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The term cellulase refers to a group of enzymes whose target in the natural world is the breakdown of cellulose, the most abundant and primary structural component of vascular plants. These enzymes are produced in abundance in the natural world, principally through fermentation performed by various strains of fungi, bacteria and protozoans, as well as a select few plants and animals.

Cellulose cannot be digested by the human body; however, supplemental cellulase can be taken to assist the breakdown of cellulose into beta-glucose. (Glucose, also referred to as blood sugar as transported by the bloodstream, is the body’s primary source of energy.) To produce supplemental cellulase, a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic species of fungus known as Trichoderma viride is cultured, from which the cellulase is extracted and purified.

In the intestinal canal and stomach, beta-glucose has a viscous quality. The resistant quality of beta-glucose slows the absorption of fat and carbohydrates from food sources. This produces a positive effect by helping to maintain steadier blood levels of cholesterol and sugar after eating.

Health benefits of cellulase

  • Assists in breaking down cellulose into beta-glucose
  • Helps maintain normal blood sugar
  • Helps maintain normal cholesterol level
  • May lower cholesterol


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Principal Author: M. Ofiyeva
Date of Initial Publication: 09/07/2007
Article Last Updated: 03/10/2011