COVID-19: Improve Protection with Mushrooms

Updated: Apr 16



Wouldn't it be easy to increase your protection from COVID-19 by simply eating a commonly available food?


You can easily achieve this with mushrooms.


In this article you are going to find out how mushrooms can strengthen your first line of defense against any virus and how often you should eat them for best results.


MUSHROOMS


A great claim has been made by scientists:


Many kinds of mushrooms have the potential to provide us with the next generation of antibiotics, to reduce environmental pollution, and even produce our fuel.


That's not all:


They even go as far as stating they are one of the great untapped resources of nature. (1)

That sounds amazing, but:


Can our little fungi friends boost our immune system, while simultaneously taking care of pollution?


Mushrooms can offer a host of health benefits and have ANTIVIRAL AND ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES on top of that. (2), (3)



They do seem magical...


Unless you are intolerant.

In that case the only 'trips' you will be taking are to the restroom.


How can mushrooms improve our immune response to viruses?

Mushrooms have 2 ways of doing that:


  1. By supplying you with prebiotics to feed your microbiome (more on that here)

  2. By increasing secretory IgA (4)


As discussed in "5 Ways to Protect Yourself from COVID-19, Hardly Anyone Talks About, But SHOULD" almost all infections are initiated at the moist or mucosal surfaces.


Where are these surfaces located?


In or on your eyes, nose, mouth and the inner lining of your digestive tract.


And what does secretory IgA do?


Secretory IgA protects these mucosal surfaces...


...by neutralizing viruses and preventing them from playing cliffhanger on the surface. (5), (6)


At least one of the compounds in mushrooms, called beta glucan, is responsible for the ability to increase secretory IgA, as lots of trials have demonstrated beta glucan supplements can do exactly that.

There could be other compounds involved, but what is clear is:


Mushrooms can enhance the immune response to viruses and foreign invaders. (4), (7), (8), (10), (11)


But that's not all:


They also show immune enhancing effects among cancer patients during chemotherapy:


"How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Vegetables, Fruits and Mushrooms"


The immune system of cancer patients is particularly vulnerable during these treatments. (1), (2)


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Beta glucan in nutritional yeast


Beta glucan derived from 2 different mushrooms have even been licensed as successful drugs in Japan, (11) because they clearly saw that beta glucan had something to offer.


Beta glucan is also found in yeasts, such as nutritional yeast.


Nutritional yeast is commercially sold and often touted as a health food, due to its beta glucan content.


It may have favorable effects in this form as well, but there is one problem:


It's not easy to find independant, unbiased research.


Unbiased means that the studies aren't funded by the (supplement) companies that stand to gain from positive outcomes.



What quantity of mushroom do you need?


A very interesting study showed some remarkable results:


People that participated in the study ate 100 grams of fresh white button mushrooms daily for a week. That's only a few average sized mushrooms a day.


Guess what happened?


Their protective IgA raised by more than 50%. (4)


But that's not the best part...


Their IgA didn't drop for 2 weeks after they stopped eating mushrooms!


That means that any increase in IgA remains in effect for some time.


Regular consumption seems therefore the most beneficial.

Aim for at least a few times a week to keep in that regularity.


Other kinds of mushrooms also have immune benefits, so eat any kind you like.

If you do like different kinds, it's always a good thing to vary.


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Bottom line:


If you like or tolerate mushrooms, try to include some into your diet.

Have them at least a few times a week.


Whole foods like mushrooms are preferred over nutritional yeast:


They contain the 'immune booster' beta glucan and countless of other nutrients on top of that.


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References:


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5220184/

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/

  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13225-019-00430-9

  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22113068

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538205/

  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21446352

  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6056353/

  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24948193

  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30317947

  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500627/

  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6479769/

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