Botanical, Biotech, Fungi, Synthetic
Beta-glucan, or ß-glucan, is a special polysaccharide obtained from cereals, mushrooms, yeast, bacteria, and some species of seaweed. It is made from glucose, but the separate glucose molecules are linked in a way that makes beta-glucan indigestible to humans.
When ingested or applied to the skin, beta-glucan performs various beneficial activities. It is mainly used for its immunomodulatory, soothing, wound healing, and anti-aging properties. Beta-glucans can be obtained from various sources, but manufacturers usually prefer baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus), and cereals - especially oats. During the manufacturing process, the huge beta-glucan molecule is broken down into smaller fragments that can be better absorbed.
According to studies, beta-glucan molecules are able to permeate into the lower layers of the skin and deliver their beneficial activities. There is much we don’t know for certain when it comes to the science behind beta-glucan. It has been found to be a promising anti-wrinkle, wound healing, antioxidant, and moisturizing ingredient.
Beta-glucan creams are sometimes used to treat radiation burns in cancer patients. Many different trials are still ongoing and we will certainly find out more about the beneficial effects of beta-glucan in the future.