The Super Food to Stimulate Your Immune System
Medicinal mushrooms have been traditionally used for health promotion and longevity in China and other East Asian countries for thousands of years. Touted for centuries for their immune support, edible medicinal mushrooms are gaining popularity today as a superfood. Over 270 species of mushrooms are classified as having medicinal properties.
All mushrooms contain beta glucans and heteropolysaccharides, which boost immune system function as evidenced by reduced biomarkers of inflammation. Mushrooms also contain lectins that are demonstrated to recognize cancer cells and prevent them from dividing. Combined, these ingredients work together to assist even the weakest immune systems by supporting overall health.
Mushrooms are part of the fungal kingdom. As such they are more closely related to humans and other members of the animal kingdom than to plants and, partly because of this relative evolutionary closeness, many of the compounds they produce show physiological activity in humans as well as other animals. The compounds that medicinal mushrooms produce give the mushrooms an advantage in the microorganism community. These compounds discourage competitive organisms, yet have a pronounced effect on the human body. They ward off viruses, bacterial infections, and ‘bad’ fungal overgrowths, such as candida.
Mushrooms are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins, and they are low in calories. Although they’re actually fungi, mushrooms are lumped in the vegetable category for cooking purposes. Fungal glycans in mushrooms have been shown in pharmacological and structural studies to support multiple health-promoting effects, including improved general immunity, anti-tumor, anti-aging, anti-oxidation, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, anti-radiation, and other effects.*
Good Medicine Choice Immune Support Mushroom Blend Ingredients
Animal models have demonstrated that lion’s mane may promote beneficial gut microbiota growth and be associated with reduced colon tissue damage in cases of inflammatory bowel disease.
Reishi Mushroom Extract
Known as the king of mushrooms, reishi mushrooms contain polysaccharides that demonstrate prebiotic effects and may increase counts of beneficial bacteria. Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) has been used widely as an adjuvant to chemotherapy with anti-tumor and broad immunomodulating effects. Reishi also contains the compound triterpene, which is known for its calming properties. These mood-boosting compounds may alleviate anxiety, depression and support better sleep.
Reishi is considered to be beneficial for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and fibro myalgia.
A four-week clinical trial suggests that shiitake intake was associated with favorable changes in secretion patterns of various immune compounds. These changes may indicate an improvement in gut immunity and an anti-inflammatory response. Lentinan, a glucan derived from shiitake, is currently used as a complementary treatment for tumors, particularly in China and Japan.
Maitake mushrooms contain chemicals that might help fight tumors, stimulate the immune system, and lower blood sugar and lipid levels. Early research suggests that taking maitake mushroom polysaccharides (MMP) by mouth may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes and may help improve ovulation in women.
Oyster mushrooms contain significant levels of zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorous niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C, as well as folic acid, vitamin B 1 and B 2. Oyster mushrooms also contain ergothioneine, a unique antioxidant exclusively produced by fungi. There is evidence that oyster mushrooms may improve the filtration rate in the kidneys and help regulate blood pressure.
Chaga mushrooms have been studied on human cells in vitro as well as various animal studies. Chaga may lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and it also has blood thinning properties. In laboratory studies by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, chaga demonstrates anti-cancer activity as well as anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-stimulating properties.
Cordyceps are a rare parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects only in the high-altitude region of northeast India. The remains of the insect and fungi have been hand-collected and used in traditional Chinese Medicine to treat fatigue, sickness, kidney disease and low sex drive.
Lab studies performed in animals and test tubes suggest cordyceps can reduce leukopenia, a condition that lowers white blood cell counts which can decrease the body’s defenses and increasing the risk of infection.
Turkey Tail Powder
In traditional medicine, turkey tail has been used therapeutically for fungal infections, cancer, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Potential benefits include improved immune function and anti-oxidant and anti-tumor effects.
*Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner for any medical advice.