Reishi Mushroom, the King of Mushrooms 

Mushrooms have been used as food or traditionally used as medicine since 5000 BC. Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), known as the King of Mushrooms, is a fungus that grows in humid and hot regions of Asia. Reishi is provided in a powdered extract or tea, which has been used in studies to determine its pharmacological functions and safety (Yang Y et al, 2019). 

Reishi has been shown to contain over 400 bioactive compounds. Those bioactives identified have included triterpenoids, amino acids, proteins, alkaloids, polysaccharides, steroids, fatty acids and nucleosides (Yang Y et al, 2019). Although, it is the polysaccharides and triterpenoids that have been studied the most because of their bioactivity. 

It has been shared by investigators that Reishi with its special bioactives can extend lifespan (Wang J et al, 2017). Also, even though Reishi has been around for thousands of years, research shows that the elongation of lifespan is “only the tip of the iceberg” (Wang J et al, 2017). 

Aging is associated with a decline in bodily physiological function. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) overburdens the body, which leads to changes in enzymes involved with antioxidant properties. This causes enzyme’s structures and activities to change. These changes also cause mitochondrial problems in the aging cells. Reishi as an extract has demonstrated to help protect against ROS in the brain, heart and liver in animal research (Wang J et al, 2017). Reishi has antioxidant properties and provides support to the inflammatory response in the body. It has been administered to help the nervous, respiratory and immune systems. 

Helps to protect the liver 

It has been shown that Reishi has the ability to protect the liver and has been studied extensively (Wu JG et al, 2016). 

The liver is critically important in detoxifying the body and is vital to life. It removes toxins and metabolizes proteins, fats and carbohydrates. 

It has been shown that Reishi’s bioactives help to protect liver cells by preventing lipid peroxidation, increasing antioxidant enzyme activity and diminishing cell death, and helps the body with the inflammatory response (Liu YJ et al, 2015). Human research is necessary to evaluate further. 

Energy and Mood 

There are some studies that have evaluated Reishi for its ability to reduce fatigue and depression. One 8 week human study with 132 subjects evaluated Reishi’s effects on individuals with nerve related problems (Tang W et al, 2005). The study showed that individuals taking Reishi had reduced fatigue and improved well-being. 

Animal research has been performed to observe Reishi’s effect on mood and anxiety (Matsuzaki H et al, 2013). A particular Reishi extract was provided to animals 60 minutes before a swimming test that was set up as an anxiety and fear model. Providing Reishi showed an antidepressant-like effect. 

As with any supplement, if one has a health condition and/or are on medication, it is best to talk to their physician before use. 

In summary, mushrooms have been used traditionally for many health benefits. Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is a fungus that grows in humid regions of Asia. Reishi, along with its bioactives may help extend lifespan, reduce fatigue, improve health and well-being and support immune and liver function.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not for advertising purposes. 

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