Background/aim: The aim of this study was to directly compare the anti-infectious and anti-cancer effects of five commercially available glucans.
Materials and methods: We used five different glucans isolated from algae, yeast, bacteria, oat, and mushroom. We compared their effects on the stimulation of phagocytosis of blood cells, on the secretion of IL-2, and on the inhibition of melanoma and breast and lung cancers. In addition, we evaluated the effects of glucan supplementation on two experimental models of infection.
Results: Most of the tested glucans stimulated phagocytosis and IL-2 secretion, reduced cancer growth, and ameliorated some effects of experimental infections.
Conclusion: Glucans can produce significant pleiotropic effects, but the activity varies among individual samples.