What are triterpenes, why are they important to my health and where do I get them?

Triterpenes are a class of compounds found in many plants, including mushrooms, that have a wide range of potential health benefits. They are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and immune-enhancing properties.

One of the most studied triterpenes is ganoderic acid, which is found in the reishi mushroom. Ganoderic acid has anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties, making it of interest for improving overall health and wellness. It may also improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation.

Cordycepin is another triterpene and is found in the cordyceps mushroom. Cordycepin has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, as well as the ability to improve athletic performance. It may also improve lung function and protect against kidney damage caused by diabetes.

The triterpene found in chaga mushroom is betulinic acid, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties.

Triterpenes found in turkey tail mushrooms is polysaccharide-K, which is found to have anti-cancer properties and enhance immunity.

Triterpenes are found in various fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants and mushrooms including:

Grapes: Triterpene oleanolic acid and ursolic acid have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Olive oil: Is rich in triterpene oleuropein, which has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-cancer effects.

Aloe vera: Contains triterpenes aloin, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Pine bark: Contains triterpene pycnogenol, which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer effects.

These are just a few examples of plants that contain triterpenes.

Triterpenes are thought to exert their health benefits by a variety of molecular mechanisms, including:

Anti-inflammatory Effects: Triterpenes have been shown to inhibit the production and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, which play a crucial role in the development of chronic inflammation. By blocking the action of these cytokines, triterpenes can help to reduce the severity of inflammatory responses and protect against cellular damage.

Anti-oxidant Effects: Triterpenes scavenge free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause cellular damage and contribute to the development of various diseases. By neutralizing free radicals, triterpenes can help to protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of various health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders.

Immune System Modulation: Triterpenes enhance and regulate the immune system, including the activation and proliferation of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer cells. By boosting the immune system, triterpenes may help to improve resistance to infections and reduce the risk of various diseases.

Anti-viral Effects: Triterpenes have antiviral effects, including the inhibition of viral replication and the activation of the immune system. By blocking the replication of viruses, triterpenes may help to prevent the spread of infections and reduce the risk of disease.

While triterpenes are commonly associated with medicinal mushrooms, they are also found in a variety of other plant-based sources, such as ginseng.

If you are looking to incorporate some of these benefits into your diet, try our Level Up Bar Chocolate + Hazelnut containing Reishi, chaga, cordyceps and Turkey Tail mushrooms.