Some previous studies have evaluated the antiviral properties of mushrooms against influenza. To understand how mushrooms exert their effects, we must first understand the ways that influenza viruses make people sick. One way involves the glycoprotein hemagglutinin (H), a large sugar-binding lectin located on the outside of the virus particle to help the virus particle bind to the new host cell. The other involves neuraminidase (N), which allows virus particles to pass by the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and releases influenza virus offspring from infected cells, allowing them to spread and infect other cells. When seasonal influenza is named as H1N1, the numbers refer to specific hemagglutinin and neuraminidase.
In addition to generally enhancing immune function, mushrooms also help to block above two path of infection. In fact, many medicinal mushrooms that support immunity have been found to inhibit the neuraminidase pathway, which is the same mechanism used by Tamiflu. For example, Reishi Mushroom, Grifola frondosa, Shiitake Mushroom, Cordyceps sinensis, and Needle porosus baumannii have this ability. A recent study on Reishi Mushroom found that its triterpene ganoderic acid TQ and TR have an inhibitory effect on the acid enzyme of neuroammonia in H5N1 and H1N1 virus strains.Another study involving influenza A virus (serotype H1N1) found that Pleurotus ostreatus, Flammulina velutipes and Coriolus versicolor can effectively inhibit this pathway. Coriolus versicolor is even considered to have a high therapeutic index , it is suggested as a promising new antiviral drug against certain influenza virus . Although these fungi are unlikely to prevent influenza or its more serious complications, which can help the body improve defenses based on immune support and other biological activities.
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