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Research Studies Showing the Benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms for Immune Health

Cordyceps mushrooms have been gaining popularity in recent years and have become a hot topic among health enthusiasts. There is a growing body of research to suggest that cordyceps mushrooms could provide numerous health benefits, especially when it comes to immunity. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top research studies on this mushroom variety and their potential impact on immune health. 

  • White Blood Cells – Immunity Increase
    The first study we’ll look at was published in 2013 in the Journal of Medicinal Food. This study tested the effects of two different cordyceps mushroom species on macrophage function and found that both species positively impacted macrophage activity. Macrophages are white blood cells that play an important role in your immune response by attacking foreign pathogens and debris. White blood cells are a part of your immune system that protects your body from infection. These cells circulate through your bloodstream and tissues to respond to injury or illness by attacking any unknown organisms that enter your body. As such, this research suggests that cordyceps mushrooms may help support healthy immune system function by boosting macrophage activity [1]. 
  • Cytokine Production – Modulating the Body’s Immunity
    Another study from 2018 looked at the effects of cordyceps extract on cytokine production in human cells. Cytokines are low molecular weight, soluble proteins that are produced by the immune system in response to an antigen They function as “chemical messengers” for regulating the innate and adaptive immune systems.Cytokines are involved in cell signaling, meaning they help guide your body’s responses and reactions to different stimuli like viruses or bacteria. The researchers found that cordyceps extract induced cytokine production in human cells, suggesting it could help modulate your body’s immune response [2]. 
  • Natural Killer (NK) Cells – Boosting Immunity
    This next study further explains how cordyceps could potentially boost immune system function. Published in 2019, this study looked at the effects of cordyceps powder on natural killer (NK) cell activity in mice. NK cells are another type of white blood cell with antimicrobial properties; they can recognize certain pathogens and target them for destruction [3]. NK cells are best known for killing virally infected cells, and detecting and controlling early signs of cancer.The researchers found that those mice who were given cordyceps powder had significantly higher NK cell activity than those who didn’t receive any treatment—suggesting that consuming cordyceps mushrooms may help support healthy NK cell activity and promote better overall immunity[4].  

These three studies show just how powerful cordyceps mushrooms can be when it comes to promoting better immune system health. If you’re looking for ways to boost your immunity naturally, then incorporating these mushrooms into your diet might be a great option. Of course, it’s always important to speak with your doctor before adding any new supplement or food item into your daily routine. 

 References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680468 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818048 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30863419
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30863419/
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