A person's health depends on the strength of his immune system. Vitamin supplements used to maintain health are nothing new on the landscape, but yeast supplements are starting to garner attention from health enthusiasts.
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used in beer breweries, bakeries and is an additive in animal feed. Yeast supplements contain dried, nonliving versions of the microorganism and are a source of chromium, Vitamin B and protein.
What Is Epicor?
Epicor is a supplement made from brewer's yeast formulated according to a specific recipe. It was first discovered at an animal feed fermentation plant that recorded unusually low instances of illness and sick leave when the plant became self-insured.
Investigators found that employees at the feed production factory were consistently exposed to an ingredient that actually improved digestion in the animals that consumed it. The yeast-based product produced by a multi-stage fermentation and drying process is touted as an immune system booster.
Effects of Epicor
It increases the efficiency of phagocytes, or natural killer cells, which are the body's first line of defence against infection. Phagocytes were able to dispatch bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells more efficiently, even in significantly decreased numbers. There is also less inflammation and tissue damage.
Total salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) also increased with Epicor consumption. Salivary IgA is found in the eyes and nasal and oral passages, often the first points of entry for pathogens. As such, it can reduce the chances of developing respiratory illness while resolving illnesses more quickly.
What Is Beta-13D Glucan?
This compound is found in the cell wall of baker's yeast. Its commercial form is a highly purified and patented carbohydrate extract. Most beta glucans, whether from yeast or fungi, are good for human nutrition but may negatively affect beer-brewing processes.
The use of beta-13D glucan as a supplement is an exciting prospect as yeast-derived beta glucans are noted for their ability to improve the immune system. The insoluble beta-13D glucan form is also more effective than the insoluble form.
Effects of Beta-13D Glucan
Phagocytosis increases after consumption of beta-13D glucan. Additionally, the number of phagocytes available to resist a bacterial challenge increases together with efficiency. This results in a quicker reaction to infectious challenges, representative of enhanced natural immunity.
Beta-13D glucans also demonstrate anti-cancer properties. In intravenous form they are assistive treatment to chemotherapy in Japan. FDA approval for anti-cancer use in the US hasn't been granted, although Phase III trials are being conducted. Due to its effect on insulin response and effective glycemic indexes, beta glucans are promoted as aids for weight loss.
Comparison between Epicor and Beta-13D Glucan
Both Epicor and Beta-13D Glucan are yeast extracts promoted as immune system enhancers. However, Beta-13D Glucan has an apparent edge over Epicor in that the number of phagocytes does not decrease with its consumption, the opposite of which seems to be true with Epicor consumption.
Overall, Beta-13D Glucan appears to be a more attractive supplement thanks to its anti-cancer properties, which is something Epicor does not lay claim to. Both supplements, however, can also prove helpful to efforts in losing weight.