Lingzhi mushroom extract
Benefits and Side Effects; RESEARCH FINDS
Lingzhi may be the second most popular herb in China. Lingzhi has many health
benefits, as some herbists suggest.
What is lingzhi? Lingzhi is a mushroom containing sterols, coumarin, mannitol,
polysaccharides, and triterpenoids [ganoderic acids]. Lingzhi mushrooms grow
wild on decaying logs and tree stumps in the coastal provinces of China. Lingzhi
mushroom grows in six different colors, but the red Lingzhi is the popular. Lingzhi
has been used to treat general fatigue and weakness, asthma, insomnia, and
cough for thousand years. Lingzhi's Chinese name ling zhi means the herb of
spiritual potency. Other names for lingzhi include lingzhi [Ling chih, Ling zhi, reishi,
Ganoderma lucidum]. Lingzhi mushroom extract is a popular supplement with an
impressive array of reputed health benefits in Asia!!
What are the scientific evidence for the health benefits
claims of lingzhi? Are there any side effects?
Lingzhi [Ganoderma Lucidum] mushroom extract demonstrated anti-oxidative
activities against heart toxicity in mice in a dose-dependent manner. [Wong KL et al
Antioxidant activity of ganoderma lucidum (reishi) in acute ethanol-induced heart toxicity.
Phytother Res. 2004 Dec;18(12):1024-6.]
Lingzhiwas safe to horses with respect to the CBC and blood biochemistry data
after the Lingzhi dosing. Reishi (ganoderma lucidum) increased the percentage of
CD5+, CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes and the amount of specific antibody
production in horses. [Lai SW et al, Influence of ganoderma lucidum on blood biochemistry
and immunocompetence in horses. Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(6):931-40.]
A fraction (F3) of a Lingzhi polysaccharide extract was shown to activate the
expression of IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, GM-CSF, G-CSF and M-CSF.
[Chen HS et al, Studies on the immuno-modulating and anti-tumor activities of Ganoderma
lucidum (Reishi) polysaccharides. Bioorg Med Chem. 2004 Nov 1;12(21):5595-601]
Blood pressure, LDL and Coronary artery disease
Ganoderic acids (of Lingzhi) may lower blood pressure and LDL (the bad
cholesterol}. These specific triterpenoids may also help reduce blood platelets from
sticking together -an important factor in lowering the risk for coronary artery disease.
Two controlled clinical trials have shown that reishi could lower high blood pressure
significantly . [The people with hypertension in the second study had previously not responded
to medications, though these were continued during the study. Kammatsuse K, Kajiware N,
Hayashi K. Studies on Ganoderma lucidum: I. Efficacy against hypertension and side effects.
Yakugaku Zasshi 1985;105:531Â–3. Jin H, Zhang G, Cao X, et al. Treatment of hypertension by
ling zhi combined with hypotensor and its effects on arterial, arteriolar and capillary pressure and
microcirculation. In: Nimmi H, Xiu RJ, Sawada T, Zheng C. (eds). Microcirculatory Approach to
Asian Traditional Medicine. New York: Elsevier Science, 1996, 131Â–8.]
Altitude sickness and Hepatitis B
Reishi may have some efficacy in treating altitude sickness and chronic hepatitis B.
[Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 96Â–107]
Lingzhi [ganoderma lucidum] may suppress endothelial cell cytotoxicity and
proteinuria in 14 patients of glomerulosclerosis.Futrakul N et al, Ganoderma lucidum
suppresses endothelial cell cytotoxicity and proteinuria in persistent proteinuric focal segmental
glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) nephrosis, Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2004;31(4):267-72.
Reishi may have some beneficial action in people with diabetes mellitus and
cancer [Jones K. Reishi mushroom: Ancient medicine in modern times. Alt Compl Ther 1998;4:
Zhang HN and Lin ZB, Peking University, Beijing, investigated the hypoglycemic
effect of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (reishi extract) in the normal fasted
mice and the possible mechanism. They found that reishi extract could lower the
glucose level in a dose-dependent manner however the reishi extract had no effect
on islets insulin content. [Zhang HN et al, Hypoglycemic effect of Ganoderma lucidum
polysaccharides, Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Feb;25(2):191-5]
Lingzhi has been shown to be a potential agent in the treatment or prevention of
certain cancers. Clearly, reshishi demonstrates anticancer activity in experiments
with cancer cells. [Sliva D, Methodist Research Institute, IN, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi) in
cancer treatment, Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Dec;2(4):358-64.]
A Japanese research group extracted triterpene acid, lucidenic acid P (1a), and two
triterpene acid methyl esters, methyl lucidenates P (1b) and Q (2b) from the fruiting
body of the fungus Ganoderma lucidum (reishi). All of the compounds from Lingzhi
extracted showed potent inhibitory effects on Epstein-Barr virus early antigen
induction (96-100% inhibition at 1 x 10(3) mol ratio/TPA). [Lucidenic acids P and Q,
methyl lucidenate P, and other triterpenoids from the fungus Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) and
their inhibitory effects on Epstein-Barr virus activation. J Nat Prod. 2003 Dec;66(12):1582-5]
Colon cancer Hong KJ et al, Texas Tech University, found that Lingzhi extract
causes no cytotoxicity in human colon carcinoma HT-29 cells at doses less than
10000 microg/ml. Increasing concentrations of reishi extract reduced prostaglandin
E2 production, but increased nitric oxide production. Together with other data, reishi
extract has been shown to have pro-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory functions, as
well as inhibitory effects on cytokine expression during early inflammation in colonic
carcinoma cells. [Effects of Ganoderma lucidum on apoptotic and anti-inflammatory function
in HT-29 human colonic carcinoma cells. Phytother Res. 2004 Sep;18(9):768-70.]
Breast Cancer Lingzhi (ganoderma lucidum) inhibited proliferation of breast cancer
MDA-MB-231 cells by downregulating Akt/NF-kappaB signaling. [Jiang J et al,
Ganoderma lucidum suppresses growth of breast cancer cells through the inhibition of Akt/NF-
kappaB signaling. Nutr Cancer. 2004;49(2):209-16.]
Prostate Cancer Lingzhi inhibits cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent
manner by the down-regulation of expression of cyclin B and Cdc2 and by the up-
regulation of p21 expression for the human prostate caner cells PC-3. The Lingzhi
inhibition of the cancer cell growth was also demonstrated by cell cycle arrest at
G2/M phase. [Jiang J et al, Ganoderma lucidum inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in
human prostate cancer cells PC-3, Int J Oncol. 2004 May;24(5):1093-9]
New Zealead researchers observed the anti-ulcer activities of Lingzhi on the rat.
They extracted the water-soluble polysaccharide from Lingzhi mushroom
(ganoderma lucidum) and inhibited the indomethacin-induced gastric mucosal
lesions successfully in rats with the reishi extracts. [Gao Y et al, Ganoderma lucidum
polysaccharide fractions accelerate healing of acetic acid0induced ulcers in rates. J Med Food.
Lingzhi can be taken either as 1.5 grams per day of the crude dried mushroom, 1-
1.5 grams per day in powdered form.[Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA:
Botanica Press, 1995, 96Â–107]
Side effects from Lingzhi can include dizziness, dry mouth and throat, nosebleeds,
and abdominal upset.
Commercial Lingzhi Products
Unicity Bio-Lingzhi Coffee-claimed to be enriched with the purest form of Ganoderma (reishi)
extract. Unicity Bio-Reishi Coffee contains 20 sachets in a box.
Lingzhi Black Coffee-claimed to contain premium black coffee, ganoderma extract (i.e. reishi
extract) and artificial sweetener. Price $9.99 (21g X20 sacs) at Econoherbs.
Lingzhi Roasted Coffee (Zhi CafÃ©) -claimed to contain coffee beans and ganoderma (i.e.
reishi). Price $8.99 (6g X20 sacs) at Econoherbs.
Amato Instant Reishi Tea Â– claimed to contain Unsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, ÃŸ-D-
glucan, Ergosterol, Pro vitamin D2, Carotene, Minerals, complete proteins. Price $43 (3g X 30
sachets) at kyotan
This Article is for your reference only. You should consult your doctor for any questions. All rights