Everybody knows the age-old saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’. However, a new study has found that mushrooms can also do the same by stimulating changes in immunologically relevant proteins in white blood cells, which are important in fighting infection and cancer.
The ‘Turkey Tail’ mushroom is too tough to eat, but it may be ingested in the form of liquid or powdered extracts.
Immune cells were isolated from blood taken from nine healthy human volunteers and were cultured in vitro. The immune cell samples were treated under three different conditions.
Statistical analyses of low- and high-resolution MS data were cross validated to determine whether changes in immunologically relevant proteins occurred that were attributable to treatment with the mushroom extract.
The findings from this research study suggest that protein-bound, polysaccharide-rich fractions of Trametes versicolor PSK may modulate the post-translational modification or expression of proteins in healthy human immune cells.
The next step is to extract and sequence the proteins of interest to determine their specific function in immune cells. The results invite further research to determine how selected extracts of medicinal mushrooms may be effective in strengthening the body’s immune system against diseases including cancer.