Treating Cancer with Mushrooms?

Certain mushrooms are becoming well-known for their effect on improving the immune system, and now there is growing evidence that they may be effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer. An article by the Medical Director of a hospital in the UK has reported a few examples of this research.

Mushrooms as medicine

A study was conducted on 30 patients who were diagnosed with chronic fatigue. They were all found to have high antibody levels for Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and/or human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) or Cytomegalovirus (CMV), so were or had been infected by these viruses. The level of natural killer (NK) cells was low in these patients, and NK calls represent the first line of defence against cancer cells and viral infections. However, after taking a Coriolus versicolor mushroom product for 60 days, their NK levels increased by a massive 35%  So this species of mushroom could potentially be an effective treatment for both chronic fatigue and cancer.

Another study found the edible mushroom Flammulina velutipes to have cancer-prevention effects. A 15 year epidemiological study of 174,505 individuals was conducted in the Nagano area of Japan, where the mushroom is grown. The study compared the cancer death rates of farmers who grew the mushroom with those of a control group, the assumption being that the farmers would eat some of the mushroom they grew. Results showed a cancer death rate in the control group of 160 per 100,000, compared with 97 per 100,000 among the mushroom farmers. (So the control group were 65% more likely to die of cancer than the farmers.)

In addition, the National Cancer Center Research Institute of Japan has established that the basidiomycetes group of edible mushrooms can have anti-cancer activity.

Whilst none of these or the many other studies are able to prove conclusively that cancer can be successfully treated with mushrooms, the right type of mushrooms can certainly improve the immune system, which in turn may help reduce the risk of cancer developing, or possibly act as a treatment. The varieties of mushrooms that have been shown to have this effect may one day become a significant weapon against this disease.

*Please note: Taking any supplement, herb or food should never be a reason not to have regular medical treatment for a serious condition, including cancer.

Always consult with a highly trained and experienced health professional before undertaking a course of supplementation that could make a significant difference to your health.

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