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What are immune-supporting mushrooms and beta-glucans?

In their best-selling encyclopedia, our friends Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D. and Dr. Michael T. Murray, N.D. explain it this way: “In terms of supporting immune function, extracts and preparations of baker’s yeast and medicinal mushrooms such as maitake…shiitake…reishi…and cordyceps…exert significant immune-enhancing effects. Much of the activity is due to the presence of molecules known as beta-glucans. Numerous experimental and clinical studies have shown that yeast and mushroom beta-glucans activate white blood cells by binding to receptors of [other immune cells]…leading to increased immune activity…” — The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine 3rd Edition, pages 180-81

Beta…what?

Although several types of beta-glucan molecules are found in some mushrooms, in recent decades a special configuration described as 1,3/1,6-beta-glucan was discovered in abundance in special, purified, proprietary forms of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). There are two leading proprietary products is this category: Wellmune® WGP and EpiCor®. Drs. Pizzorno and Murray state: “One of the best-researched beta-glucan sources is Wellmune® WGP…Once absorbed, Wellmune® is taken up by the macrophages, digested into smaller fragments, and slowly released over a number of days. The fragments bind to neutrophils…enhancing their activity. As of 2011, six double-blind clinical studies have been conducted with Wellmune® WGP demonstrating positive results.” EpiCor®: Epicorimmune.com states: “EpiCor® postbiotic is a whole food fermentate made using yeast (“Saccharomyces cerevisiae”) that goes through a closely held trade secret fermentation and drying processes…Over a dozen published studies show EpiCor® postbiotic helps to support your immune system and modulate the gut microbiota…When taken daily, EpiCor® postbiotic has been shown to be a safe and effective way to help people live more healthy days.™”

How We Choose Our Top 5 Supplements (View our Site Disclaimer)

We recommend any of the five products listed below equally and so present our choices in alphabetical order by brand. We do not receive any compensation in exchange for our recommendations. Read more about how we make our selections.

Host Defense MycoShield Spray

Host Defense® MycoShield®

Strong immune support from 5 mushrooms. Available in 3 tasty flavors and 3 sizes.  This Host Defense® product is grown, processed and packaged by Fungi Perfecti® and conceived by its founder, the well-known mycologist Paul Stamets.

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MycoShield® supplies beyond basic immune support from 5 mushrooms: Fresh Agariko, Fresh Reishi, Fresh Chaga, Fresh Birch Polypore and Fresh Turkey Tail. Available in 3 tasty flavors and 3 sizes.

  • Certified organic
  • Full spectrum of active constituents
  • Grown & processed in the USA
  • Purity assured
  • Sustainably cultivated

Host Defense® MycoShield® Spray combines five powerful polypore mushroom species: Agarikon, Red Reishi, Chaga, Birch Polypore and Turkey Tail. These five mushrooms provide a unique “shield” of immune support.* Flavored with certified organic oils, MycoShield offers a refreshing taste and is a must-have item for travelers on the go!

Host Defense® MycoShield® Spray uses Certified Organic mushroom mycelium, with a full spectrum of constituents: polysaccharides (beta glucans, arabinoxylane, glucose, xylose, galactose and mannose), glycoproteins, ergosterols, triterpenoids and other myco-nutrients, which are essential for supporting natural immunity.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Host Defense MyCommunity

Host Defense® MyCommunity®

Ultimate support from 17 mushrooms. Available in capsules and liquid extract. This Host Defense® product is grown, processed and packaged by Fungi Perfecti® and conceived by its founder, the well-known Mycologist Paul Stamets.

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MyCommunity® is a comprehensive blend from 17 immune supporting mushrooms for maximum potency: Royal Sun Blazei, Cordyceps, Enokitake, Amadou, Agarikon, Artist Conk, Reishi, Oregon Polypore, Maitake, Lion's Mane, Chaga, Shiitake, Mesima, Birch Polypore, Pearl Oyster, Split Gill Polypore and Turkey Tail. Available in capsules and liquid extract.

  • Certified organic
  • Full spectrum of active constituents
  • Grown & processed in the USA
  • Purity assured
  • Sustainably cultivated

MyCommunity® by Host Defense®

  • The most comprehensive immune support formula in the Host Defense line*
  • Encourages resistance to cellular assaults*
  • Unique combination of mushroom mycelium and fruitbodies, providing a diverse range of constituents to help balance the immune system*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Natural Factors Super Mushroom

Natural Factors® Super Mushroom

Super Mushroom combines six organic mushroom superfoods with Wellmune® beta-glucan and nutrient-dense superfood concentrates for an immune and energy support formula.

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Super Mushroom starts with 300mg of its MycoFusions® Activated Mushroom Complex featuring a 30:1 extract made from organic reishi plus whole organic maitake, shiitake, cordyceps, chaga and lion’s mane mushrooms. The star of the show is 250mg of the patented brand of pure beta-glucans, Wellmune® WGP. In addition, there is a base of 200mg of Farm Fresh Factors™ super food concentrated from 200 grams of fresh raw plants, processed using our EnviroSimplex® method to retain and intensify the total goodness of whole food into rich living food.

Wellmune® WGP research: https://www.wellmune.com/research/

The super food base of Super Mushrooms: Farm Fresh Factors™ Ingredients Our Farm Fresh Factors™ starts with 200 grams of fresh raw plants, processed using our EnviroSimplex® method to retain and intensify the total goodness of whole food into rich living food.

Active Vegetables – organic kale (leaf), organic alfalfa (aerial), organic cilantro (leaf), organic parsley (aerial), caper (berry), organic artichoke (leaf), organic black radish (root), barley grass, cayenne pepper (leaf), organic celery (seed), organic beet (root), organic tomato

Cruciferous Vegetables – wasabi (rhizome) and fresh freeze-dried sprouted broccoli (aerial), organic upland cress (leaf), daikon (root), red radish (root), organic cauliflower (aerial), organic cabbage (leaf), organic arugula (leaf), organic watercress (leaf), sprouted garlic (bulb)

Whole Fruit Ultra Polyphenols – grape, pomegranate, strawberry, organic cranberry, organic blueberry, raspberry, bilberry, organic Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica), schizandra berry, red orange, organic açai berry

Herbals and Plants – Theracurmin® (Curcuma longa) (root), organic decaffeinated green tea (leaf), organic milk thistle (seed), organic ginger (rhizome), organic echinacea (aerial), marigold flower, organic dandelion (root), organic oregano (aerial), organic peppermint (aerial), organic spearmint (aerial)

Whole Plant Sea Vegetables – organic spirulina, organic chlorella, red algae, blue green algae, Dunaliella salina, kelp

Other Ingredients – Microcrystalline cellulose, vegetarian capsule (carbohydrate gum [cellulose], purified water), vegetable lubricant (palm).

Country Life Lung Defense

Country Life® Lung Defense™

Looking for a cutting-edge product? Lung Defense™ is an unusual combination with key ingredients Wellmune® WGP beta-glucan for general immune support and Setria® L-Glutathione Reduced for lung, respiratory & immune health support.

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Endogenous glutathione plays a key role in helping to reduce oxidative stress. Published clinical studies show that supplementing with Setria® L-Glutathione Reduced increases glutathione in the body. Wellmune® WGP beta-glucan has been shown to prime the immune system and support healthy immune function. The addition of Mullein extract Verbasum thapsus L. leaf further supports lung health with the addition of vitamin C and Zinc picolinate, which are essential nutrients that neutralize negative effects of free radicals.

Wellmune® WGP research: https://www.wellmune.com/research/
Setria® L-Glutathione Reduced: https://kyowaquality.com/ingredients/setria-glutathione

Due to the high oxygen environment, lungs are susceptible to oxidative stress. This recently stabilized supplement form of glutathione—Setria® L-Glutathione Reduced — is a naturally derived substance that is a biologically active sulfur amino acid tripeptide compound containing three amino acids: L-Cystene, L-Glutamic Acid and Glycine. Setria® brand of L-Glutathione Reduced is a trademark of Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd., and is produced exclusively in Japan using a proprietary fermentation process and is pharmaceutical grade, the highest quality available.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

MegaFood C Defense Gummies

Source Naturals® EpiCore® with Vitamin D-3

Looking to for a basic product but with an immune boost that has good research on its benefits? Then this 2-ingredient product may be for you.

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Just 1 capsule contains 2,000 IU of Vitamin D-3 and 500mg of EpiCor®, the proprietary beta-glucan product made using a dried yeast fermentate from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

What is EpiCor®: https://epicorimmune.com/what-is-epicor/
EpiCor® Research: https://epicorimmune.com/research/

Epicorimmune.com states: “EpiCor® postbiotic is a whole food fermentate made using yeast (“Saccharomyces cerevisiae”) that goes through closely held trade secret fermentation and drying processes…Over a dozen published studies show EpiCor® postbiotic helps to support your immune system and modulate the gut microbiota…When taken daily, EpiCor® postbiotic has been shown to be a safe and effective way to help people live more healthy days.™”

How We Choose Our Top 5 Supplements

Ingredients with measurable efficacy: Some supplement ingredients have had decades of scientific study and thousands of published studies describing their measurable efficacy and benefits to human nutrition. But some are only recently showing up on the market and have little science to explain their properties. Since you can't buy or try everything, we recommend products with studied ingredients.

Added value/complementary nutrients: Much of the cost of supplements is in their packaging, so if a product contains several complementary ingredients for its intended benefit, then we usually recommend that product over a single ingredient product. The exception is a single ingredient product that has special recognition as superior to similar but less effective products.

Different forms (tablets, powders, etc.): Some people just hate to take pills of any kind. So, when there’s a chewable, liquid, powder or gummy option that’s effective, we may also recommend those products.

Good manufacturing practices and reputation: There has been an explosion of supplement brands in the last 10 years. Many of these brands live only online and have ownership outside of USA regulations or ownership whose identity is sometimes hard to determine. We recommend companies that have made and marketed supplements for many decades in the USA and have earned good reputations for closely following FDA, GMP, and FTC guidelines, submitting to protocols that verify purity and potency and refraining from misleading product claims.

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