Mushrooms are a type of edible fungus.
Many different types of mushrooms are being investigated for their anti-cancer effects. As well as showing anti-cancer and anti-metastatic effects, mushroom extracts have been found to stimulate the immune system.
Most medical studies have focused on three main varieties:
reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
maitake (Grifola frondosa) and
shiitake (Lentinus edodes).
Reishi has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years as a cancer treatment.
Maitake mushroom is known to activate certain cells that attack cancer, including macrophages, T-cells and natural killer cells. According to the US National Cancer Institute, maitake mushrooms appear to have significant anti-cancer activity.
The shiitake mushroom is popular in Japan and has also been shown to activate natural killer cells. Lentinan (1,3 beta-D-glucan), a polysaccharide isolated from shiitake, has been well studied and is thought responsible for the mushroom’s beneficial effects.
These different types of mushrooms can be bought from fruit and vegetable outlets and can be eaten raw when fresh, for example in salads!!
A pilot study with a proprietary formulation of rice bran and shiitake mushroom extract (called Ribraxx) carried out in our clinics showed that Ribraxx together with curcumin, can increase neutrophil count in neutropenic early myeloma patients. The combination therapy also decreased inflammation in these patients.