Should you grow your own anti-viral mushrooms? Who’s researching the anti-tumor properties of certa

Should you grow your own specialized mushrooms if you can’t find commercial extracts that contain the ingredients you want? Or are mushroom extracts different from eating whole cooked mushrooms because the extracts use many more mushrooms that eating a few? What safety precautions do you need to take with mushrooms that should be cooked?

According to Disease and Health , the article, Maitake Mushroom, by Ken Babal, CN, notes that, “recent research indicates that it may be the most potent of all mushroom-derived medicines in terms of its anti-tumor and immune-enhancing activity.” The article also states that, “In one animal experiment, maitake was able to shrink tumors better than other mushroom-derivatives, including the all-time best-selling cancer drug sold in Europe and Asia.”

The article doesn’t have a footnote on the site citing where readers could find a published abstract at least of that animal experiment and the date to refer to online or in a medical/scientific journal. However, looking at other resources on maitake mushrooms, patients usually take maitake D-fraction as dried mushroom extract in capsule or pill form along with multiple vitamins and minerals. For further information see Source: alive #217, November 2000.

According to the Mushrooms and Medicine site, certain mushrooms have various antiviral and antibacterial compounds in addition to their tumor-shrinking abilities. The US National Institutes of Health a few years ago funded the screening of mushrooms for agents to fight various viruses.

See the study on the effects of white button mushroom extracts on breast cancer survivor patients at ClinicalTrials.gov and also the study on the effects of genistein combined with polysaccharide (GCP) on prostate cancer patients. The product tested on the prostate cancer patients is derived from adding soy powder to shiitake mushrooms. The ClinicalTrials.gov site is a service of the US National Institutes of Health.

The phase I trial on the effects of white button mushroom extracts on breast cancer survivor patients at ClinicalTrials.gov is studying the side effects and best dose of white button mushroom extract in preventing the recurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are breast cancer survivors.

Some concentrated mixtures of mushroom extracts are currently being sold in Japan and the United States and are thought to possibly contain properties that may be useful in treating certain types of cancer. Some studies are ongoing and others have been completed. See the Clincal Trials.gov site for links to see what’s happening with various US National studies.

What mushrooms are used to shrink tumors because those mushrooms have stood up to tests of their anti-tumor activity? Certain mushrooms contain a polysaccharide, or carbohydrate, called beta glucan. What do you look for in a mushroom extract that you want to use both for anti-viral purposes and to help shrink tumors?

According to "The Doctor Is In" column (Questions and Answers) by Melinda Ring, MD, medical director at the Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, published in the April 2009 issue of Natural Solutions magazine, the answer to the question "What are the three most important supplements in your medicine cabinet?"

Regarding mushroom extract, the answer reads: "Look for a formula that combines the immune-boosting and anti-cancer properties of reishi mushrooms, the blood-sugar balancing and cancer-fighting properties of the maitake mushrooms, and the cholesterol-lowering abilities of the shittakes." The answer also mentions the product, Fungi Perfecti. Other items considered important supplements in the doctor’s medicine cabinet published in the column were vitamin D3 and fish oil.

The polysaccarides in beta glucan activate your immune system’s macrophages in your bloodstream to shrink and destroy tumors. See the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry article, Antioxidant Properties of Several Medicinal Mushrooms . Also read the PDF file article, “The Possible Benefits of Mycocyclin ® (from the Allergy Research Group®).

Mycocyclin® is the extract of six mushrooms. It’s available online from the Organic Pharmacy and from other online sellers of Mycocyclin®, such as Nutricology Mycocyclin Liquid available at the Fubao Health Store. Mycocyclin® is sold in small bottles with droppers in 1 fluid ounce – 620 mg. amounts. The label notes that one serving is one dropper full of the liquid.

Mycocylcin® is a liquid extract (using alcohol) of six mushrooms harvested in the mycelial stage of growth, the stage in which the active constituents are most concentrated. The mushrooms contained in Mycocyclin™ are Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), Lentinula edodes (Shitake), Cordyceps sinensis (Cordyceps), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Coriolus versicolor (Turkey tail), and Tremella fruciformis (Snow fungus).

These mushrooms come straight out of ancient Chinese medicine and are still used in traditional Chinese medicine to support the immune system. What’s in the mushroom extract liquid are bioflavonoids, essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and for immune support, active constituent Beta-1,3-Glucan to increase the white blood cell count and stimulate the immune system.

If you use maitake mushrooms or maitake mushroom extract, called D-fraction, you’re using an old folkloric tradition in Japan, one more wise food tradition to shrink and destroy tumors. This is one way food traditions of various parts of the world get to be studied in a laboratory, first on animals and then on humans. How effective are these wise food traditions from different parts of the world?

Another mushroom that is said to have tumor-shrinking and destroying ability is Mycostat,™. According to the MycoStat ™ site, MycoStat ™ is a liquid blend of six mushrooms (Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, ‘caterpillar fungus,’ Turkey Tail, and Shirokikurage). These six mushrooms are known in traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine for their healing potential.

Occasionally, the site notes that, "an allergic reaction such as a skin rash may occur that subsides with discontinued use." The MycoStat™ site also reports, “Along with polysaccharides, mushrooms also contain selenium and antioxidants, all of which stimulate immune function.”

Since mushrooms tend to accumulate aluminum which occurs naturally in soils, it is best to purchase them through reputable dealers. The MycoStat site claims to address this issue in the process of their liquid product.

Six mushrooms are combined in the liquid extract. Also shiitake mushrooms increase the production of macrophages and also promote the production and utilization of Vitamin D. The tumor-shrinking ability of mushrooms partly lies in their polysaccharides.

Just what do polysaccharides do? In the shiitake mushroom, the polysaccharide KS-2, lentinan extract supports the immune system by also using a polypentose, called Ac2P. When KS-2 and Ac2P work together, they may destroy viruses and also turn up your immune system.

Research is still being done because the six mushroom extract also is “an interferon inducer and increases the activity of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase.” By looking to Japan and China, scientists are investigating why in Japan, shiitake mushrooms are used to treat breast cancer. And in China, shiitake mushrooms are used to increase immunity to a wide variety of diseases. You can buy the liquid extract of six mushrooms online.

The Caterpillar fungus (cordyceps sinensis) increases the activity of T-cells by accelerating spleen regeneration, enhances oxygen uptake, and increases superoxide dismtase (SOD) activity. Turkey tail mushrooms contain two polysaccharides that enhance the immune system.

Shirokikurage (tremella fuciformis), also called White Jelly is a fungus containing large quantities of glucuronoxylomannan, an acidic polysaccharide. According to the MycoStat™ site, “dietary supplementation with this polysaccharide in crude form results in marked hypocholesterolemic effects (levels of cholesterol that are too low), probably attributable to suppression of intestinal cholesterol absorption.”

The reishi Mushroom (ganoderma lucidum) is used in traditional Chinese medicine and known as ling zhi, (herb of spiritual potency). Reishi is used medicinally in China because it’s bitter and not put in food very often. Those who eat it cook it a long time in soups. But reishi is used to calm anxiety, enhance sleep, and help indigestion. It is used for immune system support. Reishi also shrinks tumors according to clinical studies by increasing T-cell and alpha-interferon production.

Institutes of Health studies. Two or three generations ago science studied molds that are related to fungi and came up with penicillin. Interestingly, no actual drugs put on the market by big business are being made by the research, but the supplement industry selling over-the-counter or online mushroom extracts is booming.

Sales of immune-boosters like maitake or shiitake mushrooms or reishi and dordycepts are up as much as 300 percent, according to the Mushrooms and Medicine site, Also see the video online called Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World.

What researchers are actually studying when they look for mushrooms that shrink tumors is the D-fraction of maitake’s (and other mushroom’s) immune-potentiating properties. Read the clinical trials at the Aloha Medicinals site, showing the clinical manifestations of a mixture of six medicinal mushroom extracts as an adjunct therapy to improve the immune function of cancer patients undergoing other therapies. The Zhejiang Qingyuan Fungi Medicinal & Health Products Co., Ltd produced the experimental mixture used in that clinical trial.

This mixture was formulated and is marketed in the United States of America under the trade name Immune-Assist where it has shown good results in cancer treatment. This mixture includes "Alpha and Beta-Glucans and other polysaccharides," extracted from the following well-known species of medicinal mushrooms. In addition to offering polysaccharide products for humans, Aloha medicinal also sell polysaccharide products extracted from mushrooms for pets to help dog cancer.

Resources

Medicinal Mushrooms

Growing Gourmet And Medicinal Mushrooms

Amazon.com: Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms

Cool Edible Mushroom Kits

Plug-In Mushroom Dome Kit

Amazon.com: Medicinal Mushrooms You Can Grow For Health, Pleasure …

Fungi Perfecti®: books on mushrooms and health

Grow your own medicinal mushrooms book

Agaricus blazei Royal Sun 90 Veg Cap 400 mg by Mushroom Science

Turkey Tail Indoor Mushroom Patch

Books on Growing Mushrooms

Grow Your Own MushroomsGrowing Medicinal Mushrooms at Home

Growing Gourmet and Medicinal MushroomsBook Review – The …

Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms

Books: Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Paperback) by Paul …

Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms: Amazon.co.uk: Paul ..

Mushroom Identification: Guides to identify edible and poisonous …

Stamets, Paul : Growing Gourmet And Medicinal MushroomsBook Book results for grow your own medicinal mushrooms book Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms: a … – by Paul Stamets – 620 pages Mushrooms: Cultivation Nutritional Value … – by Shu ting Chang, Philip G Miles

 

For more info: browse my books, How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues (2009) or Predictive Medicine for Rookies (2005). Or see my books, How to Safely Tailor Your Foods, Medicines, & Cosmetics to Your Genes (2003) or How to Interpret Family History & Ancestry DNA Test Results for Beginners (2004) or How to Open DNA-driven Genealogy Reporting & Interpreting Businesses. (2007). Photo credits: Flickr.com’s maitake mushroom page.