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» What are Mushroom Extracts?

Historically, the larger mushrooms have had long and successful medicinal use especially in traditional Chinese clinical medicine. Chinese Pharmacopeias document the use of well over 100 species of mushroom by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, for a wide range of ailments. Many of these mushroom-derived medicinal products are now produced by major Japanese, Korean and Chinese pharmaceutical companies and used worldwide by holistically oriented physicians, chiropractors, herbalists and naturopathic physicians in a clinical environment.

Increasingly, many are being viewed nutritionally as functional foods as well as a source of physiologically beneficial and non-invasive medicines, while others are distinctly non-edible but considered purely as a source of medicinally beneficial compounds. Some of the most recently isolated and identified compounds originating from the medicinal mushrooms have shown promising results.

Modern scientific studies of the medicinal mushrooms have expanded exponentially during the last two decades primarily in Japan, Korea and China but also in the USA and scientific explanations of how these compounds function in the animal and human systems are increasingly appearing in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals.

Mushroom-derived polysaccharides are now considered as compounds able to modulate certain responses. While mushroom glucans are mostly non-cytotoxic, the same is not true of glucan-protein complexes. All of these compounds, however, have been shown to potentiate the host’s innate (non-specific) and acquired (specific) responses and activate many kinds of cells that are important for the maintenance of homeostasis.

While many mushroom-polysaccharides have been shown to have activity in several xenographs, only a limited number have undergone clinical trials. At present the main products submitted for clinical testing include Lentinan from Lentinus edodes (Shitake)fruit-bodies, Schizophyllan from Schizophyllum commune (Suehirotake) mycelial broth, PSK and PSP, from mycelial cultures of Trametes versicolor and Grifron-D from fruit-bodies of Grifola frondosa (Maitake). All have been through Phase I, II and III clinical trials mainly in Japan and China but now in the US. More recently, extensive research has been carried out on the fruit bodies of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) and Inonotus obliquus (Chaga).


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Thumb: Source Naturals Beta Glucan 30 100mg Capsules More Details Beta Glucan - 30 - 100mg Capsules

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Thumb: Now Foods Beta 1 3 1 6 D Glucan 90 100mg Vcaps More Details Beta-1,3/1,6-D-Glucan (Beta Glucan) - 90 - 100mg Vcaps

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Kahlos, K 1996. Preliminary tests of antiviral activity of two Inonotus obliquus strains. Fitopterapia 6(4) 344-347

Kubo, K 1994. Anti-diabetic activity present in the fruit body Grifola frondosa (maitake). Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 17(8) 1106-1110.

Mizuno, T 1996. Studies on the host-mediated antitumor polysaccharides part XXVII. Mushroom Science and Biotechnology 3(2): 53-60.

Ohnogi, H 2004. Remedies. U.S. Patent application 20,040,175,396. Filed September 9, 2004.

Ryzmowska, J 1998. The effect of aqueous extracts from Inonotus obliquus on the mitotic index and enzyme activities. Bollettino Chimico Farmaceutico 137(1): 13-15.

Smith, Rowan and Sullivan, 2002. Medicinal Mushrooms: Their therapeutic properties and current medical usage with special emphasis on cancer treatments. University of Strathclyde.

Stamets, P. 2005. Mycelium Running; How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Ten Speed Press, New York.