Shiho Aoki a, Atsushi Iwai a, b*, Koji Kawata a, b, Daisuke Muramatsu a, Hirofumi
Uchiyama b, Mitsuyasu Okabe b, Masahiro Ikesue c, Naoyoshi Maeda c, and
Toshimitsu Uede c, d.
The Aureobasidium pullulans-produced β-glucan (AP-PG) is an immune stimulator, and believed to exhibit beneficial effects on health through its immune stimulating activity. Here, the effect of oral administration of AP-PG on high-fat diet
(HFD)-induced atherosclerosis was evaluated using apolipoprotein E deficient mice, a widely used mouse model for atherosclerosis. The results demonstrated that HFD-induced development of atherosclerosis was significantly reduced in the AP-PG-treated mice when compared with that of the control mice. In serological analysis, blood levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a well-known risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis, were significantly reduced in the AP-PG-treated group of mice. Further, immunohistochemical analysis using MOMA-2 antibody showed that oral administration of AP-PG is effective in ameliorating vascular accumulation of macrophages. These data suggest the possibility that oral administration of AP-PG is effective in ameliorating HFD-induced development of atherosclerosis.
β-glucans form a natural component of the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeast, and cereals such as oat and barley. Each type of beta-glucan comprises a different molecular backbone, level of branching, and molecular weight which affects its solubility and physiological impact. One of the most common sources of β(1,3)D-glucan for supplement use is derived from the cell wall of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The β(1,3)D-glucans from yeast are often insoluble. However, β(1,3)(1,4)-glucans are also extracted from the bran of some grains, such as oats and barley, and to a much lesser degree in rye and wheat. Other sources include some types of seaweed, and various species of mushrooms, such as reishi, Ganoderma applanatum, shiitake, Chaga and maitake.
(1,3)-β-D-glucan medical application
An assay to detect the presence of (1,3)-β-D-glucan in blood is marketed as a means of identifying invasive or disseminated fungal infections. This test should be interpreted within the broader clinical context, however, as a positive test does not render a diagnosis, and a negative test does not rule out infection. False positives may occur because of fungal contaminants in the antibiotics , and piperacillin/tazobactam. False positives can also occur with contamination of clinical specimens with the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Alcaligenes faecalis, which also produce (1→3)β-D-glucan. This test can aid in the detection of Aspergillus, Candida, and Pneumocystis jirovecii. This test cannot be used to detect Mucor or Rhizopus, the fungi responsible for mucormycosis, as they do not produce (1,3)-beta-D-glucan.
Let your food be your medicine. It’s interesting that some of the fungus-produced elements are also toxins that can cause illness such as CIRS. Yet a different category of beta-glucan can have very positive health benefits.