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By Dr. Mercola
Mushrooms are neither plant nor animal. They're fungi and have been valued for their medicinal properties for centuries.
In ancient Egypt, mushrooms were thought to bring long life, and today in the 21st century, research is bearing out the mechanisms behind mushrooms' health-boosting properties, including their potential to fight one of the greatest plagues to modern man cancer.
The Cancer-Fighting Properties of Mushrooms
About 100 species are being studied for their health-promoting benefits, and about a half dozen really stand out for their ability to deliver a tremendous boost to your immune system. In fact, some of the most potent immunosupportive agents come from mushrooms, and this is one reason why they're so beneficial for both preventing and treating cancer.
Long-chain polysaccharides, particularly alpha- and beta-glucan molecules, are primarily responsible for the mushrooms' beneficial effect on your immune system. In one study, adding one or two servings of dried shiitake mushrooms …
There are no known side effects from eating normal amounts of mushrooms in our diet. Mushroom extracts are classed as dietary supplements. Most such supplements have not been tested to find out if they interact with medicines, foods, or other herbs and supplements. Shiitake mushroom extracts are generally considered safe, although there are some reports of diarrhoea or bloating. With other types of mushroom there are some reports of allergic reactions affecting the skin, nose, throat, or lungs.
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