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Medicinal Mushrooms – Effective Against COVID‐19 Symptoms?

Jamie Sukroo - 20 Jan 2021

Medicinal Mushrooms – Effective Against COVID‐19 Symptoms?

An interesting review of the antimicrobial and anti‐inflammatory properties of Agaricus Blazei Murill, Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus) and Grifola frondosa mushrooms appeared in the Scandanavian Journal of Immunology on 13 July 2020:

PLEASE NOTE – Geir Hetland (one of the 4 authors of this study) is a cofounder and shareholder of Immunopharma. Immunopharma had no other role than providing Andosan™ (a Mushroom drink containing Agaricus Blazei, Lion’s Mane and a little Grifola Frondosa) free of charge for the studies referred to.

Key points from the study:

  1. All 3 mushrooms “..have been shown to exert antimicrobial activity against viral agents, Gram‐positive and Gram‐negative bacteria, and parasites in vitro and in vivo…the mechanism is immunomodulatory and not antibiotical…[so they] should be active against multi‐drug resistant microbes as well…they may be suited for treatment of the severe lung inflammation that often follows COVID‐19 infection…”
  2. The mushroom drink referred to in the study (Andosan) which predominantly contains Agaricus Blazei with 15% Lions Mane and 3% Grifola Frondosa “…has been used in three placebo‐controlled randomized clinical trials as supplement to regular treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); ulcerative colitis (UC) (50 patients) and Crohn’s disease (CD) (50 patients),911 multiple myeloma (MM)12 (40 patients) and pollen allergy and asthma13 (60 blood donors) without adverse effects…”
  3. All 3 mushrooms have several studies showing their anti-viral properties against a range of different viruses including Wee virus, Polio, Influenza, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, and Dengue!
  4. They also have many studies documenting anti-microbial effects against bacteria and parasites such as Streptococcus, and Helicobacter Pylori.
  5. Other studies show the Anti-inflammatory responses by reducing pro-inflammatory Cytokines, and reduced TNFa, IL6 and IL-1B.
  6. The last blog we did on COVID-19 we documented it’s effect on the body such as “…Increased: IL-6, TNFa, IFNy, TH1 Adaptive Response, and Coaguability, plus decreased ACE2 expression…” Also those seriously ill from COVID-19 “…developed lymphopenia and pneumonia and in severe cases also high levels of proinflammatory cytokines.14 This is similar to the ‘cytokine storm’ observed in SARS,1516 …” There appears to be some positive overlap here (the mushroom extracts studied appear to downgrade or reverse some of the worst COVID-19 effects!)
  7. As the effect of mushroom extracts are not antibiotical (like antibiotics) but immunomodulatory (modulate your body’s own immune system) they “…should be as effective against antibiotic‐resistant bacteria as against antibiotic‐sensitive bacteria. This aspect is especially interesting in context with the grave COVID‐19 situation that has been experienced in Northern Italy and Spain, where pneumonia superinfection with multi‐resistant bacteria may be an additive cause of death. …Non‐digestible carbohydrates with prebiotic effect, such as β‐glucan polysaccharides from medicinal mushrooms, stimulate growth of gut microbes that are favourable to the host’s health, and spur on the production of SCFA, which energize anaerobic gut microbes, suppress pathogens (eg Salmonella sp.) and improve host immunity.95…”

Some interesting findings from our friendly medicinal mushrooms…

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