Ganoderma lucidum boosts immunity

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Ganoderma lucidum (G. Lucidum), a medicinal mushroom, has been found to enhance the activity of immune cells, thereby improving overall immune function.

G. Lucidum compounds such as triterpenoids, β-D-glucans, and Zhi-8 proteins act as immunomodulating agents, which promote the immunological effectors and induce the cytokines. [1]
The chemicals found in G. Lucidum have been observed to promote the growth and development of various types of immune cells, including natural killer (NK) cells, splenic mononuclear cells, T and B lymphocytes, and dendritic cells. [2]
G. Lucidum polysaccharides promote the production of a histocompatibility complex in a melanoma cell line, improving antigen presentation and boosting viral immunity and cancer. [3]
G. lucidum extract stimulates the production of cytokines such as IL-2, IL-10, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-, and interferon. [4]
Extracts derived from G. lucidum spores affected and increased the number of macrophages and NK cells in mice and reduced the development of cancer. [5]
G. lucidum contains substances that decrease allergic reactions through their interactions with mast cells and B lymphocytes. [6]
G. lucidum may improve host immunological processes by boosting the percentages of CD3, CD4, and CD8 cells. [7]
A polysaccharide fraction was demonstrated to improve both acquired and inherent immunity by promoting the formation of cytokines IFN-, TNF-, IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, and colony-stimulating factors from mouse splenocytes. [8]
G. lucidum polysaccharides increase white blood cells and lymphocyte levels in the body. [9]


[1] Wang, S.Y., Hsu, M.L., Hsu, H.C., Lee, S.S., Shiao, M.S., Ho, C.K., 1997. The anti‐tumoreffect of Ganoderma lucidum is mediated by cytokines released from activated macrophages and T lymphocytes. Int. J. Cancer 70 (6), 699–705.
[2] Zhu, X., Lin, Z., 2006. Modulation of cytokines production, granzyme B and perforin in murine CIK cells by Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides. Carbohydr. Polym. 63 (2), 188–197.
[3] Sun, L.X., Lin, Z.B., Li, X.J., Li, M., Lu, J., Duan, X.S., Ge, Z.H., Song, Y.X., Xing, E.H., Li,W.D., 2011. Promoting effects of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides on B16F10cells to activate lymphocytes. Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 108 (3), 149–154.
[4] Sanodiya, B.S., Thakur, G.S., Baghel, R.K., Prasad, G.B.K.S., Bisen, P.S., 2009. Ganoderma lucidum: a potent pharmacological macrofungus. Curr. Pharm. Biotechnol. 10 (8), 717–742
[5] Song B-J, Zhu X-J, Wei L-N. Effect of Ganoderma lucidum spores on immune modulation and inhibiting tumor in mice. J Harbin Med Univ 2010; 44(5):464-466. 48.
[6] Calder PC. Immunonutrition. Br Med J 2003; 327:117.
[7] Jin X, Ruiz Beguerie J, Sze DM, Chan GC. Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for cancer treatment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Apr 5;4(4):CD007731. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007731.pub3. PMID: 27045603; PMCID: PMC6353236.
[8] Chen H. S, Tsai Y. F, Lin S, editors. et al. Studies on the immuno-modulating and anti-tumor activities of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) polysaccharides. Bioorg Med Chem. 2004;12:5595–601.
[9] Li, J., Gu, F., Cai, C., Hu, M., Fan, L., Hao, J., et al. (2020). Purification, structural characterization, and immunomodulatory activity of the polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum. Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 143, 806–813. doi:10.1016/j. ijbiomac.2019.09.141