Beta Glucan (Botanical Polysaccharide)
Beta-Glucan is a natural polysaccharide of D-glucose monomers that is found extensively in plant cellulose and the bran of cereal grains (especially oats). It is known as a biological response modifier due to its ability to activate the immune system and several studies suggest that beta-glucans have significant anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects in both animal and human studies. Research with beta-glucan has also shown strong implications for the positive role it may play in the healing of wounds, most likely because macrophage activity is known to play a strong role in the healing of skin abrasions.
While the topical use of beta-glucan in the healing minor wounds/burns has been fairly well established, the evidence of its anti-wrinkle effects on the skin has emerged only recently. First, it is an excellent moisturizer that is comparable to the very hydrating effects of topical hyaluronic acid, so it creates an immediate plumping effect upon application. Second, studies have shown that it plays a notable role in stimulating fibroblast growth and collagen synthesis when topically applied, which directly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is theorized that beta-glucan does this by stimulating the release of immune/inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1 and NFkB.