The Mighty Mushroom – An Immune & Digestive Health Superfood
Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in traditional Eastern medicine. They are known for supporting healthy sleep, anxiety, focus, immune health, digestive health and more. Recently, there has been a rising demand from consumers for mushroom-based supplements as their health benefits have become more widely understood. In 2018, foodnavigator-usa.com (1) projected an 8.2% growth in mushroom sales through 2024.
While there are many types of traditional medicinal mushrooms, Reishi and Maitake are two of the most well studied, with clinical studies supporting both immune and digestive health. Oyster mushrooms are known to contain immune-boosting beta-glucans. Other mushrooms gaining popularity; however, with less clinical and scientific support, are chaga and lions mane. Below we will focus on reishi, maitake and oyster mushrooms. These three mushrooms are used in a new prebiotic mushroom blend from NutriScience Innovations.
Maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa) are also called the “the dancing mushroom” because when found in the wild it is said people dance with joy. For centuries the Japanese and Chinese have used Maitake mushrooms as medicine.
Research on Maitake mushrooms has shown many health benefits, including both immune and digestive benefits. Maitake mushrooms are known to have immunomodulatory properties because of their high levels of beta-glucans. Research has shown:
- Oral application of immunomodulating glucans from Maitake mushrooms stimulated both the cellular and humoral branches of immune reactions.(2)
- Studies have shown that Maitake mushrooms work synergistically with other medicinal mushrooms to impact the expression of IL-1α, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-10 in human macrophages.(3)
Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) are one of the oldest known mushrooms to have been used as medicine.
The Reishi mushroom is also known as “The Mushroom of Immortality” and was revered by ancient healers for promoting longevity. Research has shown:
- Reishi mushrooms contain a peptide complex – GLP – which helps them act as antioxidants.(4)
- Reishi mushrooms contain Triterpenes which have been shown to encouraging the growth of good bacteria.
The use of Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus), like Maitake and Reishi, dates back thousands of years. They are known well in culinary circles, but as medicinal mushrooms, they have only more recently gained attention.
Found around the world, these mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans that naturally boost the immune system. Research has found:
- A small study showed that oyster mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory activities. Oral administration of an oyster mushroom concentrate markedly suppressed secretion of TNF-α and IL-6.(5)
- Another study showed Oyster mushrooms have the potential to enhance the immune system, through Th1 phenotype potentiation as the macrophage-IL-12-IFN-γ pathway. This results in activation of the cell-mediated immune system as exemplified by up-regulation of NK cell activity.(6)
- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1756464619300313?via%3Dihub3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837746/
If you would like to learn more about NutriScience’s mushroom blend for immune and digestive health click the logo below: