Mushrooms are good for you and the benefits vary between the hundreds of species, especially in boosting immunity. Lactoferrin also boosts immunity by supporting gut health, which in turn helps improve overall well-being. Two of the most popular items (for good reasons) under the range of Kenzen® Nutrition are Kenzen® Immunity and Kenzen® Lactoferrin 2.0.
The scientific and self-care communities are putting both mushrooms and lactoferrin in the news, so much so that they’re currently trending. At Nikken, that is no surprise, but it does seem to have taken some time for the mainstream media to have picked it up. The good news is that we continue to receive lots of reconfirmation on the research that served as the foundations for two of our bestselling formulations.
University of Massachusetts Amherst nutritionist Zhenhua Liu, an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and recipient of a new $300,000 research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will investigate whether incorporating mushrooms into Western-style diets can improve gut health and provide a preventive buffer against disease.
Dr. Liu says, “Intestinal dysfunction is thought to be one of the underlying mechanisms that contribute so significantly to the development of Western-style diet-related diseases. For example, oyster mushrooms possess a unique dietary composition rich with multiple nutrients lacking in the Western-style diet, such as dietary fiber and vitamin D. It’s a perfect supplement as a natural whole food to improve the quality of Western-style diets, with the added benefit of improving our overall gut health.”1
With fatty and sugary foods contributing to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and a host of other chronic health issues across the U.S. and Europe,2 nutritionists and dieticians around the world have their work cut out for them.
Gordon Saxe, MD, PhD, whose research focuses on using food as medicine, is the principal investigator of MACH-19 (Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for COVID-19), a multi-center study led by University of California San Diego and UCLA. He has found that “mushrooms have the advantage that they co-evolved with us. Bacteria, viruses and other fungi prey on mushrooms just like they prey on humans. And mushrooms have developed exquisite defenses against those pests, and we believe they can confer those to us when we eat them.”3
The importance of mushrooms is explored on multiple plains in the book Entangled Life, written by Cambridge mycologist Merlin Sheldrake. He explores not only the functional food aspects of mushrooms, but also the fact that 90 percent of plant life depend on their relationships with fungi. Sheldrake explains, “These fungi don’t just feed plants, they protect it from disease, they hold the soil together, and they’re conduits for carbon, soil’s main component, which helps it retain water and makes it fertile.”4
It would be unlikely that any of us could eat enough mushrooms of the many beneficial varieties or physically create enough natural lactoferrin to produce the desired immune and gastrointestinal benefits. For example, the oyster mushroom referred to by Dr. Liu as being so beneficial, is only one of 14 mushroom species contained within Kenzen® Immunity. Enoki and shiitake are the other two commonly found in Asian cuisines; however, in Kenzen® Immunity, the mushroom blend is developed to be in the highest concentrations of beneficial compounds. In addition, Kenzen® Immunity includes mushrooms rich in alpha and beta glucans, specialized sugars that the human body cannot produce on its own but are believed to provide immune support.*
Lactoferrin (LF) or lactotransferrin has recently come under the spotlight. Diet and supplements have long been believed to support a well-functioning immune system, and favorably influence the body’s ability to fight infection. Although LF is produced by the body itself, as a secretion by exocrine glands (such as maternal milk or tears) it can also be taken as a supplement, where it then acts as nutraceutical or functional food. Some of the most well-known characteristics of LF is that it is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic. Its ability to limit iron availability to microbes is one of its crucial amicrobial properties.5
Lactoferrin clearly has immunological benefits, as it enhances natural killer cell activity. It stimulates the defense system and can restrict the entry of virus into host cells during infection.6 LF may therefore be an excellent supplement to take, as a way not only to help prevent immune-related issues but also to expedite recovery.
As a protein, Lactoferrin’s main biological function is to bind and transport iron, an essential mineral that helps hemoglobin carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Providing a superior delivery system to support better utilization and balance of iron in the body,* Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0 is naturally iron-binding, which studies have shown to have a positive effect on iron absorption, blood iron levels and digestive issues.* Our formulation contains organic Inulin, organic Ginger, organic Turmeric and organic Rhodiola, that work together with Lactoferrin to produce antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties for overall health.*
Father’s Day is on June 19 this year, so for the entire month of June, Nikken is celebrating fathers with a self-care pack that empowers men with Active Wellness. Our Father’s Day Pack, available June 1 through June 30, targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.
*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.
1, 2 https://www.massachusetts.edu/news/good-your-gut-umass-amherst-research-examines-benefits-eating-more-mushrooms