By Jason Mitchell
The body is its own best doctor, and if proper nutritional support is provided, the body can often heal itself. The right nutritional supplements can boost the immune system’s ability to help the body’s natural healing process.
Stressing our Best Defence
Every day, our bodies come in contact with numerous types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. When exposed to these detrimental organisms, our bodies automatically trigger an immune response; this is the body’s way of defending itself. The immune system operates by identifying a detrimental foreign body (known as an antigen) and destroying it. When antigens are not destroyed, we may become ill.
North American diets generally include large amounts of processed and refined foods that contain potentially harmful chemicals, preservatives, trans fats, and genetically modified organisms. In addition, prescription and over-the-counter medications combined with inactivity and other harmful lifestyle choices put tremendous stress on the body, compromising its ability to defend us against harmful antigens.
Mushrooms to the Rescue
Many nutrients have been found to boost the immune system. Zinc, vitamin C, echinacea, NAC, and elderberry are well-known; unfortunately, most people don’t begin to take these nutrients until they are already sick.
Chinese medicinal mushrooms maitake, shiitake, and reishi are safe and effective to use preventively every day. These three mushrooms have been studied for their ability to trigger the immune system to be on the alert for incoming antigens.
Extracts of maitake mushrooms, in particular, have been shown to have the longest positive impact on the immune system. Maitake extract has been studied not only for its role in fighting off colds and flu but also for defence against cancer and HIV. Research on malignant tumours in mice showed an 86-percent reduction in malignant tumour tissue using maitake extract. The extract works by activating lymphatic NK cells, T-cells, macrophages, and monocytes, cells which function as soldiers that essentially seek out, identify, and destroy harmful antigens.
In this very toxic world, proper nutritional and immune support is important. Chinese medical mushrooms, especially maitake, may prove to be among our most powerful immune-support allies.
About the Author
Jason Mitchell is currently working on his ND from Trinity College of Natural Health. He is director of product development and education at Country Life Vitamins.
Source: Mushroom Power – Alive