Background: The role of glucan in stimulation of immune reactions has been studied for several decades. In this report, we focused on the effects of orally administered glucan Maitake and Shiitake on immune reactions.
Materials and methods: We measured phagocytosis, NK cell activity, and secretion of IL-6, IL-12, IFN-γ as well as C-reactive protein (CRP) after 14 days of oral application of tested glucans. For comparison, active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) was used in all reactions.
Results: We found significant stimulation of defense reaction. In all cases, the most active was the Maitake-Shiitake combination, with Maitake alone being the second strongest, followed by Shiitake on its own and AHCC.
Conclusions: Short-term oral application of natural immunomodulating glucans from Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms strongly stimulated both the cellular and humoral branch of immune reactions. These activities were significantly higher than those of AHCC.
Keywords: C-reactive protein (CRP); NK cells; Phagocytosis; cytokines; glucan.