Ganoderma lucidum: A rational pharmacological approach to surmount cancer
Updated: Jun 29
Amazing new study with one of our favorite mushrooms in our Infinimin® Multivitamin - Ganoderma lucidum (aka Reishi or Ling Zhi Mushroom - the Mushroom of Immortality)!!
Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum) has been broadly used for health endorsement
as well as longevity for over 2000 years in Asian countries. It is an example of an ancient remedy and known as the immortality mushroom. It has been employed as a health promoting agent owing to its broad pharmacological and therapeutic approaches. It has been conﬁrmed that G. lucidum exhibits signiﬁcant potency to prevent and treat diﬀerent types of cancers such as breast, prostate, colon, lung and cervical.
This study's aim was to explore these known anticancer eﬀects of various pharmacologically active compounds obtained from G. lucidum and their possible mechanism of action.
Reader beware, technical content up ahead. If you don't understand a term, research it, educate yourself. Knowledge is power.
Various chemical compounds from G. lucidum exhibit anticancer properties mainly through diverse mechanism such as cytotoxic properties, host immunomodulators, metabolizing enzymes induction, prohibit the expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) in cancer cells. Among the various compounds of G. lucidum, triterpenoids and polysaccharides are under the major consideration of study due to several preclinical and clinical studies against cancer. See Figure 1 and Table 1 for a summary of the compounds and known anticancer studies using them.
Effects on cell cycle arrest in different phases by triterpene-enriched extracts from Ganoderma lucidum have been demonstrated in various cells. Triterpenoid enriched extracts have exhibited cell cycle arrest at the different phases. Cell cycle arrest of HT-29 cells, MCF-7 cells and MDA-MB-231 cells have been reported in G1 phase, while HUCPC cells as well as Huh-7 cells in G2/M phase and H69 cells in S phase (Fig. 2). The extracts enhance the amount of autophagic vacuoles, autophagy is a type of programmed cell death and measured an aim in the treatment of cancer.
Noncytotoxic amount of ethanolic extracts of G. lucidum have potent endorsing properties on focal adhesion complex formation and actin polymerization comparison to G. lucidum extracts of water and consecutively restrain the migration of bladder cancer cells of human. It has been shown in an in vivo study that triterpene-
enriched extracts on different concentrations suppressed/inhibited liver metastasis and initial growth of tumor in the spleen. Antimetastatic effects of triterpene-enriched extracts from different solvents reveal significant role of G. lucidum to confirm anti-cancerous properties. Various terpenoids with their targeting cancerous cells can be seen in Fig. 3.
It is expected that polysaccharides of high molecular weight have superior anticancerous properties as they have several binding locations due to larger chains to the receptors or proteins. Heteropolysaccharides, ganoderans A, ganoderans B, ganoderans C, and glycoproteins are high molecular weight compounds with anti-tumour properties (Fig. 4).
Ganoderans sounds like a monster in a Godzilla movie, right? Maybe a villain to the iconic Gamera character. Science has some pretty amazing terms. Our all time favorite is the Sonic the Hedgehog protein that, in humans, is encoded by the the aptly named, SHH gene. The gene was named as such by Robert Riddle, who was a postdoctoral fellow at the Tabin Lab, after his wife Betsy Wilder came home with a games magazine containing an advertisement for the video game Sonic the Hedgehog. Now entrenched deep in embryology research, almost as famous as the video game.
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In addition to immunomodulatory outcomes, several other functions have been revealed by G. lucidum that explore it as a unique macro fungus for the prevention and treatment of cancer (Fig. 5). G. lucidum has the detoxification advantages that potentiate and explore it like an adjuvant remedy in cancer prevention and treatment. GLPS and triterpenoids are proficient for phase II metabolizing enzymes induction.
It was found that polysaccharides of G. lucidum induce the activity of
phase II enzyme glutathione S-transferase as well. Phase II enzymes act an essential role in the toxic detoxification of carcinogenic and electrophilic compounds. Inactivation and excretion of carcinogens compounds from the body are demonstrated by these enzymes.
While G. lucidum has exhibited a valuable and capable approach for the prevention and treatment of cancer based on present in vitro and in vivo studies it can not be used as a first-line therapy for cancer treatment, yet. More research is needed. The lack of purified compounds or accurately characterized extracts are the main crisis of clinical studies. Amounts and compositions of the pharmacologically active compounds for the prevention and treatment of cancer depend on G. lucidum growing conditions, strains, and method of extraction. Substantial steps are required for future clinical studies with specific amounts of characterized extracts of active compounds. These extracts should be assessed in vitro and in vivo studies and chemically characterized to confirm the accurate amount of specific compounds that could be applied for the experimental studies.
In summary, natural alternatives associated with mild side eﬀects are the basic human need of present therapy to eradicate the new emerging disorders. This review is an attempt to compile pharmacologically active compounds of G. lucidum which exhibit anticancer eﬀects either alone or along with chemotherapy and anticancer mechanisms against various cancer cells, clinical trials, chemotherapy induced toxicity challenges with limitations. It acts as a possible substitute to combat cancer growth with advance and conventional combination therapies as natural alternatives.
Cheers to your health,
~ Infinitum Health Team
Md Faruque Ahmad. Ganoderma lucidum: A rational pharmacological approach to surmount cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 260 (2020) 113047
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