Eating disorder complementary treatments and therapies

The search for eating disorder complementary treatments aim to supplement and enhance the results of common therapeutic solutions, such as cognitive behavioural therapies and medication.

Eating disorders are complex issues with many potential treatment routes. The methods chosen to address an eating disorder will depend on numerous factors, including the patient’s current situation and the specific issue they’re experiencing with food. A person’s current state of mind and how committed they are to pursuing recovery are also important.

In most cases, a combination of treatments is the most effective solution, as it allows tprofessionals to tackle concerns from a range of angles at once. Doctors may suggest medication, group or one-on-one counselling, and supplemental solutions, like medicinal mushrooms.

Exploring Complementary Treatment Options

Eating disorder complementary treatments build on top of the existing therapeutic method suggested by a healthcare provider, often assisting with issues like appetite and relaxation strategies to address anxieties about food. Common options include:

  • Body awareness therapies: A practice designed to focus on quality movement awareness. People with bulimia, anorexia, and unspecified eating disorders generally have lower body and self-awareness.
  • Exercise and yoga: Yoga can help to reduce stress levels and improve thinking processes. One study found significant improvement in feelings of wellbeing and positivity following a short program of Exercise can also assist with improving confidence and building appetite.
  • Acupuncture: A traditional Chinese medicine approach to holistic eating disorder treatments, acupuncture focuses on alleviating various issues associated with eating disorders, such as symptoms of depression and physical discomfort.
  • Relaxation therapy: Relaxation tools like massage therapy can assist with increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin, while reducing levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. One study found women with anorexia receiving massage therapy experienced reductions in body dissatisfaction and lower stress hormones.

Specific treatment strategies often differ according to the needs of the patient and any other conditions they may have. Some patients may also need assistance from a nutritionist to help them gradually increase the amount they eat over time.

Nutrition and Supplemental Treatments

Recovering from an eating disorder isn’t just an emotional and psychological journey. Physical recovery can also be a time-consuming process, requiring significant time and patience. Reintroducing certain nutrients and foods too quickly can cause additional problems and discomfort. Eating disorder complementary treatments can assist with rebuilding the body’s digestive system and improving physical performance too.

Access to nutritional supplements is often extremely helpful for people with eating disorders. Most common supplemental treatments suggested for those with eating disorders start with zinc and potassium, which help to improve the performance of the body and strengthen the performance of the stomach and digestive system.

Delivering the right levels of nutrients can be complex using traditional solutions, but studies are rapidly evolving to demonstrate the benefits of medicinal mushrooms in providing users with both nutritional benefits, and tools for recovering more rapidly from eating disorders.

The medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi can improve the performance of the immune system, which is often compromised in people recovering from eating disorders, due to problems with the gut microbiota, and the lack of access to beneficial bacteria. The Reishi mushroom can fight against infections and immune inflammation, allowing people to recover quickly from the physical side effects of eating disorders.

Reishi mushrooms are also rich in a host of nutrients and vitamins which support the overall functioning of the body. Reishi has access to all the essential aminoacids, vitamins and minerals, and offers an easy way to access nutrients for people with problems eating balanced meals.

Reishi and Treatment for Depression

Reishi also has an impact on the mental health of patients recovering from eating disorders. Many people suffering from anorexia and similar eating disorders suffer from anxiety and depression too. This depression can make it extremely difficult to find the mental willpower to recover from an eating issue. Fortunately, the bioactive compounds in Reishi could be ideal for improving mood.

Studies have found that Reishi is suitable for helping not just with aches, pains and dizziness – all common physical symptoms of an eating disorder recovery, but irritability and anxiety too. Further research in a group of breast cancer survivors also found that taking Reishi supplementation improved quality of life for the participants, while reducing feelings of depression.

Combined with a high antioxidant status, capable of reducing damage to the body’s cells, and potential benefits for heart health, among others, Reishi’s impact on mental health could significantly improve the likelihood of a successful recovery from various eating disorders.

Used alongside other eating disorder complementary treatments, or as an addition to tools like therapy and medication, Reishi could be a powerful tool in helping those with eating disorders to rebuild their internal ecosystem with essential vitamins and minerals, while fighting back against issues of poor immunity, discomfort, and depression.

Complementary rehabilitation treatments in modern healthcare

The complexity of the human body and its response to disease, infection, and injury means treatment of any ailment is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. Many acute and chronic conditions require practitioners to create customised treatment solutions which combine a variety of therapies, including medication, psychological support, and supplemental treatment.

Complementary rehabilitation treatments in modern healthcare can help to manage the side effects and symptoms of conditions not addressed by primary treatment methods. The World Health Organization notes that approximately 65 to 80% of the global population uses some form of complementary or alternative treatment, often combined with common Western medicine practices.

While complementary rehabilitation treatments can improve the efficacy of primary treatment methods and deliver quality of life improvements for many patients, the success of the therapy will depend on a number of factors. Some complementary treatments are safer than others, particularly when combined with Western medicine.

Applying Complementary Rehabilitation Treatments Safely

Complementary therapies come in a variety of forms, from psychological treatments, intended to address the mental and cognitive side-effects of physical ailments, to supplemental treatments using natural and holistic substances. Most complementary treatments share a few common beliefs. For instance, practitioners using complementary medicines believe that a body in balance (a state of homeostasis) is more likely to recover than one out of balance.

The philosophy of complementary medicine also dictates there is no quick fix to many health problems, and that the whole person should be treated when searching for a solution, not just the symptoms or specific disease.

The efficacy of complementary treatments is an area currently attracting extensive study. To deliver safe complementary therapeutic treatments, practitioners must consider the unique needs of the patient, and the existing medicines or treatments that the individual is using. Some complementary treatments, though considered “natural” can still have a negative impact on the body when mixed with other substances. This is why it’s crucial to be cautious when mixing therapies.

Do Complementary Rehabilitation Treatments work?

In certain circumstances, complementary therapies have proven to be extremely effective. In one study, people with Parkinson’s disease were found to respond positively to complementary therapy focused on dance and movement. Studies into complementary and integrative health interventions for musculoskeletal conditions have revealed that various forms of holistic treatments, like acupuncture, and mind-body medicine, can have a positive impact on musculoskeletal pains.

Studies have even revealed that mind-body therapies can be effective when dealing with the symptoms and side effects of certain cancers, as well as the side effects of chemotherapy treatments. In these cases, the use of complementary medicines can improve the quality of life of the patient, while they go through traditional treatment practices (like chemotherapy).

The biggest concern surrounding complementary medicine is whether they may also have a negative impact on the patient in some cases. Certain herbal and natural products can cause approved medicines to have unintended side-effects. Concerns regarding interactions have prompted a deeper interest in medicinal mushrooms, which are proven to work synergistically alongside many primary treatment options, without the risk of negative interactions.

Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma lucidum, for instance, is an effective tool for patients with fibromyalgia. The mushroom extract can address various symptoms of fibromyalgia, including hypertension, pain, depression, and trouble sleeping. The Reishi mushroom significantly improves the quality and quantity of sleep in patients, improving the defence levels of the immune system in the fibromyalgia population.

Studies into Ganoderma lucidum use for fibromyalgia also found that the medicinal mushroom can assist with improving overall quality of life, reducing feelings of depression, improving energy levels, and enhancing endurance in the lower limbs.

Medicinal Mushrooms as Complementary Therapies

Ganoderma lucidum is a popular complementary therapy for those in search of holistic treatments for a range of conditions. The substance has been evaluated for its efficacy in helping with pain management during cancer treatment. Reishi is also known for its ability to reduce inflammation and improve immunomodulation, to support the natural homeostasis of the body throughout various acute and chronic conditions.

Other medicinal mushrooms can also work synergistically with primary treatment options in modern healthcare. Cordyceps mushrooms, for instance, can assist with osteoarthritis symptoms, reducing pain and inflammation, while improving energy levels. Cordycepin, its main bioactive molecule,  blocks the inflammatory process that causes pain in osteoarthritis, without the negative side effects of NSAIDs. Cordyceps can also assist with muscle recovery and inflammation, allowing the body to recover more quickly from injury.

Lion’s Mane, or Hericium erinaceus mushroom, has also been studied as a solution for complementary therapies in neural injuries and neuropathy. Studies into Transverse Myelitis, for instance, demonstrates the ability of Lion’s Mane mushroom to regenerate the neural pathways in the brain, and help them recover during rehabilitation treatments. Supplementation with Lion’s mane mushroom can help to improve the brain’s ability to rebuild pathways damaged by illness.

This medicinal mushroom stimulates nerve growth, and empowers patients to build strength, muscle, and muscle memory faster in a safe way.

For the future of healthcare, complementary rehabilitation treatments backed by scientific research, like medicinal mushrooms, will significantly improve the recovery rate in various serious conditions. Their unique abilities together with the safety of these substances, especially if there is an internal study of the producer that proves no drug interaction, make them the perfect synergistic solution for holistic treatment paths.

Improving life quality of hypernephroma patients with natural approach

Hypernephroma (also called renal cell carcinoma) accounts for approximately 2% of global cancer deaths, but recently its number has doubled compared to the past half-century.  Today it is the ninth most common neoplasm in the United States. Unfortunately, hypernephroma is often diagnosed after it has metastasized to distant regions of the body, thus resulting in poor prognosis even after surgical procedure is done. Currently, the survival rate of hypernephroma is about 76% in 5 years after diagnosis with optimal treatments.

Hypernephroma patients often suffer from low quality of life

Hypernephroma patients are prone to low quality of life during the duration of their disease. As with almost all tumors, pain is a major factor contributing to the situation. It often has a negative impact on patients’ functional status and quality of life.

Tumor therapies such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy often cause numerous side effects. These include hair loss, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and dizziness, among others. As these patients continue their treatment, they have to somehow bear with the symptoms that they bring, and eventually also decrease the quality of life of the patients.

In order to improve patients’ quality of life, physicians will suggest most high-grade or end-stage cancer patients, including hypernephroma patients, for palliative care. This kind of therapy does not aim to treat the disease, but rather improve the quality of life. The goals of palliative therapy are:

  • Relieve symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, pain, and general discomfort
  • Help patients sleep
  • Ease emotional stress
  • Keep patients motivated

Medicinal mushrooms as a natural approach for enhancing quality of life

A comprehensive effort including a nutrition-rich diet, healthy lifestyle, exercise, and energy management can provide the needed resources for the body to battle against any tumor such as hypernephroma. Natural agents called adaptogens possess health benefits and play positive roles towards cancer prevention or treatments through several pathways such as inhibition of carcinogenesis and protection of body cells. As natural adaptogens, medicinal mushrooms offer a great variety of healthy compounds to strengthen the immune system in combating cancer.

One good example is Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). This widely popular species has been extensively studied for its health benefits, especially as adjuvant in cancer. Reishi is thought to be able to protect the renal cell against superoxide induced damage, according to a pre-clinical study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. The study evaluated the extract of Reishi in the liver and kidney and showed that Reishi demonstrated antioxidative effects on lipid peroxidation. Triterpenes, compounds found in Reishi, are known to be inhibitors of MMP (Matrix metallo-proteases) which regulate cellular motility and invasion. Another study exposed isolated renal tumor cells to Reishi, and it found that Reishi inhibited growth and down-regulated MMP-2 and MMP-3 expression by the renal tumor cells.

Cordyceps sinensis was also studied for its therapeutic benefits for the treatment of cancer. Cordycepin, the main bioactive molecule in this specie, had been extracted and shows tumor growth inhibition and promotion of apoptosis in cancer cells. A case series was conducted in 2016 in two male patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated by both standard therapy and integrative medicine consisting of extracts from various medicinal mushrooms including Ganoderma lucidum and Cordyceps sinensis. Following over four years of standard therapies and integrative care, these patients experienced improved quality of life and lived years beyond their predicted remaining life span.

Medicinal mushrooms are a viable approach to be incorporated into hypernephroma therapies. As an adjuvant therapy, medicinal mushrooms can provide positive roles in protecting body cells in hypernephroma as well as inhibiting disease progression in other tumors. Combined with standard therapy and supported by good management of health, diet, and exercise, hopefully patients will experience improved quality of life and better health during their battle against cancer.

Modulating the Inflammatory Response with Mushroom Bioactive Compounds

The inflammatory response of the body is a complex immune system response to the perceived presence of harmful stimuli. Chronic, acute, and transmural inflammation can be triggered by a range of factors, including damaged cells, pathogens, and toxic compounds. Part of what makes inflammation so complex to manage, is its ability to influence all parts of the body, from the heart and brain to the lungs and reproductive system.

Typical inflammation is a defence system vital to good health, designed to protect the body against harmful substances, and initiate the healing process. Unfortunately, uncontrolled inflammation can quickly become chronic, leading to various inflammatory conditions. In the case of transmural inflammation, common conditions often include the gut and bowel, causing inflammation throughout all layers of the intestinal mucosa.

Extensive transmural inflammation prompt the progression of conditions like inflammatory bowl disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Medicinal mushrooms represent a safe and effective method of modulating the immune system and reducing the inflammatory response in transmural cases.

Managing the Inflammatory Response

Modulating the inflammatory processes in the body is crucial to addressing not just the symptoms of conditions like Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, but also minimising the risk of the disease progressing further. Transmural inflammation affecting all layers of the bowel could increase the need for surgery in some cases of Crohn’s disease.

Unfortunately, common inflammatory treatments like NSAIDs and similar painkillers are rarely effective in the long term. Regular use of NSAIDs heighten the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, and throw the immune system off-balance, by decreasing antibody synthesis. Inflammatory modulation requires a more focused approach to interrupting dangerous immune responses and modulating positive immune performance.

Medicinal mushrooms offer a safe approach to inflammation modulation thanks to a unique collection of bioactive compounds. Polysaccharides like alpha, beta and D glucans, Terpenoids, peptides, phenolics, and other compounds work together to balance the immune system and promote the healthy functioning of the body.

How Medicinal Mushrooms Reduce inflammation

Inflammation is a biological response of the immune system triggered by all kinds of factors. Infectious and non-infectious agents alike, as well as cell damage, can activate inflammatory cells, and trigger inflammatory signalling pathways such as the JAK-STAT, MAPK, and NF-KB pathways.

Ganoderma Lucidum, or Reishi mushroom, is one effective example of how we can use mushrooms as anti-inflammatories. The triterpene extract of G. Lucidum in LPS-stimulated macrophages can suppress the secretion of inflammatory factors like TNF-alpha, and interleukin-6. G. Lucidum also suppresses the secretion of PGE(2), and nitric oxide from LPS-stimulated murine cells.

Studies show the anti-inflammatory effects of Ganoderma Lucidum Triterpene are mediated by the inhibition of transcription factor Nf-KappaB, demonstrated through decreased NF-KappaB-DNA binding activity, and the suppression of p65 phosphrylation in LPS-stimulated macrophages receiving treatment. Reishi can effectively interrupt the inflammatory pathways in the body, regulating the NF-KB macrophage conversion process from M2 to M1, and reducing the pain response.

Studies into Ganoderma Lucidum further suggest that the bioactive compounds of the mushroom can reduce inflammation as an antioxidant for the body, and a source of valuable nutrition. Used correctly, these extracts also reverse immunoscenescence, to improve the natural homeostasis of the body.

Similarly, medicinal mushrooms like Cordyceps are effective at suppressing the mechanisms set into motions by proteins which prompt macrophage action. In cases of inflammation caused by injury, cordyceps can aid in recovery and reduce pain, while utilizing bodily resources like oxygen more effectively.

Many medicinal mushrooms are also linked with the balance of the gut microbiota, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system. As powerful sources of pro and prebiotics, medicinal mushrooms can re-establish balance in the gut system, which may play an important part in reducing the flare up of transmural inflammation and chronic conditions.

Using Medicinal Mushrooms for Inflammation

The search for an effective way of managing and modulation inflammation in the human body has been a complex one for a number of years. As old-fashioned treatments like NSAIDs continue to demonstrate inefficiencies and dangers, holistic treatments may provide a better outcome. Medicinal mushrooms are scientifically proven to offer benefits to those with inflammatory conditions.

The range of bioactive compounds in medicinal mushrooms can effectively interrupt and regulate the immune and inflammatory sequence, providing a safe and natural solution to causes of transmural inflammation. The robust evidence already available on medicinal mushroom performance warrants further investigation going forward.


Personalized Immune Rejuvenation with Medicinal Mushrooms

Personalized immune rejuvenation is a must to do for the elderly. In the past few years, the world has seen an unprecedentedly high number of older people as a result of improved medical systems, increased life expectancy, and reduced overall mortality. Consequently, new health challenges emerge in the form of increasing incidence of degenerative or non-communicable diseases. Undoubtedly, old age is always interlinked with degeneration of organs. As the body ages, every body system gradually loses its function. This  leads to chronic and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, hypertension, or organ failures.

Immunosenescence is harmful for health

Likewise, advanced age will likely cause immune dysfunction. It is termed immunosenescence, and it involves diminished number of peripheral blood naive cells and increased number of memory cells. The elderly are susceptible to increased risk of infectious disease due to common pathogens. The worsening of immune regulation puts the body at more risk of chronic inflammation or even tumor development. Immunosenescence will cause the person to depend more on antibiotics, antiinflammatory or antiviral medications. These can be quite harmful as they introduce numerous side effects that can affect quality of life.

In older people, improving immune function with means of rejuvenating and restimulating the immune system can reduce the significant medical cost they may require as unnecessary infections can be prevented. Both lifestyle and environment play an important role as immunoadjuvants. They are heavily involved in specific personalized immune rejuvenation that is focused on renewal of immune system function as well as immune resilience. Of course, an appropriate diet cannot be overlooked as well, for healthy substances from natural sources will be essential to rebuild the immune system

Because of it, medicinal mushrooms are sought for their beneficial compounds. These healthy foods help people maintain their health and generate new immune components, while being safe yet delicious. These are quite important as the aging body cannot take too many side effects brought by standard pharmaceutical agents, thus keeping their number at minimum is generally considered ideal.

Medicinal mushrooms for personalized immune rejuvenation

Before rejuvenating the immune system, the immune system itself needs to be healthy. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) has been studied for years for its ability to enhance the immune system and return the body functions back into balance. It is also believed that Reishi is able to give a few more years to a person’s life span as an antiaging agent.  Reishi was commonly used in the East to promote the immune system and increase longevity. Antioxidants contained inside Reishi are useful for combating oxidative stresses in human cells. Scientific studies showed that Reishi helps the body produce more protective cytokine IL-10 and lower proinflammatory IL-6 levels. This finding indicates that Reishi can augment the function of both the innate and adaptive immune system.

Other medicinal mushrooms are also known for their immune boosting properties. Chaga mushrooms, for example, are packed with various nutrients and vitamins needed by the body to keep immune homeostasis and generate new immune cells. Besides slowing the aging process, it can support the immune system through regulation of cytokine production and improved cell communications. Another species, Agaricus blazei Murill, also exhibits several immune-enhancing actions. This particular mushroom is rich in bioactive antioxidants and anti carcinogenic substances. An article describes A. blazei ability to suppress tumor growth, inhibit angiogenesis, and stimulate cytokines and leukocyte growth factor production. It can also induce the production of TNF-ɑ, IL-8, and nitric oxide.

There are several available measures to combat immune senescence. Medicinal mushroom supplementation together with a healthy diet provide the nutrients and compounds needed by the body to rejuvenate its immune system. By stronger immunity and regulated homeostasis, the aging process can be slowed down to decelerate the unavoidable degenerative process to the lowest rate. As a result, more aging individuals will be able to experience better health, stay productive, and be happier through their life.

Natural approaches for pollen allergy therapy

Pollen is a powder-like plant matter that produces male gametes in plants’ reproductive cycle. This particular substance is infamous for the vast proportion of people allergic to it, a condition called pollinosis or hay fever, as people already recognize. Pollen allergy is more common in certain zones than in others. Pollen allergy contributes towards the 44% UK population who suffer from allergies, and its number keeps increasing.

Allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to certain substances. When our immune system encounters pollen, just like any other allergen, an inflammatory reaction will occur at the site of exposure. Normally, the immune system is activated and deals with pollen as a common foreign substance; and when everything is under control, the immune system will be down-regulated by the body itself to avoid causing damage to the surrounding tissues.

Unfortunately, in some people, a repeated exposure triggers an excessive response that induces cascading processes and manifests as allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is characterized by cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness, and a runny nose. While the condition is often mild, sometimes the symptoms are severe and persistent, leading to sleep deprivation and reduced quality of life. It will undoubtedly improve with time, but it can take years and generally won’t resolve completely. Therefore, many people seek out the appropriate therapy for pollen allergy to alleviate their symptoms and improve their health.

Existing approaches towards allergy

By definition, most allergies, including pollen allergy, are induced by a hypersensitivity process involving histamine as the leading proinflammatory mediator. It also triggers a Th2 cell dominant pro-inflammatory state. As health professionals we advise patients to avoid the allergens to prevent any exacerbation of allergy symptoms. In addition, we will also prescribe drugs to relieve existing complaints. The primary pharmaceutical agent in use currently is antihistamines. There are two known generations of antihistamines, and both of them are pretty effective for reducing allergy symptoms.

However, there are several issues to point out with these kinds of drugs. First and foremost, caution should be taken when taking first-generation antihistamines as they cause drowsiness, reducing focus and attention. This is why second-generation antihistamines are more preferred, as there is no such issue with these drugs. Second, while these drugs can eliminate most allergy symptoms, a severe allergy may require prolonged use and high doses to manage the symptoms. The consequence is antihistamines dependency that is linked to several diseases, such as a higher risk of dementia and even brain tumor development. It is also still questionable if some antihistamines are safe to use during pregnancy, considering they can cross the placental barrier.

Medicinal mushrooms for pollen allergy therapy

There are other recommended approaches for pollen allergy. One option is to use natural agents, such as in mycotherapy. Lately, medicinal mushrooms have become increasingly relevant with therapy against inflammation and allergy. A particular species, Agaricus blazei, is proven to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. A study showed that A. blazei extract prevented allergy development and can be used as a therapeutic substance against existing allergies. β-glucans contained in the A. blazei body can influence the immune system and exert an antiallergic action. Specifically, β-glucans established a balance between Th1/Th2 cells in the immune system. It can also be used with antihistamines as it inhibits histamine release by mast cells and reduces IgE-specific allergy antibodies.

A similar effect was also demonstrated on other species as well. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) was also proven to have immunoregulatory benefits. This powerful medicinal mushroom is already extensively studied for its life-enhancing properties. Its extract contains triterpenes with antioxidant, antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory activities. It prevents inflammation by inhibiting histamine secretion by mast cells and also inhibiting inflammatory prostaglandin. In another review article, nine lucidenic acids and four ganoderic acids from G. lucidum extract had also been shown to inhibit a substance called TPA, which induces inflammation.

Pollen allergy often causes life discomfort and disturbing symptoms in individuals who suffer from it. It is always a challenge both for health practitioners and for patients to deal with the condition. As a natural agent, medicinal mushrooms can be integrated in the current therapy to give synergistic therapeutic effects with their other nutritional and health benefits. The expected end result is healthier, symptoms-free individuals with improved quality of life.

Hyper inflammation and inflammaging: the real connection

Inflammation is a complex body response to harmful pathogens like bacteria and viruses. This can be either short-lived (acute) or long-lasting (chronic), and it involves our defence system, such as white blood cells, cytokines, and phagocytes. They stimulate the release of pro-inflammatory mediators such as interleukins, TNF-α, NF-κβ, prostaglandins, and nitric oxide.

An excessive or uncontrolled amount of these mediators is what we call hyper inflammation syndrome. This condition manifests as persistent fever, low blood cells, organ enlargement, chronic inflammation, bleeding disorder, and multiorgan failure or death in severe cases.

Hyper inflammation is related to major diseases, including Covid-19

Hyper inflammation is often associated with specific diseases and conditions. These include juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Kawasaki disease, and recently, Covid-19. Hyperinflammatory state in Covid-19 is elicited due to an unbalanced immune response. This condition plays a significant causative role in the event of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) of Covid-19 patients.

Several investigations proved that elevated clinical inflammatory markers and increased serum cytokine and chemokine levels result in the need for mechanical ventilation, development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and Covid-19 related death. Post-mortem investigations also found the infiltration of lymphocytes and macrophages in the lungs, indicating that the severity of Covid-19 is likely more driven by inflammation rather than the viral infection itself.

Inflammaging, immunosenescence, and their connection to hyper inflammation

Effects similar to hyper inflammation are also shown in inflammaging and immunosenescence. Inflammaging is a state of low-grade chronic inflammation that develops alongside ageing. This mechanism can induce age-related diseases and increase morbidity and mortality.

Besides, immunosenescence is the phenomenon of progressive deterioration of the immune system. This deterioration leads to decreased immunity against pathogens and foreign organisms, thus skyrocketing the probability of infections, neoplasia, and autoimmune diseases. Both immunosenescence and inflammaging can happen simultaneously in older people. In advanced age, adaptive immune declines while inflammaging occurs due to the activation of the innate immune system.

Medicinal mushrooms as the source of anti-inflammatory compounds

Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes since 3000 B.C. Many investigations in mushrooms have revealed their ability as antiviral, anticancer, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory agents. It is scientifically proven that medicinal mushrooms contain many beneficial compounds that help inflammation, such as:

  • polysaccharides like Beta-glucans (main active in medicinal mushrooms)
  •  terpenoids like ganoderic acids (Ganoderma lucidum)
  • peptides
  • polyphenols

These bioactive compounds exert specific effects to modulate inflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide, cytokines, and prostaglandins.

Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) is the king of the antiinflammatory medicinal mushrooms. In fact, it is described in the literature as showing strong anti-inflammatory actions, mainly because of its high content in terpenoids.

Mushroom terpenoids with anti-inflammatory properties have also been reported in crude extracts of Ganoderma lucidum and Inonotus obliquus. Their tripertene extract remarkably decreased the secretions of TNF-α, IL-6, nitric oxide, prostaglandin and suppressed the activation of NF-κβ luciferase, which are related to hyper inflammation.

In addition, other medicinal mushrooms can also help in inflammation and hyper inflammation. For example, polysaccharides extracted from Agaricus blazei are very promising as an anti-inflammatory agent. A study of extracted polysaccharides that targets pro-inflammatory molecules showed that polysaccharides could inhibit the release of prostaglandin, leukotriene, and the phosphorylation of the serine/threonine. Another polysaccharide extraction from Grifola frondosa also suggested that this biochemical substance could significantly reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and calprotectin, a marker for inflammation.

Peptides also work against inflammation as reported in a study in which peptides from Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris blocked the penetration of inflammation compounds, such as polymorphonuclears cells, IL-1β, and TNF-α. Peptides can also work as neuroprotective agents, protecting the brain from underlying inflammation.

Lastly, polyphenols, which are present in medicinal mushrooms, have been studied for their use in managing inflammation. They can suppress toll-like receptor (TLR) and pro-inflammatory genes’ expression while their antioxidant activity and ability to inhibit enzymes involved in the production of eicosanoids contribute as well to their anti-inflammation properties.


Medicinal mushrooms have been studied intensively for decades for their nutritional and medicinal value. The bioactive compounds in mushrooms such as polysaccharides, terpenoids, peptides, and phenolics can be highlighted as an adjuvant source of anti-inflammatory agents. Therefore, we can benefit from medicinal mushrooms to protect our body from a hyper inflammation state, including inflammaging and immunosenescence.

Best natural hay fever relief

If you ever treat hay fever, chances are you might look after the best hay fever relief for your patients. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is the result of body reactions to airborne allergens such as tree pollen or fungal spores. This ailment is characterized by 4 cardinal symptoms including watery rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, itching, and sneezing.

The symptoms are caused by an IgE-mediated, type 1 hypersensitivity reaction. This results in the activation of mast cells and the release of histamine among other inflammatory mediators.

While hay fever itself is self-limiting and mild, the symptoms can be severe as there are people who suffer from asthma-like syndromes such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and weakness.

Revisiting the default therapies for hay fever

The therapy for hay fever depends on the severity and duration of symptoms. The baseline therapy consists of removal or avoidance of allergens, pharmaceutical, immunotherapy, and surgical intervention in some cases. Among these options, pharmaceutical therapies such as antihistamines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, topical steroids, and vasoconstrictors aim to improve symptoms and enhance the quality of life.

Antihistamines and glucocorticoids are widely used for mild to severe conditions. Glucocorticoid nasal spray has been used widely to be hay fever’s most common first treatment, along with oral antihistamines. Antihistamines are drugs that have the property to bind to histamine-receptors without activating the immune system so that allergic reactions can be prevented.

Indeed, pharmaceutical drugs may be effective, but there are several side effects that one must consider. Glucocorticoid nasal spray can cause disturbing symptoms; burning sensation, nosebleed, irritated throat, and unpleasant taste in the mouth are some mild ones to name a few. On the other hand, antihistamine use can induce sedation, impaired motor function, dizziness, dry mouth and throat, blurred vision, and constipation. Taking too many antihistamines can even result in severe complications such as seizure and cardiac abnormalities.

Knowing this, you may want to look after safer and more natural remedies to treat hay fever without having to get into these side effects. Thanks to the advancement of science, finding one is easy as there are several options now available.

The use of medicinal mushrooms as the best hay fever relief

According to scientific studies, several medicinal mushrooms can exert therapeutic effects on hay fever. Agaricus blazei Murill, or Royal Sun Agaricus, is a mushroom native to Brazil  popularly known as Himematsutake in Japan. Traditionally, this mushroom has been widely used for its medicinal uses to treat several diseases such as atherosclerosis, hepatitis, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, dermatitis, and cancer. A clinical study has revealed that Agaricus blazei Murill was able to reduce 40% of serum IgE and reduce mast cell sensitization during the pollen season. It is also known that Agaricus blazei improves Th1/Th2 immune balance, which is altered in allergy development.

Another mushroom species known to play an antihistamine role is Ganoderma lucidum. Widely known as Reishi, this mushroom has been a part of oriental medicines for centuries. It has been used widely for its antitumor, immunoregulation, hepatoprotection, and anti-inflammatory activities. The polysaccharides and triterpenoids contained in Ganoderma lucidum have been proved to possess an antiallergic and antiinflammatory role. Researchers also found that there are encouraging pieces of evidence that suggest Ganoderma lucidum supplementation can significantly decrease allergy symptoms and distinguish the drowsiness, itchiness, and sneezing.

When someone suffers from allergies, they could also feel the chronic pain of muscle cramps, headaches, and inflammation of bones and joints. These problems could happen because allergy triggers the immune system response which can result in massive inflammation. Ganoderma lucidum tends to relieve this aggressive reaction because this mushroom can also modulate the immune system. In addition, this species is also known for its ability to restore the normal balance between Th1 and Th2 immune states. More interestingly, the use of Ganoderma lucidum supplementation can be the option for cost-effective natural anti-allergic therapy.


Based on these researches, both Agaricus blazei Murill and Ganoderma lucidum showed their potential to be the best hay fever relief. By using natural products, be it independently or combined with the currently available therapies, people can avoid the unwanted side effects of pharmaceutical compounds or avoid overusing drugs such as antihistamines while getting rid of hay fever. This results in more comfortable breathing, healthier life, and overall wellbeing.

Alternative to Statins: Natural Source in Medicinal Mushrooms

Statin is the standard treatment for hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemia is a sub condition of dyslipidemia, an imbalance of lipids in the blood that is marked by elevated levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or triglycerides. While a saturated fat-rich diet is the most common cause, genetics can also play a role such as in a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia. This condition is a major factor contributing to fats buildup within the vessel wall (atherosclerosis). It narrows the vessel lumen and restricts blood flow, causing tissue damage in the distal part of the narrowing. Hence, risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), strokes, and peripheral artery disease are increased.

If the condition is mild or slightly moderate, health practitioners will firstly ask patients to change their lifestyle and diet and manage their body weight. If done correctly, most hypercholesterolemia patients do not even need pharmaceutical agents. These steps are important to manage hypercholesterolemia or dyslipidemia in general:

  • Regular exercise and weight management
  • Diet change to foods with high unsaturated fat and low saturated/trans fat such as white meats, nuts and seeds
  • Avoidance of red meats and their derivatives
  • Avoidance of sugar-rich foods
  • Reduction of salt consumption
  • Reduction of alcohol intake

Pharmaceutical drugs currently in use in hypercholesterolemia

Unfortunately, many patients with hypercholesterolemia are struggling to adhere to the changes of their body causing permanent changes that cannot be reversed with lifestyle modification. Here is when pharmaceutical-based therapies are usually introduced to manage the condition and avoid the unwanted complications. The most used treatment of hypercholesterolemia is inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA inhibitors), or statins. Statins are often combined with other lipid-reducing drugs such as fibrates and niacin.

However, almost all drugs available for treating hypercholesterolemia are known to have numerous side effects. These include constipation, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort or cramps, muscle pain, and weakness. More serious adverse events have also been reported such as gout, high blood sugar, and facial or neck flushing. These side effects can be more prominent when a combination of two drugs or more is used. Moreover, the efficacy of these drugs may be reduced if the patient has other comorbidities.

The first statins were actually derived from mushrooms

Nowadays, natural sources are sought to be the alternative to statins. Natural agents are expected to provide the sought cholesterol-lowering effects while at the same time not bringing side effects associated with synthetic drugs. Therefore, medicinal mushrooms are promising because, in fact, the first statins were obtained from a species of fungus, Penicillium citrinum, back in the 1970s.

Medicinal mushrooms are excellent in hypercholesterolemia therapy as they contain lovastatin, a natural statin substance that exerts similar effects to synthetic statins. Besides, these edible mushrooms offer other compounds with many health benefits such as ergosterol, beta-glucans, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. These substances function via numerous mechanisms to lower CVD risk, lowering LDL, and lowering cholesterol level.

Medicinal mushrooms offer similar effects to statins

Several medicinal mushrooms are known for its beneficial effects in improving lipid profile and cholesterol level. Some of these are:

  • Shiitake (Lentinula edodes). Study of Shiitake mushroom on its cholesterol-lowering ability can be traced to half a century back. Shiitake with its lovastatin content supports healthy blood pressure and maintains good cholesterol levels. It has shown activity in lowering blood cholesterol in both animal and human studies.
  • Maitake (Grifola frondosa). This species contains various compounds that are able to regulate fat and lipid levels in the blood. Maitake can reduce high cholesterol and manage triglycerides levels. In two separate studies, Maitake was able to reduce plasma cholesterol level and exert a lipid-lowering effect.
  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). Studies on Reishi showed that Reishi can improve levels of cholesterol and manage blood sugar level. Some compounds found in Reishi such as oxygenated lanosterol derivatives can inhibit cholesterol synthesis. Ganoderic acids inside Reishi are also able to inhibit cholesterol formation by competing with oxidosqualene cyclase in the last stage of cholesterol synthesis in the same pathway that statins exert their effects in.

Medicinal mushrooms are proven scientifically to be safe and effective in treating hypercholesterolemia. As they provide similar effects to synthetic statins, medicinal mushrooms are a promising and natural alternative to statins. Combined with lifestyle changes, diet selection, and weight management, medicinal mushroom supplements can work in synergy to reduce lipid levels and minimize the risks of developing further complications associated with hypercholesterolemia.

New Approaches in the Management of Atypical Cystic Fibrosis

Patients with cystic fibrosis are usually diagnosed during childhood. The disease is often accompanied by other conditions including pulmonary disease, malabsorption, malnutrition and elevated sweat chloride. In the past, cystic fibrosis patients rarely lived past their second decade; however, some patients are diagnosed with atypical cystic fibrosis in later life.

This is because, during their infancy, they displayed symptoms not normally associated with cystic fibrosis. Furthermore, the signs tend to be milder; for example, respiratory symptoms tend to be less severe [1]. As a result, their lifespans tend to be longer but often live with various symptoms that impact their quality of life. Thankfully, new respiratory, gastrointestinal and nutritional therapies have contributed to the survival and symptom management of patients with atypical cystic fibrosis.

Regular Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is an incurable condition, but treatment can ease symptoms and improve quality of life. With close monitoring and systemic intervention, you can slow the progression of cystic fibrosis, thus increasing lifespan. The unfortunate aspect of atypical cystic fibrosis is that it’s often difficult to diagnose, and thus, difficult to treat.

As managing atypical cystic fibrosis is complex, a multi-speciality, integrative approach is advisable. With the correct application of allopathic and holistic therapies, healthcare practitioners can prevent lung infections, loosen mucus, alleviate intestinal blockage and ensure adequate nutrition.

Frequently, common medication will target the gene mutation that causes cystic fibrosis. These medications will be complemented with antibiotics to prevent infection and anti-inflammatories to lessen swelling in the lungs. Equally, mucus thinning drugs such as hypertonic saline help loosen buildup and decongest the airways.

To combat the nutritional aspect of cystic fibrosis, healthcare professionals will also often prescribe oral pancreatic enzymes to help the digestive tract absorb nutrients. They’ll also prescribe acid-controlling medications to help these enzymes function properly.

Medicinal Mushrooms as a Useful Adjunct Therapy

As is clear, patients with atypical cystic fibrosis are often on a complex cocktail of medications. Therefore, it is of particular interest to healthcare practitioners to identify therapies that won’t interact with other drugs and are suitable for long term use. This is why medicinal mushrooms are gaining particular attention, as due to their impressive nutritional profile, can alleviate symptoms and enhance quality of life.

For instance, Cordyceps is a variety that has yielded compelling results in preclinical trials. In a collaborative study between researchers at Chinese universities and The  University of Illinois at Chicago, tests demonstrated antifibrotic activity when Cordyceps was administered during the development of lung fibrosis.

Equally, symptoms were alleviated after the development of fibrosis when a Cordyceps extract was administered. Further testing suggested this was a result of the inhibition of critical fibrosis mediator (TGF-β1), reduction of leukocyte infiltration and collagen production, and the recovery from an imbalance of tissue degradation. Researchers also observed a reduction of infiltration of inflammatory cells and deposition of fibroblastic loci and collagen [2].

Improving Quality of Life for Atypical Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Atypical cystic fibrosis is currently a chronic condition that can have diverse manifestations and patients will have varying needs. Managing their condition and extending their lifespan is an essential concern for patients with the disease. Considering the complexity of the condition, both conventional and adjuvant therapies can yield results.

Hence, medicinal mushroom varieties like Cordyceps are a compelling proposition. With many other nutritional benefits besides the anti-fibrosis and anti-inflammatory action mentioned here, this mushroom variety has the potential to enhance patients’ quality of life. Further research is needed, but pre-clinical trials have certainly presented already interesting findings.


  1. Schram C. A. (2012). Atypical cystic fibrosis: identification in the primary care setting. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 58(12), 1341–e704.
  2. Chen, M., Cheung, F. W., Chan, M. H., Hui, P. K., Ip, S. P., Ling, Y. H., Che, C. T., & Liu, W. K. (2012). Protective roles of Cordyceps on lung fibrosis in cellular and rat models. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 143(2), 448–454.