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In a 2002 study, a group of researchers used oral Beta Glucan to treat mice infected with Bacillus Anthracites. With the high incidence of anthrax vaccine complications, an alternative preventative approach is sorely needed to deal with this frightening disease. Non specific immune stimulation methods, such as macrophage activation would be an excellent option.
The way that anthrax works is by secreting two toxins: edema toxin and lethal toxin. The first of these stimulates an outpouring of fluid into the lungs, while the latter inhibits nuetrophil phagocytosis and triggers destructive intracellular reactions, destroying macrophage cells. This is especially threatening because of the fact that the lethal toxin prevents the macrophages from releasing their immune messengers, including TNF-alpha.
The study in question showed that orally administered Beta Glucan greatly stimulates the levels of TNF-alph released from the macrophage, which overcomes the inhibition caused by the anthrax lethal toxin. Because of this, the mice that were treated with Beta Glucan experienced a significantly higher survival rate.
Beta Glucan was also shown to stimulate the effectiveness of neutrophils. In fact, one study indicated that the efficiency of neutrophils was increased as much as 50-fold by this powerful supplement, allowing for much faster and more precise immune reactions.