September 21, 2011
Reishi Mushroom Benefits
Reishi [Lingzhi, Ganoderma lucidum] mushroom is a popular supplement with an impressive array of reputed health
benefits. Reishi mushroom is the highest grade of mushroom in the world of fungi. Some herbalists call reishi
mushroom as "The King of All Herbs" or "The Miraculous King of Herbs. Reishi mushroom is also called as Lingzhi in
China, and Youngchi in Korea.
In animal studies, reishi mushrooms showed antioxidative activities and increased specific acntibody production. Reishi
mushrooms may benefit people with high blood pressure, as two controlled clinical studies showed the hypotensive
activities of reishi mushrooms.
Reishi mushrooms may also benefit people suffered from altitude sickness, chronic hepatitis B, glomerulosclerosis,
diabetes and cancer. In animal studies, reishi mushroom extracts lowered the glucose level in a dose-dependent
manner however the reishi mushroom extract had no effect on islets insulin content. Reshishi mushroom has
demonstrated anticancer activities in experiments with cancer cells. Colon cancer cell, breast cancer cell and prostate
cancer cell are popularly used in the studies. [Reishi Mushroom Benefits]
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According to WiKipedia.org, a mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced
above ground on soil or on its food source. Mushrooms, like other fungi, do not undergo photosynthesis. The standard
for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is
most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills
(lamellae, sing. lamella) or pores on the underside of the cap. "Mushroom" describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or
without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some
Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word.
Mushrooms are a low-calorie food. Raw dietary mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, and the essential minerals
selenium, copper and potassium. Most mushrooms that are sold in supermarkets have been commercially grown on
mushroom farms. The most popular of these, Agaricus bisporus, However, some species of mushroom are poisonous
and,consuming them could be fatal.
CREDIT: Wikipedia.org, September 21, 2011
Medicinal mushrooms are mushrooms that are used as treatments for diseases. Some of them may have many
benefits, including support people suffered from various conditions including diabetes, cancers, infections and more.
The potential health benefits of medicinal mushroom extracts, such as polysaccharide-K and lentinan, have been
demonstrated in test-tube, animal and even clinical studies. This section discusses a few popular medicinal mushrooms
as well as potential benefits in human health.
Maitake Mushroom Benefits
Maitake mushroom [Grifola frondosa] is an edible fungus. It has a large fruiting body and overlapping caps. Maitake is
increasingly being recognized as a potent source of polysaccharide compounds with dramatic health-promoting
potential. Some extracts have shown particular promise as immunomodulating agents, and as an adjunct to cancer and
HIV therapy. They may also provide some benefit in the treatment of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and hepatitis.
Traditionally, maitake mushroom has been used as a food and a herbal remedy. Low molecular weight polysaccharides
from maitake mushroom extract were found to enhance innate immunity in vitro. Maitake mushroom extracts enhanced
the performance of anti-viral agent. Similar to Reishi mushroom, there are lots of scientific evidence supporting the
potential benefits of maitake mushroom extracts on conditions such as cancer. A bioactive metabolite produced by
maitake mushroom showed activities against human carcinoma cells (Hep 3B, Hep G2, HeLa, CL1-1) and normal
human lung fibroblast. A chemically sulfated polysaccharide (S-GAP-P)derived from water-insoluble polysaccharide of
maitake mushroom mycelia also inhibited the proliferation of SGC-7901 cells and induced apoptosis, in a dose-
dependent manner. Maitake D-Fraction, a polysaccharide extracted from maitake mushrooms, has been reported to
exhibit an antitumor effect through activation of immunocompetent cells, including macrophages and T cells, with
modulation of the balance between T-helper 1 and 2 cells. Beta-glucan extracted from maitake also showed some
degrees of anti-cancer activities. In a study, researchers supplied 22- to 57-year-old cancer patients in stages II-IV with
a combination of maitake MD-fraction and whole maitake powder. They observed cancer regression or significant
symptom improvement in 58.3 percent of liver cancer patients, 68.8 percent of breast cancer patients, and 62.5
percent of lung cancer patients. Maitake mushroom was also shown to improved lipid and glucose profiles in animals.
[Maitake Mushroom Benefits]
Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), a mushroom extract rich in α-1,4 linked glucans, is a fermented mushroom
extract that is promoted for immune support. It is also a mixture of polysaccharides, amino acids, lipids and minerals
derived from cultured mycelia of a Basidiomycete mushroom. AHCC® is a proprietary compound produced by
cultivation and enzymatic modification of several species of mushroom mycelia, including shiitake, grown in rice bran
extract. AHCC® is a registered trademark of Amino Up Chemical Co Sapporo, Japan. AHCC is used as a supplement by
some cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy; it is thought to benefit the therapeutic effects and reduce the side
effects of select anticarcinogenic agents. [AHCC Benefits]
The shiitake mushroom is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, and being dried and exported to many countries. It
has two Chinese variant names for high grades of shiitake are dōnggū (冬菇, "winter mushroom") and huāgū (花菇,
"flower mushroom"). Shiitake mushroom has two important extracts - active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) and
lentinan. AHCC, an α-glucan-rich compound, is popularly used as supplement by cancer patients in Japan. Lentinan
also shows anti-cancer activities; it is currently used in Australia as part of a pharmacological blend to suppress cancer
cell proliferation and to promote proliferation of peripheral blood lymphocytes. Shiitake mushroom extract showed liver
cell protection, hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic activities and alters phospholipid and fatty acid metabolism in
cell or animal studies. [Shiitake Mushroom Benefits]