Supercharge Your Immune System with Mushrooms

mushrooms immune system, chaga, long tail, boost immune system

Supercharge Your Immune System with Mushrooms

The healthier your immune system is, the stronger it will be. Consistently nourishing the body with vitamins and minerals and keeping it hydrated will strengthen the immune system.

Also, using immune-boosters and immune-modulators may boost the immune system. In the case of immune-modulators, mushrooms stand out.

Ancient civilizations like Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese used mushrooms to fight infections and various diseases.

Mushrooms provide nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins B, C, D, E, and minerals such as potassium and selenium. In addition to these substances, mushrooms contain certain compounds that act as immune modulators, helping to modify or regulate the immune system.

One of these immune-modulatory compounds is β-Glucan, the first-class polysaccharide. It may enhance immune function, prevent or reduce infections, and potentially lower cancer risk because it interacts with various immune cells.

Some of the mushrooms with exceptional immune-modulation impact are described in more detail below:



shiitake, mushrooms, mushrooms boost immune system, immune health

Shiitake is a commonly consumed mushroom in Asia that provides a rich source of vitamins B, D, and selenium, all of which are antioxidants that may protect the body from an excess of free radicals. 

This mushroom also provides the body with seven essential amino acids. It may boost the immune system and defend against inflammation. 

In research studies, it killed tumor cells by “induction of apoptosis” (i.e., normal or controlled cell death). They are also considered very potent antibiotics that only destroy harmful bacteria.



turkey tail, mushrooms boost immune system

Turkey tail mushrooms may protect the body from carcinogens, defend against breast cancer, and boost the functions of macrophages and natural killer cells in the immune system. 

These immune-boosting effects result from Polysaccharide-K (PSK), a commonly tested and used extract for cancer therapy in Asian countries like Japan, which approved it for cancer therapy.


reishi, mushrooms, mushrooms boost immune system

The Reishi mushroom promotes the production of Natural killer cells and may help in HIV
and Mononucleosis treatment.


In addition to potentially enhancing exercise performance, this edible mushroom may boost the immune system. 

Cordyceps may interrupt the synthesis of nucleic acids. As a result, it may limit tumor growth by inhibiting RNA. This process could be helpful in the treatment of cancer. Cordyceps may also reduce the symptoms of asthma as well as autoimmune disorders.


Maitake mushrooms are known for their flavor but may also boost the immune system. They are rich in β-Glucan, which could enhance the function of macrophages and killer T-cells.

Final Thoughts

Apart from the mushrooms listed, others promote the body’s immune functions and enhance the nutritional status of one’s diet.

For example, mushrooms like Tremella, Lion’s Mane, and Chaga may help strengthen the immune system.

Ultimately, consuming these mushrooms may provide more nutrients to your immune system and give it the boost it needs.

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Other References

Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology;

Immunol Invest. 2003 Aug;32(3):201-15.; Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients
Yihuai Gao 1 , Shufeng Zhou, Wenqi Jiang, Min Huang, Xihu Dai;

Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Mar;6(3):499-508; Monitoring of immune responses to a herbal immuno-modulator in patients with advanced colorectal cancer
Xiao Chen 1 , Ze-Ping Hu, Xiao-Xia Yang, Min Huang;

Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Jan 1; 17(1): 67–76.; Polysaccharide Krestin is a novel TLR2 agonist that mediates inhibition of tumor growth via stimulation of CD8 T cells and NK cells
Hailing Lu, Yi Yang,1 Ekram Gad;

Shiitake happens: Mushrooms to play key role in immunity nutrition and health, concludes report; 18-Aug-2021 By Will Chu

Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms – WebMD;

Basket of reishi mushrooms that bolster the immune system; Issue: Aug 2014
Fight Immune Decline With Reishi – Life Extension Magazine;

Many Mushrooms Effectively Support Immunity;

How Mushrooms Could Boost Your Immune System;

Mushrooms boost immunity, suggests research;

Top 8 Mushrooms For Immune Health;

5 Mushrooms to Balance the Immune System;

Mushroom magic: why the latest health fad might be on to something;

The Best Mushrooms to Boost Immune System;

Beta Glucan for boosting your immune system; DATE Updated December 27, 2019;

Published: 10 June 2009; The effects of β-glucan on human immune and cancer cells; Godfrey Chi-Fung Chan, Wing Keung Chan & Daniel Man-Yuen Sze
Journal of Hematology & Oncology volume 2, Article number: 25 (2009);

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 May;56(5):822-33.; β-Glucans are involved in immune-modulation of THP-1 macrophages; Wasaporn Chanput;

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Nov;13(6):656-61.; Immune modulating effects of β-glucan; E Angela Murphy 1, J Mark Davis, Martin D Carmichael;

Medicinal Mushrooms (PDQ®): Integrative, alternative, and complementary therapies – Patient Information [NCI]
Michigan Medicine; University of Michigan;

UF/IFAS study: Mushrooms boost immunity; University of Florida; By Brad Buck;

March 2020 Issue; Vol. 22, No. 3, P. 14; Integrative Nutrition: Mushrooms as Medicine; By Jamie Santa Cruz; Today’s Dietitian;

Front. Pharmacol., 16 September 2020; Mushrooms-Rich Preparations on Wound Healing: From Nutritional to Medicinal Attributes; Javad Sharifi-Rad1*, Monica Butnariu2, Shahira M. Ezzat3

Bing Du Xue Bao . 2016 Jul;32(4):417-22.; [In Vitro Anti-HIV-1 Activity of Cordyceps sinensis Extracts]; Ying Zhu, Li Ma, Qin Hu, Jingtao Li, Yulong Chen, Runqing Jia, Sisi Shen, Yi Zeng

RNA’s role in cancer growth and treatment resistance; September 15, 2020; by CTCA
Center Treatment Centers of America;

ribonucleic acid (RNA);

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