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  • Importance of Beta Glucans in Medicinal Mushrooms

  • First, let’s investigate what are polysaccharides and what is their role in medicinal mushrooms.

    Polysaccharides are carbohydrates made of a variety of monosaccharides that are joined together by glycosidic bonds.

    Polysaccharides are one of the most important active components in medicinal mushrooms.

    The most outstanding of polysaccharides are the beta-glucans also known as beta-D-glucans (chitin, cellulose). Beta-glucans are contained in the cell walls of plants in general and in large quantities in mushrooms.

  • Why are Beta-Glucans the best kind of polysaccharides?

    Beta glucans are known as biological response modifiers due to their uniqueness, potency and ability to demonstrate properties such as:

    • Immune-modulatory
    • Anti-cancerogenic
    • Hepato-protective
    • Anti-microbial
    • Cardio-protective
    • Anti-oxidative
  • Beta Glucans are the most powerful immune modulators in the world!

    This means that beta glucans help to stimulate or enhance all aspects of the immune system’s functions, making it more effective in fighting pathogens, infections, viruses, parasites, cell mutations that cause cancer and so on.

    How exactly does this happen?

    The beta glucans stimulate the production and excretion of macrophages, which are large white blood cells that attack, engulf and destroy threatening invaders/pathogens/foreign cells.

    For the last few decades the effects of beta glucans have been studied extensively by numerous scientific research institutions around the world focusing on the immune boosting properties of medicinal mushrooms.

    It is quite incredible that any person can receive all the remarkable benefits of one of the world’s most powerful immune system enhancing molecules just by taking a range of medicinal mushrooms as supplements.

  • What are the benefits of beta-glucans in medicinal mushrooms?

    Beta glucans…

    • Stimulate the immune system
    • Help fight the cancerogenic cells (activate the triggered response in a coordinated attack on cancer cells helping to slow down the growth of cancer cells and even destroy them)
    • Increase the survival time for some people with advanced cancer
    • Regulate the blood sugar level (control diabetes)
    • Improve the cardio-vascular system
    • Beneficial for gastro-digestive system
    • Regulate the cholesterol level (by preventing the absorption of cholesterol from food in the stomach and intestines)
    • Regulate the blood pressure
    • Improve the brain functions
    • Stimulate the function of the nervous system
    • Reduce stress and anxiety
    • Increase energy level
    • Reduce fatigue and much-much more.
  • What are the changes in the immune system triggered by beta-glucans in medicinal mushrooms?

    • Stimulate the complexity of functions of the immune system
    • Mobilize the immune response against a range of cancer cells
    • Activate the suppression/inhibition of tumour metastasis
    • Boost the antibody production
    • Increase the interferon production
    • Activate the reduction in the pro-inflammatory cytokines
    • Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis
    • Release of immune-stimulating glycoproteins called fungal immuno-modulatory proteins (FIMs), specifically from Reishi mushrooms the active ganoderma polysaccharides peptide (GPP)
    • Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake and Cordyceps mushrooms contain protein-linked glucans that provide much greater immune boosting potency than the ordinary free glucans

    It’s not surprising at all that medicinal mushrooms are having such an enormous interest in scientific world. They have been extensively used in the Far East for their amazing healing properties for over 4000 years.

    In Japan alone there have been over 150,000 published research studies showing the benefits of medicinal mushrooms as dietary supplements.

    For over 30 years now Japan has been using medicinal mushrooms as recognised anti-cancer and anti-tumour treatment. 

    The most important element in medicinal mushrooms in not so much the content of polysaccharides, but rather the amount of beta glucans because it is the beta glucans that dictate the efficacy and the potency of the supplement.

    Unfortunately, most mushrooms producers focus on increasing the measurements of polysaccharides by growing their mushrooms on such substrates like starch. The starch gets easily absorbed into the mushrooms and that in turn increases the count of polysaccharides with a high level of alpha glucans (starch).

    In these supplements the beta glucans are very low, and accordingly the supplements are of a very low nutritional value.

    The content of beta-glucans can also depend on the growing conditions and the degree of fruiting body maturity of mushrooms. If the mushrooms are harvested too early, before they fully mature, the nutrients will be at a low level.

  • Medicinal mushrooms such as Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Maitake, Reishi and Shiitake in MediMushrooms range…

    • contain a high level of beta glucans
    • are grown in their indigenous environment (not on grains)
    • without use of any growth stimulating agents
    • free of any harmful pollutants
    • are harvested at full maturity

    The above makes them exceptional in delivering the best bio-active nutritional value.

    Please let me know if you have any more questions about beta glucans and I will be happy to answer.

    Warm regards,
    Dr Alla.