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So what is beta glucan for kids? We once argued that all kids take their vitamins (pick a vitamin, any vitamin!), but we now work to help children eat their vitamins in whole foods and supplement only when unavoidable. The vitamin trend of the past couple of decades is beginning to come to a reasonable conclusion. While popular multivitamins have been revealed as low quality, dyed, and otherwise artificial, healthy foods are being marketed to kids more and more.

We need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater – or the baby’s supplements out with the empty chewables. It’s difficult for kids and adults to get every nutrient necessary through diet alone, thanks to food growing operations, costs, and availability problems, including picky eating.

This is why we have our kids take BetaKids as a regular part of their natural health routine.

Filled Beta 1,3D Glucan, Selenium, Vitamin D, BetaKIDS is an immune support supplement that our kids LOVE because it’s super tasty. We love it because it’s:

  • Made with natural ingredients and sweeteners
  • Contains no artificial coloring or flavoring
  • Preservative-free and has no GMOs
  • Contains no gluten or lactose

We get our BetaKids from our friends at Better Way Health. Check it out HERE.

What is Beta Glucan For Kids Good For?

As a preventative for many common childhood complaints, beta glucan for kids covers your kids’ bases while navigating a healthy childhood, which is why we recommend it for young and old alike for:

  1. Immune system support
  2. Help for allergy sufferers
  3. Aids the respiratory system
  4. Healthy heart benefits
  5. Prevention of obesity

All of these issues play an important role in preventing or improving childhood illness. Not only is prevention important for their health now, but also for their continued health as they grow up. Protecting our kids’ immune systems and preventing chronic illness in childhood sets them up for a lifetime of health.
My family and I get beta glucan from our dear friends at Better Way Health. We know the owners very well and believe in them, their mission and that their product is one of the purest (if not THE purest) on the market!

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What is Beta Glucan For Kids?

Depending upon its source, beta glucan is a fiber used as an additive or a supplement. It is found in the cell walls of bacteria, yeasts, and fungi, as well as in the bran of some cereal grains.

As a molecular structure, beta glucan is a polysaccharide – or, a strand of glucose molecules. Along the strand, bonds or branching chains may occur at specific points, slightly changing the structure and type of beta glucan. These variants are indicated by numbers and letters. So, when we see beta glucan listed as an ingredient or supplement, it may read beta (1,3) (1,4) glucan, or beta (1,3) (1,6) glucan, etc.

Because sourcing and purity is so important with beta glucan for kids, we have to go over it before ever discussing the benefits. A tainted source or an ineffective type of beta glucan will not be effective in helping the immune system, metabolic, or respiratory benefits. (1)

Every function in the body occurs on a cellular and molecular basis, so the molecular breakdown of our foods and supplements interact with the molecules in our bodies. Unless you are a chemist, it’s probably going to be difficult and is certainly unnecessary to know all about molecular composition. What is helpful to know, though, is that the numbers 1,3 and 1,6 indicate biologically active forms of beta glucan. In other words, the structure of a beta glucan supplement can make it more or less likely to benefit the body.

Other descriptive terms pinpoint details about beta glucan’s sourcing and structure, so that it can become an elaborate description. Beta- 1,3 D-glucan is derived from the cell walls of baker’s yeast, and has become known as one of the most effective forms of supplemental beta glucan. (2)

A clean source of this type of beta glucan presents as a soluble fiber, which is an important macronutrient. Fiber is vital to the health of the digestive tract, which helps to regulate immune responses and nutrient absorption. Purity and effectiveness are incredibly important. especially when it’s a supplement for a child.

Beta Glucan For Kids Strengthens the Immune System

Researchers are still learning about the immune system which is a web of intricate reactions and responses. Even though we tend to talk in generalities about boosting the immune system, in reality we need more than just an increase in immune activity. A primary immune response may increase inflammation – simply increasing that type of response is not always beneficial.

Instead immunomodulators, like beta glucan, will help adjust an efficient immune response. Some of these white blood cells are called macrophages, which surround and destroy threatening substances. Inflammation is meant to carry white blood cells to infiltrating threats, like a virus. Macrophages are activated by beta glucan intake, making them alert to cells and organisms that should be targeted. (3)

In a 2013 study, after beta glucan supplementation, children were observed for immune response and the results were striking. Before the study began, researchers from the University of Kentucky noted that:

“Several thousands of published studies showed that glucan has significant effects on both branches of immune reactions, on reducing stress, lowering cholesterol, regulating the blood sugar and protection against the negative effects of environmental toxicity.”

The intention of this particular study was to figure out the way that beta glucan helped the body to react to heavy physical activity, which normally lowers immune function. With beta glucan for kids supplementation, however, children with respiratory illnesses saw stabilized mucousal immunity – the immune function that makes pathogens “slip” through the body and never attach or begin to infect. The researchers concluded that there were “strong effects of glucan supplementation on the overall health status of all children in this group.” (4)

We’ll look more at respiratory health later, but think about the way kids tend to “crash” after a big game, a long weekend of play, or the first big swim day of the summer. Regular exercise is beneficial, but excessive physical exertion is taxing for anyone. Beta glucan helps to mitigate this overload and keep the immune system working optimally under any circumstance.

Healthy Immune System = Allergies Relief

When the body attacks benign substances as though they were a threat, there is one unfortunate kink in the immune process. According to the American College of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology, as many as 40% of all children in the US are affected by nasal allergies alone – not counting skin or food allergies. (5) Allergies can contribute to a range of childhood problems, from inattentiveness to missed school days.

Food and contact allergies can be avoided, though avoidance is often tiresome for a child, particularly if they are quite young. Seasonal or airborne allergies are nearly impossible to avoid. Sadly, treatments are usually over the counter drugs, prescriptions, or even injections.

Remember that allergies are an overreaction of the immune system, so the immune system is the ideal place to start addressing allergies naturally. We’ve already seen how beta glucan for kids can help regulate immune responses. This kind of immune adjustment may be helpful with regard to overreaction as well as under-reaction.

This topic was the subject of curiosity in a 2013 study. Folks, struggling with a ragweed allergy, were given beta glucan in a randomized, controlled, double blind study on its ability to diminish allergy symptoms. The result was widespread symptom relief and improved quality of life. For your kids, that reads as I feel better, Mom! Let’s go play! (6)

You can expect more studies to be done, but the evidence and promising results inspire confidence. Improve the efficiency of the immune system, and you’re likely to feel better all around. While this particular study focused on ragweed and nasal allergies, the principle is similar for other allergies, as well.

Beta Glucan For Kids and the Respiratory System

At the top of the list of health concerns worldwide, children are increasingly affected by respiratory issues. Without doubt, environmental pollutants are in a large part to blame. But this goes beyond allergic and asthmatic reactions and into repeat infections.

School-aged kids wind up having several colds every year. Not only do these colds make our children miserable, but they will miss school and parents miss work to care for them.

With everything from cars to carpets to computers pumping pollution at us and our children, environmental prevention can be difficult, if not impossible. We have to dig deeper and hit respiratory illness where it starts. On top of that, antibiotics are often prescribed, contributing to the overuse of antibiotics that is creating a public health crisis. (7)

Once again, the immune response effects of beta glucan are very beneficial – even necessary. Not only has it been shown to increase the immune function of mucous after stress, but another randomized, controlled study observed a similar increase in the face of pollution. (8)

As the studies evaluating children and beta glucan for kids were developed and analyzed, author Vetvicka Vaclav notes,

“Properly functioning immune system is crucial to defend against all invading pathogens, including common cold viruses. Currently, yeast-derived glucans were confirmed to have beneficial effects against common cold and respiratory symptoms (Talbott and Talbott, 2012; Auinger et al., 2013) and against allergy symptoms… In addition, glucan was found to significantly improve the immunosuppression caused by various toxins (Vetvicka and Vetvickova, 2012), making it an optimal molecule for children from environmentally poluted areas.” [sic] (9)

Our homes are filled with machines – TVs, computers, appliances – plastics, and synthetic materials that leach toxins into the air. Even relatively benign “off-gassing” can add up to a lot for little bodies to deal with. It’s important to note that not all pollution looks like smog.

One of the most dangerous things a child can be exposed to is second hand smoke, which is more than a contributor to pollution. In observing children’s responses to stress and pollutants while taking beta glucan, the 2013 series of studies also took a look at the way beta glucan may block some of the damage that second hand smoke and other systemic stresses can cause. The results showed that the children taking beta glucan had clearly (but not surprisingly!) lower stress response levels than their peers, even in the face of second hand smoke and chronic respiratory illness. They concluded:

The positive effects of complex curative treatment using beta-glucan were accompanied by increased physical endurance and by significant reduction of negative clinical problems of affected children. Based on these data, we conclude that natural immunomodulator beta-glucan significantly improves the overall health of children with chronic respiratory problems caused by environmental stress and/or passive smoking.

Each analysis from these groups of children turned over a new area of benefit brought on by beta glucan supplementation. With respiratory health at the pinnacle of child wellness and the environment difficult or impossible to change, beta glucan is a comprehensive immune-regulator that may be your child’s strongest health and wellness ally.

Beta Glucan for Weight Loss & Heart Health

The stigma surrounding obesity can be emotionally unhealthy. Not only do we need to focus on the prevention of childhood obesity, but if we understand the mechanisms of obesity, we can help set our children up for successful prevention as adults.

Obesity comes with many stigmas, and obesity in childhood is not exempt. Assumptions about habits and health are made, and advice may tend to be critical rather than beneficial.

Healthy habits established from childhood can lay the foundation for a lifetime of health. Diet and exercise are certainly important to maintain, but obesity is far more complex than caloric intake and output.

An overweight child is not necessarily the result of poor parenting, laziness, or any other unflattering assumption. Obesity as a metabolic disorder and inflammatory illness, is important to consider. Our intricate immune system may play a heavy role in this problem too.

Low grade inflammatory levels are a marker of obesity for both children and adults, with the inflammation increasing along with weight. (10) Inflammation that carries white blood cells to a disease is good; inflammation that constantly circulates through the body is not. Understanding the importance of physical fitness, inflammatory levels are higher in children who are overweight and inactive than in children who are physically fit but carrying extra weight. (11)

Inflammation connects obesity with other inflammatory illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. Whether or not kids visibly struggle with weight in childhood, they are still building their foundation for health as an adult. Preventing inflammatory conditions from childhood helps them stand a better chance as an adult.

The part that inflammation plays in obesity is important, because it gives immune regulators like beta glucan for kids a part to play, as well. As published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2012:

Dietary fibers have been strongly implicated in the prevention and treatment of various characteristics of the metabolic syndrome. .. Among soluble fibers, beta–glucan is the most frequently consumed and is associated with reduced presence of insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and obesity. (12)

Whether a child is currently overweight or not, supplementing with beta glucan from childhood addresses one underlying cause of obesity before it becomes a lifelong battle.

Dosage and Safety Notes of Beta Glucan For Kids

Beta glucan, as a food derivative, is considered safe and has not displayed toxicity in supplement form. (13, 14) However, pure, high quality supplements are vital to ensure effectiveness.

We can learn all about the benefits of a substance, but if those beneficial properties aren’t included in the supplement we choose, none of it will be realized. We strive to provide that quality in every supplement we supply and recommend, and beta glucan is no different.

The studies mentioned here for children’s use of beta glucan used 100mg doses, but the manufacturer’s recommendation should always take precedent.

What is beta glucan? Filled Beta 1,3D Glucan, Selenium, Vitamin D, BetaKIDS is an immune support supplement that our kids LOVE because it’s super tasty. We love it because it’s:

  • Made with natural ingredients and sweeteners
  • Contains no artificial coloring or flavoring
  • Preservative-free and has no GMOs
  • Contains no gluten or lactose

We get our BetaKids from our friends at Better Way Health. Check it out HERE.

Bible Health is Your Birthright in Christ! To enjoy the abundant (healthy) life that Christ promises us in John 10:10, we have found that living a life free of harmful chemicals is crucial for physical, mental, emotional and especially spiritual wellbeing. However, most people don't where to start. So, to help you on your journey, we have created a 5-Part Video Home Tour that shows you exactly how we have detoxed our home (and life!). As part of our Natural Living Family, we want to give you an opportunity to watch it for FREE! All you need to do is reserve your spot by clicking HERE. We'll see you there!

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