It helps you fight any virus, flu or pathogen reckless enough to get in your way! Oh, and it increases your endurance!
During the two years (1918-1920) of biological terror, the Spanish flu killed - according to the cited sources - between 50 and 100 million people!
It hit so hard and in a flash that one could be completely asymptomatic in the morning and dead in the evening, the lungs no longer being able to transfer oxygen to the blood. This causes some people who die to change color to blue or black, a phenomenon called cyanosis. It was so serious that military doctors who had rooms full of sick soldiers could no longer tell the difference between white and black.
And to make matters worse, blood flowed not only from the victims' noses and mouths but sometimes from their eyes.
Fortunately, the Spanish flu is gone.
Meanwhile, epidemiologists have been waiting for the next big pandemic, which was known to be inevitable. Whether this coronavirus (covid-19) turns out to be as virulent as the Spanish flu (doesn't seem to be the case) remains to be seen, but it makes sense to do whatever you can to strengthen your immune system.
A very simple way to do this in the current conditions is to eat what some bodybuilders have been eating for decades for breakfast! Yes, the daily oats of muscle obsessives contain a powerful substance that could strengthen your immune system and possibly protect you from any opportunistic virus that may be sneezing or coughing at you.
Beta-glucans are polysaccharides found in the bacterial cell walls. When detected in the human body, they are like an alarm signal triggered by the immune system.
But beta-glucans are also found in plants such as barley and oats and by ingesting them, make the immune system believe that it is attacked by bacterial pathogens.
As a result, the macrophages begin to shake. They are killer immune cells that destroy and eat the bodies of invading pathogens. These macrophages, while devouring biological criminals, also release cytokines, which immune cells use to communicate with each other.
These cytokines cause lymphocytes - aggressive and lethal white blood cells - to come to the carnage! They bind to tumors or viruses and drag them to hell!
It's an incredibly simple strategy and it only takes a little oats a day to keep the system running, like 50 g of oatmeal, which contains 2-3 grams of beta-glucans.
Of course, these amounts don't tell you anything if they are not put in context: the equivalent human dose of beta-glucans used in several animal studies was less than one gram.
If we believe these studies, 50 g of oats with 2-3 grams of beta-glucans, is more than enough, which is fine, there is no evidence that there are side effects at such high doses.
As a bonus, beta-glucans have been found to increase the time to exhaustion in mice, which in humans results in delayed fatigue when training.