Based on the current evidence available there are three medicinal mushrooms which stand out for their immune boosting and immunomodulating properties.

The term immunomodulation refers to the ability of a medicinal mushroom compound to respond to what the body needs. For example, whether the body needs an immune boost, calming down, or restoring to normal levels.

Reishi

Ganoderm lucidum

The polysaccharides found within the fruiting body of Reishi have been shown to calm the immune response in patients with overactive immune systems or autoimmune conditions. Clinical human trials show supplementation of Reishi increases levels of immune cells within the blood.

Maitake

Grifola fondosa

Maitake has been shown to be particularly effective at boosting the immune system and has been studied for its antitumor benefits. Specifically, the beta-glucans and alpha-glucans of Maitake elevate Natural Killer cell (NK) activity. NK cells are involved in destroying rogue cells and therefore suggested as a supplement for cancer patients and tumor prevention. Of particular scientific interest because of its immune stimulating effect is an alkali-soluble, hot water extractable compound called ‘D-fraction’,

Turkey Tail

Trametes versicolour

In cancer patients undergoing treatments that suppress the immune system, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, supplementation of Turkey Tail mushroom extracts has been shown to help support immune function and improve patient survival rates.  Of particular interest are two polysaccharide proteins known as PSK and PSP both of which have been shown to significantly improve survival rates in cancer patients because of the improvement in immune function.