient to protect you from the UV radiation you become exposed to. Parts of the Southern Hemisphere, for example, have a much greater problem with UV radiation due to a reduction in the protective ozone layer of the earth's atmosphere.

The most amazing thing about Beta glucan is it not a treatment for any disease or condition. Beta Glucan is an immunomodulator that has been shown to support immune system function.

As you can see, Beta glucan is ruly a traveler's dream. By using Beta-glucan just prior to and during your trip, you can worry about other vacation-related problems (like spending too much money) and let Beta-glucan worry about your immune system health.

Much controversy surrounds glucan products these days. This controversy centers around the quality issue(s) of purity level and molecule linkage. In order to be effective the material must contain the proper glucan purity level and 1,3-D/1,6 molecular linkage.

The serious researcher will discover that many manufactures hide or do not apply these generally accepted standards to their manufacturing process. Further, proof of quality/content by independent verification is seldom made available to consumers or researchers, if available at all, except upon specific request or demand. Request of this nature have required, in some instances, court orders.

This site shows you what is considered the generally accepted "textbook" standards for quality, so you can become an educated researcher in the area of alternative health. Don't use unproven, unbranded Beta glucan products when you travel, or at anytime, which can pose a risk to your health. To compare various products and to discover the "textbook" standards for quality - Click Here


  1. Kournikakis, B, et al. "Anthrax-Protective Effects of Yeast Beta 1,3 Glucans." Medscape General Medicine 5(1). 2003.
  2. Kumari J, Sahoo PK. "Dietary beta-1,3 glucan potentiates innate immunity and disease resistance of Asian catfish, Clarias batrachus." J Fish Dis . 2006 Feb;29(2):95-101.
  3. Kayali H, et al. "The antioxidant effect of beta-Glucan on oxidative stress status in experiental spinal cord injury." Neurosurg Rev . 2005 Oct;28(4):298-302.
  4. Sener G, et al. "Protective effect of beta-glucan against oxidative organ injury in a rat model of sepsis." Int Immunopharmacol . 2005 Aug;5(9):1387-96.
  5. Cramer DE, et al. "Beta-glucan enhances complement-mediated hematopoietic recovery after bone marrow injury." Blood . 2006 Jan 15;107(2):835-40.
  6. Toklu HZ, et al. "Beta-glucan protects against burn-induced oxidative organ damage in rats." Int Immunopharmacol . 2006 Feb;6(2):156-69.
  7. Leblanc BW, et al. "The effect of PGG Beta-glucan on neutrophil chemotaxis in vivo." J Leukoc Biol . 2006 Jan 13.