Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mushrooms May Work Wonders In Cancer Treatment And Prevention

20.08.2002


Exotic mushrooms could herald a new era of cancer treatment and prevention as the Western world learns lessons from the Orient according to a report released by Cancer Research UK today (Aug 19th).



The charity has produced the world`s most comprehensive review of information about the way medicinal mushrooms are used in Japan, China and Korea where they have been reported to have anti-tumour properties and to stimulate the immune system to fight disease.

It also documents evidence from studies in the Far East that medicinal mushrooms can help reduce side effects from radio and chemotherapy and significantly improve the quality of life in patients with advanced cancer.


Dr Richard Sullivan, head of clinical programmes for Cancer Research UK, said: "A vast amount of information has been collated which suggests that compounds derived from mushrooms could have a hugely beneficial influence on the way cancer is treated."

Some trials in Japan, China and, more recently in the US, are indicating that chemical compounds derived from medicinal mushrooms can prolong survival of cancer patients. But there is concern that the standards of trials in the East may not meet current Western regulatory requirements.

"We hope that with the publication of this report more Western cancer doctors will be encouraged to set up trials to assess the potential of these compounds in treating cancer," said Dr Sullivan.

Professor John Smith from the University of Strathclyde, who led the review, said: "There is now increasing evidence that the medicinal mushrooms offer a remarkable array of medicinally important compounds that have yet to be evaluated by Western medical scientists.

"Mushrooms are also very nutritious as food because they contain all the essential amino acids and are an excellent source of vitamins. Evidence suggests that exotic mushrooms - such as the shiitake, enoke and oyster varieties which are used in many modern recipes - have major dietary benefits. But while the large flat mushroom and the button variety found in most shops are highly nutritious, there is no documented evidence that they have the exotic mushroom`s special medicinal properties."

Medicinal mushrooms taken as powdered concentrates or extracts in hot water are believed to enhance the immune responses of the body and help overcome disease. And Prof. Smith says that many show cholestrol lowering ability and may have importance in cardio-vascular diseases.

A survey conducted over 14 years among Japanese mushroom workers in the Nagano Prefecture implied that a regular diet of edible medicinal mushrooms was associated with a lower death rate from cancer than of other people in the Prefecture.

The average cancer death rate in the Prefecture was one in 600. But the rate dropped to one in 1000 among farmers who produced edible mushrooms.

More than 100 species of mushroom are documented by practitioners of Chinese medicine as treatments for a wide range of ailments. And many mushroom-derived medicinal products are already manufactured by Japanese, Korean and Chinese pharmaceutical companies.

Mushrooms have long been valued as tasty, nutritious food by different societies throughout the world. To the ancient Romans they were the "food of the Gods" resulting from bolts of lightning thrown to the earth by Jupiter during thunder storms; the Egyptians considered them as "a gift from the God Osiris" while the Chinese viewed them as "the elixir of life.."

Other cultures, notably those in the UK, Ireland and much of North America, have grown up with a fear of mushroom poisoning. By contrast fungus-loving societies are found throughout Asia and in much of Europe - especially Poland - and Russia where wild mushrooms are extensively collected or bought and incorporated into soups, stews and teas.

Sir Paul Nurse, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, says: "The information coming out of the East about the apparent benefits of mushrooms for health and the potential to help treat cancer patients is very interesting. More work needs to be done on how mushrooms can be used in Western medicine. This report gives weight to the argument for clinical trials to be set up to try to validate research done in other parts of the world, which may not have met all the criteria laid down in western medicine."

Sally Staples | alfa

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>