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When most people think of fungus, they assume it’s inherently “bad” for their health and longevity - like yeast infections. However, certain fungi are very much necessary for human survival and wellbeing (just like bacteria and other microbes).
Of particular importance for health is the fungi group known as Basidiomycota (which includes mushrooms). Not all mushrooms are inherently beneficial for humans, but the right species appear to have some incredible medicinal benefits, including:
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the healthiest mushrooms that have been used in ancient medicine systems for centuries.
Ganoderma lucidum, also known as the Reishi mushroom, is a large, tough mushroom that is referred to as “Lingzhi” meaning soul or spirit. It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as an herbal remedy, especially for healthy liver and immune function.1
There are over 400 bioactive compounds in this powerhouse mushroom. However, research suggests that the main substances responsible for the immune and liver protecting benefits of Reishi mushrooms are proteins and triterpenes, particularly ganodermic acids.2
Clinical studies demonstrate that ganodermic acids have an inhibitory action on the release of histamine in mast cells (meaning ganodermic acids reduce inflammatory response).3 The unique proteins found in Reishi mushrooms have also been shown to protect the liver by reducing oxidative stress.4
But the benefits of Reishi don’t stop there! A recent meta-analysis of 373 subjects demonstrated that those with cancerous tumors were 27% more likely to respond positively to chemotherapy or radiotherapy while supplementing with Reishi mushroom extract than those not consuming the mushroom as part of their treatment.5
Another study demonstrates that Reishi inhibits tumor cell proliferation by stimulating immune factors, such as TNF-a, IFN-g, and IL-1b.6 In layman’s terms, the Reishi mushroom is one of the most effective immune boosters known to humans and may assist in killing opportunistic bacteria and viruses.
The cordyceps mushroom has been used for over six centuries in Asian cultures for energy, libido, immunity, stamina, and enhancing sleep quality.
The primary therapeutic constituents of cordyceps include cordycepin and its derivatives, polysaccharides, and ergosterol. Research continues to demonstrate that these compounds have a vast range of medicinal actions in humans, including:7
Cordyceps have also been shown to upregulate AMPK which helps boost muscle recovery and fat metabolism. You will look and feel great using Cordyceps militaris
Shiitake mushrooms are native to eastern Asian countries and are now cultivated (and consumed) globally. Shiitake mushrooms are thought to have a legion of medicinal properties, thanks in part to its diverse profile of micronutrients, such as phosphorus, B vitamins, selenium and a compelling profile of health promoting polysaccharides.
One particularly potent polysaccharide present in shiitake mushrooms is lentinan (a beta-glucan). Lentinan has been shown to have anti-tumor and immune regulating properties.8 In fact, one study demonstrated that lentinan suppresses the expression of liver enzymes CYP1A which in turn decreases the risk of forming carcinogenic compounds.9
While the previously discussed mushroom species are exceptionally potent for immunity and liver protection, lion’s mane works to bolster and protect your nervous system, brain function and gastrointestinal (GI) health.
Research has shown that Lion’s mane strongly reduced ulcer area and inhibited ulcer formation.10 Lion’s mane also helped maintain antioxidant status in the mucosa of the GI tract, an important factor for overall gut health and function.
Further evidence suggests that Lion’s mane may have nootropic benefits by promoting the growth and differentiation of neurons in brain, particularly neurons involved in the cholinergic system.11
Lion’s mane administration increased neuron (dendrites and axons) growth upwards of 60%. This translates to enhanced neurotransmission of acetylcholine, which is an important regulator of cognitive function, focus, memory and mood.
Lions mane also has promising anti-fatigue and anti-aging benefits that warrants its inclusion in Vitality Switch™.
Research has shown that Chaga mushrooms actually possess the highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of any natural food on the planet, with a whopping ORAC score of 1104 units per gram!
How potent is that? For reference, the highly acclaimed acai berry has an ORAC score of 165 units per gram.
You’re probably wondering why this matters? In short, antioxidants protect your cells from highly reactive molecules known as free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which work to incur oxidative stress in cells throughout your body. When you experiences chronic, excessive oxidative stress from things like pro-inflammatory foods and exposure to environmental toxins, you become prone to many health conditions, such as:
As you can see, antioxidants are absolutely crucial for your body to limit oxidative stress and keep you healthy; thankfully, the Chaga mushroom provides your body with an incredible number of antioxidants that will likely never be beaten by any other natural food.
Let the power of medicinal mushrooms help you today.
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.
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