By Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 19:00 GMT, 7 November 2019 | Updated: 19:00 GMT, 7 November 2019
Mushrooms may boost your immune system, a study suggests.
Scientists discovered a special blend of shiitake, reishi and maitake can boost the response of white blood cells.
Griffith University, Queensland, scientists picked three commercially available types of mushroom with high levels of beta-glucans.
Beta-glucans are a type of carbohydrate found in the cell walls of fungi. They are also in other foods such as oats. Humans cannot make it themselves.
When ingested, the immune system sees beta-glucans as foreign, stimulating a heightened defense against pathogens, Australian scientists say.
Studies have shown beta-glucans can lower blood cholesterol, and therefore may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
There is also evidence the carbohydrate regulates blood sugar levels and stimulates the immune system.
Extracts of mushrooms Shiitake, Reishi and Maitake can boost the immune system, scientists claim on the back of a study
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, blended the three mushrooms together and tested it on human blood cells in the lab.
The concoction stimulated macrophages, a type of white blood cell that detects and destroys bacteria and other harmful organisms.
Macrophages send signals to T cells, which carry out a range of functions including killing bacteria.
Macrophages also release cytokines,