What is beta-glucan

Structure of black yeast beta-glucan

Beta-glucan is a type of polysaccharide, which is made up of many glucose molecules linked together. Sugars are categorized in accordance with their structure. A monosaccharide is made up of a single sugar molecule that cannot be broken down into simpler sugars, a disaccharide is made of two monosaccharides, and a polysaccharide is a compound made of ten or more monosaccharides. Typical monosaccharides are glucose and fructose, a typical disaccharide is sucrose (which is commonly called 'sugar', and typical polysaccharides are glucan and dextrin. Glucans can be divided into alpha- and beta-glucans according to the way the glucose is linked. The structure of black yeast beta-glucan is special; it consists of a trunk (main chain) with many branches (side chains). The structure of the trunk is '1,3', and the structure of the branch is '1,6', so it is called beta-1,3/1,6 glucan.
Structure of beta-glucan