Biological Effects of Yeast β-Glucans - Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol.75 No.4 December 2010.Report as inadecuate

Biological Effects of Yeast β-Glucans - Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol.75 No.4 December 2010. - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol.75 No.4 December 2010. -

β-Glucans are glucose polymers that naturally occur in yeasts, molds, algae, mushrooms, bacteria, oats and barley. Immunostimulation is one of the most important properties of β-glucans. They are classified as biological response modifiers and because of their biological activities they can be used in human and veterinary medicine and pharmacy. Additionally, β-glucans show interesting physicochemical properties and therefore could be applied in food and feed production as well as in cosmetic and chemical industries. Immunomodulation by β-glucan, both in vitro and in vivo, inhibits cancer cell growth and metastasis and prevents or reduces bacterial infection. In humans, dietary β-glucan lowers blood cholesterol, improves glucose utilization by body cells and also helps wound healing. β-Glucans work, in part, by stimulating the innate immune mechanism to fight a range of foreign challenges and could be used as an adjuvant, in combination with anti infective or antineoplastic agents, radiotherapy, and a range of topical agents and nutrients. The structure of β-glucans depends on the source they are isolated from. Native β-glucan molecules can be linked and branched in several ways. Biological properties of different β-glucan molecules are dependent on their molecular structure. Some authors claim that the β-1→3, 1→6-glucan derived from yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae produce the highest biological effects. Thus, in this review the β-glucans and their metabolic activity are discussed, with the special accent on those isolated from yeast. Other possible β-glucan applications, directed to cosmetic production, non-medical application in pharmaceutical and chemical industry, are also discussed.

β-glucan; biological activity; immunomodulation; yeast

Author: Vlatka Petravić-Tominac - ; University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Pierottijeva 6, HR-10000 Zagreb,



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