Tag Archives: mushroom health benefits

The Benefit Of Mushrooms and 6 Tips For Taking

benefit of mushrooms1

Image source: stock.xchng and 13dede

There is quite a buzz in the cancer community about the benefit of mushrooms for cancer patients.  See my recent post Medicinal Mushrooms: Fungi That Fight Cancer Cells. Today I will share even more information on this topic, so read on, thrivers!

The Benefit of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are pretty fantastic for healing.  In addition to their culinary delights, many common mushrooms are a good source of protein, antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins (I believe they’re one of the only vegetarian sources of B12, though it is minimal) and also vitamin D, a vitamin that is known to be lacking in many breast cancer patients.

Research on mushrooms show that they have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits with potent immune bolstering benefits.

The Magic Part of the Mushroom

The most potent and beneficial part of the mushroom is the mycelium – the part on the underside of the mushroom cap that you can see in the photo.  The mycelium contains the “magic” ingredients that confer so many health benefits.

The Chinese have been using mushrooms to support their health for thousands of years and you might not be aware of it but some widely used drugs in Western medicine are derived from mushrooms, penicillin being the most popular.

One Passionate Man and His Research

According to Paul Stamets, DSc, one of the world’s leading mycologists and author of “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World” there are about 150,000 species of mushrooms and that about 5% have “interesting nutritional or medicinal properties”.

Stamets was involved in the study “Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Trametes versicolor in Women With Breast Cancer” and is on the advisory committee of the trial’s second phase.  Trametes versicolor (also known as turkey tail) improved the immune systems of breast cancer patients after chemotherapy and radiation.

Now that’s the kind of research I like to see – NOT involving synthetic drugs!

The best thing I wanted to share was that Paul Stamets’ own mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given three months to live.  She took turkey tail mushrooms and is still with us, three years later, with no detectable tumors.  He speaks about her experience in this YouTube video and shares the dosage that she took. It must be stated that she was also taking the cancer drug Herceptin along with the mushroooms, but she is still alive and well and with us today. Inspiring!

6 Great Tips For Taking Mushroom Supplements For Healing

  1. Make sure the product you purchase has at least 10% to 12% polysaccharides
  2. Try to take only certified organic mushroom supplements – particularly if you have active cancer in your body
  3. See my post on which mushrooms have the most research to back them up
  4. Take a natural vitamin C supplement with your mushrooms to improve absorption
  5. Some are finding it helpful to take the mushroom supplement for a month, stop for a few days, then begin again
  6. According to the Phase 1 clinical trial mentioned above, up to 9 grams per day of Trametes versicolor was a safe and tolerable dose in women with breast cancer – that’s 9,000 mg!  Experiment with that for yourself though – start with a lesser dosage and work up to 9,000 mg to see how well you tolerate it.

Source article: Medicinal Mushroom Magic by Corinne Garcia, Energy Times Magazine, October 2012

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Researchers Discover Mushrooms Could Be Potent Natural Aromatase Inhibitors

Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and salsachica
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and salsachica

Studies at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, California, suggest that fresh white mushrooms contain substances that could make them potent natural aromatase inhibitors.

I have been investigating natural aromatase inhibitors for several years because controlling the enzyme aromatase helps to decrease estrogen levels and this is important because the bulk of breast tumors are reliant upon estrogen to fuel their growth.

On June 6, 2012, I wrote an article titled Aromatase Inhibitors – Natural vs Toxic and listed the problems with the pharmaceutical variety of various aromatase inhibitors, as well as introducing quite a few natural ones that don’t produce the side effects that so many are struggling with.

Last week I was watching a PBS program titled “Dr Joel Fuhrman’s Immunity Solution”.  Dr Fuhrman is an American board-certified family physician who specializes in nutrition-based treatments for obesity and chronic disease and his presentation included a discussion of particular nutrients that exhibited anti-cancer benefits, so of course I took notes!

One thing he mentioned – and it was the first time I’d heard it – was that mushrooms are natural aromatase inhibitors.  So I went online to discover where the research originated and found the City of Hope research.

The Parameters of the Study

“Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors who were cancer free after completion of their treatments were enrolled in the trial.  Groups received a 12-week course of white button mushroom extract at 5, 8, 10 or 13 gram doses.  Because aromatase inhibition leads to a decrease in estrogen levels, a specific estrogen called estradiol was monitored and response was defined as a greater than 50 percent decrease in free estradiol levels in the blood circulation. Mushroom extract was well tolerated at all doses. However, no dose could be identified that met response criteria. In spite of this, a measurement of aromatase activity developed by Dr. Chen suggested some modest transient aromatase inhibition that lasted longest at the highest dose level (6 hours), suggesting that weak aromatase inhibition by mushrooms is achievable in patients, but that likely much higher amounts would be needed to achieve a clinically significant result.

That didn’t sound too hopeful, so I read a bit deeper and discovered that over the course of the 12 week study, while the researchers were able to observe phytochemical activity of the mushroom extract, it wasn’t at high enough concentrations to significantly reduce estrogen levels in patients.  They admitted that future studies should focus on more highly concentrated preparations of mushroom extract and perhaps change their focus to watching tissue levels of estrogens rather than circulating estrogen levels.

The unknown factors are dosage and whether we should take the mushrooms via extract in a vitamin form or by eating them fresh.  I have sent an email to the researchers at City of Hope and if I get a response, I will let you know!

Obviously further research needs to be done (and it may be underway right now) but I believe that since mushrooms are yummy anyway, they should be included in our daily diet, particularly because mushrooms have two other anti-cancer activities:

(1) they have antigen binding lectins which inhibit the growth of cancer cells; and

(2) they are angiogenesis inhibitors – tumors rely on the formation of new blood vessels to keep them growing and mushroom extracts have been shown to inhibit this growth.

Read my other articles on natural aromatase inhibitors.

Reference:

http://www.cityofhope.org/about/publications/news/Pages/city-of-hope-researchers-demonstrate-anti-cancer-effect-of-mushrooms-in-studies-at-2011-asco-annual-meeting.aspx

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