Beta Glucan & Black Skin
Advanced Dermatologics News, February,
1994, page 13-14
Since blacks have less adrenal cortex
relative to their medulla than Caucasians, they have less adrenocortical
activity. This means that the immune system of blacks relies less on the
direct route of inflammation and more on alternative pathways. The power
of beta glucan resides in its prodigious capability for strengthening
these alternate pathways of immunity.
Black skin is more resistant to bug bites
and stings because it does not default so drastically to inflammation in
"handling" the foreign material introduced by the insect. Instead of
isolating it and rejecting it (this is the knee-jerk reaction of
inflammation), it more calmly surrounds it and processes it out (by
metabolizing it). Beta glucan naturally favors this alternate,
non-inflammatory route of immunity because it cultivates more
spontaneous recognition of intruders so that they are more quickly
metabolized and eliminated before they can do any harm.
This basic truth can be witnessed in more
rapid aging of Caucasian skin. Inflammation, more prevalent in Caucasian
skin, is a major contributor to free-radicals and oxidative stress - key
components to the aging process. Topical beta glucan will shift the
immune response from inflammation to a quicker processing-out of the
antigen, with less stress to the lymphatic system.
Black skin and Caucasian skin are virtually
equal in immune capabilities. However, the are structured
differently-there are 'philosophical' differences in the approach to
immunity. In black skin, much of the immune stress is absorbed by its
pigmentation apparatus. In Caucasian skin, it is absorbed by its protein
scaffolding. This explains the prevalence of pigmentary disorders in
black skin and age-related disorders (involving elastin and collagen) in
Caucasian skin. This, also, accounts for the propensity of hypertrophic
scarring and keloids in black skin (because it de-emphasizes the
structural-protein component to immunity and healing).
Topical beta glucan reduces immune stress by
improving the recognition capabilities of immune cells. In black skin,
this means fewer pigmentary problems. In Caucasian skin, it means less
visible aging. But, because of the "philosophical' differences between
black skin and Caucasian skin, beta glucan will go a lot further in
alleviating the pigmentation problems of black skin than it will in
reducing wrinkles in Caucasian skin.