Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake and maitake found to be rich in beta-glucan. While research on the health effects of medicinal mushroom supplements is somewhat limited, a number of studies suggest that they can help boost immunity.
Mushrooms are known for their immune-modulating and anti-tumour properties. The polysaccharide fraction, mainly beta-glucans, is responsible for the immune-modulating effects.
Fungal beta-glucans have been shown to reduce both the overall level of cholesterol and the level of LDL cholesterol in blood, as well as slightly increasing the level of HDL cholesterol, and positively influence the metabolism of fats and sugars
Structure Formula :-
beta-glucans of mushrooms have beta (1-3) and beta (1-6) side branches
Mechanisms of Immune Activation -
Beta-glucans are potent immunomodulators, with effects on both innate and adaptive immunity. Beta-glucans act on a diversity of immune related receptors, in particular dectin-1 and CR3, and can trigger a wide spectrum of immune responses.
Dectin-1, which is a type II transmembrane protein receptor that binds (1-3) and (1-6)-beta-glucans, can initiate and regulate the innate immune response. It triggers effective immune responses including phagocytosis and pro-inflammatory factors production, leading to the elimination of infectious agents
The biological activities of medicinal mushrooms have been attributed to the (1-3)-beta-glucan and (1-3),(1-6)-beta-glucan,6 with the most positive effect on immune stimulation obtained with (1-3)-beta-glucan.