30th December 2009

Chinese ‘herbal’ mushroom Cordyceps fights Cancer

Scientists have discovered how a possible anti-cancer drug, earlier (1950) discovered in a wild asian mushroom, Cordyceps, works.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham believe their work could help make the drug more effective, and useful for treating a wider range of cancers.

Cordyceps parasitic mushroom on a catapillar pupa. cordyceps fights cancer.

Cordyceps parasitic mushroom on a catapillar pupa.

The extracted active ingredient named Cordycepin, commonly used in Chinese medicine, degrades rapidly in the human body, it has been given with another drug to combat this – but the second drug can produce side effects that limit its potential use.

As a result, the researchers turned their interest to other potential candidate drugs, and a study to understand how cordycepin works on the body’s cells.

It could lay the groundwork for the design of new cancer drugs that work on the same principle

“It will be possible to predict what types of cancers might be sensitive and what other cancer drugs it may effectively combine with.

“It could also lay the groundwork for the design of new cancer drugs that work on the same principle.”

The researchers have also developed a method to test how effective the drug is in new preparations, and combinations with other drugs, which might solve the problem of degradation more satisfactorily.

Dr De Moor said: “This is a great advantage as it will allow us to rule out any non-runners before anyone considers testing them in animals.”

The researchers have also developed a method to test how effective the drug is in new preparations, and combinations with other drugs, which might solve the problem of degradation more satisfactorily.

Dr De Moor said: “This is a great advantage as it will allow us to rule out any non-runners before anyone considers testing them in animals.”

The Nottingham team observed two effects on the cells – at a low dose cordycepin inhibits the uncontrolled growth and division of the cells, and at high doses it stops cells from sticking together, which also inhibits growth.

Both of these effects probably have the same underlying mechanism – that cordycepin interferes with how cells make proteins.

At low doses cordycepin interferes with the production of mRNA, the molecule that gives instructions on how to assemble a protein.

And at higher doses it has a direct impact on the making of proteins.

Professor Janet Allen is director of research at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which funded the study.

She said: “This project shows that we can always return to asking questions about the fundamental biology of something in order to refine the solution or resolve unanswered questions. The knowledge generated by this research demonstrates the mechanisms of drug action and could have an impact on one of the most important challenges to health

Professor Janet Allen
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

“The knowledge generated by this research demonstrates the mechanisms of drug action and could have an impact on one of the most important challenges to health.”

Yet again, the Healing Powers of the flora & fauna in the world around us comes to light for all to see. Chinese herbalists believed centuries ago that cordyceps fights cancer.

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4th July 2008

Study: Spiritual benefits of Magic Mushroom (psilocybin) are long lasting.

A new study has revealed that the spiritual effects of magic mushrooms can last for many months.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that the majority of 36 volunteers who took psilocybin in controlled conditions continued to feel the beneficial effects for more than a year afterwards.

“Most of the volunteers looked back on their experience up to 14 months later and rated it as the most, or one of the five most, personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives,” said Roland Griffiths, a professor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience.

The first results of the clinical trial, aimed at uncovering the secrets of the “magic” mushrooms that have been used for religious or healing purposes in some cultures for centuries, were published in 2006.

Fourteen months after the trial, the 36 volunteers (all in good physical and mental health) were given the same questionnaire as well as some follow-up questions.

Results show that about the same proportion ranked their experience in the trial as one of the most personally meangingful or spiritually significant events of their lives.

“This is a truly remarkable finding,” said Griffiths, lead author of the study which appeared in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

“Rarely in psychological research do we see such persistently positive reports from a single event in the laboratory.”

He said the results gave credence to claims that the mystical-type experiences some people had during hallucinogen sessions may help patients suffering from cancer-related anxiety or depression.

Psilocybin could also be used as a possible treatment for drug dependance, the professor said.

He said his team was “eager” to continue their research, adding that although some of the volunteers had reported fear and anxiety immediately after receiving psilocybin, “none reported any lingering harmful effects.”

However, the team warned against giving hallucinogens to people at risk of psychosis or other serious mental disorders, and said it was important that it be administered under controlled conditions.

Psilocybin is a plant alkaloid that affects some of the same brain receptors as serotonin, a neurotransmitter.

Source-AFP

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14th April 2008

Reishi Mushrooms fight prostate cancer tumours

Researchers at the University of Haifa; Israel, are using extract from the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum; Lingzhi) to slow the progression of prostate cancer.

Reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years for the general promotion of health and long life and for the treatment of specific diseases.
   Reishi Mushrooms 

Now this research and other recent scientific studies have confirmed that Reishi mushroom (especially when combined with Green Tea) enhances the body’s immune functions and hold the potential for treatment and prevention of many types of cancer.

Chinese scientists have found that combining the active ingredients in the Reishi mushroom and Green Tea creates synergetic effects that inhibited the growth of tumors and delayed the time of death in mice with sarcomas.

Yan Zhang, a pharmacology researcher of Beijing, reported the results of two studies at the “Experimental Biology 2008” gathering (over 12000 biological and biomedical scientists attending) in San Diego on April 8. The presentation was part of the scientific program of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).

Reishi mushrooms have always been rare & difficult to find, but today Reishi, like Green Tea polyphenols, are manufactured as an extract. Yan Zhang and her colleagues examined commercial products sold as ReishiMax and Tegreen.

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19th December 2007

Fungii have healing properties too

Mushrooms are low in calories, carbohydrates & sodium, are cholesterol & fat free!  They contain as much fibre as 1 medium tomato, are high in riboflavin and are also a good source of niacin, pantothenate and copper.

While medicinal mushrooms have been used in the Orient and Japan for over 2,000 years to boost immunity and fight diseases such as cancer, only in recent decades has their power begun to be recognized in Western countries. 

In more scientific terms, several compounds in fungi have been found to boost intestinal flora, stimulate the function of the immune system & inhibit tumour growth, complex chain-like sugars called polysaccharides have been shown to exert antitumor and immuno-stimulating properties. Substances in certain mushrooms called terpenoids help kill bacteria and viruses and exert anti-inflammatory effects.

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