What Is Natural Killer Cell Deficiency?
The human body contains many different types of cells that can help fight infections and keep us healthy during our day-to-day lives. Our immune system has two parts: innate and adaptive.1 The innate system is a more general defense, similar to having a gate around your house keeping everyone out, while the adaptive immune system is a more specific defense, like an alarm going off in your house if an outsider tries to enter. Natural killer cells, or NK cells, are part of our innate immune system that attacks many viral infections and tumor cells to prevent them from developing.2 Since these NK cells are incredibly important in keeping us healthy, what happens if they aren’t working right or are not found in the blood stream at all? The result is called natural killer deficiency, which can lead to a decreased immune response, more life-threatening infections, fatigue, pain, stress, decreased mood, and tumor growth.3
Although most individuals have at least some functioning NK cells in their body, research has shown that stress, pollution, and aging can all decrease the levels of natural killer cells4. If you are looking for a natural, effective way to increase your level of NK cells in order keep yourself healthy and free from infection, try giving Agaricus blazei mushroom extract a shot.
Despite its small size, the Agaricus blazei mushroom has been tested and shown to strengthen NK cell activity naturally. In one UCLA study conducted in 1994, mice given daily injections of Agaricus mushroom had three times as many natural killer cells as the control mice after a month.4 In terms of the analogy above, this meant that there were three times as many gates surrounding the house, and their immune systems were more likely to stop harmful intruders. This study also showed that mice given Agaricus mushroom injections were able to fight off cells that cause tumors, which lead to a healthier life overall.4
Another study ten years later examined the effects of complementary and alternative medicine on the immune system and showed that there was a significant increase in NK activity after consuming Agaricus blazei mushroom extract. More specifically, there was a 20% increase of NK cell function in 3 out of 5 groups, which was the highest correlation out of all the mushroom extracts tested.5
In conclusion, the studies referenced above have all shown that consuming Agaricus blazei mushroom can increase the amount of natural killer cells in the immune system. This is especially important in this day and age since stress and pollution are ever-present in the world around us and are factors that decrease NK cells.4 So, whether you have natural killer deficiency or are just looking to stay healthy, try taking Agaricus blazei mushroom to help boost your immune system and prevent infection!
If you're looking add Agaricus blazei your daily supplement regimen, we highly recommend Agaricus Bio. It's made from certified organic Agaricus blazei Murill mushrooms and contains all the vital immune-enhancing compounds that you'd want in an immune support supplement.
- Ghoneum research at UCLA