7 Secret Mushrooms That Boost Your Immune System

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Having secured a rich history in many ancient Asian healing practices, medicinal mushrooms have been prescribed and used for countless ailments for thousands of years. As modern medicine rediscovers these ancient superfoods, there is good evidence that mushrooms are among the most powerful functional food in a growing cancer-fighting and cancer-preventing arsenal.

It is first important to differentiate between the anti-cancer medicinal mushrooms and the countless other common varieties. A quick visit to the local supermarket will reveal culinary mushrooms such as oyster, portabella, and others. Although these have their health benefits, the focus of this article will be on four of the more specialized and not typically commercially grown reishi, maitake, agaricus blazei murill, and turkey tail mushrooms.

Medicinal Mushrooms and Cancer

There are a few primary mechanisms that most of these functional, anti-cancer mushrooms share when assisting the body during cancer stages or in simple everyday prevention. First is their ability to enhance the body’s first line of defense against cancer − the immune system. When this system is weak or has failed, the mechanism for cancer has a better opportunity to manifest.

Next, some anti-cancer mushrooms exhibit direct antiviral and tumor shrinking abilities. In learning about the assistance given by mushrooms, it is important to note that the side effects exhibited are often mild, but it is still important to talk with your healthcare provider before use.

It has been demonstrated that, in some cases, formulas containing multiple strains of different mushroom extracts often exhibit synergistic, complementary, and amplified effects. This is in stark contrast to many of the negative cumulative effects of chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy methods commonly prescribed in hospitals today. As with research for many alternative treatments, the United States has been late to the party when it comes to medical research on the anti-cancer and overall health benefits of mushrooms.

Reishi Mushroom Benefits: The Mushroom of Immortality

Perhaps one of the most well-known medicinal mushroom in Asian healing arts is Ganoderma lucidum, or better known by its common name, reishi. The mushroom’s bioactive molecules and polysaccharides have been shown to better activate natural killer (NK) cells reducing cancer metastasis. NK cells are lymphocytes that perform immunosurveillance within the body, constantly on the lookout for “immuno-alerters” signaling tumor presence.

Reishi also has been shown to assist in slowing the growth (angiogenesis) of tumors as well as triggering programmed cell death in malignant cells. Currently, there is data to support the potential use of reishi as, at the very least, an adjunct therapy for colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

Maitake Mushroom Benefits: The Dancing Mushroom

Maitake, like the reishi mushroom, also contains a broad-spectrum array of bioactive molecules. In studies, maitake has shown similar results as the reishi mushroom in stimulating NK cell activity in cancer patients. The mushroom also shows promise in blocking tumor growth and activating malignant cell death through its specific immune-enhancing methods. Maitake has clinically shown promise for individuals with breast cancer, lung cancer, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

Maitake-Medicinal-Mushroom

Agaricus Blazei Murill: Tokyo’s Cancer Secret

This mushroom made perhaps the biggest splash when a study jointly conducted by the Medical Department of Tokyo University, The National Cancer Center Laboratory, and Tokyo College of Pharmacy showed a complete recovery in 90% of guinea pigs injected with cancer cells (180 sarcoma).

The pattern of other mushrooms was seen again as agaricus blazei murill activated macrophage and interferon immune activity leading to tumor shrinkage, a halt in metastasis, and reduction of future cancer occurrences. As an adjunct, agaricus blazei murill was shown to lessen the side effects in individuals undergoing chemotherapy for endometrial, cervical, and ovarian cancers.

Turkey Tail: The $5 Million Dollar Mushroom

In 1976, a Japanese company patented certain extracts of this mushroom under the name PSK and later PSP. They have since become recognized cancer drugs in Japan. The anti-viral properties of the turkey tail mushroom offer a unique opportunity to target oncoviruses (tumor virus) such as human papillomavirus leading to cervical cancer, hepatitis C leading to liver cancers, and others. For this mushroom, again studies are showing increased NK activity towards tumor detection and eradication. This mushroom is in the process of a $5.4 million study by the National Institutes of Health that began in late 2012.

It is important to note that drug companies cannot patent mushrooms. Due to this fact, funds typically won’t be allocated to study them unless they come from private institutions or government grants. However, this should be a positive as many studies only seek to isolate one part of a plant or mushroom to patent as a drug.

As mycologist (mushroom expert) Paul Stamets states, “Isolating one constituent from the others denatures and lessens the broad-spectrum potency of this natural, functional food.”

Turkey-Tail-Medicinal-Mushroom

Medicinal Mushroom Supplementation: Choosing the Correct One for You

Mushrooms and mushroom supplements come in many different forms for health and wellness. These functional foods can be raw, powdered, liquid, and infused into other products. Each has their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

  • Raw: Unlike consuming fruits and vegetables, raw mushrooms are not a superior form to consume if you’re looking to reap the health benefits from medicinal mushrooms discussed above. The polysaccharides, antioxidants, and metabolites can be better activated and concentrated using methods described below under the “liquid” category. It is for this reason that if you are experiencing a health crisis or simply looking to improve the functions of your mind and body, raw should not be your first choice.
  • Powdered: Like most other nutritional supplements, mushrooms also come in the powdered form as gel caps or loose. While the gel caps are preferred for daily convenience, the powder can be added to smoothies, juices, or sprinkled on food after it is cooked.
  • Liquid: If you are looking for rapid absorption into the digestive system, a liquid mushroom supplement form is a great choice. In addition, the liquid option offers perhaps the greatest versatility due to the fact that it can be added to coffee, tea, smoothies, soups, salad dressing, and just about anything else you can imagine. Regarding extraction methods, there are three methods used each focusing on distinct end results. Cold water extraction is used to extract extracellular metabolites. Hot water extraction is used to the extract the immune-stimulating polysaccharides. Ethanol/alcohol extraction is used to isolate antioxidants and smaller compounds that are more specific in their bio-activity.
  • Infused: This isn’t so much a category as it is a mere spin off of the liquid and powdered methods. Due to the popularity of mushrooms as a versatile and functional food, manufacturers are going the “value added” route by offering mushroom-infused versions of already existing products. For example, there has been a recent surge of popularity in the mushroom infused coffee bean market. A breakthrough method now allows the infusion of a mushroom strain directly into the whole coffee bean.

Labels & Production of Medicinal Mushrooms: What to Look For

Like most food and supplement production, it is now no longer a question that things must be organic. In addition, the “non-GMO” designation is also strongly considered for numerous reasons. Beyond that, mushrooms are good detoxifiers and accumulators of certain environmental particles and elements. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek out growers and producers that follow strict methods and practices to ensure product purity.

Precautions: Clean Foods Equal Healthy People

Due to the makeup and properties of some mushrooms, there are dangers that consumers should be aware of. As I’ve covered in my docu-series, the concept of clean foods also applies to mushrooms due to our current environment. Of particular concern are heavy metals and radiation. Food and water contamination from heavy metals is a major problem. The soil and air has been affected by industry and pollution, and that directly impacts our food, water and physical bodies.

Certain mushrooms hyper-accumulate heavy metals which make them great environmental detoxifiers. However, for internal use, these same mushrooms should be laboratory cultivated to avoid toxins they’ve taken in.

There is no ignoring Fukushima was perhaps the worst nuclear disaster in history. Certain mushrooms are known to hyper-accumulate radioactive particles. As with mushrooms that gather heavy metals from the environment, this is great news for cleanup purposes. For this same reason it is vital to choose mushroom supplements from cultures grown in controlled conditions.

A final note on safety: there are many species of mushrooms that are highly poisonous to humans. It is strongly advised that individuals do not wild gather mushrooms for consumption unless you have done extensive research. Regardless, for the reasons detailed in this article, it is still better if you leave your mushroom supplementation to professional, knowledgeable, and qualified producers who are using strict methods of extraction and preparation.

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Article Summary

  • As modern medicine rediscovers ancient superfoods, there is growing evidence that medicinal mushrooms are among the most powerful functional foods for both preventing and treating cancer. In fact, some anti-cancer mushrooms exhibit direct antiviral and tumor shrinking abilities.
  • One of the most well-known medicinal mushrooms in Asian healing arts is reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). There is data to support the potential use of reishi as, at the very least, an adjunct therapy for colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.
  • Maitake mushroom has clinically shown promise for individuals with breast cancer, lung cancer, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
  • Agaricus blazei murill mushroom made a big splash when a study jointly conducted by the Medical Department of Tokyo University, The National Cancer Center Laboratory, and Tokyo College of Pharmacy showed a complete recovery in 90% of guinea pigs injected with cancer cells (180 sarcoma).
  • The anti-viral properties of the turkey tail mushroom offer a unique opportunity to target oncoviruses (tumor virus) such as human papillomavirus leading to cervical cancer, hepatitis C leading to liver cancers, and others.
  • Drug companies cannot patent mushrooms. Due to this fact, funds typically won’t be allocated to study them unless they come from private institutions or government grants.
  • Mushrooms can be consumed raw, powdered, liquid, and infused into other products. Typically raw does does not offer the same cancer benefits as supplements. For safety reasons it is vital to choose mushroom supplements from growers and producers that follow strict methods and practices to ensure product purity.

 

7 Secret Mushrooms That Boost Your Immune System

 

All-Star Ingredient #1: Lentinan

Lentinan is a straight chain, high molecular weight polysaccharide with a 1,3 beta linked main chain and a 1,6 beta linked single sugar every other main chain residue.

Lentinan is a very popular medication in Japan and China, where it has been used for thousands of years. Due to its use as an adjuvant to cancer chemotherapy and for up-regulating the immune system, Lentinan is actually covered by health insurance in these countries! Lentinan is incredibly only found only in Shiitake mushrooms…
All-Star Ingredient #2: Maitake

Maitake is said to be the most beneficial mushroom for the immune system. Its glucans and polysaccharides may help stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of the T-helper cells.

Maitake is very high in ergothioneine, which is an extremely powerful antioxidant. The antiviral properties of Maitake have even been shown to kill the HIV virus in lab experiments.

Due to its adaptogenic capacity, Maitake is used traditionally to treat high blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, anemia and low white cell counts. This beta-glucan has immense immune-regulating powers and is a highly sought-after medicinal in the Orient.

All-Star Ingredient #3: Coriolus

Coriolus is high in Polysacchardie-K (PSK). PSK is a protein polysaccharide consisting of a beta glucan with β-1,4 main chain with β-1,3 and β-1,6 side chains. Another powerful helper for the immune system with massive research in the field of cancer.

All-Star Ingredient #4: Red Reishi

Red Reishi is one of the most wildly used medicinal mushroom in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Red Reishi is by far the most common type of Ganoderma (Reishi).

Most Reishi types are from Ganoderm lucidum and depending on the growing conditions, Red Reishi will produce quite a wide range of different medicinally active compounds.
All-Star Ingredient #5: Cordyceps

Cordyceps was at one time so highly valued that it was only allowed to be consumed by the Emperor of China (who regularly lived to 100+ years old and still fathered children into his 100’s).

Known for its sexual and athletic enhancement ability, Cordyceps has been the most sought after Medicinal Mushroom in the Orient.
All-Star Ingredient #6: Agaricus

Agaricus, the Brazilian medicinal mushroom is a well known Aromatase inhibitor. Aromatase is an enzyme found in the liver and in fat cells in our bodies. Science has discovered that the more active the aromatase in one’s body, the faster one ages!

So, it’s a good thing that our ‘7M’ Formula contains the optimal amount of Agaricus, so as to help inhibit the presence of Aromatase in your body.
All-Star Ingredient #7: Reishi

The Reishi mushroom is very well known for its immunity boosting effects. And it turns out that you can’t get too much of a good thing because Reishi can be ingested daily without the fear of building up a resistance to it.

Reishi is used traditionally for improving immunity, plus lung, kidney and liver functions, plus it’s a marvel not only for reducing blood pressure, but also both triglycerides and cholesterol, as well.
All-Star Ingredient #8: Shiitake

Shiitake mushrooms are the most documented of the medicinal mushrooms and has its primary function in improving the regulation of the human immune system. Perhaps its greatest influence is in the activity of the macrophages (the “pack man” like white blood cells that dissolve cancer cells, viruses, and infection).

Shiitake provides a macrophage super food called polysaccharides, especially its polysaccharide glucans. While this is already very amazing, on top of it all, Shiitake also has incredible cholesterol metabolism enhancing properties.
All-Star Ingredient #9: Lactobacillus Fermentum

Lactobacillus Fermentum has been found to enhance the absorption of the important health rejuvenating compounds found in various medicinal mushrooms.

Lactobacillus Fermentum a naturally occurring member of the human microbiome and some strains have been shown to enhance cholesterol metabolism.

Source: The Truth about Cancer

https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/

[-] Sources and References

Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth and Expression of Key Molecules in Inflammatory Breast Cancer
A phase I/II trial of a polysaccharide extract from Grifola frondosa (Maitake mushroom) in breast cancer patients: immunological effects.
Isolation of an antitumor compound from Agaricus blazei Murill and its mechanism of action
Heavy Metals Accumulate More In Some Mushrooms Than In Others
Fungi and ionizing radiation from radionuclides

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