Mushroom blend shows range of immune boosting effects in vitro

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

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Related tags: mushrooms, fungi, Immune health, Immune response

A mushroom blend showed a variety of immune boosting properties in recent in vitro research sponsored by the manufacturer.

The research, published recently in the Journal of Inflammation Research​, used a blend of 17 powdered medicinal mushrooms.  The species included Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake and Chaga mushrooms.  The blend, marketed as Host Defense Mushrooms, is manufactured by Fungi Perfecti of Olympia, WA, which also sponsored the research.

The study was conducted by employees of the company and by a representative of NIS Labs, based in Klamath Falls OR.

The study used blood drawn from three volunteers. The blood cells were treated with the mushroom blend, a highly inflammatory lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Salmonella enterica​ was used as a positive control for immune-cell activation and an untreated group.  Each group was tested in triplicate using different fractions of the mushroom blend. 

The study’s primarily endpoint was to look at the levels of CD69, a lectin protein that is an early activation market for many different types of cells in the human immune system.   The researchers were also trying to differentiate the immune cell activation potential of the different components present in the mushroom blend.  A lot is known about the water soluble beta glucans in fungi cell walls, they said, but less is know about the other fractions.

Parsing out effects of different fractions of study material

To obtain different research materials from the same mushroom blend the researchers subjected it to a sequential extraction procedure. First, it was extracted with a saline at ambient temperature, followed by re-extraction of the solids in ethanol, and finally resuspension of the homogenized ethanol-insoluble solids in cell-culture media.

The results showed upregulation of CD69, as well as other effects, the researchers said.

The aqueous, ethanol, and insoluble compounds within MMB induced differential immune-activating, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative effects. This in vitro data suggests that, upon consumption, MMB may induce a concerted series of immunomodulatory events based on the differential solubility and bioavailability of the active constituents. These differential responses support both immune-activation and resolution of the host defense-induced inflammatory reactions, thus assisting a post-response return to homeostasis,” ​they concluded.

Source: Journal of Inflammation Research

DOI: 10.2147/JIR.S229446
Differential Immune Activating, Anti-Inflammatory, and Regenerative Properties of the Aqueous, Ethanol, and Solid Fractions of a Medicinal Mushroom Blend
Davis, R, et al.

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