Mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and now Western studies have caught on and confirmed the chemical pathways, which lead to mushrooms’ powerful and beneficial effects.
The six organic mushroom blend in My Immune Hero™ has been carefully chosen due to their evidence-based health benefits, including immune system support. In The Power of Mushrooms - Part 1 we looked at reishi, chaga and maitake mushrooms. So, let's take a closer look at the next three of the six mushrooms we have included:
Lion's Mane are big white mushrooms and they get name due to how they look like a lion's mane as they grow! These mushrooms contain substances that have many positive benefits on our body and have been shown to support the immune system by promoting optimum gut health. Not only do they support immunity, but they also have potent, beneficial effects on the brain and heart.
Cordyceps is a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects, and when these fungi turn on their host, they replace its tissue and grow long, slim stems, which grow outside the insect's body. These remains of the host and fungi have been collected, dried and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years to treat ailments, including fatigue and tiredness, low energy and sickness. This mushroom is said to help combat inflammation in the body, and as we know some inflammation is exactly what is needed (like when we injure ourselves and the blood rushes to the injury), but too much inflammation aka 'chronic inflammation' can lead to diseases like cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown that when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps, proteins that promote inflammation become suppressed - scientists believe that due to this benefits that Cordyceps may act as an effective anti-inflammatory supplement (1).
Shiitake mushrooms are tan to dark brown in colour and have been shown to be beneficial for our immunity, heart and protect against certain diseases, such as cancer due to their nutritional profile. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting nutrients. One study allocated participants two dried shiitake mushrooms daily and after 30 days, their immune markers improved whilst their inflammation levels decreased (2).
In addition to these effective benefits for immunity, studies have also found that mushrooms may:
- Support gut health (remember 70-80% of the immune system is in the gut!) and healthy digestion
- Promote energy levels
- Decrease tiredness and fatigue
- Boost memory
- Boost cognitive function & reduce brain fog
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve mood and wellbeing
- Promote healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Boost physical and athletic performance
- Help to reduce the stress of physical activity and promote recovery.
Here at KLW Nutrition® we follow the sciece closely and the increasing research that is being published around the benefits and efficacy of mushrooms is very exciting!
(1) Park SY, Jung, SJ, Ha KC, Jang SH, Chae HJ, Chae SW. (2015) Anti-inflammatory effects of Cordyceps mycelium in Raw264.murine macrophages. Orient Pharm Exp Med. 15(1):7-12.
(2) Dai X et al. (2015) Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) mushrooms daily improves human immunity: A randomised dietary intervention in healthy young adults. J Am Coll Nutr. 34(6):478-487.