|Molecular weight||504.438 g/mol|
|Names and Identifiers||
|Traditional Name||Beta-Glucan, Epiglucan, Beta-Glucosylglucan|
|CAS Registry Number||9012-72-0, 9041-22-9|
β-Glucans (beta-glucans) comprise a group of β-D-glucose polysaccharides naturally occurring in the cell walls of cereals, bacteria, and fungi, with significantly differing physicochemical properties dependent on source. Typically, β-glucans form a linear backbone with 1–3 β-glycosidic bonds but vary with respect to molecular mass, solubility, viscosity, branching structure, and gelation properties, causing diverse physiological effects in animals.
At dietary intake levels of at least 3 g per day, oat fiber β-glucan decreases blood levels of LDL cholesterol and so may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. β-glucans are used as texturing agents in various nutraceutical and cosmetic products, and as soluble fiber supplements, but can be problematic in the process of brewing.