Rather than turning to a vet or doctor for remedies that are often expensive and don't seem to help, people are starting to do their own research on remedies that have been around for a long time but that doctors today often dismiss. As animal hospital costs skyrocket, pet owners are looking at homeopathic remedies to treat and prevent illness. An example of this is beta glucan, a naturally occurring fiber that works equally well in humans as it does in animals.
Beta Glucan and How it Works
Beta glucan is a naturally occurring sugar found in many plants. It is a soluble fiber that can be found in baker's yeast, the bran of some grains, and various species of mushrooms.
According to the Beta Glucan Research site (see Resources), beta glucan stimulates the immune system by stimulating the white blood cells. Beta glucan can also help lower cholesterol and treat diabetes, and has potential as a cancer treatment.
Beta Glucan and Cancer
Beta glucan seems to stimulate the tumor necrosis factor, which seems to cause cell death in certain types of tumors. According to Dr. Shawn Messonnier, if it is injected directly into the malignant tumor site, further biopsies show an absence of malignant melanoma cells. There have been other cases where merely drinking beta glucan mixed with water seems to reduce cancerous tumors as well.
Beta Glucan and Diabetes
Studies conducted by researchers at the Polyclinique Medicale Universitaire in Lausanne, Switzerland, seem to show a link between the beta glucan found in oats and the reduction of insulin dependency in diabetic patients. Diabetic patients who ate oat cereal enhanced with beta glucans showed enhanced glucose tolerance and lower levels of insulin in their systems, indicating that including beta glucan-enhanced oatmeal in your pet's diet may help control diabetes.
Beta Glucan and Cholesterol
We are told in commercials about the heart-healthy benefits of oatmeal. But what exactly is it about oatmeal that is so healthy? Apparently it is the beta glucan found naturally in oatmeal. Beta glucan lowers cholesterol in two ways. It absorbs the bad cholesterol, which the body eliminates as waste. It also provides fiber for the good bacteria in the body, which are then reabsorbed into the bloodstream and used by the liver.
Beta glucan can be given to pets. It is a naturally occurring fiber that is found in a number of different foods. These are foods that can safely be given to pets, and in the long run they will help build the animal's immune system, making them less likely to contract deadly diseases. It is also helpful in the treatment of diseases, making them easier to control, and in some cases, curing the animal.