A strong immune system helps protect your body on two levels through your first and second lines of defence. Your first line of defence against outside invaders includes Natural Killer (NK) and phagocyte white blood cells.
The initial response of your white blood cells to invaders activates your second line of defence. This targeted system includes T and B lymphocytes and T Helper (TH) cells that can recognise and destroy infected cells.
Unfortunately, as you age, your immune system doesn’t respond to challenges like it did when you were younger.
The goal is to create a healthy, balanced response from your immune system that responds to stressors but doesn’t over-respond. If your immune system becomes out of balance and overactive, it can recognise your own healthy cells as foreign cells and initiate an attack, resulting in an autoimmunity or inflammatory condition.
In a perfect world, you would eat wholesome whole foods, get the right amount of exercise, sleep well, take care of yourself and manage your stress.
In the real world, we all know that doesn’t always happen.
No matter what you do, you can’t escape every single challenge to your immune health. You can’t control every pollutant and toxin. You can’t stop aging.
So your best solution is to make sure your immune system is optimally primed for a healthy, balanced response.
Beta Glucans Aren’t All the Same: Meet Euglena Whole Cell Algae’s Immune-Loving Beta Glucans
Beta glucans are glucose polymers found in algae, bacteria, fungi (mushrooms) and plants like oats and barley. In bacteria and yeasts, beta glucans are part of the structural backbone of the cell wall.
However, beta glucans aren’t all the same. Beta glucans from oats serve a different purpose in your body than beta glucans in yeast.
Depending on their source, they have different primary health benefits based on size, structure and solubility. Beta glucans are assigned numbers that correspond to the linkages between glucose molecules.
When it comes to immune health, one type of beta glucan stands apart: 1,3 Beta-D-glucan from Euglena algae. It serves a storage function in your cells and acts as an immune modulator.
One thing that makes the beta glucans from Euglena algae so unique is the algae’s structure.
Instead of a cell wall so common in plants, Euglena has a protein-rich membrane or pellicle that is easily broken to release the beta glucan inside.
Because of this unique storage arrangement, the beta glucans from Euglena are of higher purity and need minimal processing, unlike those from plants that require enzymatic digestion to achieve purification.
Euglena’s Secret Immune Health Benefits
This strain – Euglena gracilis – is what’s known as a protist. That means it shares characteristics with both animals and plants. It’s classified by the way it moves and how it lives, and that’s what makes it so valuable for your immune health.
A freshwater microalgae, Euglena has a high nutritional value made up of protein, vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants like carotenoids.
However, the magic is how Euglena works with your immune system. Here’s what happens when you use this very unique algae:
- Whole cell Euglena algae enters your stomach and is exposed to stomach acids and enzymes. Non-beta glucan components, such as protein, dissolve which frees the paramylon granules (with the beta glucans) from the rest of the algae.
- The paramylon granules remain undigested in your stomach and move into your small intestine where your immune cells are located.
- Your immune cells recognise the granules with the 1,3 beta glucans through their surface cell receptors.
- The granules with the 1,3 beta glucans are absorbed through Peyer’s patches in your small intestine, which are a part of your gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). This is where the beta glucans come into contact with immune cells such as macrophages.
- Your immune cells engulf the 1,3 beta glucans.
- Your immune system’s phagocytes transport them throughout your body, releasing fragments of 1,3 beta glucans.
- The recognition and ingestion of beta glucans trigger the release of signaling molecules.
- Small proteins called cytokines and chemokines lead to an increase in signaling molecules and allow immune cells to communicate with each other.
- Signaling molecules activate other immune cells.
- Activated immune cells target and destroy foreign cells.
The 1,3 beta glucan directly interacts with key immune cells to support a heathy immune system.
Go With Your Gut… Enjoy Prebiotic Benefits Without the Undesirable Effects
Within your gut, you have special tissue that’s associated with immune function. The GALT, or Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue, makes up about 70 percent of your immune system.
EpiCor® affects immune and digestive function in several different ways:
- Acts as a prebiotic, or a food that nourishes beneficial gut bacteria, helping them grow and multiply to support gut health.
- Significantly increases levels of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that has been shown to nourish your gut mucosa and support for gut immune health.
- Significantly increases the levels of beneficial bacteria (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) over the control.
- Contains mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) and beta glucans that have been shown to have a beneficial effect for gut immune health.
- Discourages the growth of non-beneficial bacteria and organisms.
- Helps support a healthy normal inflammatory response in your gut.
Published research shows that EpiCor® helps to significantly improve healthy gut function by reducing bloating, feelings of fullness and overall digestive discomfort in subjects with occasional constipation.
EpiCor® does not contain any active yeast and in fact supports immune action against yeast.
EpiCor® is a whole-food fermentation product made from baker’s yeast (S. cerevisiae) – that safe, natural microorganism that’s been used for many years to make breads, wine and beer.
First, a highly controlled, oxygen-rich environment is used to help the microorganism multiply. Then the process switches over to an anaerobic environment to deprive the cells of oxygen.
In response, the cells produce immune supporting compounds and metabolites such as proteins, peptides, antioxidants, polyphenols, organic acids and nucleotides.
This unique, natural fermentation complex also contains the beneficial yeast cell compounds such as 1,3-1,6 beta glucans and mannans.
A gentle drum-drying process captures the nutrients created during fermentation. The dehydrated fermentate no longer contains any active yeast thanks to the fermentation process.
Instead, the finished whole-food yeast fermentate helps strengthen your immune system to help you fight any issues with yeast.
Adults, as a dietary supplement, take 1 to 2 capsules daily.