Do you want to lose weight healthily and sustainably? If so, consider adding reishi mushroom supplements to your diet. Reishi mushrooms facilitate weight loss by improving metabolism, reducing inflammation, and controlling blood sugar levels.
Obesity is one of the most critical public health issues. Recent WHO global (1) estimates show that more than 1.9 billion people over 18 are overweight. The worldwide prevalence of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate and has nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.
The weight loss industry has programs and products that promise fast weight loss. There is no quick and easy way to shed extra fat, but mushrooms like Reishi tackle obesity. And we have science-backed evidence!
This article explains how Reishi mushrooms help with weight loss. Read on to learn more!
What Is Reishi Mushroom?
Reishi, an edible superfood fungus, is known as polyonymous Lingzhi, Ganoderma lucidum, mushroom of immortality, and phantom mushroom. It is native to the humid parts of Asia and is now found in temperate and subtropical locations worldwide.
Reishi mushroom has been used for over 40 centuries (2) in Chinese traditional medicine.
Read More: Learn about the health benefits of Reishi.
Reishi mushroom is composed of polysaccharides, beta-glucans, and triterpenes. These compounds are responsible for its physical benefits (3) like antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral, antiulcer, blood pressure, and sugar-lowering effects. They also increase the good cholesterol in our bodies and reduce the bad ones.
Reishi mushrooms can be eaten fresh or used as mushroom powder, tinctures, and extracts. Fresh mushrooms can be eaten raw or used in soups. You can mix Reishi powder in your morning tea or coffee and your post-workout smoothies and shakes.
Read More: Learn how to use Reishi powder.
How Does Reishi Mushroom Help With Weight Loss?
The weight-lowering potential of Reishi has been tested in new research by an international group of scientists. The 2015 Taiwanese study (4) has proven the Reishi weight loss benefits.
The study analyzed the effects of the Reishi mushroom on mouse models that were given a high-fat diet for eight weeks. In addition to the high-fat diet, one group of mice also received Ganoderma mushroom supplements.
Both the groups of mice became obese following the fat diet. However, researchers noted the following bodyweight benefits in the group fed with reishi mushroom:
- A 20-29% decrease in the amount of fat deposited in the body cavity
- A 44 to 59% decrease in the fat deposited underneath the skin
- A 17% decrease in the weight of the liver and the sites of fat deposition
- An 8 to16% decline in total body weight
Reishi's polysaccharide produces a significant anti-obesity effect. Let's take a closer look at the Ganoderma weight loss mechanisms.
1. Reishi Mushroom Decreases Obesity-Related Inflammation
Lingzhi mushrooms can slow down weight gain by altering the bacteria in our digestive tract. Research has analyzed the possible role of gut bacteria in obesity-induced inflammation. The gut bacteria release endotoxins known as Lipopolysaccharides (LPS).
Endotoxins reside inside bacteria that are released when they disintegrate. The levels of these LPS increase in the blood following ingestion of a high-fat diet. LPS then plays a direct and indirect role (5) in the inflammatory reaction in the fat cells of the body in obesity.
Reishi mushrooms have direct anti-inflammatory properties (6). The mushroom reduces inflammation levels in study models, which generally increases after a high-fat diet.
2. Reishi Alters Gut Bacteria
When researchers added Reishi mushrooms to the mouse diet, it altered the composition of the bacteria living in the gut. Gut bacteria are a significant component of our digestive system, and the species of the bacteria vary between slim and fat people.
The researchers showed that transplanting the feces from the mice fed on mushrooms to other mice helped the recipient mice to lose body weight and reduced fat accumulation beneath the skin.
3. Reishi Prevents Fat Accumulation
Research data, although preliminary, has found that Reishi mushrooms and their extracts can prevent fat accumulation in the body. They can reduce weight gain in study models.
Read More: See how Lion's mane fights weight gain.
The mouse models receiving a high-fat diet gained 42g of weight in the first two months, whereas mice receiving a high dose of Reishi extract reached 35g in the same duration.
A larger mass of fat tissue in obesity is associated with higher levels of free fatty acid (FFA). Reishi mushroom extract reduces the levels of FFA in the blood, thereby preventing body fat accumulation.
4. Reishi Has Prebiotic Potential
Prebiotics and antibiotics are amongst the many treatments in evaluation(7) for obesity and its associated inflammation. The water extract of Ganoderma Lucidum is a potential prebiotic agent that could treat obesity and its complications in the future.
Read More: See how Chaga tea fights obesity.
Supplementation of the obese mouse models with extracts of Reishi decreased weight gain and fat accumulation in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, the Reishi mushroom offers prebiotic support that feeds the beneficial organisms.
5. Reishi Maintains The Gut Integrity
A high-fat diet can make the gut release the LPS into the bloodstream. One study (8) noted that Ganoderma extracts improved the integrity of the intestinal barrier, even in mice feeding on a high-fat diet.
6. Reishi Decreases Obesity-Associated Immune Dysfunction
A high-fat diet is also associated with a gradual decline (9) in Regulatory T cells (Treg). These cells regulate and modulate the immune system maintaining homeostasis in the body. The water extract of Reishi enhances the Treg cells in mice's liver and fatty tissue.
7. Reishi Decreases Insulin Resistance
Obesity is also associated with an increased risk (10) of developing insulin resistance and diabetes. Insulin resistance is when the muscles, fat cells, and liver do not respond to the action of blood sugar-lowering insulin hormone.
Read More: See how Reishi fights diabetes.
Without responding to insulin, the body cells will not take up glucose from the blood, causing blood sugar levels to rise. Ganoderma mushroom reduces (11) insulin resistance.
Reishi mushrooms are also known to decrease blood glucose levels (12). High sugar in the blood can lead to food cravings leading to weight gain.
8. Reishi Reduces Fatigue
Reishi mushroom helps fight fatigue. They reduce body aches (13) and pain while improving energy and muscle endurance following exercise.
Read More: See how using Cordyceps mushroom pre-workout improves energy and fights fatigue.
One of the main reasons people skip their workout is tiredness and muscle fatigue. Reishi medicinal mushrooms boost your energy, helping you return to your fitness routine.
9. Reishi Combats Stress
A stressful lifestyle is also one of the triggers of obesity. We tend to cope with stress by eating "comfort food" rich in calories and fats or a glass of liquor.
Reishi mushrooms are adaptogen mushrooms. They help the body cope with a stressful situation and adapt to it.
Read More: See how Reishi fights depression.
Consuming Reishi mushrooms will calm the overactive mind (14). Lingzhi will help you relax and loosen up, reducing mindless eating that contributes to obesity.
10. Reishi Is Low On Calories
Reishi mushroom is abundant in essential micro and macronutrients. The mushroom contains a high amount of dietary fiber and water and is low in calories.
Apart from that, it is also a good source of proteins. Reishi mushrooms will, therefore, help on your weight loss journey.
Why Are The Reishi Mushroom Weight Loss Benefits Vital?
The health benefits of reishi mushrooms have been studied widely. Today, science and experts report the following benefits that are closely linked to the weight loss benefits of Reishi:
Reishi Weight Loss Benefits And Diabetes Prevention
Adding reishi mushrooms to your nutrition helps with weight loss, reducing your risk of diabetes. A 5–7% weight loss among persons at high risk for the condition decreased their risk of type 2 diabetes by 58%, according to a statistically validated Diabetes Prevention Program(15).
Read More: See how Chaga mushroom fights diabetes.
Reishi Weight Loss Benefits Lower Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure
A research study(16) determined that being overweight or obese increases blood pressure and the chance of developing hypertension. The study concluded that losing weight is associated with a reduction in blood pressure, reducing the risk of hypertension.
A second research study(17) concluded that weight loss is a necessary treatment and prevention measure for hypertension. The study noted that weight management in the population is of the utmost importance to prevent an increase in the prevalence of hypertension and, as a result, cardiovascular morbidity and death.
Yet another study(18) evaluated the effectiveness of weight loss in reducing the risk of hypertension. The findings of this study showed that body weight reduction was effective in significantly lowering blood pressure levels.
This was especially apparent in individuals with normalized BMIs who also had higher plasma levels of leptin, aldosterone, renin, and insulin at the presentation time. Both the BMI and blood pressure readings returned to normal in half of the patients, which may indicate that these people had hypertension solely brought on by too much body fat.
Since Reishi facilitates weight loss, the mushroom may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and other diseases associated with excess weight. Moreover, combining Chaga and Reishi may even have better results on both weight loss and the risk of high blood pressure.
Ganoderma Lucidum Weight Loss Benefits Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Reishi offers cancer benefits—in some cases, these cancer benefits result from the mushroom helping with weight loss.
One research study(19) concluded that intentional weight loss might significantly reduce cancer risk with a short latency period. The study noted that cancer incidence and circulating cancer biomarkers decline shortly after weight loss.
Another study in 2017(20) determined that women with a weight loss of more than 5% significantly reduced the risk of endometrial cancer. The researchers found strong evidence favoring the theory that deliberate weight loss among obese postmenopausal women will lessen their risk of developing cancer.
Reishi Weight Loss Benefits And Hormonal Balance
Reishi has hormonal balance benefits. Most people rarely understand that obese humans are at a high risk of hormone imbalance and reduced body weight often helps balance hormones.
The fact that hormone imbalance is one of the obesity-related disorders means that the reishi weight loss benefits can significantly impact hormone balance.
A research study conducted in 2012(21) evaluated the impact of weight loss on hormone balance. The study concluded that weight loss significantly lowered serum estrogens and free testosterone.
Reishi Weight Loss Benefits And Skin Health
Reishi skin benefits result from the improvement of gut microbiota and weight loss.
Research has shown that(22) obesity accelerates the process of aging. Aging accelerates by 2.7 years for a 10-point increase in the body mass index.
Accelerated aging impacts the skin negatively. Therefore, by helping with weight loss, Reishi keeps the skin healthy.
Is Reishi Good For The Stomach?
Reishi mushroom promotes stomach health in people with obesity by supporting healthy gut bacteria. The mushroom offers better stomach functionality, as it prevents negative bacteria formation
Remember that you will have to take the proper reishi dosage to enjoy the benefits of Reishi on gut health.
The key to preventing obesity is regular exercise and a calorie-balanced diet. Adding medical mushrooms and their supplements to your daily life will enhance their positive results.
The research on Reishi mushrooms and weight loss has not yet been tested on humans, but the benefits are intriguing and promising. The mushroom is a prebiotic supplement that decreases weight gain, inflammation, and insulin resistance in obesity.
Ganoderma weight loss benefits may be a potential foundation for treating obesity in the future. A mushroom a day might help keep the doctor away!
Have you ever tried the reishi mushroom for weight loss? Leave us a comment below. We'd love to hear about your experience!
- Obesity and overweight, (1)https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight
- Ganoderma lucidum, (2) https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/ganoderma-lucidum
- Chapter 5 - Medicinal plants as potential functional foods or resources for obtaining anticancer activity metabolites, (3)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B978012819828500005X
- Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557287/
- Role of microbiota-derived lipopolysaccharide in adipose tissue inflammation, adipocyte size and pyroptosis during obesity, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29362018/
- Suppression of the inflammatory response by triterpenes isolated from the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum, (6)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19651243/
- Changes in gut microbiota control metabolic endotoxemia-induced inflammation in high-fat diet-induced obesity and diabetes in mice, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18305141/
- Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557287/
- Circulating regulatory T cells are reduced in obesity and may identify subjects at increased metabolic and cardiovascular risk, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23592653/
- Mechanisms linking obesity to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, (10)https://www.nature.com/articles/nature05482
- Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557287/
- Isolation and hypoglycemic activity of ganoderans A and B, glycans of Ganoderma lucidum fruit bodies, (12)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3840903/
- A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia, (13)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857210/
- Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial, (14)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22203880/
- Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), (15) https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/research-areas/diabetes/diabetes-prevention-program-dpp
- Weight Loss and Blood Pressure Control (Pro), (16)https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/hypertensionaha.107.094011
- Influence of Weight Reduction on Blood Pressure, (17)https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.hyp.0000094221.86888.ae
- Effect of body weight loss and normalization on blood pressure in overweight non-obese patients with stage 1 hypertension, (18)https://www.nature.com/articles/hr2009220
- Does intentional weight loss reduce cancer risk?, (19)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5669836/
- Intentional weight loss and cancer risk, (20)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5669836/
- Reduced-calorie dietary weight loss, exercise, and sex hormones in postmenopausal women: randomized controlled trial, (21)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22614972/
- Obesity May Accelerate the Aging Process, (22)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2019.00266/full
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