· By Richard Gray
Can Agaricus Blazei Murill Help Cure Cancer?
Agaricus Blazei Murill (AbM), popularly known as “Cogumelo do Sol” in Brazil and “Himematsutake” in Japan, has been the subject of numerous research studying its possible health benefits, particularly its anti-tumor and immune-boosting properties.
The findings so far show that AbM may have the potential as a supplemental therapy for cancer patients. At the same time, additional research is required to understand its impact on cancer and cancer treatments fully.
We will delve deeper into the science underlying AbM's anti-cancer qualities in this blog post, looking at its potential modes of action and the research that has been done on its impact on cancer cells and tumors.
Agaricus Blazei Murill Overview
Agaricus Blazei Murill is a medicinal mushroom native to Brazil, where it has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.
ABM contains several bioactive compounds, including beta-glucans, ergosterol, and ergothioneine, which have been shown to have various health benefits. (1)
One of the most studied compounds in AbM is beta-glucan, a type of complex carbohydrate that has been shown to have immune-boosting effects.
Beta-glucans are believed to stimulate the immune system by activating immune cells, such as macrophages and natural killer cells, which can help to defend the body against infections and diseases, including cancer. (2)
AbM also contains ergosterol, a compound that is converted into vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D has been shown to have various health benefits, including a potential protective effect against certain types of cancer. (3)
Ergothioneine, another compound found in AbM, has been shown to have antioxidant properties and may help to protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress and inflammation have been linked to the development of various diseases, including cancer. (2)
What Kind of Cancer Has AbM Been Shown To Treat?
AbM is reported to have antitumor properties in mouse models of fibrosarcoma, myeloma, ovarian, lung, and prostate cancer, and in human studies against gynecological cancer (increased natural killer cell activity and quality of life) and leukemia. (4)
However, it is important to note that AbM has not been proven to cure cancer, and more research is needed to fully understand its effects on different types of cancer.
Several studies have suggested that AbM may have the potential as a complementary therapy for cancer patients.
What Makes the Mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill Have Antitumor Effects? (Mechanism of Action)
Scientists made different extracts from the mushroom using hot water, cold NaOH (sodium hydroxide), and hot NaOH. (5)
They found that the extracts made with NaOH were able to stop a type of cancer from growing in mice.
They wanted to figure out which part of the extract was causing this effect, so they did some tests.
They found that the active component was a type of sugar called beta-glucan, which was resistant to certain types of chemical and enzymic treatments. (5)
β-glucans are suggested as the main active compounds of the species, whose main biological target is modulation of the immune system. (6)
They believe that a part of the beta-glucan molecule with a certain structure is responsible for the anti-tumor activity. (5)
Other studies demonstrated that polysaccharides present in agaricus extract caused activation of macrophages (6) or natural killer cells (7) and induced cytotoxic T-lymphocyte activity in tumor-bearing mice. Specifically, activation of natural killer cells was mediated through IL-12-induced IFN-gamma expression
Anti-mutagenic and Anti-carcinogenic Effects of Agaricus blazei Murill
About 60.6% of cancer patients who turned to complementary alternative medicine (CAM) in Japan reported utilizing the A. blazei mushroom. (8)
In Japan, between 300,000 and 500,000 people reported utilizing the sun mushroom as a cancer preventative or as a chemotherapy add-on following the removal of a malignant tumor. (9)
As a result of its interactions with several cytokine networks, which support the control of both the innate and adaptive immune systems, it is thought that the mushroom has some anti-tumor properties. (10)
Gynecological Cancer Research
According to a study, giving A. blazei to gynecological cancer patients receiving traditional chemotherapy treatment greatly enhanced their natural killer (NK) cell activity, decreased the side effects of the chemotherapy, and improved the patient's quality of life. (11)
In folk medicine, Sun Mushroom extracts are used to lessen or stop different cancers in cancer patients.
Clinical studies in which the mushroom was given more than once to cancer patients who had already had surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy suggest that adding the mushroom to the diet seems to be safe. Taking into account all of the subjectively reported symptoms and blood markers, the authors think that diet doesn't pose any significant risks of toxicity for the patients. (12)
When you add these tests to the many scientific studies done on humans and animals, it's clear that complementary therapy with A. blazei is a great tool for fighting cancer.
A lot of the research on how A. blazei works in cancer protocols has shown that some parts of the cell wall can stop some types of tumors from growing. The antitumor effects seem to be caused by more than one thing, and one of the relevant biological processes seems to be modulation of the immune system.
Ito et al. (13) found that (1–6)-β-d-glucans, which are found in the cell wall of this fungus, can stop the growth of sarcoma 180 lineage cells. (1–6)-β-d-glucans are immunostimulants that cause lymphocytes (NK cells, plasmocytes, and T cells) and granulocytes (white blood cells) to grow and become active (macrophages). (14) (15) (16) (17)
Pancreatic Cancer Research
Yoshihisa Matsushita, Yoshiyuki Furutani, Rumiko Matsuoka, and Toru Furukawa studied the potential of AbM in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, they examined the effects of its hot water extract on the proliferation and global gene expression profile of human pancreatic cancer cells. (18)
When MIA PaCa-2, PCI-35, PK-8, and HPDE pancreatic cancer cell lines were given Sun Mushroom extracts, mitotic damage, and caspase-dependent apoptosis were caused. Also, healthy cells were not affected in the same way, which suggests that the mushroom is more likely to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells.
The hot water extract of A. blazei could be used to treat pancreatic cancer, and it could also be used to find new, active compounds that fix problems with mitotic spindles.
Prostate Cancer Research
A study was conducted to identify the direct effects and action mechanisms of AbM on human prostate cancer. (19)
In the study, both in vitro and in vivo tests were done to see how AbM affected the growth of human prostate cancer.
The cell growth of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cell lines was inhibited by AbM, especially the broth fraction.
While the activities of caspase 3 and DNA fragmentation were most elevated in androgen-independent PC3 cells, the broth of AbM caused lactate dehydrogenase leakage in three cancer cell lines.
In PC3 cells, the broth of AbM increased the levels of apoptosis-related proteins.
When mice with a PC3 tumor xenograft were given the broth of AbM (which had a higher ratio of beta-glucan) orally, it significantly slowed the growth of the tumor without causing any side effects.
When AbM was fed to mice, the number of proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells and the number of microvessels in the tumor grew smaller.
Based on these results, the researchers found that the broth of AbM may directly stop the growth of prostate cancer cells through an apoptotic pathway and stop the growth of prostate tumors through antiproliferative and antiangiogenic mechanisms.
Because of this, they think that AbM could possibly be used to prevent and treat prostate cancer in humans.
A clinical trial on AbM wanted to prove the active ingredients, polysaccharides and protein-polysaccharide complexes containing β-glucan, once isolated may show to have indirect tumor-suppressing activity via an immunological activation. (20) (21)
They isolated a substance that kills tumors from the part of AbM that can move around, called agaritine.
This compound stopped the growth of leukemic cell lines like U937, MOLT4, HL60, and K562 with IC50 values of 2.7, 9.4, 13.0, and 16.0 g/mL, but it had no effect on normal lymphatic cells at concentrations up to 40 g/mL.
Even though agaritine has been thought to be genotoxic or cause cancer, it did not activate the umu gene of Salmonella, which reacts to carcinogens.
Key Adverse Effects To Make Note Of
Agaricus extracts are generally considered safe.
In a clinical trial with 29 diabetic patients, three of the 29 who took Agaricus for 12 weeks had symptoms like low blood sugar, and two of them got itchy skin. (22)
In a pilot study with four people who had hepatitis, taking Agaricus for a year had neither major nor minor side effects. (23)
Three case reports have been published in which patients with previously treated ovarian or breast cancer developed severe liver dysfunction. (24)
All three of them took Agaricus extracts and no other regular or alternative medicines.
Even though one patient's liver function got better when she stopped taking Agaricus extract and got worse when she started taking it again, these reports do not show a direct link between the two.
Can Agaricus Blazei Improve Quality Of Life During Chemotherapy?
Let’s discuss the potential benefits of Agaricus blazei mushroom during chemotherapy treatment.
Chemotherapy can have significant side effects on patients, such as fatigue, nausea, and decreased quality of life.
Agaricus blazei has been studied for its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially help alleviate some of these side effects.
This article cites a few studies that suggest Agaricus blazei may have some benefits for chemotherapy patients, including increased white blood cell count, reduced fatigue, and improved quality of life.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Agaricus blazei during chemotherapy and to determine appropriate dosages and methods of administration.
Other Health Benefits of Agaricus Blazei
Aside from its nutritional value and anti-tumor properties, Agaricus blazei Murill extract has other mind-blowing health benefits, including the ability to enhance immune response, reduce the risk of diabetes, and aid those with high cholesterol.
How To Incorporate Agaricus Blazei Into Your Diet?
If you're looking to incorporate this mushroom into your diet, there are several popular methods to choose from.
One of the most popular ways to consume Agaricus Blazei Mushroom is in the form of a supplement.
These supplements are available in pill or powder form and can be easily added to your daily routine.
The NutriMycos Agaricus Blazei Mushroom supplements are a great choice, as they are made with organic mushrooms and are free from fillers and artificial ingredients.
Another way to enjoy the benefits of Agaricus Blazei Mushroom is by drinking it as a tea.
This method is easy and convenient, as you can simply add hot water to a packet of dried mushrooms and let it steep for a few minutes.
If you prefer a more savory option, you can also cook Agaricus Blazei Mushroom into your meals.
This mushroom has a mild flavor and a meaty texture, making it a great addition to soups, stir-fries, and other dishes. You can find fresh or dried Agaricus Blazei Mushroom at your local health food store or online.
The NutriMycos Agaricus Blazei Mushroom extract powder is also a convenient option, as it can be easily added to your favorite recipes.
If you're looking for high-quality Agaricus Blazei Mushroom products, check out the NutriMycos online store for a range of organic mushroom extracts.