What is Beta Glucan?


Beta Glucan is a natural polysaccharide that is classified as an Immuno-Modulator; meaning, it “modulates” (changes) your Immune System to make it as efficient as possible. This fiber-like molecule works by activating every Immune System Cell in the body: Macrophages, Neutrophils, Basophils, Natural Killer Cells, etc.

Macrophages, specifically, trigger a host of immune functions that allow the body to produce the most complete, effective and appropriate immune response achievable. The activity of the body’s immunocytes (Immune Cells) determines how well your Immune System traps and consumes invaders that do not belong in the body.

When the body is confronted with foreign pathogens it sees as non-self (e.g., Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi, Cancer, Parasites, etc.), Beta glucan puts the immune cells on “high alert” to confront the attackers.

Simply put, Beta Glucan is the catalyst that makes our immune systems smarter, increasing the strength of our wellness forces.


If you have high cholesterol, or at least worry about your cholesterol levels, you may know that eating oatmeal helps improve your numbers. While you may know that the fiber in oatmeal is responsible for lowering your cholesterol, you may not know that it’s a very particular type of fiber called beta-glucan that’s responsible for the benefits. Oatmeal isn’t the only food rich in this heart-healthy fiber.

Fiber 101
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body can’t digest. There are two primary types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which provide health benefits.

Soluble fiber slows digestion by forming a gel in your digestive tract and is the fiber associated with lowering cholesterol. Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber that offers a number of health benefits, including helping to lower cholesterol.

Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool to improve bowel function and prevent constipation. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are further broken down into various types based on structure, function and food source.

What Makes Beta-Glucan Special
Beta-glucan is a viscous fiber, which means it forms a gel in your digestive tract. This thick gel grabs cholesterol as it moves through your digestive system to prevent absorption, and then eliminates it from your body. Getting 3 grams of beta-glucan a day may help lower cholesterol levels by as much as 8 percent.

The gel also improves blood sugar and insulin levels by slowing down digestion to decrease the release of sugar into your bloodstream and minimize the release of insulin, which may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Foods Rich in Beta-Glucan
Oatmeal isn’t the only food rich in beta-glucan. Other food sources include barley, shiitake and reishi mushrooms, seaweed and algae. For frame of reference, one cup of cooked oatmeal has 2 grams of beta-glucan and one cup of cooked pearled barley has 2.5 grams. Although not as rich in the heart-healthy fiber as oats or barley, wheat and rye also contain some beta-glucan.

Tips for Getting More Beta-Glucan
In addition to making oatmeal your go-to breakfast, enjoy a bowl of vegetable barley soup with chopped shiitake mushrooms for lunch. You can also replace your usual starchy side dish, such as rice, with cooked barley to get more beta-glucan. Adding oats to your fruit smoothie adds both bulk and a little extra nutrition.

When baking, substitute some of your usual flour with oat flour. When making a stir fry, add shiitake or reishi mushrooms or chop them finely and saute them in oil to add bulk and flavor to your meatloaf and meatballs.

Hashimotos And Toxic Beauty

Hashimotos And Toxic Beauty

I know we guys are partly to blame for this. After all, we do enjoy our eye candy! But it can come at a high price! I received this letter from someone who has done more than the usual amount of looking into it…


I’ve been a girly girl for most of my life. I started carrying around a purse when I was three, loved dressing up in fancy outfits for school dances, and used to drape myself in my mom’s and aunt’s “treasures and jewelry.” When I came to the United States at age nine, my proudest possession was my first real Barbie doll (they were hard to get in Poland), and I got my first “kid” make-up set at age ten — complete with pink lipstick and neon blue and purple eyeshadows!

My fascination with fashion trends continued throughout my teenage years. I loved reading beauty magazines and raiding the cosmetic aisles of Walgreens, where I worked as a pharmacy technician during high school, undergrad and pharmacy school.

By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I had caboodles of makeup, perfumes, lotions, hair styling products, and every other type of beauty “enhancing” potion. I dyed my hair numerous different colors, trying to determine whether blondes, brunettes or redheads had the most fun.

After I finished pharmacy school, I dabbled in cosmetic chemistry and experimented with creating my own highly effective (read: highly chemical) antiperspirant. I developed the formulation and experimented with raw ingredients in my apartment kitchen. My fiancé, Michael, (now my husband), was in business school at the time, and even wrote up a business plan for my antiperspirant. We had a mini “Shark-Tank” moment, presenting our product in front of venture capitalists that came to the class.

I never thought being a girly girl would be so detrimental to my health… until I started doing research for the “Toxins” chapter of my first book, Hashimoto’s: The Root Cause. Learning about the hundreds of chemicals that we, as women, put on our bodies every day — in the name of beauty — was a huge eye-opener for me. I had many “aha!” moments when I began to realize how harmful many of those ingredients are… and what they were doing to my body.

In this article, I’d like to share a little bit more of my personal journey with beauty products, including:

How the ingredients in personal beauty products can affect our health
Common toxic ingredients to avoid
How to find safer alternatives to conventional hair, skin, and makeup products
My favorite non-toxic beauty products

Scraped Bike Helmet

Scraped Bike Helmet

As the caption on Facebook read, “And this, kids, is why you wear a frickin helmet!” The rider’s head would have looked pretty second hand without it!

Merck Created Hit List to “Destroy,” “Neutralize” or “Discredit” Dissenting Doctors


Merck made a “hit list” of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. The list, emailed between Merck employees, contained doctors’ names with the labels “neutralise,” “neutralised” or “discredit” next to them. This is the very same Merck who make Gardisil and the MMR vaccine. Savory lot – not! Beggars belief how ANYONE knowing the type of activity they engage in would think they make anything but a destructive product.