Mushrooms have been valued for their health benefits and medicinal effects for centuries. One of the special components found from mushrooms is beta-glucan, which is predominantly composed in the fungal cell wall and is mostly composed of beta-D-glucose. In many researches, beta-glucan effectively stimulates the host immune response to defend against bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections . Moreover, it is known as biological response modifier since it primarily achieves its disease protective activity through modulating the host immune system . The stimulation of beta-glucan to macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer (NK) cells is proved by binding to the receptor (dectin-1) of these cells and modulates the systems [3, 4]. In clinical applications, beta-glucan is usually used as an adjuvant to enhance the effectiveness of the medicine [5, 6]. To sum up the experimental and clinical results, the potential anticancer activity from beta-glucan has been proven, and thus beta-glucan has been gaining prominence in clinical research during the past few years [6, 7].
-US National Library of Medicine