Beta Glucan for
treating Lyme Disease
eta glucan, a kind of polysaccharide (see the 2008 Lyme Disease Annual Report at
for more information on polysaccharides) is a widely studied, broadly recognized type of immune system modulator and strengthener. It is not a fringe supplement with only a small amount of research. Instead, it is recognized by the scientific community, and there have been over 1,000 studies conducted on its immunological effects over 60 years.
There are numerous natural sources of beta glucan, the most potent of which is an extract from the cell wall of a type of bakerís yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Many types of mushrooms also contain beta glucan, and, as you will read further down in this article, the many benefits of mushroom supplements are in part due to their beta glucan content. When properly extracted, harmful parts of the yeast (such as that to which many people are allergic) are left behind, and only the beta glucan is extracted.
So what exactly does beta glucan do? It has numerous effects:
Beta glucan is an antioxidant.
Beta glucan is an immunomodulator, meaning that, in addition to upregulating (stimulating) the immune system, it also downregulates functions of the immune system which may be hyperactive. With Lyme Disease, this is very important because Lyme Disease often involves excessive and non-productive inflammation. Beta glucan supplements can calm this excessive immune activity.
Beta glucan activates immune system cells known as macrophages, which are large white cells that play a critical role in healthy immune function. According to Trevor Marshall, Ph.D., inventor of the Marshall Protocol, cell wall deficient Lyme Disease bacteria can actually invade macrophages and colonize them. Not only does Lyme Disease bacteria shut down macrophages, it goes one step further and invades the cell to use as a safe harbor. Talk about a survival-capable bacteria! Beta glucanís ability to strengthen and activate macrophages can play a very important role in Lyme Disease treatment. In addition to fighting Lyme Disease, macrophages are critical to combating many different types of illnesses, including cancer. According to Dr. Kenneth Hunter from the University of Nevada school of medicine, "macrophages are one of the most important cells in the immune system to kill cancer tumors."
Experiments have shown that beta glucan also fights candida and has direct antifungal effects.
To read about the many benefits of beta glucan, simply point your web browser to
and search for ďbeta glucanĒ (make sure you use the quotation marks in your search).
With regard to Lyme Disease, the reason to use beta glucan supplements is simply that they have proven, through the experiences of Lyme Disease sufferers, to accelerate healing and reduce symptoms.
There are dozens of different brands of beta glucan supplements available. The one with which I am most familiar and in which I have the highest degree of confidence is Immunition, manufactured by Nutritional Scientific Corporation (or NSC). You may be able to locate other quality brands. The reason I have confidence in the NSC brand is that Dr. Elmer Cranton, a now-retired physician from Washington state, observed this supplement to have dramatic effect in dozens of sufferers of chronic disease over his medical career of more than four decades. I personally know Dr. Cranton (both as a former patient and friend) and he is an excellent doctor, and also very skeptical of most supplements. I recall in one of our e-mail discussions him telling me how much it pained him to recommend this supplement since he generally found most supplements to be less useful than popularly believed. He described to me numerous cases of chronically ill patients who received great benefit from NSC Immunition. Additionally, my communication with various patients and physicians have yielded similar conclusions about NCS Immunition. Personally, I noticed significant benefit from Immunition when I was very sick with Lyme Disease.
Resources and Product Information
The NSC website, http://www.nsc24.com, is very informative and I recommend browsing it for additional information and to purchase products. Immunition is expensive, but in my evaluation, it is worth it. The two NSC products most useful for Lyme Disease are NSC-24 and NSC-100. NSC-100 is just a more potent form of NSC-24. NSCís toll free phone line is 888-541-3997.
NSC offers a free snail-mail newsletter which I have found to be relatively informative. To sign up, visit
You may be able to locate other brands of beta glucan which are of high quality. Please report your experiences with Immunition or other related supplements to the Lyme-and-rife group and Lyme Community Forums so we can stay up to date on how well this therapy works with Lyme Disease:
The Lyme-and-rife group:
Lyme Community Forums: