The Reishi mushroom, also known as Lingzhi (Ganoderma Lucidum) has long been revered as a unique and special herb with a long list of beneficial medicinal properties. It has been used for over 2,000 years in Japan and China. In fact, Lingzhi in Chinese means “herb of spiritual potency” and has been long known in ancient Eastern medicine as the "mushroom of immortality" or the "medicine of kings".
Historically Reishi has been very scarce and hence very valuable. In the wild Reishi can only be found in ideal growing conditions said to be on only 2-3 of 10,000 of the trees capable of hosting the growth of the mushroom. In ancient times those who discovered a Reishi mushroom kept the location secret due to the value of the find. And no wonder, considering that the Reishi mushroom was said to be have properties that influenced happiness, a good future, good health, and longevity.
The medicinal value of Reishi had been said to be documented in the oldest Chinese pharmacopoeia dating back to the first or second century B.C. Reishi, even then, ranked as the #1 herb when compared to 350 others. For many hundreds of years attempts to make cultivation feasible for commercial production was attempted without success.
It was only since a discovery in 1972 by a Japanese farmer that led to what is now widespread availability of Reishi. This farmer discovered how to grow Reishi in controlled conditions which eventually led to the commercial farming of Reishi. So, it is only recently that the benefits of the Reishi mushroom have become widely available.
Reishi mushroom, in its medicinal form, an extract of the mushroom (the actual mushroom has a very wood-like texture and is not very tasty), contains a complex mix of substances that are instrumental to its benefits. In fact, there are over 200 different substances found in Reishi mushrooms that are thought to work in synergy, benefiting the immune system. One of the most important of these is the polysaccharide. Concentrated polysaccharides within the extract act on cells of the immune system, creating an immune modulating (regulating) effect. The Reishi mushroom extract in IMMUNITY-FX® contains a minimum of 15% polysaccharides.
There have been many studies that support the immune enhancing properties of the Reishi mushroom. Many of the studies can be found on PubMed which is a collection of scientific studies compiled as a service of the US National Library of Medicine. Studies published include:
Lin ZB, Zhang HN (November 2004). "Anti-tumor and immunoregulatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum and its possible mechanisms". Acta Pharmacol. Sin. 25 (11): 1387–95. PMID 15525457.
Abstract: Ganoderma lucidum (G lucidum) is a medicinal fungus with a variety of biological activities. It has long been used as a folk remedy for promotion of health and longevity in China and other oriental countries. The most attractive character of this kind of medicinal fungus is its immunomodulatory and anti-tumor activities. Large numbers of studies have shown that G lucidum modulate many components of the immune system such as the antigen-presenting cells, NK cells, T and B lymphocytes. The water extract and the polysaccharides fraction of G lucidum exhibited significant anti-tumor effect in several tumor-bearing animals mainly through its immunoenhancing activity. Recent studies also showed that the alcohol extract or the triterpene fraction of G lucidum possessed anti-tumor effect, which seemed to be related to the cytotoxic activity against tumor cells directly. Preliminary study indicated that antiangiogenic effect may be involved antitumor activity of G lucidum.
Kuo MC, Weng CY, Ha CL, Wu MJ (January 2006). "Ganoderma lucidum mycelia enhance innate immunity by activating NF-kappaB". J Ethnopharmacol 103 (2): 217–22. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.08.010. PMID 16169168.
Abstract: Ganoderma lucidum is a popular medicinal mushroom in China and Japan for its immunomodulatory and antitumor effects. The goal of this research is to investigate the effect of dried mycelia of Ganoderma lucidum produced by submerged cultivation on the enhancement of innate immune response. We found that Ganoderma lucidum mycelia (0.2–1.6 mg/ml) stimulated TNF-α and IL-6 production after 8 h treatment in human whole blood. IFN-γ release from human whole blood was also enhanced after 3 day-culture with Ganoderma lucidum mycelia (0.2–1.0 mg/ml). However, Ganoderma lucidum mycelia did not potentiate nitric oxide production in RAW264.7 cells. To better understand the possible immuno-enhancement mechanisms involved, we focused on nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that the Ganoderma lucidum mycelia (1.6 mg/ml) activated κB DNA binding activity in RAW264.7 cells. These results provide supporting evidences for the immunomodulatory effect of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia.
Polysaccharide purified from Ganoderma lucidum induces gene expression changes in human dendritic cells and promotes T helper 1 immune response in BALB/c mice.Lin YL, Lee SS, Hou SM, Chiang BL.Mol Pharmacol. 2006 Aug;70(2):637-44. Epub 2006 May 2.PMID: 16670374 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE
Abstract: Ganoderma lucidum is a medicinal mushroom in China and other Asian countries. The polysaccharide from G. lucidum (PS-G) is a branched (1-->6)-beta-d-glucan moiety. In this study, we examined the effects of PS-G on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) with microarray analysis by Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip. In comparing mean signal values between PS-G-treated DCs with untreated DCs, 3477 (17%) probe sets were up-regulated, and 4418 (19%) probe sets were down-regulated after PS-G treatment. These results demonstrate that genes associated with phagocytosis (CD36, CD206, and CD209) are decreased and genes associated with proinflammatory chemokines (CCL20, CCL5, and CCL19), cytokines [interleukin (IL)-27, IL-23A, IL-12A, and IL-12B], and costimulatory molecules (CD40, CD54, CD80, and CD86) are increased. To confirm the microarray data, we further investigated the effect of PS-G on antigen-specific antibody and cytokine production in BALB/c mice. Immunization with ovalbumin (OVA)/PS-G showed that the anti-OVA IgG2a levels were significantly increased compared with OVA alone in BALB/c mice. Together, our data demonstrate that PS-G could effectively promote the activation and maturation of immature DCs, preferring a T helper 1 response. Furthermore, the results also demonstrate that the data from microarray analysis could be correlated with the in vivo effect of the immune-enhancing compound.
Ganoderma lucidum mycelium and spore extracts as natural adjuvants for immunotherapy.Chan WK, Lam DT, Law HK, Wong WT, Koo MW, Lau AS, Lau YL, Chan GC.J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Dec;11(6):1047-57.PMID: 16398597 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE
Abstract: Ganoderma lucidum (GL) is one of the most commonly used Chinese herbs in the oriental community, with more than 30% of pediatric cancer patients taking GL. The immunomodulating and anticancer effects exerted by GL extracts have been demonstrated by in vitro and in vivo studies. There was, however, no comparison between the immunomodulating effects of GL mycelium extract (GL-M) and spore extracts on human immune cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells and their role in DC-based tumor vaccine has been well defined. The possibility of GL as natural adjuvant for human DCs remains unknown. DESIGN: This study explored the differential effect of GL-M and GL spore extract (GL-S) on proliferation and Th1/Th2 cytokine mRNA expression of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and monocytes. Their effects on the phenotypic and functional maturation of human monocyte-derived DCs were also investigated. RESULTS: GL-M induced the proliferation of PBMCs and monocytes, whereas GL-S showed a mild suppressive effect. Both extracts could stimulate Th1 and Th2 cytokine mRNA expression, but GL-M was a relatively stronger Th1 stimulator. Different from GL-S, GL-M enhanced maturation of DCs in terms of upregulation of CD40, CD80, and CD86, and also reduced fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran endocytosis. Interestingly, GLM- treated DCs only modestly enhanced lymphocyte proliferation in allogenic mixed lymphocyte culture with mild enhancement in Th development. CONCLUSION: These findings provide evidences that GL-M has immunomodulating effects on human immune cells and therefore can be used as a natural adjuvant for cancer immunotherapy with DCs.
It is common knowledge that the immune system weakens as we age which is one of the reasons for the increase in chronic diseases in older people. This can be compounded by the stress of our daily lives which seems to be getting more and more intense in today’s fast paced society. So, the need to support the immune system cannot be underestimated.
It is the combination of the 2 active ingredients in IMMUNITY-FX, Reishi extract and CVT-E002TM, that will make IMMUNITY-FX an exciting addition to your daily supplement regimen. Both ingredients work to enhance innate immunity (the immune system we are born with), as well as adaptive immunity (the one we acquire over a lifetime). However, Reishi works on different cell types and molecular targets than CVT-E002. In other words, the two ingredients work in a complementary manner to enhance and modulate your immune system.