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Innate Immunity and Beta 1,3-D Glucan Overview, History and Glimpse into the Future

In the 1940's, research by Dr. Louis Pillemer yielded a substance that had immune activating properties called Zymosan, which would later be redefined as Beta 1, 3d glucan. Although this material was able to stimulate a non-specific immune response, it was unknown which element of this relatively crude composition was to be credited.

Dr. Nicholas DiLuzio at Tulane University isolated Beta-1, 3-D glucan as the active component from the cell walls of baker's yeast. Joyce Czop, PhD. at Harvard University discovered the receptor sites on the macrophage for the Beta 1,3-D glucan molecule.

Leading universities, medical schools, government and cancer centers experimenting with Beta 1,3-Dglucan can specifically explain the "mode of action" inside the body, whether taken orally or injected. Pre-clinical and clinical human trials have been conducted and more are scheduled. It is likely that Beta 1,3-D glucan will be suggested by your pharmacist or prescribed by your MD, if they are up to date with the current research.

Over the past 50 years many researchers and institutions have contributed to the identification, isolation, purification and qualification of various compositions of Beta 1,3-D glucan. Many applications and uses have been identified for these compounds. The hundreds of US and overseas patents evidence this, as well as products composed of entirely or in part Beta 1,3- glucan. These numbers are steadily growing.

Many events over the past decade have caused scientists and doctors from many fields to look closer at Beta 1,3-D glucan to solve many problems. Because of misuse, abuse and overuse of antibiotics, certain bacteria have grown resistant to most of these drugs. Many patients present obstacles such as allergy to drugs, virus, fungal infections and cancer. Many of these challenges are difficult at best and all too often impossible to resolve. These conditions have commonality, a weakened or insufficient immune response.

DSHEA was passed by Congress in 1994 allowing certain structure/function claims to be made about supplements. Relative to Beta 1,3-D glucan, a brand may assert that it 'helps to maintain a healthy immune system/response. No brand or company is allowed to state that its product cures, treats, diagnoses or mitigates ANY condition. In common practice, the public (those sufficiently motivated) can read generic educational literature on topics of interest (i.e., cancer, immune system, biological response modifiers, etc) and then attempt to wade through all the hype to purchase products that may or may not help them and their overall health. The chance that they will waste money or actually buy tainted products is much more likely.

Immunotherapy is hundreds of years old. Dried scrapings of pox scabs being inhaled was practiced by the Chinese. Jenner created a vaccine from the pus off the bellies of cows and today, cancer vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are injected to help deficient immune systems cure the incurable. Again, we find commonality. The more competent the immune response, greater is the protection from the vaccines and other therapies.

I pose the simplest of questions. If the onset of disease and the outcome for modern medicines most intricate and expensive treatments depend upon your immune response, what are you doing to help make it all it can be? You reply, "I only breathe good air, drink pure water, never less than 48-64 oz.. I get my 5+ servings of dark fruits and vegetables (mostly raw) every day. I get plenty of rest. I exercise regularly. I am seldom stressed, etc." I say, "Hehe, sure!!!"

Over 800 animal and human studies support the safety and efficacy of Beta 1,3-D glucan in helping to support healthy innate immune function.