Weight Loss and Health with Red Reishi

By Rhiannon Lambert, Nutritionist

August 27th, 2015

Chinese medicine, in particular nutrition has always been a fascination of mine, especially the “energentic” approach.

"Let medicine be your food and food be your medicine"

In Western societies we approach food via the laboratory, upon the analysis and breakdown of food into its basic constituents. We call this a certain quantity of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs). Eastern approaches to nutrition are derived from the observation of human behaviour once we have eaten and the food has entered our body. They assess food according to the nature and quality of its Qi (the fundamental reality underlying our physical existence). Nutrition and food are thought to have certain behaviours when they enter the human body. Some foods activate our metabolism, some foods slow us down; some foods generate warmth in the body, some generate coolness; some foods are moistening, some drying; and some nourish our kidneys, liver or heart. Another important principle of eating “orientally” is that we eat according to who we are. Therefore, there is no universally applicable “right” diet. Each person will have a different constitution and therefore, different nutritional needs. This emphasizes the approach I use with a lot of my clients, combining an individualistic approach but backed up by my Western training as a nutritionist.

red reishiAfter looking into this type of nutrition alongside my Masters degree I came across red reishi mushrooms and their incredible benefits. As a nutritionist, I was intrigued by the Chinese use of the mushroom for centuries and of course, my first instinct was to check out the scientific literature behind this wonder food. I was not disappointed.

Now you won't find this type of mushroom in your local supermarkets here in the UK - Ganoderma lucidum (the technical name for the red reishi mushroom) is not often used in cooking because it is hard and has a bitter taste, although some people do use it the same dishes that you might use Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes). The red reishi mushroom is mainly used for medicinal purposes and health benefits, and for this reason people take it in supplement form.

So exactly what is in red reishi that gives it so many health benefits?

Scientists have learned that one of the active ingredients are polysaccharides, specifically beta-glucans. Beta-glucans have the capacity to strengthen the immune system – in fact it is one of the strongest immune system boosters there is.

Another active ingredient in red reishi are triterpenes. The type found in red reishi is a ganoderic acid that has been proven in studies to ease the symptoms of allergies by stopping the release of histamines. It also can improve the body's use of oxygen and help the liver function better.

Weight Loss

reishi for weight controlA recent study conducted on mice has emerged from Taiwan indicating that red reishi alters the gut bacteria and reduces weight gain. Previous research has indicated that the gut microbia is associated to obesity and metabolic disease. As inflammation is increased during obesity, taking probiotics to enhance gut health has been shown to reduce this inflammation. The researchers in Taiwan found just that, inflammation is reduced when taking extracts of the red reishi mushroom in mice. Perhaps this could be investigated further in humans. Now I am not saying that red reishi solely is the cure for such a severe metabolic disease but I am saying, if you support your gut health then you are on your way to improving your overall health by giving your body a better chance at adapting to change and losing weight. The signals that tell us when we are hungry (Grhelin) and full (Leptin) are created in the gut so we must enable them to function optimally by supporting the good bacteria in the gut.

Unfortunately, the quality of supplements on the market are always questionable and without the highest quality extract you will not see the desired results. This is why I have chosen to work with the Mikei® Red Reishi Essence supplement.

Quality is Important

The Mayuzumi family of Japan is the world’s foremost experts on producing the highest quality red reishi mushroom. In 1976, the family patented the most superior strain and perfected its cultivation and concentration methods to the exacting standards of the Japan Reishi Association (JRA). reishi cultivation greenhouseThe JRA hologram on each box of Mikei ensures quality, safety, and efficacy. The Japanese were first in the world to commercially cultivate reishi of the red variety – a task considered impossible to achieve for centuries. The Mayuzumi family is the most credible 3rd generation mushroom growers and pioneers for high quality red reishi cultivation in a natural and organic environment.

The Mikei® Red Reishi Standard
Mikei Red Reishi Essence box
  • Uses Mayuzumi's patented red reishi strain
  • Cultivated using Mayuzumi's "natural wood-log" technique
  • Naturally grown without using chemicals or pesticides
  • Harvested at peak maturity to maximize phytonutrient levels
  • Uses only the fruiting body of mature red reishi for extraction
  • Free of myceliated rice and bulk fillers
  • Hot-water extracted to a potent 16.6:1 ratio (250 mg of red reishi essence per capsule)
  • Does not contain soy, gluten, or animal products
  • Encapsulated in a 100% vegetable capsule

I take one capsule a day as part of my daily regime and highly recommend you do the same, I can't promise weight loss but an immune system boost and enhancing gut health are super reasons to do so!

Rhiannon recently spoke on BBC WORLD NEWS regarding the recent red reishi study on weight loss and gave her expert opinion on the topic:

Rhiannon LambertRhiannon Lambert, is a nutritionist in London, UK. She offers dietary advice on how to live a healthy & happy lifestyle and how to eat well. After achieving a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Nutrition & Health, A Masters Degree in Obesity & Eating Disorders and a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy, Rhiannon has built upon a wealth of knowledge having worked as Nutritionist at a number of London's most renowned eateries, health boutiques and NHS Hospitals.

For a consultation or more information, please visit www.rhitrition.com

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