5 Ways to Eliminate Stress and Support Immunity

Last updated May 17, 2022

5 Ways to Beat Stress

Best-selling author and visionary microbiologist Dr. Bruce Lipton once said that if he could choose one main cause of all disease, it would be stress. (1) This is a bold statement, but it is also really good news. Why would we say that? Because stress is absolutely something that each one of us can learn how to manage and even lessen in our lives, no matter what is happening around us. All it takes is a few simple tools, such as beta glucans, to see the difference of lower stress in your health and in your life!

What is Stress and When Is It Bad for Your Health?

Technically, “stress” is defined as anything that puts physical, mental, or emotional “pressure” on the body. Stress responses kick in the production of stress-related hormones (namely cortisol and adrenaline) as well as stress-related mechanisms that move energy away from maintaining and repairing the internal organs and systems, such as immunity and digestion, and into the large muscle groups and the limbs (so we can run from that tiger). The immediate result of this “fight or flight response” can also be seen in changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels.

Your body is actually built to handle a certain amount of stress. In fact, a little bit of short-term stress is GOOD thing according to experts because it can help build resiliency and adaptability.

Daniela Kaufer, author of a UC Berkeley study on the good side of stress, states that “(s)ome amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioral and cognitive performance.” (2)

Chronic stress, on the other hand, is mental, emotional, or physical pressure that continues over the long term. This is the kind of stress that Dr. Lipton refers to which can be a serious risk factor for disease. Indeed, many studies indicate that chronic stress can lead directly to high levels of systemic inflammation in the body, which is a foundational element for most major disease.

Remember, when you are in chronic stress, your body thinks that it is constantly being chased by that tiger and its main priority will be to RUN, FIGHT, or FREEZE (i.e., to survive attack). This is so even if what is really going on is that you are stressed about a project at work or you just had a fight with your spouse. In an effort to create homeostasis in the face of ongoing high cortisol production over time, the body will actually create more “cellular receptor sites” for cortisol over other hormones, such as serotonin. (3) Thus, a vicious cycle of stress is created that lowers the immune system and leaves you increasingly vulnerable to infection, cancer and other major diseases and conditions.

The Solution: Kick the Stress Tiger to the Curb with Healing Hormones!

The opposite of fight or flight is called the “relaxation response.” This is when nervous system function and heart rate return to normal and healing hormones responsible for proper functioning and repairing of all systems in the body kick into high gear. (4)

In fact, when the body is in the Relaxation Response:

  • “Healing hormones” such as dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin are released
  • Cortisol and adrenaline levels stabilize
  • Inflammation goes down (5)
  • Immune system mechanisms improve (including an increase in Natural Killer cells) (6)
  • Detoxification improves
  • Metabolism stabilizes (including insulin production rebalancing)
  • Brain health and mood improve
  • Sleep improves
  • Digestion improves (7)
  • Cancer risk goes down
  • Longevity increases (8)

Some research also suggests that staying in a prolonged “relaxation response” state can even lead to positive changes at the genetic level. (9)

5 Tools and Techniques for Your Stress-Busting Toolbox

The relaxation response, not the fight or flight response, is where YOU want to be most of the time for optimum health! Here are five easy strategies to help you get there:

1. Deep Breathing

Breathing is the most fundamental act we humans (and most of the animal kingdom) do to stay alive. But did you know that your respiration rate can also be an indicator of how stressed you are?

When we are in “fight or flight,” our breath becomes shallow, and we breathe from our upper chest not from our diaphragm or our belly. Shallow or scattered breathing inevitably leads to a lack of oxygen in the brain, which can unfortunately make us feel even more anxious.

There is a way to turn this all around, however, by using the breath itself as a tool for calming the nervous system. There are several breathing techniques that have been found to help lower stress responses and bring a person out of fight or flight. One of the most noticeably effective is called “deep breathing.” This type of breathing can also be called diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, or belly breathing.

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle located at the bottom of your lung cavity. According to research, deliberately breathing in and out of the diaphragm can improve Heart Rate Variability (HRV), massage the vagus nerves, lower blood pressure, and significantly encourage relaxation, according to a 2017 study sponsored in part by Harvard Medical School. (10)

Belly breathing has been shown to also help with “full oxygen exchange.” This is the healthy exchange of carbon dioxide (outgoing) to oxygen (incoming). Full exchange can significantly help with cognition and focus as well as help to reduce anxiety in both children and adults. (11)

Why not give it a try yourself? As you breathe in, feel the air move through your nose and fill your lungs fully. Allow your belly to rise. As you exhale, do so slowly and deliberately. Make your exhale longer than your inhale so you can signal to your entire body that you are no longer in crisis.

2. Moving the Body

Similar to breathing, moving the body is essential for keeping hormones balanced and the body healthy on all levels. This may seem like a no-brainer. However, according to experts, there is an epidemic of “sedentary-ness” in our modern culture that is seriously affecting health on all levels.

The anecdote is to move the body!

In research studies, aerobic exercise has been shown to help the body use oxygen more efficiently and also increase blood flow. This can have a significantly positive effect on the brain, the digestion and all systems in the body. Exercise also releases endorphins, “feel good” hormones responsible for mood elevation and pain relief.

Even a little bit of exercise, such as 30 minutes of brisk walking, has also shown to have a positive effect. A 2013 meta-analysis conducted at the University of Texas found that moderate exercise can help to balance the HPA axis and regulate “hippocampal neurogenesis” (a mechanism related to neuroplasticity). (12) Those who move their bodies on a regular basis also tend to have better quality sleep, according to a 2017 UCLA meta-analysis. (13)

3. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

EFT stands for “Emotional Freedom Techniques” (also known as “tapping”). It is a very effective form of energy medicine that is loosely based on the Chinese Meridian System. EFT has been scientifically proven to lower cortisol levels and rebalance mood.

It involves lightly “tapping” on specific points along the upper body while using verbalization. First, the person describes the challenging feelings and/or situation and then they switch to speaking affirmations designed to turn negative emotions around. Simply doing the kinesthetic movements while “thinking” about the verbalized cues can be effective as well in a pinch.

Incredibly, EFT has over thirty years of evidence-based research behind it to prove that it works to calm the nervous system. It has also been shown to help in healing the foundational traumas and “triggers” connected to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and general anxiety disorders.

In studies conducted at the Foundation for Epigenetic Studies in Santa Rosa, California, military veterans with PTSD were led through six sessions of EFT practice. After just the third session, sixty percent of them no longer qualified as having PTSD. What’s more, a whopping 80% of those who completed all six sessions no longer met the PTSD clinical criteria for PTSD 6 months later. (14)

4. Eating a Whole Foods Diet

“…a person's stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression,” stated a report put out by Harvard Medical School in 2021. (15)

Indeed, diet plays a huge role in brain health, in immune system health, and in living a vibrant, balanced life in general. It can also be a huge factor in the state of your emotions, your mental health, and your hormonal balance as well.

Studies reveal that those who primarily eat a whole foods diet have more diversity in their gut microbiome. This means that they have a balanced ratio of different species of bacteria, both beneficial and opportunistic. A diverse microbiome translates into better brain and nervous system function via the “gut brain connection.”

One specific example of the “gut-brain connection” has to do with the endotoxin Lipopolysaccharide, or LPS. LPS is a gram-negative bacterium that has been linked to HPA axis imbalance, anxiety, and fibromyalgia. LPS overgrowth can occur from the overconsumption of certain foods, such as gluten and sugar. (16)

Eating whole foods means staying away from processed, prepackaged items, trans fats, and too much sugar and simple carbs (like breads and pasta). It also means “eating the rainbow” of healthy, organic vegetables, including green leafies such as spinach and colorful, antioxidant rich items like beets, peppers, and blueberries.

The name of the game when it comes to gut-brain health is diversity and eating enough fiber can really help with that. Many fibrous vegetables and some fruits contain “prebiotics,” which help fuel the good bacteria in your gut.

In a presentation put together for the Food Forum and the American Society for Nutrition in 2021, Dr. Elissa Epel of the University of California, San Francisco shared meta-analysis research examining population-based studies and nutrition. The studies that she examined clearly indicated that “dietary patterns emphasizing whole foods were associated with lower depression, anxiety and stress, whereas a typical Western dietary pattern was associated with a higher risk of poor mental health.” (17)

5. Beta Glucans

Then there is the multitude of natural substances out there that have shown to help directly with lowering stress. Amidst all the information and the claims related to this stress-busting supplement or that, it can be hard to know what product can really help (and what is just hype).

One substance that has stood the test of time is beta glucans. No other substance has as much evidence-based research to prove its direct connection to lowering stress responses and a whole lot more.

Beta glucans are polysaccharide substances that naturally occur along the cell walls of grains and other kinds of whole foods such as yeasts and fungi. What is remarkable about beta glucans is that they have the ability to go directly to the immune system through the gut (via small openings in the intestinal linings called Peyer’s Patches).

Because of their ability to enter into the blood stream and then effect the immune system, beta glucans have long been known for their immunity-boosting properties. New research, however, has also found that beta glucans can also help to calm stress responses and balance stress-related hormones.

The mechanisms through which beta glucans work relies on their ability to play a role in “stress-related immunosuppression.” Several studies thus far have confirmed “antitumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-allergic, anti-osteoporotic, and immunomodulating activities” of beta glucans. (18)  Now recent research is beginning to discover how glucans affect stress responses directly. A 2021 study conducted at the University of Louisville in Kentucky analyzed four different kinds of beta glucans for their ability to affect stress responses via the immune system. In a mouse model, researchers discovered that glucans blocked precursor chemicals for cortisol at the time that the stress occurred. According to the researchers, “glucans might work via inhibition of corticosterone levels and/or stimulation of cytokine production” in effecting stress responses. (19)

You CAN Lower Stress NOW!

By now, it is probably pretty obvious just how many tools are at your disposal for lowering stress and keeping it at bay, including using key supplements that can help the immune system regulate cortisol production, such as beta glucans.

With stress hormones balanced and under control, you can step out of the “fight or flight response” and maintain clear, calm focus no matter what life throws at you. In today’s world, this ability is more important than ever!

No other substance has as much evidence-based research to prove its direct connection to lowering stress responses ...

Still have questions?

Our ACES Team is always there to help.

FAQ

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. Glucan 300® 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 product, Beta Glucan 500 (Glucan #300®).

-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.

-AJ Lanigan

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”

-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, 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 “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.

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