Skin health promotion effects of natural beta-glucan derived from cereals and microorganisms: a review

Phytother Res. 2014 Feb;28(2):159-66. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4963. Epub 2013 Mar 11.


β-Glucans are natural cell wall polysaccharides found in yeast, fungi (including mushrooms), some bacteria, seaweeds and cereals. Natural β-glucans possess many health promotion effects on human health, such as anti-tumor, anti-diabetes, anti-infection, lowering blood cholesterol and immune-modulating properties. These effects have been reviewed previously. However, skin health promotion of β-glucan derived from cereals and microorganisms has received little attention. This review focuses on antioxidant activity, anti-wrinkle activity, anti-ultraviolet light, wound healing, and moisturizing effect and skin permeation absorption of β-glucan. Furthermore, applications of β-glucan in cosmetics are also discussed.

Keywords: anti-UV; anti-wrinkle; antioxidant activity; moisturizing effect; skin permeation absorption; wound healing; β-glucan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Agaricales / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cosmetics / chemistry
  • Edible Grain / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / chemistry*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Cosmetics
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • beta-Glucans