A “medicinal mushrooms” is any mushroom that is safe for human consumption and has medicinal or health-enhancing properties; these include:
Balancing the immune system
Increasing energy and focus
Calming the nervous system
Exhibiting neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties
Stabilizing blood sugar
Alternative Medicine for Prostate Cancer: Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements
Medicinal mushrooms, another aspect that the US diet does not share with the Asian diet, have a variety of physiologic effects valuable for a chemoprevention program. Medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake, and reishi have been found to have antitumor and immunostimulant properties. Men will probably reap health benefits simply from adding shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms—good sources of B vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants—to the diet.
Genistein-combined polysaccharide (GCP) is a supplement that is a combination of medicinal mushroom polysaccharides and genistein (Amino Up, Sapporo, Japan), which has been found to have potent anticancer effects in vitro. Naturally occurring isoflavones are poorly absorbed; they exist in soy foods predominantly in glycosylated form. GCP, a fermented extract of soy and basidiomycetes mycillae, contains highly bioavailable isoflavones, and in vivo and in vitro studies have found GCP to have potent anticancer activity.45
In a case study, which was documented at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, a male patient with biopsy-proven prostate cancer took GCP for 44 days before radical prostatectomy. His PSA fell from 19.7 to 4.2, and no cancer could be observed in his radical prostatectomy specimen.46 Further research is needed to determine what role GCP might have in the prevention and early treatment of prostate cancer.
The Health Benefits Of Medicinal Mushrooms
I’m going to talk about mushrooms in general and then I am going to be having two purposes in this talk. First, one of the purposes will be to review a bit of the immune system with you. Mushrooms, one of their most powerful things is they’re immune modulators. They modulate our immune system to help us affect many different disease processes. They also then have that pharmaceutical-type effect, but they have numerous other pharmaceutical effects. The second part or aspect of this theme are the multiple different pharmaceutical effects of mushrooms that research has supported. Let’s get started. First of all, in general, there are estimated to be as many or even more than 140,000 different mushroom species. We humans are only familiar with about 10% of those mushroom species. 50% of the ones we are familiar with, we know are edible. Of those known, 700 species are known to possess significant pharmacological properties.