This study was designed to compare the effect of pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and beta-glucan (beta GLU) on inflammatory response in a rat model of sepsis. The study was performed in the animal laboratory of the Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, School of Medicine. Forty rats were randomized into four groups (control, sham, NAC, and beta GLU). Control and Sham groups received saline or NAC (200 mg/kg, po) in the NAC group and beta GLU (50 mg/kg, po) in the beta GLU group via intragastric gavage once a day for 10 days and 30 min prior to surgery. Sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in rats. In the NAC, beta GLU, and control groups, a laparotomy was performed with the CLP procedure. In the sham group, laparotomy was performed and cecum was manipulated but not ligated or perforated. TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels were significantly elevated in the control group and decreased in the NAC and beta GLU groups. IL-10 levels were significantly increased in the beta GLU group (p < .05). Superoxide dismutase and catalase levels in the liver tissue were significantly increased in the NAC and beta GLU groups, whereas superoxide dismutase levels were higher in the beta GLU pretreatment group than the NAC pretreatment group (p < 0.05). Malondialdehyde levels in the liver tissue were significantly elevated in the control group and decreased in the NAC and beta GLU groups (p < .05). Prophylactic administration of NAC or beta GLU similarly ameliorated sepsis syndrome by reduction of the proinflammatory cytokines and increase of the anti-inflammatory cytokine levels and accession of cellular antioxidants, which protect cells from oxidative stress, thereby recruiting inflammatory cells into tissue.