Researchers from the University of Florida found increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks.
In the study led by UF Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival, 52 healthy adults, age 21 to 41, were given a four-week supply of dry shiitake mushrooms, popular in countries like Japan and China.
Participants took the mushrooms home, cleaned and cooked them. Then they ate one, 4-ounce serving of mushrooms each day during the experiment.
Through blood tests before and after the experiment, researchers saw better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins.
"If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their immune system that are beneficial," said Percival.
Percival said the dietary restrictions were imposed because fibre, tea and probiotics help the body's immune system, so researchers didn't want to start with people who already had a strong immune system.
The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.


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