Explore the Benefits of Mushrooms for Women's Health
May is Women's Health Month! Despite significant progress in women’s health, the general approach has historically been slow and reactive, with little effort put into understanding the unique health challenges faced by women. However, this is beginning to change.
As we all know, women carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Yet, they often neglect their health while bearing the burden of responsibilities and expectations.
Fortunately, mushrooms are one of the few things that offer multiple benefits to women’s health! They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and the bioactive compounds in functional mushrooms provide numerous medical benefits.
Mushrooms can help prevent and treat a variety of health challenges that women face, and they can also aid in achieving multiple health and wellness goals. Let’s explore the ways mushrooms can benefit women’s health.
Mushrooms as Possible Treatment for PCOS and Infertility
The global fertility rate is decreasing while the prevalence of hormonal disorders such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is increasing among women. PCOS is caused by an excess of androgen and is characterized by a change in insulin sensitivity.
Elevated androgen levels may affect ovulation and lead to cyst formation on the ovaries. PCOS symptoms include weight gain, infertility, acne, excessive hair growth, type 2 diabetes, and irregular or missed menstrual periods.1,2
Fortunately, maitake mushroom have been shown to effectively treat both PCOS and infertility. They improve insulin sensitivity by reducing inflammation, thereby regulating the menstrual cycle and aiding ovulation. Studies show that maitake, taken alone or with other substances, can increase ovulation by up to 77% and improve fertility.3
Similarly, reishi mushrooms are effective in treating PCOS and infertility in women due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-androgen properties.
Reishi decreases the activity of 5-alpha-reductase, which aids in testosterone conversion and utilization that leads to various PCOS symptoms, including the development of masculine characteristics.
By reducing inflammation and inhibiting androgen activity, reishi mushrooms promote hormonal balance, resulting in a lower risk of PCOS and improved fertility.4
In addition to hormonal imbalances, stress, anxiety, and depression are major factors that increase the risk of various health problems, including infertility.
Reishi mushrooms are a potent adaptogen that helps prevent stressors from disrupting the body’s normal equilibrium and functioning. Reishi also helps to reduce chronic stress by improving sleep quality and duration.5 These amazing benefits are packaged into our Mushie UNWIND formula, which has 1,000mg of organic reishi mushrooms per serving!
Mushrooms Are a Natural Aphrodisiac and Libido Booster
For centuries, cordyceps mushrooms have been used as a natural aphrodisiac in Asian cultures to enhance sex drive in men and women. Check out our previous blog article on this topic, Can Mushrooms do Wonders for Your Sex Life?
Low sex drive in women is often attributed to chronic stress, lack of energy, brain fog, and hormonal imbalances. Cordyceps is a potent energy booster that can also improve mental clarity, enhance mood, and promote psychological well-being. Shop our Mushie ENERGY formula, which has 2,000mg of organic cordyceps per serving!
Testosterone is crucial for both men and women in maintaining a strong libido, and cordyceps has been shown to enhance testosterone production and utilization.6 Researchers suggest that cordyceps mushrooms may also enhance sex drive in women by improving cellular energy production, increasing oxygen flow, and supporting adrenal and reproductive organs.
Many women who experience low sex drive often feel drained after a long day. In addition to cordyceps, chaga mushrooms can also help to restore physical energy and mental vitality due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cordyceps and chaga are not the only players in sex drive; reishi is renowned for its adaptogenic and anti-inflammatory properties, earning it the nickname “magic mushroom of the bed.” In Chinese traditional medicine, it is believed that Reishi stimulates sexual energy by acting on the kidney meridian.
Mushrooms as the Fountain of Youth and Beauty
Mushrooms are considered one of the healthiest foods available due to their numerous health-promoting nutrients and compounds. Mushrooms truly are nature’s original superfood!
Historically, mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. Recently, there has been growing interest in mushrooms as a way to enhance skin and hair health.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and bioactive compounds, making them an ideal supplement for beauty. Additionally, the nutrients found in mushrooms can protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation, ultimately slowing down the aging process.
Polysaccharides in mushrooms have properties that mimic the action of hyaluronic acid and help hydrate the skin. Consuming edible mushrooms or taking mushroom supplements can result in softer and suppler skin.
The regular use of external exfoliants may cause long-term damage to the skin. However, some mushrooms contain kojic acid, which acts as an exfoliant from within. These mushrooms can help improve skin health, keeping it bright, young, and smooth.
Vitamin D and other nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy skin. Acne is often linked to nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances. The vitamins and minerals found in mushrooms can help treat acne and prevent skin damage caused by it. We know the importance of vitamin D and added an extra 7,500IU of vitamin D per bottle in all of our Mushie Organic Super Mushroom Gummies!
Mushrooms are an excellent weapon against aging. They are rich in choline, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which help clear free radicals that are responsible for aging. Additionally, mushrooms combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which ensures that the skin, organs, cells, and all the chemical processes within the body remain healthy and stable for an extended period.
Immune Boosting and Immune Modulating Power of Mushrooms
Most people understand that the immune system is important, but few realize that maintaining normal immune function is a delicate balance. The immune system must be strong enough to defend against and fight infections but must not overreact, which can lead to autoimmune conditions.
Numerous mushroom species have been shown to have an immunomodulatory effect on the body, helping to maintain this delicate balance.
Scientists are still uncertain which mushrooms have the strongest immunomodulatory properties, as several species can be used to balance the immune response. Several books on this topic exist, including The Fungal Pharmacy, which clearly documents the use of mushrooms in traditional medicine to improve infection-fighting capabilities.
All the mushroom species listed in the book, including maitake, shiitake, turkey tail, reishi, and chaga, are well-known for their immunomodulatory action. All of these functional mushrooms can be found in our Mushie DEFEND formula, with a total of 2,000mg of 5 different super mushrooms per serving!
Polysaccharides are the primary source of immune benefits found in mushrooms. Beta-glucans, a type of polysaccharide, attach to immune cell receptor sites to elicit a suitable response to foreign substances in the body.
In addition to fighting infections and oxidative stress, polysaccharides are also known to regulate the inflammatory response, which is crucial in preventing autoimmune conditions.
Mushrooms for Better Women’s Mental Health
Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes in various cultures around the world, including for improving mental health. Recent scientific research has validated many of these claims, indicating that mushrooms offer several benefits to women’s mental health.
Immunomodulation, which plays a critical role in regulating inflammation in the body, is one way in which mushrooms can support mental health.
Chronic inflammation is linked to stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. By reducing inflammation, mushrooms such as lion’s mane, turkey tail, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, chaga, and reishi may help alleviate symptoms of these mental conditions. ALL of these beneficial adaptogens can be found in our Mushie Power Bundle, providing you a whopping 8,000mg of these organic mushroom extracts per serving!
Mushrooms also contain several mood-boosting bioactive compounds, including beta-glucans and polysaccharides. These compounds are known to influence the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which is crucial for a healthy nervous system. The low nerve growth factor is linked to poor sensory, and cholinergic function and the development of mental health disorders.
In addition, mushrooms are an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents such as ergothioneine. They help fight against free radicals and oxidative stress that damage brain cells, which are linked to various mental disorders.
Vitamin and mineral deficiency are also linked to anxiety and depression, especially low potassium levels. Mushrooms are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. According to a 2-year study conducted on 24,000 participants, regular mushroom consumption reduced depression.7
Scientists believe that the antioxidants in mushrooms can support various mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Mushrooms to Rejuvenate the Gut Microbiome
Mushrooms are a rich source of fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals, which offer several benefits to gut health.
The high fiber content and polysaccharides found in mushrooms act as prebiotics, stimulating the growth and functioning of beneficial gut bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
The increased consumption of junk and processed foods high in salt, sugar, and preservatives, coupled with a decrease in physical activity, can lead to constipation and poor gut health.
However, the high dietary fiber content in mushrooms can help regulate bowel movements, leading to a cleaner and healthier gut that is better equipped to promote the growth of good gut bacteria.
Mushrooms contain several prebiotic polysaccharides, including beta-glucans, galactans, xylans, mannans, alpha-glucans, chitin, and hemicellulose. They also release various digestive enzymes such as cellulases, lipases, amylases, and proteases, which help break down food into macronutrients, promoting easy absorption of nutrients from the intestines.8,9
The compounds in mushrooms also aid the gut microbiome by reducing inflammation, which has been linked to several gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Additionally, the antioxidants in mushrooms protect the gut lining against inflammation and oxidative stress, thereby promoting overall gastrointestinal health and well-being.
Mushrooms to Combat Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a growing concern for individuals and governments worldwide. It is an umbrella term encompassing conditions such as high blood glucose, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol levels, and excess body fat.
If left unchecked, these conditions can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. However, incorporating mushrooms into one’s diet can help combat metabolic syndrome disorders.10
Maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms have been shown to improve insulin levels and sensitivity, which can help regulate glucose levels.
The polysaccharides found in these mushrooms are particularly effective in controlling glucose levels and have cholesterol-lowering effects. Additionally, mushrooms are high in dietary fiber, which is non-digestible and can reduce food cravings while providing a feeling of fullness.11
To keep metabolic syndrome disorders at bay, doctors advise maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
Mushrooms can replace red meat and carbohydrate-rich foods and are a great option for weight loss and management due to their delicious taste, high nutritional value, and satiating effect.12
Furthermore, mushrooms have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, contributing to the prevention of metabolic syndrome disorders.
Mushrooms Help Balance Your Hormones
Women require vitamin D for the production of several hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. Furthermore, a deficiency in this essential vitamin has been linked to an imbalance in other hormones. Mushrooms, which are rich in numerous vitamins, also contain ergosterol, a precursor to vitamin D.
Certain mushroom types, such as chaga and reishi, possess an adaptogenic effect that helps regulate stress hormones like cortisol. High levels of cortisol can negatively impact mood, and excessive cortisol can upset the balance of sex hormones, leading to health concerns such as irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.
Hormonal imbalances, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), have been connected to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. As previously stated, mushrooms antioxidants and other compounds can protect the ovaries and uterus from inflammation, oxidative stress, and damage.
Menopause is an unavoidable aspect of a woman’s life that is marked by hormonal imbalances, particularly a decrease in sex hormones. Hormonal imbalances during menopause can cause irritability, mood swings, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms.
A study demonstrated that lion’s mane mushroom was successful in treating post-menopausal symptoms, enhancing mood, and reducing anxiety and depression in animal subjects over a four-week period.13 Our Mushie BRAINY formula has 2,000mg of organic lion’s mane per serving and is an excellent choice for post-menopausal support.
In menopausal women, reishi can reduce symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, and restlessness. Additionally, this mushroom prevents the over-stimulation of certain hormones during menopause. Cordyceps boosts energy and stamina and influences the release of estrogen, which helps counteract mood swings and irritability during menopause.
Ensuring good health and well-being should be non-negotiable. For far too long, women have disregarded their health concerns to cater to the needs of others, pursue their aspirations, and assist those in need.
It’s worth remembering that only when you’re physically and mentally robust can you shoulder the world’s burdens.
Mushrooms, with their array of beneficial properties, can help you maintain homeostasis, tackle various health and mental challenges, and enhance your vitality, enabling you to accomplish multiple health objectives. Here at Mush More Co, we have the most potent, lab tested, organic mushroom gummies for all your health needs!
- Ganie, M Ashraf, and Sanjay Kalra. “Polycystic ovary syndrome - A metabolic malady, the mother of all lifestyle disorders in women - Can Indian health budget tackle it in future?”Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism 15,4 (2011): 239-41. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.85571
- “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).”Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) | Johns Hopkins Medicine, 28 Feb. 2022, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos.
- Chen, Jui-Tung, et al. “Maitake Mushroom (Grifola Frondosa) Extract Induces Ovulation in Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Possible Monotherapy and a Combination Therapy after Failure with First-Line Clomiphene Citrate.”The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 16, no. 12, 2010, pp. 1295–1299, https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2009.0696.
- Fujita, Rumi, et al. “Anti-Androgenic Activities of Ganoderma Lucidum.”Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 102, no. 1, 2005, pp. 107–112, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2005.05.041.
- Liao, Ly., He, Yf., Li, L.et al. A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide. Chin Med 13, 57 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9
- Huang, B M et al. “Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on testosterone production in normal mouse Leydig cells.”Life sciences 69,22 (2001): 2593-602. doi:10.1016/s0024-3205(01)01339-x
- Ba, Djibril M., et al. “Mushroom Intake and Depression: A Population-Based Study Using Data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005–2016.”Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 294, 2021, pp. 686–692, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.080.
- Jayachandran, Muthukumaran et al. “A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota.”International journal of molecular sciences 18,9 1934. 8 Sep. 2017, doi:10.3390/ijms18091934
- El-Gendi, Hamada et al. “A Comprehensive Insight into Fungal Enzymes: Structure, Classification, and Their Role in Mankind's Challenges.”Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland) 8,1 23. 28 Dec. 2021, doi:10.3390/jof8010023
- Tung, Yu-Tang et al. “Edible Mushrooms: Novel Medicinal Agents to Combat Metabolic Syndrome and Associated Diseases.”Current pharmaceutical design 26,39 (2020): 4970-4981. doi:10.2174/1381612826666200831151316
- Kundaković, Tatjana, and Marina Kolundžić. “Therapeutic properties of mushrooms in managing adverse effects in the metabolic syndrome.”Current topics in medicinal chemistry 13,21 (2013): 2734-44. doi:10.2174/15680266113136660196
- “A Study on the Effects of Nutritious Mushrooms in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome - Full Text View.”Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.Gov, clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04081818. Accessed 15 May 2023.
- Anuar, Azliza Mad et al. “Ameliorating Effect of the Edible Mushroom Hericium erinaceus on Depressive-Like Behavior in Ovariectomized Rats.”Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin 45,10 (2022): 1438-1443. doi:10.1248/bpb.b22-00151