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Mushrooms Strengthen Immune System, Study

Update Date: Apr 16, 2015 11:24 PM EDT

A mushroom, not apple, keeps the doctor away, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Florida linked consumption of cooked shitake mushrooms to stronger immune systems.

The latest study involved data from a 2011 study that involved 52 healthy participants between the ages of 21 and 41. Participants were given a four-week supply of dry shitake mushrooms and asked to eat one every day during the experiment.

Blood tests before and after the experiment revealed that participants had significantly more efficient gamma delta T-cells and significantly lower inflammatory proteins.

"If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their immune system that are beneficial," lead researcher Sue Percival, a professor at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, said in a news release.

"We're enhancing the immune system, but we're also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces," she concluded.

The findings were published April 11 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

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