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Fight off infection with functional mushrooms

Posted by Life Cykel on
Fight off infection with functional mushrooms

Our Immune systems are extremely important to us, more important than you might know and if you're not entirely sure what it actually is, fear not, I will enlighten you.

The immune system comprises of an intricate network of organs, tissues, cells and proteins within the body that communicate in a complex manner to defend our bodies from infection by pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. There are numerous levels of the immune system, too many to describe in a short blog post, so just a short description will have to suffice for now…  

The immune system

Your immune system can be split in to 2 sections, known as your innate and adaptive immunity. Your innate immunity consists of physical barriers such as skin, mucus membranes, saliva etc and also blood bound cells such as some white blood cells, which are involved in the direct killing of pathogens that they come across.

Your adaptive immunity consists of more specialised white blood cells that are activated by your innate immune system, these specialised cells are involved in killing the body’s cells that are already infected to stop further infection. It also creates a “memory” of a particular pathogen and produces the infamous antibody, which stay in your body for a long time. Therefore if you are infected again with the same pathogen your immune system can pick it up and destroy it much quicker – sometimes without you even knowing! And that my friend is called immunity (a very brief sense).

Anyway now that you have a bit of background information on the almighty immune system it should help you understand how our marvellous mushies can give your immune system a helping hand and keep you fit and healthy.

Some of the best functional mushrooms for boosting your immune system are Turkey Tail, Reishi and Chaga. They all contain a variety of bioactive compounds that the body can utilise to help enhance and support the activity of the immune system.

Turkey Tail

Firstly Turkey Tail is packed with antioxidants such as phenols and flavonoids, these have been shown to stimulate the release of immunoprotective proteins, which can help to stimulate your adaptive/specific immune system. Furthermore Turkey Tail contains two immune boosting polysacchropeptides (basically protein bound carbohydrates) known as polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) and Krestin (PSK). These two compounds work together to promote the stimulation of specific immune cells known as cytokines, which are super important at coordinating efficient cell signalling throughout the complex immune system, creating a faster and more effective immune response. PSP has also been shown to promote growth of good bacteria in the human gut, with a healthy gut a healthy immune system follows. [1-4]

Reishi

Reishi is also another powerful immune boosting mushroom. It has been shown to improve lymphocyte function, these are white blood cells that are produced in your bone marrow and circulate your blood and lymphatic system. They aid in the destruction of body cells that have been infected with a virus or bacteria, they also “help” other immune cells to control the immune response. [5]

Chaga

Lastly the almighty Chaga mushroom, it contains powerful antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) that controls and reduces the oxidative damage to body cells occurring from an immune cell response. Chaga mushroom is also packed with Gyconutrients, these are plant carbohydrates that are important for creating structures on cells that allow cells to communicate with one another, which is extremely important in an immune cell response. And finally Chaga is also packed with triterpenes that are known to lower cholesterol levels in the body, this can allow other organs in the body to function optimally and help with an immune response. [6]

Wow… that was A LOT of information to take in, however it is extremely important information to take in, especially in times where we need to optimise our immune system the most. But if there is anything that you should take away from this post is that consumption of functional mushrooms, in particular those mentioned above can most definitely improve your immune system and you can access these immune boosting mushies with our liquid mushroom extracts and upgraded mushroom coffee!

 

Please note - this information should not be used as a replacement for guidance from your health care provider. You should always seek advice from medical professionals first. Thank you for your understanding.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23497877

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25006989

[4] https://neurohacker.com/how-the-gut-microbiota-influences-our-immune-system

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18048435

[6] https://www.annandachaga.com/pages/chagahealthbenefits

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