Beta-glucans (β-glucans) are natural polysaccharides comprising glucose polymers which are produced by a variety of plants eg, oats, barley and seaweed. Beta-glucans are constituents of the cell wall of baker's yeasts, certain types of fungi and many kinds of mushrooms.
Among sources of β-glucans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast) has been studied extensively for its strong biological response modifier (BRM) properties, principally for its immunomodulatory potential. However, the low solubility of yeast-derived β-glucan makes it difficult to be absorbed from the digestive tract.
The process of carboxymethylation transforms β-glucan to CM-glucan (carboxymethyl-glucan or sodium carboxymethyl β-glucan), a highly soluble glucan that can readily absorbed by the body. As a result, CM-glucan has a better ability than low-solubility glucans to bind with glucan receptors in the white blood cells and to stimulate proliferation of macrophages, neutrophils and other cells that carry specific β-glucan receptors on their surface. CM-glucan triggers and enhances phagocytosis, setting off the entire immune system cascade.
Carboxymethyl-glucan as a soluble-derivative of β-glucan has additional advantages: Absence of toxicity and adverse effects, enhanced biological properties: Antioxidant and immunomodulation activities, maintenance of bioactivity since soluble derivatives (CM-glucan) can cross the gastrointestinal wall without causing damage to the digestive system.
ImmunoMax and ImmunoMax Forte Syrup are taken as a food supplement and may be used as adjuvant to several therapies: Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis: CM-glucan enhances macrophage activity. Macrophages are able to modulate immune response by secreting anti-inflammatory mediators eg, prostaglandin E2 (PGE-2), tumor growth factor (TGF-a) and interleukin-10 (IL-10). As such, CM-glucan can act as macrophage stimulant and prevent the appearance of Th2 response which may prevent asthma episodes, reduce the duration and severity of asthma attacks, reduce and prevent allergic rhinitis episodes.
Respiratory Tract Infections: The use of CM-glucan fortifies the immune system and may result in dramatic reduction in the frequency of recurrent colds and flu, significant reduction in the frequency and duration of asthma episodes, absence or reduction in the frequency of respiratory tract infections, marked environment of patient under treatment for primary complex or pulmonary tuberculosis, shorter duration, treatment and faster recovery from infections and disease.
Cancer: CM-glucan has been shown to possess bioprotective properties eg, antimutagenic, antigenotoxic and antioxidant properties by its capability of scavenging reactive oxygen species. CM-glucan enhances reticuloendothelial system function and modulates cellular and humoral immunity. CM-glucan has been proven effective in stimulating hematopoiesis after repeated doses of radiation and increasing total leukocyte counts which may result in helping in cancer prevention and therapy, increase the short survival period of cancer patients, reduce side effects of cancer treatment eg, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and improve patient quality of life as the disease progresses.
Surgery: With the stimulation of macrophages caused by the binding of the CM-glucan with the glucan receptors in the white blood cells, these macrophages are much better able to recognize and kill tumor cells, as well as remove debris. They are able to produce a number of vital cytokines that are able to stimulate the immune system by efficiently destroying pathogens, thereby preventing disease and helping in the prevention of postoperative infection, decrease the need for IV antibiotics and shorter hospitalization and reduce morbidity and mortality.
Studies done on CM-glucan demonstrates its safety with bioprotective properties.