RESEARCH ON REISHI COFFEE’S BENEFITS TO IMMUNE FUNCTION
People who need coffee to refresh themselves every day will inevitably worry about accidentally drinking too much coffee. If you drink Reishi coffee, you may be able to avoid such worries and even have an unexpected harvest.
According to a research report published in Food Science and Technology in 2017 by the National and Local Joint Engineering Research Center for Cultivation and Deep Processing of Medicinal Fungi, Reishi coffee has the effect of enhancing immunity.
The Reishi coffee used in this research is a reasonable mixture of Ganoderma lucidum extract and coffee, provided by GanoHerb Technology (Fujian) Corporation. The experimental animals are ICR mice, which are widely used in pharmacology, toxicology, tumor, food and other scientific research.
Three different doses (1.75, 3.50 and 10.5 g/kg, i.e. 5 times, 10 times and 30 times the recommended daily dose for a 60 kg adult, respectively) of Reishi coffee were administered orally to mice daily. After 30 consecutive days, the effects of Reishi coffee on the immune function of mice were analyzed by various detection methods. It turned out:
1. Increased splenic index (number of lymphocytes)
The splenic index is the ratio of spleen weight to body weight. Since the spleen is rich in lymphocytes (including B cells, T cells and natural killer cells). The degree of lymphocyte proliferation will affect the weight of the spleen, which is then reflected in the splenic index. Therefore, the general situation of the individual’s immune function can be judged from the level of the index.
The experimental results showed that compared with the control group that did not consume Ganoderma lucidum coffee, low and medium doses of Ganoderma lucidum coffee had no significant effect on the spleen index of mice, but high doses of Ganoderma lucidum coffee could increase the spleen index of mice by 16.7%, which is statistically significant.
2. The ability of T cells to proliferate becomes stronger
T lymphocytes are the commanders of the immune system. They will decide the direction of the immune response according to the enemy’s situation from the outposts (such as macrophages). Some T cells will even actually fight the enemy or remember this experience so that they can quickly activate an immune response the next time they fight an enemy. Therefore, their ability to proliferate during the “campaign” is related to the overall immune function.
According to the results of ConA-induced mouse spleen lymphocyte transformation test (also known as the T cell proliferation test), the proliferative capacity (the OD difference of spleen lymphocyte transformation) of spleen lymphocytes of mice taking medium and high doses of Ganoderma lucidum coffee when stimulated by ConA increased by more than 30% compared with the control group.
Since ConA selectively stimulates T cells, the proliferation of mouse spleen lymphocytes observed in the experiment is actually the result of T cell proliferation.
3. The ability of B cells to generate antibodies is stronger and the number of antibodies they generate is larger.
The B lymphocytes are also known as antibody-producing cells. They will produce corresponding antibodies according to the instructions issued by the T cells to precisely attack the invaders locked by the T cells. This “specific immune mechanism that uses B cells to produce antibodies to achieve the purpose of protection” is called “humoral immunity”, and the number of B cells and the amount of antibodies produced become indicators to evaluate the strength of humoral immunity.
When B cells encounter red blood cells from different sources, they will produce antibodies to lyse red blood cells, and the antibodies produced will bind to red blood cells and aggregate into clumps. This property was used to assess the ability of mouse B cells to produce antibodies (hemolytic plaque assay) and the number of antibodies produced (serum hemolysin assay).
It was found that high-dose Ganoderma lucidum coffee can improve the ability of mouse B cells to produce antibodies (the number of hemolytic plaques increased by 23%) and the number of antibodies produced (the number of antibodies increased by 26.4%), which all contribute to the improvement of humoral immune function.
4. The activity of macrophages and NK cells is strong
Good immunity requires not only a good commander-in-chief (T cells) and precise logistical support (B cells and antibodies) but also a mobile force that can provide support from the detection of the enemy’s front line to the entire immune response process. Macrophages and NK cells are playing such a role.
Through “carbon clearance capacity” and “NK cell activity assay”, it was found that high-dose Ganoderma lucidum coffee can increase the phagocytic ability of macrophages by 41.7% and increase the activity of NK cells by 26.4%. This was a statistically significant difference compared to the control group who did not drink Ganoderma lucidum coffee.
The combination of Ganoderma lucidum and coffee makes coffee more than just coffee.
The immune system needs many parts to cooperate with each other to form a dense protective net. Macrophages, NK cells, T cells, B cells and antibodies are key roles in this network and are indispensable.
Many studies in the past have already confirmed that Ganoderma lucidum extract can enhance the effects of the above-mentioned immune cells and antibodies, and now this study provides a scientific basis for the immune function of “Ganoderma lucidum coffee”, which is a combination of Ganoderma lucidum extract and coffee.
However, Ganoderma lucidum coffee is a combination of two ingredients after all. Ganoderma lucidum extract is present in limited amounts in Ganoderma lucidum coffee. A cup a day or two or three days may not be as effective as supplementing with Ganoderma lucidum alone, but it may add up over time.
For coffee lovers, Ganoderma lucidum coffee is certainly even more meaningful. In addition to the immune significance presented by the above experiments, the effects of Ganoderma lucidum since ancient times to “supplement heart qi” and “increase wisdom and memory” may also play a complementary role with coffee.
Jin Lingyun et al. Research on the effect of Ganoderma lucidum coffee on the immune function of mice. Food Science and Technology, 2017, 42(03): 83-87.
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★ The original text of this article was written in Chinese by Wu Tingyao and translated into English by Alfred Liu. If there is any discrepancy between the translation (English) and the original (Chinese), the original Chinese shall prevail. If readers have any questions, please contact the original author, Ms. Wu Tingyao.