“All disease begins in the gut.” This is attributed to Hippocrates two millennium ago. Two things about the gut that most of us don’t know is that it contains about 80% of our immune system and it is literally your second brain.
Improve your immune system and you will have the best healthcare program available without insurance. I am not suggesting that you discontinue your health insurance. I am saying that the better your immune system, the better you can fight disease; and, maybe enjoy lower insurance premiums.
One thing that you can do today to begin boosting your immune system is to get the right fiber into your daily diet. Diet alone doesn’t answer every concern, but it helps tremendously. Certain fibers enrich and improve the immune system. Beta-glucan is one of them.
Meta-analyses of very large groups (over a million people) showed that fiber had a direct impact on the risk of death. Fiber accounted for 16-22% reduction in risk of any disease when comparing those with the most fiber to those with the least (top third compared to bottom third).
Beta-gluten is a fiber derived from baker’s yeast. It is also found in shiitake mushroom and certain cereal grains. Beta-glutens encourages the body’s development of T cells, the white blood cells that fight harmful invaders. Studies have shown that beta-glucans augment the body’s antitumor immune response. It also squashes the immune-suppressive cells used to protect cancer cells.
Beta-glucans stimulates the body’s creation of the protein interferon-gamma. This protein fights most viruses that attack our bodies. Beta-glucans also raises the levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in our saliva. This is the first line of defense against cold and flu viruses.
Tests were done with marathon runners. Those taking beta-glucans achieved over one-third fewer days off due to cold/flu related symptoms. Strenuous exercise weakens the immune system for a short period of time. Participants supplemented with beta-glucans resulted in shorter periods of immune suppression.
Stress affects all of us daily. A study evaluated beta-glucans and stress. The group taking beta-glucans countered stress-related symptoms (fatigue, confusion, tension, etc.) more effectively than the group not taking beta-glucans.
Out guts need fiber to function properly. Beta-glucans is one fiber that provides the necessary nutrients to improve intestinal health immunity. Psyllium and the fruit of the Baobab tree also augment similar functions. Combined, they prime the immune system and deter many diseases.
Studies have shown that fiber is also critical to reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.