Adapting in Times of Stress -Adaptogenic Mushrooms

Stress can have many negative impacts on your health, such as increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as leading to anxiety and depression.¹ Stress might be an inevitable part of life, but it is important to try and reduce stress levels whenever possible. As everyone experiences stress uniquely, different coping mechanisms will work for each individual; some may find aerobics helpful, others yoga or a hot bath. Beyond what you have tried in the past, there may be one other thing to consider… Have you ever heard of the term adaptogen?

Adaptogens are natural substances which help the body adapt to stress and work to normalize our bodily processes. According to Health Canada, some mushrooms such as reishi are used in Herbal Medicine as an adaptogen to help increase energy and resistance to stress. They also have immunomodulating properties and are used in Herbal Medicine to support the immune system.²

Although you may be most familiar with the white button mushrooms commonly eaten in Canada, there are many types of mushrooms and fungi available:

  • Reishi mushrooms have been used for approximately 200 years as a traditional medicine in countries such as China, Japan, and Taiwan.³
  • Shiitake mushrooms are native to China and Japan and are the second most commonly eaten mushroom in the world.⁴
  • Lion’s mane is a mushroom which grows on dead trees like beech and oak. Since ancient times it has been used as a food and medicine in East Asia.⁵
  • Chaga is a fungus which grows on trees, particularly birch, in Canada, Europe, Korea, Russia, and the United States. “Chaga produces a woody growth, called a conk, to absorb nutrients from the wood...for centuries, people in Russia and certain Asian countries have used chaga tea to balance the body’s immune system [and] promote good health.”⁶

If you don’t like mushrooms or want to eat them every day, Jamieson Mushroom Complex is a one-a-day adult herbal formula that naturally supports your immune system while helping increase energy and resistance to stress. It includes reishi and shiitake mushrooms, lion’s mane and chaga, as well as the addition of garlic.⁷

Mushroom Complex can be taken when you are:

  • Experiencing low energy levels During a typical work week, 27% of Canadian workers report being fatigued most days or every day.
  • Stressed On a daily basis 27% of Canadian workers claim to have high to extreme levels of stress. “Over one in four workers report being highly stressed. An additional 46% of Canadian workers reported that they felt “a bit” of stress on a day-to- day basis.”⁹ With all the changes in the last few months, stress has increased even more for many adults whether they are working or not working.
  • Currently fighting a cold Adults are infected by the common cold two to three times per year. “Stress and poor sleep may increase the risk of the common cold among adults.”¹⁰ Mushrooms, particularly reishi, are used in Herbal Medicine to support the immune system,¹¹ while garlic is traditionally used to help relieve common cold symptoms, including nasal congestion.¹²
  • Experiencing a stressful life event and are concerned with heart health This includes if you have a family history of heart disease or have high blood lipid levels. High blood lipids (including cholesterol, triglycerides and/or fat phospholipids) are found in 45% Canadians aged 18-79.¹³ Garlic and garlic- derived compounds may help as they have been found to decrease the production of cholesterol.¹⁴

Mushrooms are a food, but some species also provide health benefits

Most edible mushrooms are nutritious by providing protein and some B vitamins. However, if you are looking for medicinal properties, it is important that you are ingesting the right species, at the correct potency. In accordance with Health Canada regulations, Jamieson lists the exact dosage: for example the extracted amount of reishistating it is from the “fruiting body” of the plant which provides the Health Canada claims listed above. Jamieson also goes above and beyond Health Canada quality requirements by being certified by TRU-ID®, a Canadian, independent DNA certification program founded by the University of Guelph. It uses the latest in DNA technology to verify the correct identity of plant species, to ensure the correct mushrooms are included in the bottle. The TRU-ID® symbol is a scientific confirmation that the mushroom species expected, are actually present in the bottle. This provides you with an assurance of receiving the health benefit expected.

 

References

1 Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Get Healthy Reduce Stress. Accessed May 25, 2020 at: https://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy/reduce-stress

2 Health Canada. Mushrooms Monograph. Accessed May 25, 2020 at: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=mushrooms.champignons&lang=eng

3 Natural Medicines. Reishi Mushrooms Professional Monograph. Accessed May 19, 2020 at: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=905

4 Natural Medicines. Shiitake Mushrooms Professional Monograph. Accessed May 19, 2020  at: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=680

5 Natural Medicines. Hericium erinaceus Professional Monograph. Accessed May 19, 2020 at: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=1536

7 Health Canada. Product Information Natural Product Number 80087030. Accessed May 18, 2020: https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80087030

8 The Conference Board of Canada. Almost 30 per cent of Canadians go to work feeling tired. Accessed May 18, 2020 at: https://www.conferenceboard.ca/press/newsrelease/16-09-20/Almost_30_per_cent_of_Canadians_go_to_work_feeling_tired.aspx

9 Statistics Canada. Work Related Stress Infographic. Accessed May 20, 2020 at: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/11-627-m/contest/finalists-finalistes_2-eng.pdf?st=s2Z3CmDl

10 Allan GM Arroll B (2014). Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence. CMAJ. Feb 18;186(3):190-9.

11 Health Canada. Reishi – Ganoderma Lucidum Monograph. Accessed on May 20, 2020 at: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=reishi&lang=eng

12 Health Canada. Garlic – Allium Sativum Monograph. Accessed on May 20, 2020 at: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=garlic_ail&lang=eng

13 Joffres M et al. (2013). Dyslipidemia Prevalence, Treatment, Control, and Awareness in the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Can J Public Health. Apr 24;104(3):e252-7.

14 Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Garlic and Organosulfur Compounds. Accessed May 20, 2020 at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/garlic#pregnancy-lactation