Before we go down the rabbit hole about Biological Response Modifiers (BRMs), let’s first take a look at the soldiers in our immune army. The immune system is a highly intelligent system made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. When foreign substances, known as antigens, are detected in the body, several types of cells work together to recognize them and respond. One of the important cells involved are white blood cells, also called leukocytes, which come in two basic types the B lymphocytes, B cells and T lymphocytes, T cells.
B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes have separate functions. B lymphocytes cells produce antibodies, which are specialized proteins that lock onto specific antigens and tag the invader with a chemical. Think of them like the body's military intelligence system, seeking out their targets. These antibodies stay in a person's body, like memory cells, so that if his or her immune system encounters that antigen again, the antibodies are already there to do their job. Then the soldiers ̶ the T cells, destroy the invaders the intelligence system has identified. Some T cells are actually called "Natural killer” cells. T cells are also involved in helping signal other cells known as phagocytes or Macrophages to do their jobs as garbage collectors to devour the dead cells.
Antibodies can neutralize toxins (poisonous or damaging substances) produced by different organisms and activate a group of proteins called complements that assist in killing bacteria, viruses, or infected cells. Finally, you have a backup response known as the "cell-mediated immune system." This involves immune system cells rather than antibodies. They help your body create memories of past defenses against certain threats.
Ta Da! Now you know how your immune system works.
Biological response modifiers (BRMs) are substances that modify immune responses. They can be both produced naturally within the body and as pharmaceutical drugs, and they can either enhance an immune response to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases or suppress it when an inflammatory or autoimmune condition is present. Beta-D-glucans belong to a group of natural, physiologically active BRMs. These glucans represent highly conserved structural components of cell walls in yeast, fungi, or seaweed. Initial interest in the immunomodulatory properties of these polysaccharides were raised after experiments revealed that a crude yeast cell preparation stimulated macrophages via activation of complements. Immunologists have discovered that receptors on the surface of innate immune cells are responsible for binding to beta-glucans, allowing the immune cells to activate more easily.
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