Australian researchers have found that a combination of mushroom extracts is able to enhance immune cell responses that could ultimately help to boost the immune system, offering protection from attack by pathogenic microbes and from the harmful effects of environmental toxins and carcinogens.
Associate Professor Joe Tiralongo from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics led the research, which has been patented and now published in PLOS ONE.
A key characteristic of mushroom polysaccharides (polymers of sugar) that elicit an immune modulating response is that they are rich in beta-glucans and low in alpha-glucans. Mushrooms contain a variety of constituents that are important for supporting health, but the beta-glucans (polymers of glucose linked in a specific manner) are particularly important for supporting immune function.
Professor Mark von Itzstein AO, Founder and Director of the Institute for Glycomics, said the results were impressive: “This is an excellent example of academy and industry working together to generate outcomes that not only inform the scientific community but importantly the general public who consume these products.”
The research team included industry-based researchers from Integria Healthcare, which has launched a complementary medicine underpinned by the research outcomes.