Testing the Effectiveness of Beta Glucan Products: Insights from 9 Scientific Studies

Last updated January 19, 2024

If ten different companies, each selling “the same” product, all claim to be 'The Best” then how do you know which one is telling the truth?

After working for Better Way Health for almost fifteen years, I have found that our world of beta glucan is not exempt from marketing gimmicks and misleading tricks.

Manufacturers often make bold claims about the value, purity, and effectiveness of their supplements, sometimes resorting to terms like 'Micronized' to promote products of questionable quality."

For those who want to slice through clever jargon and uncover the truth, there are a plethora of peer-reviewed studies available to the public.

On any given day, dozens of Universities and Hospitals are specifically studying beta glucan as an immunomodulator. Glucans are actually the most studied natural immunomodulator on Earth.

Scientists, PhDs, and MDs conduct these tests without favoring particular brands, variations, or companies.

Their primary objective is to conduct unbiased analysis and unveil the actual capabilities of these products, beyond mere claims.

Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka’s Findings in 2014

Addressing the issue of 'false claims,' a 2014 beta glucan comparison study, conducted by the Department of Pathology at the University of Louisville, sheds light on the immunological effects of commercially available β-glucans.

This study builds upon the 2010 research titled "β1,3-Glucan: Silver Bullet or Hot Air?

Beta Glucan is gaining widespread recognition, with even brands like 'Cheerios®' embracing its potential.

While more individuals in the natural health community are connecting beta glucan with immune support, determining the most effective variety remains a common challenge.

The author of this study, Dr. Vetvicka, tells us that direct comparisons on individual glucans are rare. There are over 7,000 publications on the immunological effects of glucan, yet they only focus on biological activity and chemical properties. Only a scarce amount of these works answer our imminent question, “Which Beta Glucan is the Best?”

Spoiler Alert: this 2014 study shows one specific type of Beta Glucan that scored considerably higher than the others on every test administered.

In this examination, there were fifteen varieties of glucan differing in source (yeast, mushroom, oat, and barley), solubility (both soluble and insoluble), and origin (United States, Germany, Denmark, South Korea, and the Czech Republic).

While the results are entrenched in previous research showing some of these products can affect innate immunity, there are still several that yield “little or no immunological activity” (example, p5). In other words, some commercially available glucans are a waste of money, while others are worth their weight in gold.

The 6 Immune System Tests

The potency of beta glucan of beta glucan on the immune system is substantiated by unequivocal research, highlighting a multitude of advantages including, but not restricted to: strengthening anti-infectious immunity, augmenting cancer defense, alleviating stress, and even regulating cholesterol levels.

Phagocytosis Stages

Test 1: The primary way to see how well a particular immune system product works to examine its effect on phagocytosis: the ability of your immune cells to “gobble up” foreign invaders.

If a product does not stimulate phagocytosis, it will have little effect on the body’s defense system.

Notably, 50% of the products tested by Vaclav had no “stimulative” activity, even at the highest dose.

Suggested reading: 8 Practical Ways to Improve Your Immune System and Maximize Your Health

Test 2: The second test administered was the “IL2,” or Interleukin 2, which is a type of cytokine-signaling molecule in the immune system. IL2 is the protein regulator for the activities of the white blood cells responsible for “immunity.”

It is part of the body’s natural response to microbial infection and it discriminates between foreign (“non-self”) and “self”; i.e., immunomodulation. If the product does not help to “pour” more white blood cells into your body, then it is not going to be effective on overall immune response.

Test 3: This third trial concerns antibody formation. Antibodies are specialized immune proteins; the production of antibodies by immunocytes is a major function of the immune system.

These antibodies are critical, as they help recognize and bind to foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. Once bound by antibodies, specific immune cells are deployed to rid your body of these foreign invaders.

Inadequate antibody formation undoubtedly hinders the body's ability to combat external threats effectively.

#Test 4: Superoxide Production, which plays one of the most important roles in your immune system, is one of the most powerful compounds of immune support.

This element is essential for the destruction of bacteria. Dr. Vaclav’s results showed only mushroom and yeast derivatives capable of stimulating the production of the superoxide anion, whereas, oat-derived glucans could not. 

Opt for a supplement that enhances Superoxide production to maximize immune support.

Next steps: Worst Food Ingredients for Your Immune System

#Test 5: The fifth test conducted presents the ability to spark IFN-γ (Interferon-gamma) secretion. IFN-γ is a cytokine that functions as an antiviral and antiparasitic agent.

In addition, IFN-γ secretion is synergistic with other cytokines, such as IL-2. This cytokine induces immunomodulatory effects on a wide range of other types of cells to help activate the (NK) Natural Killer cells in your immune system.

This supplementary test genuinely unveils which glucans exert the most comprehensive impact on your immune defenses.

#Test 6: The most impressive test conducted was for tumor inhibition and the suppression of breast cancer growth. After just 2 weeks of glucan injections, there was a significant reduction in cancer growth with 5 of the products tested.

The remaining 10 products exhibited either minimal significance or demonstrated no influence on tumor growth.


Dr. Vetvicka summed up the purpose of the two comparative studies best when he stated:

"In our previous work, we compared 16 different glucans. From the time of publishing of the original study, the number of commercially available glucans multiplied in numerous countries.

This inspired us to compare the new batch of available glucans. In the present paper, we used some of the same reactions (phagocytosis, superoxide formation, antibody reaction, and IL-2 secretion) that have already been published.

However, the original study showed that some glucans stimulate some types of immune reactions, and are without any activity in other areas of immunity.

Therefore, for better evaluation of individual glucans, we added two more activities – IFN-γ secretion in blood and suppression of breast cancer growth. (example, p.10)"

After testing 31 different glucans between the aforementioned works, Dr. Vetvicka explains, “Several glucans showed no activity even at their highest dose.” In contrast, Better Way Health Beta Glucan topped the charts even at its lowest dosage.

With over twenty years of research, 200 peer-reviewed publications, seven books, and five international patents, Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka is one of the world’s leading researchers on beta glucan and immunology.

Dr. Vetvicka concludes.

Evaluating Beta Glucan Products to Determine the Best

Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka, one of the world's most renowned immunologists from the University of Louisville, leads research in Beta Glucan and its enhancement of the immune system. Years of research have conclusively demonstrated that Better Way Health's Beta Glucan stands as the #1 Immune System Modulator, with other products often falling short. AJ Lanigan's Beta Glucan consistently outperforms other glucans across various studies, enhancing the Phagocytosis of Neutrophils & Macrophages, Antibody Production, and Wound Healing. The Better Way Health Beta Glucan is the Pinnacle of Immune Support, capable of doubling the immune response.


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 hello@betterwayhealth.com

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.

-AJ Lanigan

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.

-AJ Lanigan

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.

-AJ Lanigan

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.

-AJ Lanigan

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

“Anyone who is living can benefit from a healthier Immune System” – A.J. Lanigan

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. 

-AJ Lanigan

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.

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”

-AJ Lanigan

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,  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 “high alert” 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.

-AJ Lanigan

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.

Still have questions?

Our ACES Team is always there to help.

Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka's Book - Beta Glucan Nature's Secret

For further research, you can buy Dr. Vetvicka’s book on Beta Glucan. This Third Edition expands and amplifies the research and new information on Beta Glucan and how it can assist the body's immune system.

Get the Book

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I just take 2 to 3 of these per day, if I feel like I'm going to be traveling or around grandkids who have sicknesses then I will take more. 

Tracy Compton

We started using Beta Glucans with My Son when he was 10 years old ... I would Definitely, Definitely Recommend Beta Glucan.

Iris Ramirez

I was watching a Series by Chris Wark and He Highly Recommended Beta Glucan.

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I'm gonna hit 71 years old in April... I mean I'm doing things that 40 year old's do. 

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Try it ... Your Immune System is Boosted to a Level that Mine Has Never Seen in Years.

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I Feel I Have More Energy, I Feel Stronger ... I Recommend Beta Glucan to Everyone.

Diana Perez

I have not missed a day taking My Beta Glucan and I'm Really Pleased with The Results

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I just want to endorse them and say they have a great product, but they are a great company with awesome people. 

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Reggie Black is a Co-Owner of Better Way Health and the Cancer Data Foundation. A seasoned Entrepreneur, his career spans Over 20 Years in various sectors of Wellness and Technology. Having served thousands of people worldwide, Reggie has attained a unique level of business expertise that specializes in a first-class customer experience. Reggie is committed to teaching and inspiring others in their pursuit of abundant life; he consistently shares his insight across a variety of platforms, from natural health summits to executive seminars.
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