Cancer Fighting Mushrooms
Mushroom extracts and Medicinal mushrooms are used worldwide to fight disease. They are used to enhance and modulate immune response.
Here we are going to briefly look at cancer.
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Research has indicated mushrooms have possible anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and liver protective activities.
Let’s look at the most well-researched anti-cancer mushrooms rich in polysaccharides and beta glucans, the primary active immune-enhancing constituents.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) recognized as a medicinal mushroom for more than 2000 years, its active constituents include beta glucans and triterpenes, which have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory qualities. Reishi enhances immune response, alleviates chemotherapy side effects such as nausea and kidney damage and protects cellular DNA by raising antioxidant capacity. Often used in cancer treatment in both traditional and modern Chinese Medicine to improve strength, stamina and to prolong life.
Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes) best known as a delicious culinary mushroom, it's also rich in polysaccharides including Lentinan. Studies have shown that it may reduce cholesterol levels, stimulate the immune system, and aid in treating infections. Shitake contains a glucan called AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) widely used in alternative and complementary treatment of cancer in Japan due to its immune-enhancing functions. Lentinan, a compound found in Shitake, is used as an intravenous anti-cancer drug with antitumor properties. Clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life and lower recurrence of cancer.
Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor) is used as a tonic for strength and stamina, and recent studies suggest that it has immunostimulatory properties. It improves survival rates and acts an immune modulator with immune stimulating and anti-tumor properties. It is thought to reduce the side effects of radiation therapy and supports the effects of chemotherapy cancer treatment.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) it is one of the most widely used tonics in anti-cancer formulas in Chinese Medicine. It works as an immune stimulator, raising cancer and virus fighting T Cells improving resolution of infections These anti-tumor properties also protects the kidneys from chemotherapy side effects.
Maitake (Grifola Frondosa) it has exhibited immunostimulatory effects. Newer studies have found it to exhibit strong neuroprotective benefits. Studies have shown that Maitake has potential anti-metastatic properties inhibiting the proliferation and spread of cancer. It protects cells with its antioxidant properties and decreases the inflammatory factor COX2 enzyme so common in cancer physiology.
Polyporus Umbellatus shown to have bioactive compounds with immunostimulating, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties.
Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus) has shown antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and as such has been used in both Eastern European and in Russian medicines. Chaga contains betulin, a precursor to betulinic acid, which has been shown to inhibit the cancer-promoting enzyme topoisomerase. Betulinic acid has been found to be active against skin, brain, ovarian and head and neck cancers by promoting apoptosis (a genetically directed process of cell self-destruction – also known as programmed cell death) to kill the cancer cells.
Enoki (flammulina velutipes) anti-allergic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. This superfood Boosts immunity and is good for cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Enoki mushrooms merit further research to understand how increasing consumption might decrease cancer death rates.