Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber found naturally in a variety of food sources such as oats, barley, and rye. It’s associated with numerous health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels, and improving immune health. Beta-glucan is found in the cell walls of certain types of plants and some yeasts, bacteria, fungi, and algae. Due to its many benefits, beta-glucan is a popular ingredient in dietary supplements aimed at improving cholesterol levels, boosting immune function, managing diabetes, supporting digestive health, and aiding in weight loss or maintenance.

Beta-Glucan can be adulterated or contaminated during the manufacturing process, in a number of ways:

Dilution with Fillers

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Fillers can include bulking agents such as cellulose, maltodextrin, or other fibers.

Mislabeling Source or Concentration

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A product might claim to have beta-glucan from a specific source, like mushrooms or oats, but in reality, it might contain beta-glucan from a less expensive or less effective source. Similarly, the actual concentration of beta-glucan might be lower than what is claimed on the label.

Mixing with Synthetic or Non-Natural Beta-Glucan

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There is also the potential for natural beta-glucan to be mixed with synthetic versions or beta-glucans that are not naturally sourced, which can affect the efficacy and safety of the product.

Modification of Molecular Structure

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In some cases, the molecular structure of beta-glucan may be altered to cut costs or simplify the production process, which can affect its bioavailability and health benefits.

Why NMR for Beta-Glucan?

Detecting adulteration in yeast beta-glucan is possible with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy: As a non-targeted analytical technique, NMR can also identify what else is in the supplement’s formulation.

See Our Latest Application Note Here

Learn the use of 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy to assess the quality, authenticity, and structural characterization.

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