Whenever people talk about mushrooms, it’s mostly in the context of cuisines or psychedelics. But, there are more than 100 medicinal properties of mushrooms, including functional mushrooms. The key benefit of mushrooms are its immunomodulating properties and the ability to help ensure the immune system functions at an optimal level.
Of course the immune system is our body’s first line of defense against viral infections, that includes the deadly coronavirus. Research has found that those who have strong immune systems tend to be able to better fend off the insidious virus, or at least, dull its effects. The degrees to which that’s possible depends on how strong a person’s immune system is. Now, scientists are looking at a possible way to boost the immune system naturally with the help of functional mushrooms.
Further studies reveal these beta glucans activate immune system cells. This allows them to recognize harmful or foreign cells such as cancerous cells or cells infected with a virus. In this way, the immune system is able to build up a stronger immune system response to fight against the cells it considers a threat.
Since helping to regulate the immune system is one of the main benefits of functional mushrooms, now, researchers are looking to put that to the test against the fight against COVID-19. So, how do these mushrooms work? Functional mushrooms have polysaccharides that are known as beta glucans. Research has found that these beta glucans that are present in mushrooms have the ability to attach themselves to receptor sites in the cells of the immune system.
But, that’s not all; further studies reveal these beta glucans activate immune system cells. This allows them to recognize harmful or foreign cells such as cancerous cells or cells infected with a virus. In this way, the immune system is able to build up a stronger immune system response to fight against the cells it considers a threat.
Because of their very specific medical properties, functional mushrooms have found their way into the limelight once again. But, could using functional mushrooms actually save you from getting the coronavirus? While immune system supporting functional mushrooms such as chaga, cordyceps, and reishi have been named as some of the options that could be used to boost the immune system, there are currently no scientifically backed studies that can support the claim. This is especially the case when it comes to using these powerful mushrooms against the coronavirus.
According to scientists, rigorous studies will have to be carried out before anyone can make the claim that functional mushrooms are beneficial against the fight with coronavirus. That being said, functional mushrooms are already being used in traditional Chinese medicine, where functional mushrooms are more prominent as compared to the West. For instance, functional mushrooms are currently used in China to treat malaria and other illnesses. But, once again, that doesn’t mean that functional mushrooms are effective against the formidable coronavirus.
However, since the immune system is indeed our first line of defense, it makes sense to make sure you do whatever you can to boost your immune system. That means, along with taking immune-boosting supplements and foods, it’s also critically important that you’re taking the necessary precautionary steps to stay safe. You know the drill: Until there’s a vaccine, mask up, wash your hands, socially distance. Building up your immune system should be considered another step in fending off the devastating once in a century pandemic.