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Beta Glucan & Black Skin


Mike Bollman


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.



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