Barley beta-glucans have been very widely evaluated in both clinical trials and in scientific studies around the world for over 50 years. The evidence gathered from research shows a potent ability to beneficially modify biological responses. Among these are lowering risks of heart disease and diabetes, increasing satiety and weight control, digestive health, and enhanced immunity.
These soluble fibers derived from barley cellular walls, when hydrated, create a high viscosity matrix that fills the digestive tract. The non-digestible matrix acts as a trap for bile acids, fats, cholesterol and simple sugars slowing their absorption in the body and sweeping out a portion of these materials from the upper digestive tract. Later at the junction of the small intestine and the colon, healthy bacteria ferment the beta-glucan.
Short chain fatty acids are released triggering the release of satiety hormones designed to signal the brain to curb further food intake, as well as providing biochemicals for the immune system. Finally some beta-glucan fragments are absorbed in the Peyer’s Patches entering the lymph and blood systems where they can fill receptors on immune cells and boost immune response. Each of these biological responses associated with barley beta-glucan are areas of active scientific inquiry and further knowledge continues to unfold.