As a new business owner, and a father of 2 small children I can’t get sick – it simply isn’t an option to communicate with customers or psychotic children with a throbbing headache and a sore throat. If I even begin to intuitively sense that I’m getting sick (I jump at the slightest of signs), I head right to the hard stuff; fungi extracts.

Yes, there are those that use oregano oil, vitamin C, ACES formulas, and herbs such as echinacea and astragalus; and although I agree with such strategies, I can’t afford to have something good – I need something GREAT.

Enter the mushrooms, more specifically mushroom extracts made from fungi such as reishi, shitake, maitake, cordyceps, and even pure yeast. Collectively, they contain a number of different compounds that affect the immune system, but most notably its glucan; a polysaccharide similar to sugars and starches, and it exists in a variety of forms of both the alpha and beta varieties. Just so happens that a number of fungi are extremely rich in just the right kinds.

Fungus by Richard Taylor licensed under CC BY 2.0

While I (and many other of our patients, customers, and friends) have experienced the wondrous benefits of glucan-rich fungi first hand, let’s look at some of the details.

Glucans have demonstrated strong antibacterial defense to a number of bacterial strains (but not all), and have also been shown to increase host survival to even mega strains like MRSA. A number of animal studies have also found antiviral effects, increased host survivability and shortened recovery time against a variety of flu strains such as H1N1, bird flu (H5N1) and West Nile virus. Cancer studies? Don’t even get me started on how awesome they are.

While much mystery still remains, glucans claim to fame is their ability to significantly increase immune cell activity – specifically NK (natural killer) cell activity, and a variety of lymphocytes and macrophages. A number of other side-benefits including anti-parasitic, anti-oxidant and immune-modulatory effects have also been reported.

Let me be frank here; the last time I was sick I was deathly ill on a Saturday (at which point I started taking my go-to fungi supplement), enjoyed a trip to an amusement park on Sunday, and was back to normal (and work) on Monday. How’s that for a turn-around! As mentioned before, my results are not unusual – many of our customers and patients are big supporters as well.

So why even bother with the likes of oregano oil, vitamin D and the like? Well, the only downside to fungi extracts is cost. While regular ol’ mushroom supplements are reasonably priced, many of the more standardized and well researched products are considerably more expensive and thus not exactly an impulse-purchase for most people. For me and many others however, it’s worth every single penny.

For tips on choosing the best ones, stop by for a visit!