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How Beta Glucans in Mushrooms Strengthen the Body’s Immune System

By Mack Shepperson Subscribe to RSS | April 19th 2012 | Views:
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Mushrooms are a large family of fungi found mostly in wooded places around the world. There are about 40,000 species of mushrooms, 50 percent of which are edible. The rest of the species are poisonous, therefore people who are interested of discovering new recipes using a kind of mushroom as a primary ingredient must be very careful.

A myriad of mushroom species have already been priced in Japanese and Chinese herbology as medicinal mushrooms. Researchers around the world continue studying on the health benefits of mushrooms and other unique qualities. One ability common to most mushroom species is boosting the body’s immune system. There are countless research works about mushrooms that proved how its content can combat pathogens in the body to the point of generating immunity.

Mushrooms have high content of beta glucans, which helps improve the body’s immune system. Beta glucans are polysaccharides of D-glucose monomers that occur naturally in the cellulose of plants and in the cell wall of some fungi, mushroom, and bacteria. They consist of millions of bonded glucose molecules which, after processing, may produce a hypoglycemic effect on the consumer.

Beta glucans are used as texturing agents and as soluble fiber supplements that cleanse the digestive system after regular intake. This vital substance is commonly found in yeast and in the bran of some grains, such as oats, barley, and wheat. Beta glucans in mushrooms are richer and have tumoricidal effects, increasing the helpful effects of chemotherapy on cancer cells.

The immune system-boosting property of beta glucans is induced when the mushroom extract like Maitake gold is taken on an empty stomach. That way, the entrocytes that facilitate the transportation of beta glucans across the intestinal cell wall will be upheaved. As the beta glucans begin to interact with the macrophages, the immune system’s functions also begin to activate. Thus, the body’s response to infection-causing pathogens and viruses is improved.

The only way for the human body to remain disease-free is to maintain an active immune system. The beta glucans in mushroom extract turned into supplements like Maitake gold activate the T-cells, also known as natural killer (NK) cells or lymphocytes. The major role of T-cells is in cell-mediated immunity, the immune response that involves the activation of natural killer cells and various cytokines.

To learn more about beta glucans in mushroom supplements like Maitake gold you can visit WebMD.com. This website provides additional information about the content of prominent medicines and supplements, including those from mushroom extracts.

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