People get pretty passionate about mushrooms—whether they’re chefs, amateur growers or supplement makers. (I got pretty passionate myself a month ago, when my gourmet friend gently sautéed up a selection of rare fungi from our local Colorado producer, Hazel Dell Mushrooms. Mmmm.)
But despite their succulence, their wealth of bioactive compounds (antioxidants, polysaccharides, vitamin D), and their traditional benefits ascribed by Traditional Chinese Medicine to mushroom extracts like maitake and shiitake—solid clinical trials have been in fairly short supply.
So I imagine the mushroom supplement manufacturers I interviewed for an article in the upcoming March 2012 issue of Natural Foods Merchandiser—New Chapter, MycoFormulas, Fungi Perfecti—are excited about a new study published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies.
A new study found that two proprietary multi-mushroom-compound blends may have beneficial effects on breast cancer cells and prostate cancer cells in the lab.
Researchers said more research is needed. But this adds to a growing body of initial research that has found reishi, oyster, shiitake (often fermented), and even button mushrooms have shown significant beneficial immune-enhancing properties.
Have you tried mushroom supplements for immunity or other health goals? What’s your take on their effectiveness? Please comment below—I'd love to hear from you!