Literatus: Oats can train immune response, natural defense against Sars-CoV-2

John Lubbock wrote in The Pleasures of Life (1887), “Art... trains the mind through the eyes, and the eye through the mind.”

Luckily, the human body trains its innate immune response to microbes, including bacteria and viruses, through oats—specifically, beta-glucans in the oats.

Beta-glucans occur naturally as polysaccharides or complex carbohydrates are composed of several glucose molecules. Meanwhile, beta-glucans from oats are also known for its effectiveness as dietary fibers in improving developing metabolic conditions, such as insulin resistance and abnormally high levels of fats in the blood.

Researchers from Ireland and Northern Ireland reported in the 2021-issue of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research that the beta-glucans in oats can train components of the human innate response to infections, particularly monocytes and macrophages, to combat any microbes invading the body.

Innate immune response is inherently rapid but not specific to any microbes. It reacts to attacks from bacteria, fungi and viruses, including Sars-CoV-2. This is the initial phase of natural immunization. This means that if the body’s innate immune response is primed up by beta-glucans, the body is prepared to fight back infections from different varieties of microorganisms.

When innate immune response occurs, white blood cells in the blood, such as neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, and cells with dendrites (branches of cytoplasmic extensions), attack the microbial antigens, engulf these, and digest these, killing the microbes in the process.

After the microbes die, these white blood cells bring the killed microbes to T helper cells B lymphocytes, which create memories of the destroyed microbes. Consequently, the person’s immune system will easily recognize similar microbes in the future, attacking them more quickly and more effectively. This is what happens in natural immunization.

Food sources with the highest content of beta-glucan are cereals, particularly oats (up to 8g per 100 g dry weight) and barley (up to 20 g per 100 g dry weight). Other cereals have lower contents, including sorghum, rye, wheat and rice. Mushrooms also contain beta-glucan.

Maximize natural defense against Sars-CoV-2. Eat high-beta-glucan foods.

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