Anticancer medical mushroom extracts in the light of the clinical experiments

The good quality medical mushroom extracts have a special place among foods and among dietary supplements as their-here not in its legal sense but scientifically based- therapeutic effect and their innocence are proved by folk medicine experiments dating back many thousands of years. Many orally administered medical mushroom extracts’ anticancer effect is justified by clinical experiments among which we can find placebo controlled and randomised clinical experiments too. One of the most popular anticancer effective medical mushrooms is the maitake (Grifola frondosa). A Japanese clinical experiment proved in 2003 that the mushroom’s so called D-fraction hindered the formation of metastasis and improved the activation of certain anticancer immune cells (NK cells). In another Japanese experiment (2002) the effects of maitake (Grifola frondosa) were examined in II-IV staged cancer patients. The experiment stated that the maitake (Grifola frondosa) and its extract caused tumour regression or significant improvement in state, in 68.8% of people suffering from breast cancer, 62.5% of people suffering from lung cancer and 58.3% of people suffering from liver cancer. According to the examination the activation of immune competent cells, of those who have chemotherapy the rate increases to between 20-40% compared to those who don’t get medical mushroom therapies. The beneficial effect of the Agaricus blazei Murill extract was proved by a placebo controlled double-blind clinical experiment in 2004 in South-Korea. In the case of women suffering from gynaecological cancer who were treated by medical mushroom therapies the anticancer activation of the natural killer cells increased significantly for example insomnia, loss of appetite, hair loss, nausea, sickness, emotional instability or even in the case of weakness. Many studies confirm that better quality of life and general state can foster the cancer patients’ extension of survival time. Another placebo controlled double-blind clinical experiment which was carried out in Taiwan in 2007 states that the Agaricus blazei Murill extract can improve the insulin sensitivity in the case of diabetics cured with medications.

During the last few years more and more data proves that the medical mushroom extracts’ anticancer effect is not only helped by their immune strengthening effect but also by their insulin sensitivity improving effect. In the case of people who are not diabetics the problem with their insulin sensitivity can foster the formation of many cancer types and can decrease, already diseased people’s survival chances (for example breast, liver, prostate, pancreatic or colon cancer).

The  Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) was effective in the treatment of inflammation of the stomach’s mucous membrane (gastritis), in a double-blind clinical experiment. It’s worth a mention that the meshima (Fellinus linteus) mushroom which has one of the strongest anticancer effects, according to animal experiments. Many clinical study cases were published in prestigious International Medical Journals about the meshima (Fellinus linteus) extract. The scientific articles suggested dramatic tumour regression linked to the consummation of meshima (Fellinus linteus) extract in the case of advanced cancer patients.

It would be necessary to recognise (not only scientifically) but officially the good quality standardised medical mushroom extracts’ medical effects, in order to get them for people in need easier than get them from abroad. The real beneficiaries of this would be the cancer patients.

Author: Gábor Varga, drug expert