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Antioxidant activity of edible fungi (truffles and mushrooms): losses during industrial processing.
Anti-tumor polysaccharides from mushrooms during storage.
Functional properties of edible mushrooms.
The level of metal impurities in some edible mushrooms growing wild.
Anticaries effect of a component from shiitake (an edible mushroom).
From edible to useful mushrooms--an attempt for the new economical assessment of large fungi.
The antiproliferative effect of lectin from the edible mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) on human keratinocytes: preliminary studies on its use in psoriasis.
Pleurotus mushrooms. Part II. Chemical composition, nutritional value, post-harvest physiology, preservation, and role as human food.
Studies on antioxidant effects of Hypsizigus marmoreus. II. Effects of Hypsizigus marmoreus for antioxidant activities of tumor-bearing mice.
The effect of maitake mushrooms on liver and serum lipids.
Contents of vitamins, mineral elements, and some phenolic compounds in cultivated mushrooms.
Bioavailability of selenium in mushrooms, Boletus edulis, to young women.
Selenium content of mushrooms.
Antioxidant properties of methanolic extracts from several ear mushrooms.
Antioxidant properties of several medicinal mushrooms.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of methanol extract of Phellinus rimosus (Berk) Pilat.
Induction of apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells with beta-glucan (Maitake mushroom polysaccharide).
Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides.
Coriolus versicolor: a medicinal mushroom with promising immunotherapeutic values.
Mushrooms, tumors, and immunity.
Therapeutic effects of substances occurring in higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms: a modern perspective.
Antioxidant activity of edible fungi (truffles and mushrooms): losses during industrial processing.
Murcia MA, Martinez-Tome M, Jimenez AM, Vera AM, Honrubia M, Parras P.
Department of Food Science, Veterinary Faculty, University of Murcia, Spain.
J Food Prot 2002 Oct;65(10):1614-22

The antioxidant properties of two raw truffles (Terfezia claveryi Chatin and Picoa juniperi Vittadini) and five raw mushrooms (Lepista nuda, Lentinus edodes, Agrocybe cylindracea, Cantharellus lutescens, and Hydnum repandum) were tested by subjecting these truffles and mushrooms to different industrial processes (freezing and canning) and comparing them with common food antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol [E-307], BHA [E-320], BHT [E-321], and propyl gallate [E-310]) with regard to their ability to inhibit lipid oxidation. All of the truffles and mushrooms analyzed exhibited higher percentages of oxidation inhibition than did the food antioxidants according to assays based on lipid peroxidation (LOO*), deoxyribose (OH*), and peroxidase (H2O2). Frozen samples exhibited a small reduction in free radical scavenger activity, but the results did not show a significant difference (P < 0.05) with respect to the raw samples, while canned truffles and mushrooms lost some antioxidant activity as a consequence of industrial processing. All of the raw and frozen truffles and mushrooms except frozen Cantharellus improved the stability of oil against oxidation (100 degrees C Rancimat), while canned samples accelerated oil degradation. Antioxidant activity during 30 days of storage was measured by the linoleic acid assay, and all of the samples except canned Terfezia, Picoa, and Hydnum showed high or medium antioxidant activity. The Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assay was used to provide a ranking order of antioxidant activity as measured against that of Trolox (a standard solution used to evaluate equivalent antioxidant capacity). The order of raw samples with regard to antioxidant capacity was as follows (in decreasing order): Cantharellus, Agrocybe, Lentinus, Terfezia, Picoa, Lepista, and Hydnum. Losses of antioxidant activity were detected in the processed samples of these truffles and mushrooms.

Anti-tumor polysaccharides from mushrooms during storage.
Mizuno M.
Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, Japan.
Biofactors 2000;12(1-4):275-81

The changes in the contents of an anti-tumor polysaccharide from Lentinus edodes (lentinan) and Grifolafrondosa (GGF) during storage were investigated using by an ELISA inhibition assay. When the mushrooms were stored at low temperature, the contents of their anti-tumor polysaccharides show hardly any changes, but their contents decreased markedly at higher temperature (20 degrees C). Moreover, the effect of the extract from Lentinus edodes stored at different temperatures on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and nitric oxide (NO) productions from macrophages was investigated to confirm the influence to the stimulation of macrophages. Because lentinan stimulates macrophages to augment their antitumor activity. Their productions showed little difference between Lentinus edodes stored at low temperature and the fresh mushroom, although the cytokine production decreased significantly in Lentinus edodes stored at 20d egrees C. These results suggest that low-temperature storage is more effective in maintaining not only the quality of the mushrooms but also the contents of anti-tumor polysaccharides as health-beneficient foods.

Functional properties of edible mushrooms.
Chang R.
Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.
Nutr Rev 1996 Nov;54(11 Pt 2):S91-3

Edible mushrooms such as shiitake may have important salutary effects on health or even in treating disease. A mushroom characteristically contains many different bioactive compounds with diverse biological activity, and the content and bioactivity of these compounds depend on how the mushroom is prepared and consumed. It is estimated that approximately 50% of the annual 5 million metric tons of cultivated edible mushrooms contain functional "nutraceutical" or medicinal properties. In order of decreasing cultivated tonnage, Lentinus (shiitake), Pleurotus (oyster), Auricularia (mu-er), Flammulina (enokitake), Tremella (yin-er), Hericium, and Grifola (maitake) mushrooms have various degrees of immunomodulatory, lipid-lowering, antitumor, and other beneficial or therapeutic health effects without any significant toxicity. Although the data for this functional food class are not as strong as those for other functional foods such as cruciferous vegetables, because of their potential usefulness in preventing or treating serious health conditions such as cancer, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and hypercholesterolemia, functional mushrooms deserve further serious investigation. Additionally, there is a need for epidemiological evidence of the role of this functional food class.

The level of metal impurities in some edible mushrooms growing wild .
Statkiewicz U, Gayny B.
Osrodka Badawczo-Rozwojowego Produkcji Lesnej Las, Konstancinie-Jeziornie
Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 1994;45(1-2):27-35

The amount of lead, cadmium, copper, zinc and mercury has been determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy in 96 samples of edible mushrooms, growing wild fresh edible fungus and dried (Boletus scaber, ceps) mushrooms, acquired from 6 regions in Poland: Zielonogorskie, Torunskie, Ostroleckie, Radomskie, Warszawskie and Lubelskie in 1990 and 1991. The level was found to be higher than that allowed by the polish standard PN-89/A-78510 Mushroom Processed Foods. Dried mushrooms and other legal acts eg. Instruction of the Ministry of Health section Social Welfare of 12th November 1990, the content of zinc in dried mushrooms (all samples) and in fresh edible fungus from the Zielonogorski and Torunski region. The content of copper in fresh edible fungus did not usually correspond with the requirements, whereas in the dried mushrooms (Boletus scaber, ceps) it exceeded the level only insignificantly in individual samples (average from studied regions was found to be within limits). The content of lead in dried mushrooms complied with the requirements of the standard, except for samples of ceps from Zielonogorski region, where it insignificantly exceeded the allowed level of 2.0 mg/kg. The average content of zinc and copper in dried mushrooms did not exceed the allowed levels. The levels of mercury determined in the studied samples do not cause any excitement in light of the FAO/WHO agreements. A high level of contamination with cadmium was noted in all studied samples, being 2.5 times higher in edible fungus, 6-8 times higher in Boletus scaber and 19-23 times higher in dried ceps.

Anticaries effect of a component from shiitake (an edible mushroom).
Shouji N, Takada K, Fukushima K, Hirasawa M.
Department of Microbiology, Nihon University School of Dentistry at Matsudo, Chiba, Japan.
Caries Res 2000 Jan-Feb;34(1):94-8

The caries-inhibiting effect of the extract from shiitake (Lentinus edodes), the most popular edible mushroom in Japan, was studied both in vitro and in vivo. Shiitake extract showed an inhibitory effect on water-insoluble glucan formation from sucrose by crude glucosyltransferases of Streptococcus mutans JC-2 and Streptococcus sobrinus OMZ-176. The firmly adherent plaque in the artificial plaque formation test was strongly inhibited by shiitake extract. The reduction of firmly adherent plaque caused an increase in the incidence of non- and loosely adherent plaque and a decrease in total plaque formation. A significantly lower caries score was observed in specific pathogen-free rats infected with S. mutans JC-2 and fed with a cariogenic diet containing 0.25% shiitake extract as compared with controls fed the cariogenic diet without shiitake extract.

From edible to useful mushrooms--an attempt for the new economical assessment of large fungi.
Lelley JI.
Institute for Mushroom Research, GAMU Ltd., Krefeld, Germany.
Acta Microbiol Immunol Hung 1999;46(2-3):205-13

According to the stand of the modern applied mycological research the most commonly used term "edible mushroom" does not express all significant aspects large fungi can be used for. Additionally to bioconversion for food and animal feed production there are at least three other fields where large fungi may also get economical relevance: for establishing of ectomycorrhiza, for medical application and for soil decontamination including environmental engineering. This new situation justifies the introduction of a new, all-embracing designation for large fungi. The term "useful mushroom" will be suggested. The various options of the use of mushrooms will be introduced and briefly discussed in this paper.
The antiproliferative effect of lectin from the edible mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) on human keratinocytes: preliminary studies on its use in psoriasis.
Parslew R, Jones KT, Rhodes JM, Sharpe GR.
University Department of Dermatology, University of Liverpool, UK.
Br J Dermatol 1999 Jan;140(1):56-60

Lectins or agglutinins are proteins with affinity for specific sugar residues. Peanut agglutinin (PNA) and the lectin from the edible mushroom (Agaricus bisporus, ABL) both bind to the disaccharide galactosyl beta-1,3-N-acetyl galactosamine alpha-. This is expressed in keratinocytes as an O-linked chain on CD44, a polymorphic membrane glycoprotein. Many lectins are mitogens and PNA is a mitogen for colonic epithelial cells. However, ABL reversibly inhibits proliferation of colonic cancer cell lines without cytotoxicity and thus has therapeutic potential in situations such as psoriasis where proliferation is increased. We have therefore investigated the effect of ABL on the growth of normal human cultured keratinocytes and a human papilloma virus (HPV)-transformed cell line. In a 5-day dose-response study, keratinocyte growth was greatly reduced by 1.0 microg/mL ABL and completely inhibited by 3.0 microg/mL ABL (ANOVA, P < 0.0001). Exposure to 1.0 microg/mL ABL for only 8 h gave the same growth inhibition as did continued exposure for 3 days. No cytotoxic or morphological changes were observed. An HPV-immortalized cell line was relatively resistant to ABL: in a 5-day dose-response study, exposure to 30 microg/mL was required to inhibit cell growth completely. Topical application of ABL 0.01% or 0.1% to normal human skin caused no change in skin erythema, blood flow or thickness compared with vehicle or baseline (n = 6). ABL 0. 1% in white soft paraffin was compared with vehicle in 11 psoriatic patients, using comparative contralateral plaques. Twice daily application for 2 weeks showed no significant difference from vehicle-treated sites, although the skin thickness of plaques fell from 5.3 +/- 0.4 (n = 11, mean +/- SEM) to 4.1 +/- 0.3 mm. In view of the in vitro results further studies are warranted, particularly if means can be found to improve the epidermal penetration of the relatively large ABL molecule (60 kDa).

Pleurotus mushrooms. Part II. Chemical composition, nutritional value, post-harvest physiology, preservation, and role as human food.
Bano Z, Rajarathnam S.
Discipline of Fruits, Vegetables, and Plantation Crops, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1988;27(2):87-158

The fruit bodies of Pleurotus species as a class of "Edible Fungal Foods" have been discovered to have definite nutritive and medicinal values. They are a good source of nonstarchy carbohydrates, dietary fiber (that can help in reducing the plasma cholesterol), most of the essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins of B group, and folic acid (necessary to counteract pernicious anaemia) in particular. Considering the essential amino acid index, biological value, in vitro digestibility, nutritional index, and protein score, Pleurotus species fall between high grade vegetables and low grade meats. Fractions of water-soluble polysaccharides are reported to possess antitumor activity. The physiological processes such as changes in water content, respiratory rate, texture, color, and activities of enzymes like proteases and polyphenol oxidases during the after-harvest life are delineated. The problems and prospects of processing the fruit bodies by various methods are discussed. Potentialities for production and consumption of the fruit bodies in different parts of the world are brought out..

Studies on antioxidant effects of Hypsizigus marmoreus. II. Effects of Hypsizigus marmoreus for antioxidant activities of tumor-bearing mice.
Matsuzawa T, Saitoh H, Sano M, Tomita I, Ohkawa M, Ikekawa T.
Agricultural Technology Institute of Nagano Farmers' Federation, Japan.
Yakugaku Zasshi 1998 Oct;118(10):476-81

The in vivo effect of Hypsizigus marmoreus on the plasma antioxidant status of tumor-bearing mice was examined. Female DBA/2 mice treated with subcutaneous injection of 3-methylcholanthrene were fed on a basal diet (CE-2) or CE-2 containing 5% fruit bodies of the mushroom for 76 weeks. Antioxidant activities (AOA) of mice with tumor were significantly higher than those of mice without tumor. The high levels of AOA were attributable to the increase of high molecular weight AOA in the plasma. A similar increase in plasma AOA was also observed in sarcoma-180 solid tumor-bearing mice. The mushroom feeding exhibited a potent antitumor effect and caused a significant decrease in lipid peroxide levels (as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances; TBARS). These results suggest that the increase of AOA in the plasma of tumor-bearing mice is one of the mechanism of cancer preventive effects and also suggest that Hypsizigus marmoreus might play a role in decreasing TBARS by controlling AOA induction.

The effect of maitake mushrooms on liver and serum lipids.
Kubo K, Nanba H.
Department of Microbial Chemistry, Kobe Pharmaceutical University, Japan.
Altern Ther Health Med 1996 Sep;2(5):62-6

OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of maitake mushrooms in inhibiting the elevation of liver and serum lipids in rats. DESIGN: Sprague-Dawley rats with hyperlipidemia were used to measure and compare the values of cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides between cholesterol-fed rats and rats whose diets were fortified with 20% maitake mushroom dried powder. RESULTS: The values in maitake-fed rats were consistently less than those in the basic cholesterol-fed rats. The value of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which usually is decreased by taking high-cholesterol feed, maintained the level that it had at the beginning of the experiment. Weights of extirpated liver and epididymal fat pads were significantly less than those in the basic feed group. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that maitake mushrooms have the ability to alter lipid metabolism by inhibiting both the accumulation of liver lipids and the elevation of serum lipids. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism of activity of maitake mushrooms and to establish whether their action in humans is similar to that in the animal model tested here.

Contents of vitamins, mineral elements, and some phenolic compounds in cultivated mushrooms.
Mattila P, Konko K, Eurola M, Pihlava JM, Astola J, Vahteristo L, Hietaniemi V, Kumpulainen J, Valtonen M, Piironen V.
Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, Food Research, Building L, 31600 Jokioinen, Finland.
J Agric Food Chem 2001 May;49(5):2343-8

The aim of the study was to determine the contents of mineral elements (Ca, K, Mg, Na, P, Cu, Fe, Mn, Cd, Pb, and Se), vitamins (B(1), B(2), B(12), C, D, folates, and niacin), and certain phenolic compounds (flavonoids, lignans, and phenolic acids) in the cultivated mushrooms Agaricus bisporus/white, Agaricus bisporus/brown, Lentinus edodes, and Pleurotus ostreatus. Selenium, toxic heavy metals (Cd, Pb), and other mineral elements were analyzed by ETAAS, ICP-MS, and ICP methods, respectively; vitamins were detected by microbiological methods (folates, niacin, and vitamin B(12)) or HPLC methods (other vitamins), and phenolic compounds were analyzed by HPLC (flavonoids) or GC--MS methods (lignans and phenolic acids). Cultivated mushrooms were found to be good sources of vitamin B(2), niacin, and folates, with contents varying in the ranges 1.8--5.1, 31--65, and 0.30--0.64 mg/100 g dry weight (dw), respectively. Compared with vegetables, mushrooms proved to be a good source of many mineral elements, e.g., the contents of K, P, Zn, and Cu varied in the ranges 26.7--47.3 g/kg, 8.7--13.9 g/kg, 47--92 mg/kg, and 5.2--35 mg/kg dw, respectively. A. bisporus/brown contained large amounts of Se (3.2 mg/kg dw) and the levels of Cd were quite high in L. edodes (1.2 mg/kg dw). No flavonoids or lignans were found in the mushrooms analyzed. In addition, the phenolic acid contents were very low.

Bioavailability of selenium in mushrooms, Boletus edulis, to young women.
Mutanen M.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1986;56(3):297-301

The bioavailability of selenium (Se) in mushrooms, Boletus edulis, to young Finnish women was studied by giving them 150 micrograms Se as mushrooms for 4 weeks. The indicators of body selenium status were plasma and erythrocyte Se levels and plasma and platelet glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity. The Se level in erythrocytes increased significantly (26%), while only slight enhancement were found in plasma Se and plasma or platelet GSH-Px activity. The results indicate that the metabolism of mushroom-Se is different from that of wheat-Se or sodium selenate. However, by the criteria of plasma Se level or plasma and platelet GSH-Px activity the bioavailability of mushroom-Se is reasonably low.

Selenium content of mushrooms.
Stijve T.
Z Lebensm Unters Forsch 1977 Jul 29;164(3):201-3

The selenium contents of 83 species of wild mushrooms were determined by oxygen combustion of the sample, followed by conversion of selenite to bromopiazselenol and final estimation by electron capture gas-liquid chromatography. Selenium concentration were found to range from 0.012-20.0 mg/kg dry weight. Selenium content was species-dependent. High concentrations were found in Agaricaceae and in certain Boletaceae of the genus Tubiporus, whereas in Russulaceae, Amanitaceae and Cantharellaceae selenium-rich species were absent or rare. Ascomycetes and all mushrooms growing on wood had a very low selenium content. The highest selenium concentrations (up to 20 ppm) were found in Boletus (Tubiporus) edulis, a most popular edible mushroom. Analyses of various parts of carpophores of B. edulis, Suillus luteus and Amanita muscaria indicate that in all three species the stalk contains less selenium than the fleshy part of the cap. In Boletus and Suillus the highest selenium content was found in the tubes.

Antioxidant properties of methanolic extracts from several ear mushrooms.
Mau JL, Chao GR, Wu KT.
Department of Food Science, National Chung-Hsing University, 250 Kuokuang Road, Taichung 40227, Taiwan, Republic of China.
J Agric Food Chem 2001 Nov;49(11):5461-7

Five kinds of ear mushrooms are commercially available in Taiwan, including black, red, jin, snow, and silver ears. Methanolic extracts were prepared from these ear mushrooms, and their antioxidant properties were studied. For all methanolic extracts from ear mushrooms, the antioxidant activities in the 1,3-diethyl-2-thiobarbituric acid method were moderate (38.6 approximately 74.6%) at 1.0-5.0 mg/mL. Methanolic extracts from red, jin, and snow ears showed excellent antioxidant activities in the conjugated diene method at 5.0 mg/mL. At 5.0 mg/mL, reducing powers of methanolic extracts were in the descending order of snow > black approximately red approximately jin > silver ears. The scavenging effect of methanolic extracts from ear mushrooms on 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals was excellent except for that from silver ears. Ear mushroom extracts were not good scavengers for hydroxyl free radicals but were good chelators for ferrous ions. Naturally occurring antioxidants, including ascorbic acid, tocopherols, and total phenols, were found in the methanolic extracts. However, beta-carotene was not detected. Total antioxidant components were 15.69, 30.09, 27.83, 49.17, and 31.70 mg/g for black, red, jin, snow, and silver ears, respectively.

Antioxidant properties of several medicinal mushrooms.
Mau JL, Lin HC, Chen CC.
Department of Food Science, National Chung-Hsing University, 250 Kuokuang Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan, Republic of China.
J Agric Food Chem 2002 Oct 9;50(21):6072-7

Three species of medicinal mushrooms are commercially available in Taiwan, namely, Ganoderma lucidum (Ling-chih), Ganoderma tsugae (Sung-shan-ling-chih), and Coriolus versicolor (Yun-chih). Methanolic extracts were prepared from these medicinal mushrooms and their antioxidant properties studied. At 0.6 mg/mL, G. lucidum, G. lucidum antler, and G. tsugae showed an excellent antioxidant activity (2.30-6.41% of lipid peroxidation), whereas C. versicolor showed only 58.56%. At 4 mg/mL, reducing powers were in the order G. tsugae (2.38) approximately G. lucidum antler (2.28) > G. lucidum (1.62) > C. versicolor (0.79). At 0.64 mg/mL, scavenging effects on the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical were 67.6-74.4% for Ganoderma and 24.6% for C. versicolor. The scavenging effect of methanolic extracts from G. lucidum and G. lucidum antler on hydroxyl radical was the highest (51.2 and 52.6%) at 16 mg/mL, respectively. At 2.4 mg/mL, chelating effects on ferrous ion were in the order G. lucidum antler (67.7%) > G. lucidum (55.5%) > G. tsugae (44.8%) > C. versicolor (13.2%). Total phenols were the major naturally occurring antioxidant components found in methanolic extracts from medicinal mushrooms. Overall, G. lucidum and G. tsugae were higher in antioxidant activity, reducing power, scavenging and chelating abilities, and total phenol content.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of methanol extract of Phellinus rimosus (Berk) Pilat.
Ajith TA, Janardhanan KK.
Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, India.
Indian J Exp Biol 2001 Nov;39(11):1166-9

The methanolic extract of a macrofungus, P. rimosus possessed significant in vitro superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical and nitric oxide scavenging and lipid peroxidation inhibiting activities. The anti-inflammatory activity of the extract was evaluated in carrageenan and dextran induced acute and formalin induced chronic inflammatory models in mice. The extract showed remarkable anti-inflammatory activity in both models, comparable to the standard reference drug diclofenac. The results suggest that the anti-inflammatory activity of the methanol extract of P. rimosus is possibly attributed to it's free radical scavenging properties. The findings also reveal the potential therapeutic value of P.rimosus extract as an antiinflammatory agent.

Induction of apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells with beta-glucan (Maitake mushroom polysaccharide).
Fullerton SA, Samadi AA, Tortorelis DG, Choudhury MS, Mallouh C, Tazaki H, Konno S.
Department of Urology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA.
Mol Urol 2000 Spring;4(1):7-13

PURPOSE: To explore more effective treatment for hormone-refractory prostate cancer, we investigated the potential antitumor effect of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide of the Maitake mushroom, on prostatic cancer cells in vitro. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human prostate cancer PC-3 cells were treated with various concentrations of the highly purified beta-glucan preparation Grifron-D(R) (GD), and viability was determined at 24 h. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) assay and in situ hybridization (ISH) were performed to unravel the antitumor mechanism of GD. RESULTS: A dose-response study showed that almost complete (>95%) cell death was attained in 24 h with GD > or = 480 microg/mL. Combinations of GD in a concentration as low as 30 to 60 microg/mL with 200 microM vitamin C were as effective as GD alone at 480 microg/mL, inducing >90% cytotoxic cell death. Simultaneous use with various anticancer drugs showed little potentiation of their efficacy except for the carmustine/GD combination (approximately 90% reduction in cell viability). The significantly (twofold) elevated LPO level and positive ISH staining of GD-treated cells indicated oxidative membrane damage resulting in apoptotic cell death. CONCLUSION: A bioactive beta-glucan from the Maitake mushroom has a cytotoxic effect, presumably through oxidative stress, on prostatic cancer cells in vitro, leading to apoptosis. Potentiation of GD action by vitamin C and the chemosensitizing effect of GD on carmustine may also have clinical implications. Therefore, this unique mushroom polysaccharide may have great a potential as an alternative therapeutic modality for prostate cancer.

Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides.
Wasser SP.
Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel.
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2002 Nov;60(3):258-74

The number of mushrooms on Earth is estimated at 140,000, yet maybe only 10% (approximately 14,000 named species) are known. Mushrooms comprise a vast and yet largely untapped source of powerful new pharmaceutical products. In particular, and most importantly for modern medicine, they represent an unlimited source of polysaccharides with antitumor and immunostimulating properties. Many, if not all, Basidiomycetes mushrooms contain biologically active polysaccharides in fruit bodies, cultured mycelium, culture broth. Data on mushroom polysaccharides have been collected from 651 species and 7 infraspecific taxa from 182 genera of higher Hetero- and Homobasidiomycetes. These polysaccharides are of different chemical composition, with most belonging to the group of beta-glucans; these have beta-(1-->3) linkages in the main chain of the glucan and additional beta-(1-->6) branch points that are needed for their antitumor action. High molecular weight glucans appear to be more effective than those of low molecular weight. Chemical modification is often carried out to improve the antitumor activity of polysaccharides and their clinical qualities (mostly water solubility). The main procedures used for chemical improvement are: Smith degradation (oxydo-reducto-hydrolysis), formolysis, and carboxymethylation. Most of the clinical evidence for antitumor activity comes from the commercial polysaccharides lentinan, PSK (krestin), and schizophyllan, but polysaccharides of some other promising medicinal mushroom species also show good results. Their activity is especially beneficial in clinics when used in conjunction with chemotherapy. Mushroom polysaccharides prevent oncogenesis, show direct antitumor activity against various allogeneic and syngeneic tumors, and prevent tumor metastasis. Polysaccharides from mushrooms do not attack cancer cells directly, but produce their antitumor effects by activating different immune responses in the host. The antitumor action of polysaccharides requires an intact T-cell component; their activity is mediated through a thymus-dependent immune mechanism. Practical application is dependent not only on biological properties, but also on biotechnological availability. The present review analyzes the pecularities of polysaccharides derived from fruiting bodies and cultured mycelium (the two main methods of biotechnological production today) in selected examples of medicinal mushrooms.

Coriolus versicolor: a medicinal mushroom with promising immunotherapeutic values.
Chu KK, Ho SS, Chow AH.
School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT.
J Clin Pharmacol 2002 Sep;42(9):976-84

Coriolus versicolor (CV) is a medicinal mushroom widely prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of cancer and infection in China. In recent years, it has been extensively demonstrated both preclinically and clinically that aqueous extracts obtained from CV display a wide array of biological activities, including stimulatory effects on different immune cells and inhibition of cancer growth. The growing popularity of aqueous CV extracts as an adjunct medical modality to conventional cancer therapies has generated substantial commercial interest in developing these extracts into consistent and efficacious oral proprietary products. While very limited information is available on the physical, chemical, and pharmacodynamic properties of the active principles present in these extracts, there has been sufficient scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing at least some of these constituents into an evidence-based immunodulatory agent. In this article, the background, traditional usage, pharmacological activities, clinical effects, adverse reactions, active constituents, and regulatory aspects of CV are reviewed. Presented also in this review are the current uses and administration, potential drug interactions, and contraindication of aqueous extracts prepared from CV.

Mushrooms, tumors, and immunity.
Borchers AT, Stern JS, Hackman RM, Keen CL, Gershwin ME.
Division of Rheumatology/Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of California at Davis School of Medicine, Davis, California 95616-8660, USA.
Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1999 Sep;221(4):281-93

Medicinal properties have been attributed to mushrooms for thousands of years. Mushroom extracts are widely sold as nutritional supplements and touted as beneficial for health. Yet, there has not been a critical review attempting to integrate their nutraceutical potential with basic science. Relatively few studies are available on the biologic effects of mushroom consumption, and those have been performed exclusively in murine models. In this paper, we review existing data on the mechanism of whole mushrooms and isolated mushroom compounds, in particular (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans, and the means by which they modulate the immune system and potentially exert tumor-inhibitory effects. We believe that the antitumor mechanisms of several species of whole mushrooms as well as of polysaccharides isolated from Lentinus edodes, Schizophyllum commune, Grifola frondosa, and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum are mediated largely by T cells and macrophages. Despite the structural and functional similarities of these glucans, they differ in their effectiveness against specific tumors and in their ability to elicit various cellular responses, particularly cytokine _expression and production. Unfortunately, our data base on the involvement of these important mediators is still rather limited, as are studies concerning the molecular mechanisms of the interactions of glucans with their target cells. As long as it remains unclear what receptors are involved in, and what downstream events are triggered by, the binding of these glucans to their target cells, it will be difficult to make further progress in understanding not only their antitumor mechanisms but also their other biological activities.

Therapeutic effects of substances occurring in higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms: a modern perspective.
Wasser SP, Weis AL.
International Centre for Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Israel.
Crit Rev Immunol 1999;19(1):65-96

This review highlights some of the recently isolated and identified substances of higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms origin that express promising antitumor, immune modulating, cardiovascular and hypercholesterolemia, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic effects. Medicinal mushrooms have a long history of use in folk medicine. In particular, mushrooms useful against cancers of the stomach, esophagus, lungs, etc. are known in China, Russia, Japan, Korea, as well as the U.S.A. and Canada. There are about 200 species of mushrooms that have been found to markedly inhibit the growth of different kinds of tumors. Searching for new antitumor and other medicinal substances from mushrooms and to study the medicinal value of these mushrooms have become a matter of great significance. However, most of the mushroom origin antitumor substances have not been clearly defined. Several antitumor polysaccharides such as hetero-beta-glucans and their protein complexes (e.g., xyloglucans and acidic beta-glucan-containing uronic acid), as well as dietary fibers, lectins, and terpenoids have been isolated from medicinal mushrooms. In Japan, Russia, China, and the U.S.A. several different polysaccharide antitumor agents have been developed from the fruiting body, mycelia, and culture medium of various medicinal mushrooms (Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum, Schizophyllum commune, Trametes versicolor, Inonotus obliquus, and Flammulina velutipes). Both cellular components and secondary metabolites of a large number of mushrooms have been shown to effect the immune system of the host and therefore could be used to treat a variety of disease states.

on the Adriatic Coast
The Anti-Aging Fasting Program consists of a 7-28 days program (including 3 - 14 fasting days). 7-28-day low-calorie diet program is also available .
More information
    The anti-aging story (summary)
Introduction. Statistical review. Your personal aging curve
  Aging and Anti-aging. Why do we age?
    2.1  Aging forces (forces that cause aging
Internal (free radicals, glycosylation, chelation etc.) 
External (Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, wrong habits, environmental pollution, stress, poverty-change "poverty zones", or take it easy. etc.) 
    2.2 Anti-aging forces
Internal (apoptosis, boosting your immune system, DNA repair, longevity genes) 
External (wellness, changing your environment; achieving comfortable social atmosphere in your life, regular intake of anti-aging drugs, use of replacement organs, high-tech medicine, exercise)
    2.3 Aging versus anti-aging: how to tip the balance in your favour!
    3.1 Caloric restriction and fasting extend lifespan and decrease all-cause mortality (Evidence)
      Human studies
Monkey studies
Mouse and rat studies
Other animal studies
    3.2 Fasting and caloric restriction prevent and cure diseases (Evidence)
Hypertension and Stroke
Skin disorders
Mental disorders
Neurogical disorders
Asthmatic bronchitis, Bronchial asthma
Bones (osteoporosis) and fasting
Arteriosclerosis and Heart Disease
Cancer and caloric restriction
Cancer and fasting - a matter of controversy
Eye diseases
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Sleeping disorders
Rheumatoid arthritis
Gastrointestinal diseases
    3.3 Fasting and caloric restriction produce various
      biological effects. Effects on:
        Energy metabolism
Lipids metabolism
Protein metabolism and protein quality
Neuroendocrine and hormonal system
Immune system
Physiological functions
Reproductive function
Cognitive and behavioral functions
Biomarkers of aging
    3.4 Mechanisms: how does calorie restriction retard aging and boost health?
        Diminishing of aging forces
  Lowering of the rate of gene damage
  Reduction of free-radical production
  Reduction of metabolic rate (i.e. rate of aging)
  Lowering of body temperature
  Lowering of protein glycation
Increase of anti-aging forces
  Enhancement of gene reparation
  Enhancement of free radical neutralisation
  Enhancement of protein turnover (protein regeneration)
  Enhancement of immune response
  Activation of mono-oxygenase systems
  Enhance elimination of damaged cells
  Optimisation of neuroendocrine functions
    3.5 Practical implementation: your anti-aging dieting
        Fasting period.
Re-feeding period.
Safety of fasting and low-calorie dieting. Precautions.
      3.6 What can help you make the transition to the low-calorie life style?
        Social, psychological and religious support - crucial factors for a successful transition.
Drugs to ease the transition to caloric restriction and to overcome food cravings (use of adaptogenic herbs)
Food composition
Finding the right physician
    3.7Fasting centers and fasting programs.
  Food to eat. Dishes and menus.
    What to eat on non-fasting days. Dishes and menus. Healthy nutrition. Relation between foodstuffs and diseases. Functional foods. Glycemic index. Diet plan: practical summary. "Dr. Atkins", "Hollywood" and other fad diets versus medical science

Bread, cereals, pasta, fiber
Glycemic index
Meat and poultry
Sugar and sweet
Fats and oils
Dairy and eggs
Nuts and seeds
Food composition

  Anti-aging drugs and supplements
    5.1 Drugs that are highly recommended
      (for inclusion in your supplementation anti-aging program)
        Vitamin E
Vitamin C
Co-enzyme Q10
Lipoic acid
Folic acid
Flavonoids, carotenes
Vitamin B
Vinpocetine (Cavinton)
Deprenyl (Eldepryl)
    5.2 Drugs with controversial or unproven anti-aging effect, or awaiting other evaluation (side-effects)
        Phyto-medicines, Herbs
      5.3 Drugs for treatment and prevention of specific diseases of aging. High-tech modern pharmacology.
        Alzheimer's disease and Dementia
Immune decline
Infections, bacterial
Infections, fungal
Memory loss
Muscle weakness
Parkinson's disease
Prostate hyperplasia
Sexual disorders
Stroke risk
Weight gaining
    5.4 The place of anti-aging drugs in the whole
      program - a realistic evaluation
    6.1 Early diagnosis of disease - key factor to successful treatment.
      Alzheimer's disease and Dementia
Cataracts and Glaucoma
Genetic disorders
Heart attacks
Immune decline
Infectious diseases
Memory loss
Muscle weakness
Parkinson's disease
Prostate hyperplasia
Stroke risk
Weight gaining
    6.2 Biomarkers of aging and specific diseases
    6.3 Stem cell therapy and therapeutic cloning
    6.4 Gene manipulation
    6.5 Prosthetic body-parts, artificial organs
Bones, limbs, joints etc.
Heart & heart devices
    6.6 Obesity reduction by ultrasonic treatment
  Physical activity and aging. Experimental and clinical data.
        Aerobic exercises
Weight-lifting - body-building
Professional sport: negative aspects
  Conclusion: the whole anti-aging program
    9.1 Modifying your personal aging curve
      Average life span increment. Expert evaluation.
Periodic fasting and caloric restriction can add 40 - 50 years to your lifespan
Regular intake of anti-aging drugs can add 20-30 years to your lifespan
Good nutrition (well balanced, healthy food, individually tailord diet) can add 15-25 years to your lifespan
High-tech bio-medicine service can add 15-25 years to your lifespan
Quality of life (prosperity, relaxation, regular vocations) can add 15-25 years to your lifespan
Regular exercise and moderate physical activity can add 10-20 years to your lifespan
These approaches taken together can add 60-80 years to your lifespan, if you start young (say at age 20). But even if you only start later (say at 45-50), you can still gain 30-40 years

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    9.2 The whole anti-aging life style - brief summary 
    References eXTReMe Tracker
        The whole anti-aging program: overview

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