Mushrooms, Mycelium, and Your Immune Health

Depending on the species, supplementing your diet with certain mushrooms and/or mushroom mycelium can help support healthy immune function while also being prebiotic, meaning they also may help support a healthy gut flora environment. Some of these mushroom species are edible and can be incorporated into your diet. Mushroom mycelium, on the other hand, require clean room conditions to be grown without contamination threats.

And what exactly is mushroom mycelium, anyway? It’s simply a life stage of the mushroom. After a mushroom spore (similar to a plant seed) germinates, it expands into mycelium, which can look like white, spreading filaments. Eventually, a “fruiting body” emerges, and this is what many people think of when they think of mushrooms. Research shows that 25% more genetic material is active during the mycelial stage as compared to the fruitbody stage.

Recent research surrounds mushroom mycelium that was cultured (aka fermented) on organic brown rice and tested for immune supporting properties* In 2017, Host Defense partnered with a third-party laboratory, Natural Immune Systems, Inc (NIS) to clarify the immune supporting properties of various mushroom ingredients. NIS Labs specializes in integrating laboratory and clinical facilities to evaluate how natural products impact human physiology.

In one study, three Host Defense® products were tested: Reishi mushroom mycelium capsules, Agarikon mushroom mycelium capsules, and MyCommunity capsules, a mushroom formula with 17 mushroom species. Testing by NIS Labs confirmed these three products stimulate innate immune cell function, promote white blood cells for immune strength, and support regulation of immune cell compounds for a balanced immune response.

Mushrooms, Prebiotics and Your Microbiome

Getting back to your gut microbiome, understanding prebiotics becomes important. A probiotic contains beneficial gut microflora. A prebiotic, on the other hand, is an ingredient which supports the growth of the existing beneficial microflora. Both mushrooms and mushroom mycelium can be prebiotics. Host Defense® Turkey Tail capsules provide both immune support and prebiotics for the microbiome.

The Next Generation of Immune Support

Another fact about mushrooms many people don’t realize is that we humans share more DNA with mushrooms than we do plants.  Also, both humans and mushrooms breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Although both herbs and mushrooms have been traditionally used for centuries as natural health support, mushrooms and mushroom mycelium are gaining in popularity as a dietary supplement as more becomes known.

Find Host Defense supplements in the wellness department of your local Earth Fare!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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