β-Glucans are a group of biologically-active fibers or polysaccharides from natural sources with proven medical significance. β-Glucans are known to have antitumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-allergic, anti-osteoporotic, and immunomodulating activities. β-Glucans are natural bioactive compounds and can be taken orally, as a food supplement, or as part of a daily diet, and are considered safe to use. The medical significance and efficiency of β-glucans are confirmed in vitro, as well as using animal- and human-based clinical studies. However, systematic study on the clinical and physiological significance of β-glucans is scarce. In this review, we not only discuss the clinical and physiological importance of β-glucans, we also compare their biological activities through the existing in vitro and animal-based in vivo studies. This review provides extensive data on the clinical study of β-glucans.
Keywords: anti-obesity; anti-osteoporosis; antitumor; bioactive polysaccharides; immunomodulation; β-glucans.