Immunity & Medicinal Mushrooms

Anyone with a compromised
immune system or is more prone to getting sick and fatigued.
Especially true when stress is great and immune system is overloaded
. Mushrooms are also very beneficial for managing a wide variety of
viruses and pathogens. They are also used in the treatment of immune
imbalances in fertility treatments.

For anyone who is undergoing treatment
in fertility clinics and have not been successful but have not found
any reason for failure, please read on.

Immunological
causes of implantation failure

This is
a relatively new diagnostic medicine within IVF centres, which has
made
big
advances in the last 5-10 years. It is still is in its infancy in
Ireland and is being
continuously
researched.
In
American IVF centres it is part of the general initial workup of
investigations.
If a
woman has signs of gross inflammation it is recommended early, but
otherwise
offered if 3 failed cycles.

“In
normal pregnancy a womans’s body accommodates what is essentially a

foreign
body that should be destroyed by her immune system.
The
normal immune system is balanced between Th1 ‘
autoimmune’
and Th2 ‘suppressive’ response Most women have a balanced system.

Women with implantation failures or recurrence miscarriage have an unbalanced immune system. They are too Th1 activated with cells that attack their pregnancy and /or too Th2 compromised lacking protective antibodies” (extract taken from “The body at War” by John Dwyer).

The mother’s immune system identifies the fetal cells as intruder and the mother’s immune system reacts against it.

Attack
of the egg

The
female immune system attacks the egg in the ovary, the
developing
embryo in the fallopian tubes or at the implantation site
preventing
or disrupting implantation.

Attack
at the Endometrium implantation site

The
female immune system fails to cloak and protect the
implantation
site from attack – male or female initiated

Sperm
attack

Normally
the sperm has antigen which triggers her immune
system
NOT to reject but if this is interfered with by the disruption to the

immune
response then this causes dif ficulties.

Immunology
in depth

T
helper cells
(
Th cells) are a type of T cell that plays an important part in the
immune system especially in “adaptive” immune system. They help
the activity of other immune cells by releasing T Cell Cytokines.

These
cells help suppress or regulate immune responses. They are essential
to B Cell antibody class switching and in the activation and growth
of cytotoxic T cells and in maximizing bacterial activity of
phagocytosis such as the action of Macrophages.

Mature
Th cells express surface protein CD4 and are called CD4+T cells.

CD4+T
cells are treated as having a Pre-de fined role as helper T cells
within the immune system

Th
helper cells produce Interferon, Gamma interleukin (IL2) and tumour
necrosis factor (TNF)beta, which activate Macrophages and are
responsible for cell mediated immunity and phagocyte dependent
protective responses.

Th1 cell mainly develop after infection by intercellular bacteria and some viruses. Th2 cells predominate in responses to infections by gastrointestinal toxins

Th1 cells are involved in pathogenesis of organ specific autoimmune disorders such as Crohns, Helicobacter pylori induced peptic ulcer, and unexplained recurrent miscarriages.

B
Lymphocytes
are
the antibody forming cells of the immune system. They are found in
blood, lymph nodes, spleen, tonsil and other mucosal tissues.

Cytokines
are
a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are
secreted by specific cells of the immune system. They are molecules
that regulate immunity and inflammation.

They
assist cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate
moving of cells towards site of inflammation and infection and
trauma. They are important regulators in the immune system.

Natural
Killer cells
are
immune
lymphocytes
that
are a subset of lymphocytes and are involved in the innate immune
responses and play an important role in the defense against viral
infections, tumours and when raised above normal can prevent
implantation of the embryo.

In Sims IVF clinic in Dublin, the
laboratory has created specific tests called the Zip blood test and
ZFB endometrial biopsy which tests for the specific imbalances of the
immune system, as mentioned in the previous page. There are several
other detailed tests which check for various other changes and
discrepancies. They offer within the clinic particular treatments
which involve taking oral steroids, and other immune suppressant
agents.

Natural immune regulation

Acupuncture is used to regulate the
immune system alone. Its action can be complemented by use of
medicinal mushrooms.

Medicinal
Mushrooms
used
for regulation of the immune system by way of the adaptogenic quality
of each mushroom. According to TCM mushrooms assist by way of
tonification of Qi, Blood, Yin, Yang, and Jing in Fertility
treatment.

Mushrooms
have been part of the culture of TCM for thousands of years, but in
more recent years have been accepted by western medicine, due modern
to research.

Immune
enhancing plants and mushrooms have been studied by Japanese
researchers since the 1960’s.

Mushrooms
are used to restore the immune system of patients with tumours,
increasing the white blood cells and deficiency of platelets, both
resulting from chemotherapy.

Their
adaptogenic qualities help to regulate various immune related
disorders. They also raise the general core energetic stamina of the
individual.

Common
mushrooms used to help Fertility disorders –

  • Coriolus
  • Cordyceps
  • Reishi
  • Mesima

Coriolus MRL (Turkey Tail mushroom)

John
Tindall an acupuncturist working in London with HIV patients, in 1999
confirmed that Coriolus-MRL produced marked improvement in CD4 levels
and viral load. They are used in more recent years in the regulation
of unstable immune systems in fertility patients.

Uses
Th1/Th2
shift, Leaky gut syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, anti- viral
action on Epstein-Barr virus, and in Human papillo virus.

TCM
used
in Lung disorders, liver and kidney yin deficiency, phlegm
obstructing meridians, and lungs. Spleen qi deficiencies. Nourishes
the heart and spirit.

Cordyceps
MRL cordyceps sinensis

Caterpillar
fungus is derived from a master strain of Cordyceps sourced from high
altitudes in Tibet and Nepal. It parasites on the larvae of the
Lepidoptera moth, and during each Spring grows into a finger shaped
fruiting body. The MRL raw material is not harvested from dead
caterpillar.

Uses
Allergic
diseases, asthma, eczema, autoimmune disorders, antidepressant and
anti-stress action, regulates hormones. Hypoglycaemic action and used
in insulin resistant patients.

Liver
support especially in cirrhosis, and regenerates liver tissue.

TCM
Tonifies
the lungs in Lung Yin Deficiency and defensive qi, Kidney Yang
deficiency. Restores sexual vitality an used traditionally for
longevity and to treat impotence.

Kidney
Essence Deficiency

Reishi
MRL (ganoderma/ Lingzhi) – grows on mouldering trunks and stumps in
the coastal regions of China.

It
is known as a plant of immortality or a plant of spiritual power, and
for centuries has been valued in China and Japan. Uses
Asthma,
bronchitis, allergy, resolves phlegm, antihistamine, Chronic Fatigue
syndrome. Lowers blood pressure. Boosts the immune system, antiviral,
anti-inflammatory. Liver protection regeneration and detoxification

Used
in Tumour diseaases, and lowers toxic side effects of chemo and
radiothrapy.

Regulates
T and B lymphocytes, suppressing the expanding of Tumour cells.
Supports cell renewal in bone marrow and white lymphocytes and
erythrocytes, NK cells.

Use
in fertility treatments to regulate the immune system, acting as
immuno stimulants, antibacterial, antiviral. Reduces allergy and
inflammation and major depletion and exhaustion.

TCM
Nourishes
the Heart and Calms the Spirit. Nourishes all Qi Deficiencies in TCM-
Liver, Kidney, Lung, Heart, Spleen, Stomach, Blood, Jing

Mesima
Phellinulinteus
Meshimakobu (the black hoof mushroom /Sang huang)

It
is so-called due to its hoof shape. It is primarily found in Asian
countries such as China, Japan, and Korea.

As
a basidiomycete fungus, this mushroom often grows in large numbers on
mulberry trees.

The
Phellinus linteus has a distinct bitter taste. As such, it is usually
consumed in the form of a medicinal tea in Korea. Notably, the
mushroom is regarded as a medicine that can promote health and
longevity in traditional Asian cultures.

Uses
When
consumed regularly, the mushroom has been found to treat and prevent
a diverse range of ailments such as diarrhea, hemorrhages, gastro
enteric dysfunction, and certain cancers. It possesses the greatest
concentration of anti-tumor properties. This makes it an ideal as an
anti-cancer drug. Over the past decade, Korean scientists have been
researching on the mushroom’s possible ability of improving the
body’s immunity and of enhancing the effects of chemotherapy.

Facilitates
wound healing, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant,and
cytotoxic.

Anti-cancer

Although
Phellinus linteus has been shown to be a possible treatment for
cancer, specifically breast, prostate, bladder, bone, and lung
cancer, bowel more research has to be conducted in order to obtain
conclusive evidence of its efficacy.

In
general though, the extract from the mushroom have been known to
suppress metastasis and the growth of tumors, stimulate the cell’s
immune defense, and lessen inflammation.

In
some studies, marked improvement was witnessed in cancer patients who
consumed the mushroom in conjunction with other treatments.

Anti-arthritis
and anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic

Patients
suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were able to experience markedly
less inflammation in their joints after consuming the polysaccharide
extract from the edible fruit of the Phellinus linteus. Their
autoimmune responses also lessened greatly. Anti- inflammatory agent
especially in cases of septic shock that are caused by
lipopolysaccharides.

Antihistamine

Numerous
studies have proven that the polysaccharides of Phellinus linteus are
highly effective in treating immune imbalances and allergic
reactions.

Specifically,
the active components in the mushroom are capable of suppressing Th2
cytokines and conversely inducing secretion of Th1 cytokines that are
known to promote a more balanced immune system.

Antiallergic

Suppresses
the release of histamine in the body even after the introduction of
known allergic stimuli. Useful in atopic dermatitis or asthma.

Treatment
for infertility

Many
women who have elevated levels of NK cells and cytokine often suffer
from infertility issues. Consuming Phellinus linteus has been shown
to lower these components and thus increase the chances of successful
pregnancies.