Reishi mushrooms (aka. Ganoderma lucidum) are a native fungus to several humid and hot areas throughout the Asian continent. Thanks to globalization, reishi mushroom extract supplements are available in most Western vitamin and nutrition stores.
People take reishi mushrooms because they possess several health benefits. Below are the top five reasons to consume reishi mushrooms to benefit your health.
1) Improves Your Antioxidant Status
Antioxidants are essential for preventing and repairing cell damage in the body. New research studies found that consuming reishi mushrooms may improve your body’s antioxidant status, blood sugar management, and HDL cholesterol levels. These recent studies contrast older studies which suggested that consuming reishi mushrooms cause no improvement in these areas. But it turns out they do.
2) Enhances Your Immune System
Some test-tube-based studies revealed that consuming reishi mushrooms can positively impact the genes of white blood cells in your body. The immune system depends on white blood cells to find and destroy foreign invaders like viruses. Based on the studies, reishi mushrooms could potentially increase white blood cell counts and make it easier and faster for them to locate foreign invaders before they do significant damage to the body.
Unfortunately, other studies found that consuming reishi mushroom extract supplements did not impact the immune system or reduce inflammation. More research studies need to take place for a more conclusive determination. But since some studies show a positive impact on white blood cells after consuming reishi mushrooms, they may be worth trying to see if they help your immune system.
3) Prevent Cancer Development
Reishi mushrooms may have anticancer properties to help you reduce or prevent the likelihood of developing cancer. According to many test-tube studies into the matter, evidence shows that reishi mushrooms could have the potential to destroy cancer cells before they spread too much.
There have also been a few research studies showing reishi mushrooms may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties in the mushrooms.
Health experts believe that cancer patients could benefit from consuming reishi mushrooms because of their proven ability to increase white blood cell activity in the body. Of course, they also need to receive their conventional cancer treatment in conjunction with the mushrooms. There are some HPV supplements such as HPD Rx ONE that contain up to 500 mg of organic reishi.
As a result, combining reishi mushroom consumption with conventional treatment could increase your likelihood of overcoming or slowing down cancer. These claimed benefits are not absolute. More research is needed to confirm their validity with more certainty.
4) Reduce Depression and Tiredness
An old research study looked at approximately 132 participants with neurasthenia and the effects of reishi mushrooms on the condition. Neurasthenia is a condition that causes numerous unwanted symptoms like dizziness, pains, aches, irritation, fatigue, and headaches.
The study showed that reishi mushroom extract supplements reduced fatigue and irritation in the participants after consuming them for eight weeks.
In a 2012 study involving participants with breast cancer, reishi mushroom powder supplements reduced their depression, anxiety, and fatigue after consuming them for four weeks.
Reishi mushroom supplements may reduce other kinds of health conditions, but there are no additional research studies to cite to prove this theory. More research needs to be done to see if reishi mushrooms can reduce or eliminate other health conditions.
5) Balanced Blood Sugar and a Health Heart
Numerous research studies have focused on the effectiveness of reishi mushrooms on people with good and bad levels of lipids and blood sugar. These studies concluded that reishi mushrooms help decrease triglyceride levels, increase HDL cholesterol levels, and decrease blood sugar levels.
Other studies failed to find any effect on triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels after consuming reishi mushroom supplements. So, it is clear that more research is needed to see if reishi mushrooms have a higher rate of lowering blood sugar and HDL cholesterol levels.
Reishi Mushroom Supplement Type Could Matter
Different reishi mushroom types have various dosage recommendations. For example, a dried reishi mushroom extract requires a ten times smaller dose than if you were to consume the mushroom whole. That would mean 5 grams of reishi mushroom extract has a similar effect as 50 grams.
Generally, the recommendation is to consume between 1.5 to 9 grams of mushroom extract daily. Different mushroom extract products will have varying dosage recommendations within this range.
Reishi Mushroom Side Effects
Many people probably wonder if consuming reishi mushroom extract will cause any unwanted side effects. The good news is that most people shouldn’t experience any side effects if consuming the extract in moderation.
Some research studies determined that people have a two time greater chance of developing minor side effects after consuming reishi mushrooms for 120 days. Other research studies involving healthy adults determined that consuming reishi mushroom extract for about one month did not cause any damage or severe effects on their kidneys or liver.
Unfortunately, many case studies reported serious liver problems in people after consuming reishi mushrooms for a long time. But additional factors were involved in those studies that may have influenced the results.
Health experts do not recommend reishi mushroom extract for people who take certain medications, such as immunosuppressants or anticoagulants. If you have questions about the potential effects of reishi mushrooms on your health, consult your primary care physician for more personalized information about this.
Overall, many studies have shown that reishi mushrooms can boost the health and strength of the immune system. The fungus could even potentially treat cancer by reducing the number and size of the cancerous tumors. However, many research studies did not find any improvement in blood pressure, antioxidant status, and cholesterol levels.