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Beta-Glucan May Improve Ragweed Allergy Symptoms

Supplementation with beta-glucan may improve ragweed allergy symptoms by 28% and reduce the severity of symptoms by 52%. In addition, it may improve overall quality of life for ragweed allergy sufferers by 56%.

10% to 30% of Americans suffer from ragweed allergies. Symptoms include sneezing, sniffling, nasal congestion, red, puffy eyes and itchy throat. Ragweed allergy is also referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis.

Participants in this study included 48 adults with an average age of 36 who had “moderate” ragweed allergies. Half of the group took a placebo of rice flour while the other half took 250 mg of beta-glucan for four weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, the beta-glucan group reported a host of benefits, including:

• fewer nasal symptoms – 59%

• improved emotions – 57%

• fewer eye symptoms – 57%

• fewer sleep problems – 53%

• more activities – 53%

• fewer non-nasal symptoms – 50%

• more energy – 19%

• improved global mood state = 13%

• better physical health – 11%

• better emotional well-being – 7%

The researchers recommended that further investigations be undertaken to determine the mechanism behind beta-glucan’s effects on ragweed allergy symptoms.

The study was conducted by researchers at GLH Nutrition, LLC in Utah. It was published online ahead of print on December 14, 2012, in Food Science & Nutrition.

Previous studies have linked beta-glucan intake with lower cholesterol, managing diabetes, controlling allergies and improving the appearance of skin.

Beta-glucan can be found in dietary sources including yeasts, algae, lichens, oats and barley. A high quality supplement is also a good option if you’re looking to increase your beta-glucan intake.

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