Mushrooms seem to be all the rage these days.
What are the health benefits of mushrooms, though?
Well, it depends on the type, but one of the most popular kinds of mushrooms people supplement is Reishi.
What’s so special about this Reishi fungi?
That’s what I’m here to tell you in this podcast. Specifically, you’re going to learn what Reishi mushroom is, why people supplement with it, what sorts of benefits and side effects you can expect, the best way to take it, how much to take, and more.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
5:17 – What is reishi mushroom?
9:28 – What are the benefits of reishi mushroom?
Mentioned on the Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey, I’m Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today to learn about a supplement to learn about REI Mushroom. Now, why should you care about REI Mushroom? Well, it’s something that you’ve probably heard about if you pay attention to the supplement space. Mushroom supplements have gotten more and more popular over the last couple of.
And Rei Mushroom is my personal favorite among them, and that’s why it is in one of my supplements. It is in Legion’s Green’s supplement, which is called Genesis. And I also wanted to record an episode on supplementation because I realized that it’s kind of ironic that I own a sports nutrition company that has many different supplements.
Now Legion offers quite a few different products, and yet I don’t talk about supplementation much at. I mean, I have some ads for Legion here on the podcast that you’ve heard that Basically just say, Hey, if you like what I’m doing here on this podcast, you probably will also like what I’m doing over at Legion.
But I don’t talk much about supplementation beyond that, and that’s probably because supplements are just supplementary. By definition, they don’t matter. Nearly as much as getting your diet right and getting your training right and getting your rest and recovery right? And so I focus the majority of my time researching, writing, and talking about those things.
But many people who follow me also would like to have advice about supplementation and learn about supplements that are worth considering taking. And so I figured I should start including more information. On supplementation here on the podcast, and today it’s gonna be about rei. Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.
And we’re on top because, Every ingredient and dose in every product is backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent. There are no proprietary blends, for example, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. So that means no artificial sweeteners, no artificial food dies, which may not be as dangerous as some people would have you believe.
But there is good evidence to suggest that having many servings of artificial sweeteners, in particular every day for long periods of time may not be the best for your health. So while you don’t need pills, powders, and potions to get into great shape, and frankly most of them are virtually useless, there are natural ingredients that can help you lose fat, build muscle, and get healthy faster.
And you will find the best of them in legions products to check out everything we have. To offer, including protein powders and bars, pre-workout and post-workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more. Head over to buy legion.com/mike. That’s B U Y L E G I O n.com/mike. And just to show you how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code M F L checkout and you will save 20% on your entire first.
Okay, so I mentioned that Reishi Mushroom is in my Greens supplement called Genesis, and I really like this supplement’s formulation, even though it is not one of legion’s best. Sellers. It sells well, but it doesn’t sell anything like pre-workout and protein powder and post-workout and a multivitamin, for example.
But it’s a very cool formulation because it gives you things that you are not going to normally get in your diet. It’s not just powdered lettuce, for example, you could just eat lettuce, you could just eat some spinach. I actually would rather have you. Then take a greens supplement that purports to replace the need for vegetables in your diet or purports to give you 50 servings of spinach in one scoop.
All that is nonsense. You still need to eat whole foods. You can’t cut vegetables outta your diet and just take a greens supplement and be okay. So with mine, I went in another direction and I put stuff in it like reishi mushroom that you’re not going to eat. A spirulina is in it as well. You. Don’t want to eat spiralina.
You could eat spiralina, but it doesn’t taste very good. And it also has stuff that actually has clearly demonstrable benefits, studies showing clear benefits on the ingredient. It’s not just full of things that are thrown in there because, uh, well it’s green, and green is natural, and natural is good.
Give me your money. And lastly, of course, Genesis does not have any proprietary blends. None of my stuff has proprietary blends because proprietary blends are only good for fraud. Really, that’s the only reason to use a proprietary blend is to try to hide the small amounts of each ingredient in the blend, which would of course raise red flags even among unsophisticated consumers.
You only need common sense to question whether two milligrams of reishi mushroom, for example, is going to. A difference. So anyways, let’s talk about REI Mushroom first. What is it? Well, it is a medicinal mushroom that is often used and has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, and it has gotten itself a pretty good reputation.
It has some impressive sounding nicknames like the Mushroom of Immortality if only, right? If only. And that’s actually because historically it was used. Royalty. It was not for the peasants. The great unwashed and some of the praise for this mushroom has stuck. It’s not the most common dietary supplement, particularly mushroom supplement, but it has gotten more and more recognition over the last several years.
And unfortunately though it has garnered enough attention among consumers to attract the attention of shady marketers. And so now you have a lot of. Bullshit claims being made about what REI mushroom supplementation can actually do for you. In fact, many people are promoting REI mushroom as an alternative health panacea of sorts, something that can do pretty much everything.
A curcumin is another example of one of these supplements that can do great things, but not. Nearly as many as curcumin sellers would have you believe. Resveratrol. Another example. Astragalus, another example. Anyway, coming back to Reishi Mushroom, one of the reasons this has happened is probably because there’s a lot of research on it, but it didn’t focus much on individual benefits.
And if something can’t be known for one specific thing, then it can become known. All kinds of things, and that is primarily a function of marketing. Marketers know that people find science persuasive and they know if they can appeal to science, they can sell people stuff. And so when something like Reishi Mushroom has a lot of.
Science that has shown various benefits but has not drilled down into exactly how these benefits work and which ones specifically can be attributed to reishi versus other factors. Then instead of waiting for more research or being careful with their claims, being careful to accurately represent the research that is available.
Many markers will just make stuff up instead. And in the case of REI mushrooms, some. More common claims are that it can boost the immune system, it can reduce fatigue and it can prevent or even treat cancer. And also kind of unique TOI mushroom among the popular mushroom supplements, likeI versus Lion’s Man, or Corti SEPs, for example, is that ratio is also generally recommended for increasing longevity and reducing anxiety and depression.
Now, what does the scientific research say? Well, we’ll get to that in a minute. First, I just want to clarify how Rei Mushroom works, and this will help you understand the research we’re gonna go over. So like many herbal supplements, REI is not a single. Molecule. It’s a collection of molecules bound together in a proprietary blend, actually, nature’s proprietary blend and REI contains two different molecules that affect the body differently.
So you have tri terpenoids, which are small, fat soluble molecules that are found in many plants, and you also have polysaccharides, which are. Carbs that can stimulate the immune system. Now, both of these molecules can be beneficial to the body, but in different ways. The polysaccharides, as I mentioned, are usually more related to the immune system, whereas the terpenoids seem to be more related to hormones and neurological effects.
Now in REI mushroom extracts, the polysaccharides are found in water solu. Extracts, that’s what’s in Genesis. And they tend to be dosed at around one and a half to about five grams. And the terpenoids are found in oleic, which are fat soluble extracts like tinctures, and they tend to be taken at very small doses, like six milligrams.
So if you were to find some REI growing in your backyard and you saw Tate it maybe with some oil and huh a. Fava beans. A nice ke, it kind of looks like a brain actually. Then you would get the benefits of both groups of the molecules. But for supplements, you usually get one or the other. Alright, so with that preamble out of the way, let’s talk benefits.
Uh, let’s start with immune function because this is. Probably the main claim to fame, right? thatI mushroom helps modulate the immune system. Some people say it just boosts it. Some people say modulate, and that’s a bit of a buzzword, but really what we’re talking about is leveling the hills and valleys when it comes to immune function.
Major spikes or major drops in immune function are reduced and things are on a more even. They are stabilized more or less in a healthy range. Now, there is good research to support these claims. Reishi seems to stimulate some types of immune cells that are relevant to not just general health, but also other conditions that your immune system can get involved in, like cancer, rheumatism and renal disease.
Those have been studied in particular and just because it’s kind of interesting, let’s drill down. That claim in particular. So let’s talk about three types of cell groups. We have dendritic cells, we have T-cells and natural killer cells. Now dendritic cells are kind of like the police training academy in the body.
They are very involved in sensing and training other immune cells and assessing the state of the body and trying to manage it. And REI has been noted to beneficially affect these cells. It helps them mature in a way that encourages the production of something called inter luu. 12 or I L 12, which is a T-cell and natural killer cell stimulating factor.
Now, the second type of cell I mentioned is the T-cell, and this is a very complex cell, and I’m not sure exactly how to fit them into my police analogy, but maybe they could be the dispatchers and the first responders. That’s not. Inaccurate, or at least not entirely inaccurate. So the T-cells look over and they manage other cells of the immune system, and they call in backup when they need help.
And as for the backup, as for the help, that would be the nk, the natural killer cells. And their role is actually explicitly stated in their name. These are the Pacman cells, the macrophages of the immune system that literally. Infections. Think of them as your immune system’s. SWAT team, their job is to kill things.
But naturally now, REI supplementation stimulates the production of NK cells and it also enhances the ability of these NK cells to kill things, to kill their targets. And in the studies on this, it’s usually cancer cells and infections and sometimes. Things try to prevent NK cells from killing cancer cells in particular.
And research shows that they’re unable to do that when the NK cells have been trained by resi mushroom. Pretty interesting. So overall, resi polysaccharides appear to be effective at improving immune function, and they do that by making your body more capable of sensing what a real threat is, and then make them better at handling that threat with extreme prejudice.
Eliminating it. Now, since I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, let’s talk a little bit more about radiation cancer. But let me first say that, of course, this is a touchy subject. I think it’s fine to promote supplements for the purpose of reducing your risk of getting cancer, for example, look into the research on anthocyanins, the pigments in various plants.
They’re blue, violet, and red. Uh, my favorite dietary source of anthocyanins, for example, is blueberries. So again, taking supplements to reduce your risk of getting cancer is, I think perfectly valid, so long as they are good supplements backed by good science and dosed properly. But when it comes to recommending things for treating cancer, Once you already have it, that is now walking on thin ice.
And so I want to make it clear that there’s no reason Reishi would ever be a better chemotherapeutic than pharmaceutical options. And if you were to forego that option to treat cancer and you were to stick only to natural compounds, Um, that would be negligent. That is not what I would do. So with that out of the way, let’s talk about some of the science on REI and cancer.
And it’s interesting because it is one of the few supplements with human evidence behind it, and it does tend to come up with positive results. So when it comes to colon cancer, a low dose of the polysaccharides, one and a half grams from REI has been shown to stop the progress of colorectal adenomas, which are simply tumors.
Now, scientists aren’t sure exactly why. They don’t know if that is a direct effect of REI or a side effect of its general immune boosting properties, but the effect is there, which is pretty. Studies also show that REI may be an effective adjuvant, which is something you take alongside other things to help increase the immune response in treating cancer in the lungs and liver as well.
And something worth noting in the lung study is it showed that REI is able to prevent a suppression of immune function in addition to stimulating the immune system. Better. And that’s important because while the immune system does try its best to save the body, some cancers hinder the immune system.
And research shows that REI may block that effect. So to summarize here, REI seems to be able to boost. The immune system and prevents some immunosuppressive things from happening, and that can cause an overall net improvement in immune function, which is why Reishi has been investigated for fighting cancer alongside standard chemotherapy.
And again, just to be a petant and not piss off oncologists. Because you people do important work, and I don’t pretend to be a scientist or a doctor on the internet. None of the evidence I’ve just shared with you supports shifting from pharmacy to alternative health if you are dealing with cancer, and I do not agree with.
Reishi mushroom cellars who say that it is a cancer fighter. I also though don’t agree with people who say it’s useless. There is human evidence that does show an improvement in immune function and possibly a decrease in the rate of tumor growth with. REI mushroom supplementation. Okay, let’s move on now and talk about fatigue, because REI is often recommended for fighting fatigue, and this one is a bit unclear.
It also is a good segue from the cancer talk because the polysaccharides may reduce fatigue associated with. Chemotherapy that’s been shown in research, which has also been replicated in breast cancer patients. Now, both of those studies noted that the benefits are associated with changes in immunity and in rats, at least it’s been confirmed to be related to the polysaccharides.
Again, that’s the type of extract that’s in Genesis, and this sort of makes sense because people. Who survive cancer and chemotherapy and who are suffering from fatigue tend to be in a more elevated state of inflammation than normal. And supplements that can tip the balance back into, uh, a more level normal state of inflammation.
So lower levels of inflammation may be able to help with that. Now beyond. There doesn’t really seem to be any evidence in either rats or humans that reishi can help with standard run-of-the-mill fatigue that you get from bouncing around in the squirrel cage of life, but maybe it can. There are anecdotal reports of that, but the studies haven’t been done yet.
So the claim, I would say that it can just generally reduce fatigue is currently unsupported.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world. Let’s move on now and talk about liver function because REI is often touted for its ability to help detox a word.
I hate detox the liver, and I guess that’s partially true because REI does seem to interact the liver. In a beneficial manner, but detox is the wrong word because while both parts of thei mushroom can be beneficial, the terpenoids and the polysaccharides, most studies are conducted on the ethanol portion that contains the terpenoids.
And when it comes to the terpenoids, they’re basically just good antioxidants. And so what that means then is when things normally would cause liver cells to commit saku. Oxidation Reishi can step in and stop that from happening. And that’s been confirmed in a human study where oral consumption of a mixed supplement, both polysaccharides and terpenoids, increased the antioxidant capacity of the liver.
And there’s also an interesting study that was done in rats that showed reishi protected the brain and the liver from alcohol abuse. So that could be nice for people. Drink maybe a little bit more than they should. Again, it hasn’t been shown in human research, but the effect may extend to humans. And so anyway, what has been established here is that REI can increase the antioxidant capacity of the liver, and that of course then helps the liver do its job better and the liver.
Is responsible for, quote unquote detoxing the body, getting rid of bad things. And so in a roundabout way, I guess you could say that Reishi can help quote unquote detox body, but it’s the wrong word. It can just help your liver function better because if you say that, REI detoxes the body. You’re insinuating that it directly removes toxins from tissues, and that is not the case.
There are some compounds that can do that actually, like spirulina has been shown to reduce arsenic levels in the body, which is pretty neat, but there’s no evidence that REI has that type of effect. Now, lastly, I want to comment on anxiety and depression because ratio is often promoted to help with these things, and there are.
Couple of studies on them and their pilot studies in rodents just to assess whether or not Reishi has any effect whatsoever and technically it does. The water soluble version with the polysaccharides has shown anti-depressant Act. Activity and the fat soluble version with the Tri Terpenoids has shown anti-anxiety activity.
But we’re talking about a stage of research where they force feed stuff to rats, and you can find, in effect, with almost any dietary supplement that needs to continue into more rigorous research and particularly human research before we can say that there is good evidence that Reishi can help with symptoms related to depression and anxiety.
So that’s a good overview of some of the more common claims made to sell Reishi. There are some other interesting effects that have been noted. For example, it has been shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It has been shown to help protect brain health and to improve blood glucose control and also, Protect kidney health, but we don’t have to get into the specifics on any of those points.
I wanted to stick with the most common claims made to support resi supplementation, and as far as actually taking resi goes, I recommend the water extract with the polysaccharides and the clinically effect. Dose is in the range of one and a half to about five grams per day. The one and a half gram dose is just the take it and forget it dose, whereas the higher end, the five, it’s actually 5.2 grams, but whatever the five-ish gram dose tends to be something that is taken three times per day at about 1.8 grams.
Per serving and take it with meals. It can help with absorption, and you can buy it as a standalone supplement. Or again, you can find it in my Greens supplement, which is called Genesis. You can check that [email protected]. Genesis contains two and a half grams of water soluble. REI in each serving, and we chose that dose because it’s effective at one serving per day.
But I know many people like to take more than one serving of Genesis, and so if they take two servings, they’re still within the clinically effective range. We’re not getting up to like 10 grams per day, for example, which would be a waste of money. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful.
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That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at Muscle life.com. And. That’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode and I hope to hear from you soon.