Beautiful weather, good food, adorable pets, a bouquet of flowers – what do they all have in common? We should say that they make us smile and brighten our day, but for too many, the common denominator is that they make us feel miserable.
Allergies can come in many shapes and forms and can seem difficult or impossible to treat, especially if we are looking for natural remedies.
Because allergic reactions are not connected to a viral or bacterial illness, our standard methods of treating illness don’t necessarily work. We can’t take a round of antibiotics to treat those itchy eyes or that constant sneezing. Often, that means a constant effort to avoid the offending substance(s), living with the uncomfortable consequences, or addressing it conventionally with less than ideal medicinal treatments.
The allergy puzzle is not easily solved, but neither is it impossible. By helping the body’s natural immune response to function more efficiently, we may be able to retrain it to respond more appropriately to the benign substances that trigger allergic reactions.
We tend to identify our illnesses based on our symptoms. The stomach bug feels like nausea and headaches, fatigue and vomiting. A cold feels like a runny nose and sneezing. The flu feels like a fever and fatigue with congestion and sneezing.
In reality, the symptoms are actually our body’s immune process more than anything the virus or bacteria causes, per se.
Sneezing expels germs from the mucous membranes. Vomiting clears the stomach of offenders. Fevers increase the body temperature beyond what a virus can withstand. Aches and pains of inflammation carry white blood cells to various parts of the body to fight off microbes.
What feels like our bodies breaking down is actually our bodies working very efficiently – except when the response is directed toward benign substances.
Sometimes, the “marching orders” get confused, and the body decides that, say, pollen is a vicious attack on our health and wellbeing. Or that pet dander is out to get us. When the immune response is confused in this way, it’s considered an allergy.
Within the umbrella category of “allergies,” there are many variations of allergic responses. Just as the body will react in specific ways to specific viruses or bacteria, allergens create specific responses, as well.
Although, technically, not everyone will react the same way to generalized allergens, we can categorize a few types of allergies that can occur:
Within each type of allergy, there is the potential for a less severe form, called a sensitivity or intolerance, that engages the immune system and produces negative effects in the body, but not as extensively as an allergy.
Reactions can range from minor irritation to life threatening danger. Minor hives are uncomfortable and unpleasant, but anaphylactic reactions close the airways, create shock, and can be fatal if not treated immediately. An allergy that poses a less severe reaction should not be taken any less seriously – any time the body is functioning less efficiently should be a cause for concern and a reason to address the problem.
Allergies have become the fifth most common chronic illness in the country – the third most common when we single out children. In the US, thirty percent of adults and forty percent of children suffer from some kind of allergy. (1)
As the immune system itself is still shrouded in some mystery and intrigue, the cause and mechanics of allergies are still relatively unknown. Genetics do appear to play a role, but genetic predispositions aren’t a guarantee of anything. The environment and lifestyle that a person maintains can affect whether or not those genetic tendencies are carried out. (2)
We do see that childhood is a precarious time for health influence – if you are going to develop allergies, it will likely begin in childhood. A review of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies) showed peak occurrences falling in childhood. (3) While it’s not unheard of to develop allergies later in life, these observances underscore the importance of helping our children to be healthy from the start.
Incidentally, avoiding the onset of allergies does not mean avoiding all common-allergen exposures at all times – that may actually increase your risks. This is the theory of the bored immune system – rarely exposed to real threats to “practice” on, so it targets whatever comes around, harmless though it may be – and it’s one of many theories about the cause of allergies. (2)
The impact of environment on our genetic tendencies indicates a need to shield our children – and ourselves – from pollutants, stress, toxins, and other factors that inhibit the body’s normal immune function.
Avoidance of allergens is, on the other hand, a coping option after allergies have developed.
Once allergies have been identified, we often wonder what to do next. Allergies are so common that many of us live with the effects and never go in for a diagnosis or medical advice.
How many times have you said or hear the phrase, “It’s just allergies”? You can only avoid treatment so long, however, before it becomes severe enough that you can no longer cope.
Common allergy treatment options include:
Your allergy treatment will depend on the type of allergy and its severity, at which point you will need to weigh the risks and benefits of each option.
The benefits of allergy treatments are clear – you feel and function better. For some severe cases, that is enough to outweigh most potential risks and side effects. But an informed decision is not made until we understand the risks and can weigh them against hopeful benefits.
Antihistamines are used for topical and respiratory allergic reactions, since the immune response produces histamines, which trigger some of the symptoms of a reaction. While they are largely safe and widely used, they can have severe side effects, including heavy fatigue and impaired thinking. Second and third generation antihistamines aren’t as strongly connected to severe side effects, but are still a present concern, as antihistamines are sometimes abused recreationally. (4)
Nasal sprays are another over-the-counter treatment that should not be taken lightly. They don’t necessarily create an addiction, but they can cause “rebound congestion” after treatment is stopped, which can feel like an addiction. (5)
When allergies progress to the point where immunotherapy via allergy shot is required, it’s easy to feel like little else can be done. Still, being aware of the risks involved is important. Your doctor should keep you in the room for 30-40 minutes after the injection to monitor you for a rare but possible anaphylactic reaction. Systemic reactions are possible as well, with long term effects. (6)
We expect risks and potential side effects from artificial or chemical products, but it’s important to note that natural substances should not be trusted implicitly simply because they are from nature. Bee pollen supplements, for example, have been observed triggering an anaphylactic reaction in a woman who didn’t realize she had that specific allergy. (7) Understanding the remedies and alternatives is just as important as understanding the conventional therapy.
Before we let our allergy problems progress to the point of needing riskier treatments, there are alternative approaches to take that may help alleviate symptoms and address the root cause.
The four-tiered approach I recommend includes:
By working with the body as a network of systems, we can help it to function better as a unit, hopefully and potentially mitigating the overreaction that causes allergic symptoms.
For allergies, we need to look at a seemingly unlikely source – the gut. We know that our bodies are filled with microbes – to the tune of trillions – on surfaces and internally. For the most part, these microbes are our allies, battling infiltrating threats and supporting the immune system. A weakened “army” of microbes, then, can lead to a weakened or inefficient immune system – one more likely to misfire and create allergic reactions. (8)
In addition to healthy dietary habits to protect our intestinal microbial life, supplementing with probiotics may be an important key in the treatment of allergies. According to a review conducted by researchers in Quebec, “…probiotic formulations demonstrated the capability to successfully modulate allergic rhinitis, atopic disorders and food-related allergies.” (9)
2. Eating allergies away – improving your nutritional support of the immune system. Aside from protecting the gut with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods and avoiding refined and processed grains and sugars, some specific dietary inclusions can improve our chances against allergies.
For the individual with food allergies, avoidance of the offending foods is certainly necessary. Soothing, healing foods such as cooked vegetables, broth, and fermented foods can help the gut to restore bacterial balance and restore its integrity. (10) Foods can be incredibly healing and powerful – whether or not the allergies are ultimately resolved, a diet of healing foods can benefit health overall and help to minimize the effects of limited nutrients and gut damage inflicted by food allergies.
Respiratory and nasal allergies are also affected by diet. Fruits high in vitamin C, plenty of vegetables, and good sources of omega 3 oils are all important to include in the diet. A good balance of omegas helps to reduce inflammation, which is a component of allergies. Limiting refined, processed foods and increasing intake of nuts, seeds, and healthy oils helps to maintain that balance. (11)
3.Boosting the benefits – supplementing the diet with allergy-busters. It’s easy to look for natural supplements or remedies that mirror conventional treatments – just swap one out for the other! In fact, a nasal spray made with homeopathic capsaicin has gained in popularity and has performed well in studies against nasal congestion.
In the bigger picture, dietary supplements are never intended to be a sole source of nutrition and benefits. Still, they can be an invaluable partner in the pursuit of wellness and the battle against allergies.
One supplement that may help to alleviate allergy symptoms is beta glucan. A little-known substance found as a fiber in the cell walls of yeast, bacteria, and other plants, beta glucan has been shown to benefit both the immune and respiratory systems and is safe for children as well as adults. Pollen-induced and seasonal allergies have been ameliorated with beta glucan supplementation, no doubt thanks to a more efficient immune response. (12, 13)
By choosing dietary supplements carefully – to address the underlying reason for the allergic reaction – we can maximize our efforts and avoid unnecessary purchase and use of pill after pill to treat symptoms rather than causes.
4. Diffusing the allergen bomb – utilizing essential oils for allergen-aromatherapy. Essential oils, use appropriately, are highly effective forms of distribution for certain herbal properties. For allergies, essential oils can contribute to symptom relief while we work on relieving the allergies at a foundational level.
Part of the nasal response to allergies and infection is the ciliary beat, and when that function is slowed, discomfort and infection can become recurrent and more unpleasant. An analysis of essential oils found that lavender, eucalyptus, and menthol (found in peppermint) are effective to increase ciliary beat frequency and facilitate a more efficient nasal response. (14)
Our ACES Team is always there to help.
Beta Kids: Beta Glucan Gummy for Kids
A scientifically-proven Glucan 300® supplement for you to supercharge your little one’s immune system. Free of artificial colors and flavors.
For more information about beta glucan, Better Way Health and more, visit our FAQ page. To speak to an Amazing Customer Experience Specialist, give us a call at 800.746.7640or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Beta Glucan goes through a rigorous purification process developed by the creator: AJ Lanigan. Once this purification process takes place, only about 10% of a given “batch” meets our 85% minimum purity standard. The “scraps”, so to speak (the other 90% of the batches), are then sold off and marketed by other companies. In addition, the product has been tested time and time again to prove its efficacy. When compared to other heavily marketed immune system products, our product comes out on top every single time. These comparison studies are conducted by a disinterested third party researcher at the University of Louisville: Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka. In these studies, immune response levels are safely tested on both humans and animals. Our product is also Non-GMO and encased in a Vegan, plant-based capsule.
-Better Way Health
Better Way Health Beta Glucan is certainly one of the most renowned brands out there in the marketplace. In our world of immune system support, when you ask “What’s the best immune system supplement out there?”; well, the Better Way Health name is the most recognized.
Anyone who has spent time reviewing side-by-side comparisons of our product with, again, just about any other kind of immune compound; regardless of the source, you’re going to find that Beta Glucan 500 by Better Way Health outperforms all competitors. This has been the case for years; this is not a new phenomenon that conclusive research done by disinterested third parties in major universities and teaching hospitals all over the world agree that the potency of Glucan 500 makes it 100% the leading immune system product available.
The immunomodulating aspects of Beta Glucan is what makes it safer and more efficacious than the competition. Studies confirm our Beta Glucan is the most effective immune system product on the market, including even other beta glucans. The patented purification process developed by AJ Lanigan is what makes our Beta Glucan more biologically active and beneficial to consumers.
-Better Way Health
This is rather easy to answer. Our Beta Glucan has one really big advantage in that it is the most studied natural immonomodulator of them all. The biological studies number in the tens of thousands. For most other products, you may find 10 to 15 studies. If you have 10,000+ papers from all around the world, that cannot be ignored.
-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka
We did a couple of studies and we published them comparing some individual glucans to individual immune-modulators like Echinacea. That is one example, most of the clinical studies on that plant failed because one company is using leaves, one is using roots and each has a different quality inside so you never know what you get.
With the "mixture" type products, it is even worse because some manufacturers are just trying to either increase the price by putting five things together, so it’s not 30 bucks it’s now $50. None of these manufacturers are actually doing any research on the combinations of their ingredients.
-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka
This topic is like comparing Super Bowl Champions (Better Way Health Beta Glucan) to Recreational Sports Teams (the competition). There is practically no comparison; when you look at the average Immune System Product on the market, even an abundance of it may only be able to raise your Immune Response 2 to 3 percent. That increase, however, may be costing you thousands of dollars; thus, I would not consider that to be much of a comparison. For about 1$ a day, with our Glucan 500 product, you can get your immune response up to about 60% (double the innate human immunity): no one can compete with that efficacy.
Beta Glucan has been studied for over 50 years at major universities and teaching hospitals, all of which are disinterested third party researchers. There are more than 150,000 glucan studies on PubMed.gov and nearly 50,000 studies involving glucans and humans. Our Beta Glucan specifically has been featured in over 20 medical journals, including the prestigious American Journal of Immunology and the Journal of Medicinal Food.
-Better Way Health
There are more than 150,000 studies on Glucan that you can find on Medline and PubMed. Roughly, you can also find 50,000 studies on Glucans and their interaction with Humans. Throughout these studies, there has never been an adverse side effect found with our Beta Glucan.
Other than the thousands of studies out there, there is an excellent book by Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka from the University of Louisville entitled, Beta Glucan: Nature’s Secret. It’s about 157 pages and provides a quick, educational read for those interested in everything Beta Glucan: the history, safety, benefits, and mechanism of action of Beta Glucan. The bibliography included in the book provides dozens of other peer-reviewed articles and journals for curious consumers.
If somebody goes to PubMed.Gov or some kind of scientific database, there is about 150,000 hits now and about 50 new papers appear every week. The research is really booming.
-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka
Anyone / anything with an immune system can benefit from taking Beta Glucan, including both humans and pets. Our immune system is our first line of defense and it can always use additional “soldiers.” Keep in mind that our Beta Glucan makes a person’s immune system smarter and stronger, but never causes overstimulation or harm. There are no known side effects.
-Better Way Health
People who want proper support for their Immune System should use this product. People who simply want to maintain or regain their good health can benefit from this product as well.
Many conditions, whether environmental or physical, put significant stress on the Immune System.
Infectious Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Chemotherapy Treatment, Radiation, Allergies, Asthma, and Stress are all severely taxing on the body. This type of suppression and depression of the immune system is what puts everyone’s health person at risk. Be proactive; take a product that benefits your overall health by enhancing your body’s own natural ability to stay well and recuperate.
That’s right, anyone and everyone can benefit from the immune modulating effects of Beta-1, 3D Glucan.
For people who are under heavy stress or are just working in some kind of extreme conditions, they need all the help they can get. Proactive supplementation is also recommended for Flu and Cold seasons
-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka
For maximum immune response, take one 500mg capsule per 50 lbs. of body weight. For example, if you weigh around 150 lbs. you would need to take 3 capsules per day. All capsules should be taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. After taking your capsules, wait 30 minutes before eating or consuming other products. If you forget to take your capsules in the morning it is safe to go ahead and take your Beta Glucan during the day, although the benefits will not be as significant. Remember, these dosage instructions are for maximum immune response, any dose (i.e., 1 capsule per day) is still extremely beneficial.
-Better Way Health
Maximum dose is based on body weight: Remember, your weight in kg’s is your weight in pounds divided by 2.2. For example, a 220lb person is 100kg. The guideline for maintaining good health is 2mg/kg of body weight per day. For the 220 pound person mentioned above, who is 100kg, they should take 200mg per day and that would be extraordinarily effective Immune Support.
For people who want or need additional immune support, there is a 500mg capsule. The recommendation for this group is 20 mg/kg/day or a 500mg capsule for every 50 pounds of body weight. Thus, a 100kg person (220lb) would take 4 capsules of the 500mg per day; for a 110 pound person, two capsules of the 500mg Beta Glucan would suffice. If your weight does not calculate out to an exact dose, round up or down depending on your needs; or you can average it out by taking 1 capsule one day and 2 the next.
The point is, the product is safe and you can be flexible with dosage if you reflect the guidelines above. Even taking just 1 - 500mg capsule each day is an extremely beneficial dose.
For healthy people, 500 mg per day should be enough. If someone has repeated heavy infections, or, God forbid, a cancer or something like that; then you need a much larger dose.
Of courses it is not some strict measurement but for the normal size of guy 100 mg would be fine and if is a heavy infection, 500 to 1000 mg. If you have a cancer 1000 would be the best.
Neutrophils and monocytes in our blood live only for a couple of days. That is why you have a need for constant, daily, glucan consumption because they die and the new cells are appearing and then you need the glucan again to boost these immune cells.
-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka
No, there are no known side effects pertaining to our Beta Glucan. There have been numerous safe human and animal studies showing the safety of Beta Glucan. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given our Beta Glucan GRAS rating, which means Generally Recognized as Safe under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This certification is extremely hard to achieve especially when it comes to a dietary supplement.
-Better Way Health
You can absolutely take this product without worry! There have been multiple studies done on fully-healthy people looking at every health parameter you can imagine: organs, tissues, chemicals, brain function, etcetera.
No harmful effects were caused at any dosage level. Even people who were taking doses that were exponentially higher than any level we recommend, (some of the more exotic animal studies have doses that exceed 800X the recommended dosage) displayed 0 side effects whatsoever. As I am famous for saying, “unless you hit somebody in the eye with the bottle, there is no harm that can be caused by this product”
Beta Glucan enhances a person’s immune response in a safe way. The average person has about a 30% active immune response. When someone takes our Beta Glucan it raises that person’s immune response to 60%, and in some cases even more, if they are taking the maximum immune response dosage. This allows for your immune system to recognize cells that are both self and non-self more effectively. I’m sure you can imagine the benefits of walking around with a doubled immune response/immune system!
-Better Way Health
Beta Glucan enhances the immune system by improving the immune response when the immune system is confronted by something that does not belong. This could be a foreign body that it sees as “non-self,” something like a virus, a bacteria, a fungus form, a cancer or a parasite.
Our Beta-1, 3D Glucan is an intensely purified, highly active form of Beta Glucan; that, when taken orally with a glass of water, attaches to specific sites on the immune cells: the CR3 receptors. By attaching or binding to these specific sites, it activates these cells. It’s like putting the cells on “” to the foreign bodies that they see as non-self. This process is referred to as immune modulation, not stimulation.
Immune stimulation presumably occurs with substances like Echinacea and Colostrum. Beta Glucan modulates or activates but doesn’t over stimulate, which is key to the safety of the compound. Research shows that our Beta-1, 3D Glucan is a highly effective immune modulator. It’s easily absorbed through, what we call, the Peyer’s Patches in the Small Intestine. Once these beta glucan “micro-particles” are taken up through this area in the small intestine, they will then be absorbed through phagocytosis or “gobbled up” by the immune cells in the gut.
They’ll travel around the body and it is the immune cells themselves that will digest and secrete the perfect molecule that binds to the CR 3 receptor and activates the immune system.
Beta Glucan is not temperature sensitive. If it is exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures, the efficacy of the product will not be impacted. However, we do recommend keeping a close eye on your tracking information, which is sent to you via email with all orders. This way you know when your order will arrive and when you will be able to retrieve it from your mailbox or front door.
Our Beta Glucan is made in Wisconsin, USA and bottled / encapsulated in Oregon, USA.
Our highly purified Beta Glucan powder is encased in PLANTCAPS™, which is a Plant-based capsule made from pullulan – naturally fermented from tapioca.
After 50 years of research, our Beta Glucan has no known side effects, or interactions with a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) rating by the FDA. It is one of the safest, most effective dietary supplements on the market.
Many women take our Beta Glucan while breastfeeding, to help support their immune system. Babies can also benefit from mom's immune system giving the best response possible.
However, if you have any concerns whatsoever, we recommend consulting with your health care professional before use, as a precautionary measure.