Editors: "Vaclav Vetvicka", "Miroslav Novak"

Beta-glucan, Structure, Chemistry and Specific Application

Volume 2

Personal Book: US $69 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $153
Printed Copy: US $119
Library Book: US $276
ISSN: 2589-2851
eISSN: 2211-0526 (Online)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-301-8
eISBN: 978-1-60805-260-8 (Online)
DOI: 10.2174/97816080526081130201

Introduction

Despite of the efforts of pharmaceutical researchers to find new medicaments, nature offers many substances with healing properties—beta-glucans belong to this group of compounds. The second volume of the e-book series, Biology and Chemistry of Beta-Glucan, provides new knowledge about these important polysaccharides.

In order to understand the role of beta-glucans, it is necessary to control the purity and to determine their composition and structure. This volume presents modern chemical and separation methods which are applied in structural analysis of glucans. As a result of structural analyses, it can be concluded that beta-glucans of different origin vary in chain length, number and types of branching. The book further discusses the biological effects of tailored oligomers and synthetic beta-glucans, including innovative use of enzymatic processes in the synthesis of these compounds.

This volume also discusses a hypothesis of beta-glucans’ increasing impact on the photodynamic therapy. In spite of many scientific papers describing the positive role of beta-glucans in protection against diseases, certain epidemiological data suggest that specific illnesses can be related to beta-glucan exposure. The fact of whether or not beta-glucan is an accompanying substance of these biologically active agents is also questioned.

Biology and Chemistry of Beta-Glucan: Volume 2 focuses on the strictly scientific basis on the effects of beta-glucan on human health as well as other possibilities of beta-glucan application, such as protection of aquaculture against diseases.

Foreword

Despite of the efforts of pharmaceutical research and industry to find new medicaments, nature offers many substances with healing properties-beta-glucans belong to this group of compounds. The second volume of the eBook Biology and Chemistry of Beta-Glucan, edited by Vaclav Vetvicka and Miroslav Novak provides new knowledge about these important polysaccharides.

In order to understand the role of beta-glucans in nature and to detect their healing properties and the mechanisms of their action, it is necessary to control the purity and to determine their composition and structure. The first chapter of this eBook presents modern chemical, spectroscopic and separation methods which are applied in structural analysis of fungal glucans. As a result of structural analyses, it can be concluded that beta-glucans of different origins vary in chain length, number and types of branching. These facts provoked the question as to how their structural properties can affect the biological activities of these polysaccharides. It is logical, therefore, that the eBook discusses the biological effects of tailored oligomers and synthetic beta-glucans. The chapter describing the use of enzymatic processes in the synthesis of these compounds appears to be very innovative.

In the recent years, photodynamic therapy has become an increasingly important method of non-invasive treatment of cancer. The eBook also discusses a hypothesis of beta-glucans’ increasing impact on the photodynamic therapy. In spite of traditional medicine experience as well as many scientific papers describing the positive role of beta-glucans in protections against diseases, certain epidemiological data suggest that specific illnesses can be related to beta-glucan exposure. The fact of whether beta-glucan is an accompanying substance of these biologically active agents is questioned. The second volume of Biology and Chemistry of Beta-Glucan focuses on the strictly scientific basis not only on the effects of beta-glucan on human health, but on other possibilities of beta-glucan application, such as protection of certain important animal species against diseases. This phenomenon can be successfully exploited with exclusion of antibiotics in animal cultures.

Jana Copikova
Institute of Chemical Technology
Prague
Czech Republic


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