Hey there, it's Luke "The Lion" here with a quick, yet comprehensive article to help you understand where chronic fatigue comes from, and how to combat it.
You’ll see sensational wellness bloggers often refer to chronic inflammation as “the Silent Energy Thief” or “The Silent Killer."
They’ll use tabloid-like headlines that read something like, “Discover how the 'Silent Energy Thief' is stealing your energy, robbing your family of their pride and joy, and leaving you fatigued on a daily basis."
Although it’s true, chronic inflammation does have the potential to chip away at your overall health.
Those dramatic headlines always crack me up.
This is how they make me feel 😝
In this article, we’re going to move away from scare tactics and into education so you can truly understand what chronic inflammation is - and of course, how to fight back.
How does it actually steal our energy and lead to fatigue? And most importantly, how can we fight back to reclaim our vitality?
Well, it all starts with understanding what inflammation is…
What is chronic inflammation, and why does it deplete our energy?
Inflammation is a natural process that the body uses to respond to injury or infection, which, in its acute form, is beneficial and necessary for healing.
Acute inflammation is what happens when you sprain an ankle and the body shuttles nutrients and blood to the area to help support healing. This is where swelling comes from.
However, when inflammation becomes chronic or it’s being triggered at the wrong times (when you don’t actually need it), it can become a problem that may lead to energy depletion for several reasons:
1. Cellular Distraction:
Chronic inflammation keeps the body's immune system in constant "fight" mode. Immune cells are busy responding to inflammatory signals instead of performing their regular maintenance and repair duties, which can lead to fatigue.
Think, you’re trying to make a sandwich on the beach, but seagulls keep swooping down to peck at your food. You’re using all your energy to fend off the attacking gulls, and your sandwich never gets assembled.
2. Metabolic Expense:
Similar to fending off hungry seagulls, dealing with inflammation requires energy.
The process of producing the cells, chemical mediators, and proteins necessary to sustain an inflammatory response is demanding on the body. If excessive inflammation is ongoing, it can divert energy away from other cellular activities that are necessary for energy production.
For this demonstration, I like to imagine a small hot water heater powering a bathtub, shower, dishwasher, and clothes washer all simultaneously. There’s a limit to how much hot water we can use.
3. Interference with Mitochondria:
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, generating the energy that our cells need to function.
Chronic inflammation can damage mitochondria and interfere with their ability to produce energy efficiently, leading to feelings of tiredness and lethargy.
Side note: Cordyceps extracts have been shown in some studies to improve the efficiency of oxygen utilization and enhance the production of ATP, which is the main energy currency of the cell. This suggests that cordyceps may help improve mitochondrial function, thus potentially increasing energy levels.
4. Disrupted Hormones:
Chronic inflammation can disrupt the balance of hormones, such as cortisol, which is the body's primary stress hormone.
Disregulated cortisol due to prolonged inflammation can affect sleep patterns, mood, and energy levels. We all know the cranky/groggy feeling we get after a bad night’s sleep. Yet, so many of us miss the fact that chronic inflammation plays a big part in sleep quality.
5. Nutrient Diversion:
In a chronically inflamed body, the organs redirect nutrients to support the immune response, potentially depleting the nutrients available for muscle function and brain activity. Not only can this contribute to chronic fatigue, but nutrient diversion can also be a major source of brain fog.
6. Anemia of Chronic Disease:
Chronic inflammation can lead to a condition known as anemia of chronic disease (or anemia of inflammation), where the body's ability to utilize iron properly is compromised, resulting in decreased red blood cell production. Since red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to tissues, this can lead to fatigue.
In summary, chronic inflammation can be an energy thief as it puts the body in a state of constant alertness and repair, taxing bodily resources, disrupting normal cell function, and leading to a general sense of fatigue.
In the same breath, chronic inflammation can be combatted and prevented with a few simple lifestyle choices...
How to Combat Inflammation, Win the Fight With Fatigue, and Reclaim Your Vitality: The Natural Way
Spoiler alert, this is where most influencers tell you to do all of the healthy habits that you know you should be doing already… Enter:
Drinking lots of water, getting 30-45 minutes of exercise daily, sun exposure, healthy fats and fish oils (preferably from actual fish), eating clean, doing meditation or yoga, and getting plenty of deep, restorative sleep.
Now, there are many online health gooroos that can help you with all of that stuff, and I’m happy to provide tips where I can… But today I’m going to show you how our mushroom extracts can help you combat inflammation the easy way.
For the record, I recommend you do all of the healthy things TOO! Use the mushroom extracts as a boost to support your health habits, not as a replacement.
That being said, our medicinal mushroom extracts contain a variety of bioactive compounds, such as polysaccharides, triterpenes, and phenols, which are substances that can help reduce inflammation and fight fatigue.
Here’s how our mushroom extracts work to help you reduce fatigue and reclaim your vitality:
Modulating the Immune System:
All five of our mushroom extracts contain polysaccharides like beta-glucans, which can support the immune system by promoting the activity of macrophages and natural killer cells. These cells play a role in reducing inflammation and defending against infection. 
Inhibiting Inflammatory Molecules:
Some mushrooms have compounds that can directly inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are the signaling molecules that trigger inflammation. By doing this, these mushrooms help to reduce the overall inflammatory response. 
Oxidative stress is a condition that can lead to inflammation. All of our mushroom extracts contain large amounts of antioxidants, especially chaga, which are compounds that can neutralize free radicals—unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells, including promoting inflammation. 
And for the skeptics out there, here are scientific studies backing up how each of the mushroom extracts supports the above claims:
1. Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus):
Lion's Mane mushrooms contain compounds like hericenones and erinacines, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. A study published in the "International Immunopharmacology" journal in 2015 found that extracts of Hericium erinaceus could inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are signaling molecules that promote inflammation. 
2. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum):
Reishi mushrooms are known for their immune-modulating effects, which include reducing inflammation. The triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans found in Reishi mushrooms are believed to be responsible for these effects. A 2004 study showed that the ganoderic acids in Reishi could inhibit inflammation by suppressing the transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines. 
3. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus):
Chaga is rich in antioxidants, particularly betulinic acid, which is derived from the birch trees that Chaga grows on. It has been shown to reduce inflammation through its effect on cytokines. A study from the "World Journal of Gastroenterology" in 2010 reported that Chaga extract could reduce oxidative stress in lymphocytes from patients with inflammatory bowel disease. 
4. Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis):
Cordyceps has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties by modulating the immune response. A study published in "Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine" in 2014 reported that Cordyceps extract exhibited an anti-inflammatory effect by suppressing the expression of inflammatory cytokines and mediators. 
Trust Nature to Fight the Fatigue
If you’d like to try any or all of our mushroom extracts, feel free to take advantage of our Black Friday special. From now through the end of November, you can buy 2 and get TWO FREE mushroom extracts.
>> Buy 2 and get 2 free mushroom extracts
Hetland, G., Johnson, E., Lyberg, T., & Bernardshaw, S. (2008). Effects of the medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill on immunity, infection and cancer. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, 68(4), 363-370. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2008.02156.x
Friedman, M. (2015). Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(32), 7108–7123. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914
Ferreira, I. C. F. R., Barros, L., & Abreu, R. M. V. (2009). Antioxidants in wild mushrooms. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 16(12), 1543-1560. DOI: 10.2174/092986709787909587
He, X., Wang, X., Fang, J., Chang, Y., Ning, N., Guo, H., ... & Huang, L. (2017). Polysaccharides in Grifola frondosa mushroom and their health promoting properties: A review. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 101, 910-921. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.03.177
Lin, Z. B., & Zhang, H. N. (2004). Anti-tumor and immunoregulatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum and its possible mechanisms. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 25(11), 1387-1395.
Park, Y. K., Lee, H. B., Jeon, E. J., Jung, H. S., & Kang, M. H. (2004). Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay. Biofactors, 21(1‐4), 109-112. DOI: 10.1002/biof.552210120
Ko, J. H., Yang, M. H., Hwang, J. H., Jun, W. J., Lee, W. S., Park, J. H., ... & Kim, Y. C. (2004). Cytotoxic components from the dried sclerotia of the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps militaris. Planta Medica, 70(8), 758-761. DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-827198