Mushrooms have been an area of great interest for researchers and consumers alike in the past several years. Studies have found that reishi mushroom may have positive health benefits due to its cell-forming, immune-boosting, and mood-enhancing properties. We will talk more about reishi mushroom and how it can positively affect your quality of life through its health benefits.
What are reishi mushrooms?
Reishi mushroom, commonly known as a functional mushroom, is one of the few mushrooms that has been prized for its role in human health. Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum Or lingzhi mushroom, it is an edible mushroom that has been grown and cultivated in Asia for thousands of years and used in ancient Chinese medicine for its health properties and medicinal benefits. In Chinese, the name lingzhi represents a combination of spiritual power and the essence of immortality, and is seen as the “grass of spiritual power”, symbolizing success, well-being, divine power and longevity.
Health benefits of reishi mushrooms
Rather than its nutritional properties, reishi mushroom is known for its therapeutic effects. Reishi is available in various forms such as powders, supplements, and even teas. Mushrooms are known for their bioactive compounds. Reishi contains more than 400 bioactive compounds that include polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, phenols, triterpenoids, nucleotides, sterols, steroids, fatty acids, and proteins/peptides. [R].
1. Supports a healthy immune system
There is significant evidence to support the immunomodulatory and immunomodulatory effects of reishi mushroom. A randomized controlled trial using Ganoderma lucidum enriched extract, recruited 134 patients with advanced cancers at various sites and supplemented them with G.Lucidum capsules at a dose of 1800 mg/day for 12 weeks. Cellular immunity in 80% of patients improved significantly, resulting in elevated levels of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and natural killer (NK) cell activity. [R].
Another study using the same protocols, showed that immune health parameters such as total T cells, natural killer cells, and CD4/CD8 ratio were significantly improved in 68 lung cancer patients. Quality of life scores also increased by 65%. [R].
2. Anti-cancer effects
Studies have shown that reishi mushroom can have potential anti-cancer effects, by moderating cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth. The tumor mass requires a continuous supply of nutrients via new blood vessels formed through the process of angiogenesis. Invading cancer cells spread to distant sites through blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. Therefore, agents that inhibit angiogenesis prevent tumor growth and spread. Animal studies have shown that reishi can actually reduce the size of tumors due to its beta-glucans and triterpenes [R,R].
3. Antioxidant properties
Reishi mushroom has powerful antioxidant effects from its bioactive compounds in polysaccharides and triterpenoids in particular. Think of antioxidants as an invisible layer of armor, helping to protect yourself from external variables that can cause cellular damage. Antioxidants help reduce the risk of chronic age-related diseases and can also support the healthy aging process.
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4. May improve liver health
The liver helps your body maintain a healthy blood sugar level. The liver supplies glucose to the blood when it is needed. It was found that reishi mushroom has a strong effect in protecting the liver. Animal studies have shown that beta-glucans or polysaccharides extracted from reishi can relieve cirrhosis of the liver. Studies have also shown that reishi reduces measured markers of liver damage.
Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms: The Takeaway
Reishi is full of powerful bioactive compounds, including antioxidants, beta-glucans, and amino acids. Due to the immunosuppressive effects of polysaccharides, researchers believe that these nutrients can enhance anti-cancer effects, protect against viral and bacterial infections, and improve chronic disease conditions. Although reishi mushroom shows promise as a therapeutic agent and dietary supplement, more human clinical trials are needed to confirm its anticancer, hepatoprotective, and immunomodulatory effects. Many animal and in vitro studies have investigated the benefits of reishi mushroom with positive results, but more evidence is needed to confirm these findings for use in chronic disease and cancer research.
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