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 Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>