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Mushrooms Could Enhance a Person's Immune System, Says Study

Image for representational purpose only (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

Image for representational purpose only (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

A new study now suggests that mushrooms may help strengthen a person's immune system.

A new study now suggests that mushrooms may help strengthen a person's immune system. The study, conducted by scientists from Griffith University, Queensland, saw scientists discover that a special blend of shiitake, reishi, and maitake (three types of mushrooms) can improve the response of white blood cells in the human body, reported Daily Mail.

The study, originally published in the journal PLOS One, saw scientists selecting the three commercially available types of mushroom with high levels of beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are a type of carbohydrate found in cell walls of fungi and edibles like oats, the report added.

According to the scientists, when eaten, the immune system sees beta-glucens as foreign, thus increasing the body's defense against them.

The report added that studies have shown that beta-glucans can lower blood cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels thus enhancing the immune system.

Researchers blended the three mushrooms and tested it on human blood cells in a lab environment. They found that it stimulated macrophages, a type of white blood cells that finds out and destroys bacteria and other harmful organisms.

The team led by research student Brody Mallard, further saw, an increase in cytokines, body particles that help in communication between cells, indicating that the mushrooms acted as an immune system stimulant.

According to the scientists, in the study, funded by Integria Healthcare Australia, this is the first time mushroom's ability to trigger the immune system has been recorded.

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