Beta Glucan is a complex sugar (polysaccharide). In the oyster mushroom, it forms one of the mushroom’s structural elements. To live and grow, the mushroom uses substances present in the wood or straw on which it grows. These substances are also polysaccharides, but the mushroom transforms them into other polysaccharides. These include alpha and beta glucans, from which we then isolate beta-1,3/1,6-glucan which is known as an immuno-modulator.
The first successful studies on the beneficial (anti-cancerous) effects of beta glucan date from the end of the 1960s. Several authors proved that extracts from various species of mushrooms have significant anti-cancerous effects. Compared to today’s methods, the extraction procedure was very simple but even then it was already possible to isolate several polysaccharides. Today, we know a lot more about beta glucan, its processing and positive effects on many health problems.