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MSM

 



Mushrooms and the Immune System

 

 


[How Do Mushrooms Work? | Shiitake | Reishi | Maitake | Turkey Tail
[Almond Portabella | Cordyceps | References]

The immune system is a fascinating and complex group of cells and biochemical processes. Its many components work to protect you from environmental threats - but your immune system requires nutritional support to function optimally. Scientific research is proving that some of the most powerful immune-supportive nutrients are found in mushrooms. People who realize the critical importance of optimizing immune function should seriously consider adding an advanced mushroom complex to their daily regimen.

How Do Mushrooms Work?

Mushrooms are a treasure trove of bioactive compounds, but most of mushrooms immunomodulating activities have been attributed to polysaccharides (long-chain, simple sugars) and glycoproteins (polysaccharides naturally associated with proteins). These compounds activate a variety of immune responses.

The following mushrooms have demonstrated the most evidence for immune defense.

Shiitake Mushrooms (lentinula edodes)

Lentinan, the beta glucan from shiitake mushrooms, has been studied more extensively than similar substances and may be one of the most effective immunomodulators.  Numerous studies have shown its ability to stimulate natural killer cell, T-cell, and macrophage-dependent responses. 

AHCC® (active hexose correlated compound) is a proprietary mushroom compound. It is well-researched in Japan for its immune-supportive properties, in particular the ability to increase natural killer cell and macrophage activity. AHCC is produced by enzymatic modification of several types of medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Polysaccharides from the reishi mushroom may stimulate macrophages and enhance T-cell proliferation, according to in vitro studies. 

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Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa)

Maitake mushroom enhances the activities of natural killer cells, T-cells and macrophages, according to animal studies.  MaitakeGold 404™ is a highly specialized maitake mushroom product, rich in beta-glucans, which is the only maitake mushroom beta-glucan fraction endorsed by the world’s premier maitake mushroom researcher, Dr. Hiroaki Nanba, Ph.D.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor)

Turkey tail mushrooms have a long history of traditional use in Asia. One in vitro study suggests that turkey tail mushroom polysaccharides stimulate macrophages.

Almond Portabella Mushroom (Agaricus blazei)

This mushroom may stimulate the immune system by increasing T-cell activity, according to animal studies. Studies have shown that beta glucans extracted from Agaricus Blazei are the active polysaccharides, with 1,6 beta-glucan as the most potent immunomodulator.

Cordyceps Mushroom (Cordyceps sinensis)

Cordyceps mushrooms came to international attention during National Games in China when, in one week, three women's track and field world records were broken. The coach partially credited a cordyceps mushroom elixir. Cordyceps mushrooms were found to augment antibody and other immune responses in one animal study, and a cordyceps polysaccharide was found to elevate cytokines in vitro.

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References

Kurashige S, et al. 1997. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 1997 19(2):175-83.

Wang S. Y. et al. 1994. Program and Abstracts of the '94 International Symposium on Ganoderma Research. Beijing: Beijing Medical University.

Wasser S. P and Weis A. L. 1.999a. Crit Rev Immunol, 19, 65-96.

 

Reprinted with exclusive permission by Source Naturals, Inc.

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