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Has anyone tried using Cordyceps?
10-08-2007, 06:44 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-08-2007, 06:50 AM by Ratiocinator.)
Has anyone tried using Cordyceps?

Medicinal Mushrooms - the New Addition to Western Herbal Medicine
by Dale Pinnock BSc (Hons) MNIMH

Medicinal fungus have been used for millenia in the traditional medical practices of the Orient. So revered where these fungi that their usage was often exclusively retained for the Emperor and aristocricy. Fungus such as Ganoderma lucidum (resihi, ling zhi) were believed to be an elixir of life, capable of doubling ones life span and warding off all disease and the ageing process.

Over the past thirty years, the West has become switched onto these amazing healing tools, and they have become some of the most widely and vigorously researched natural products to date and have found their way into conventional medical treatments. This great volume of attention has arisen in response to continued findings that they may be profound allies in some of today's gravest diseases. The most important being those where the immune system is invloved.

Research has indicated time and time again that medicinal mushrooms are able to instigate a stimulatory effect on various branches of the immune system. The early research on these fungi revealed that their polysaccharide content was responsible for this stimulatory action. These large branch-chained sugar molecules are also known to be present in the widely used immune tonics Echinacea spp and Astragulus membranaceus. The most widely distributed polysaccharides in medicinal fungi, and certainly most widely studied are the Beta-glucans. It is theorised that these molecules are very similar in structure to membrane bound polysaccharides of various cellular pathogens and, as a result, dupe the immune system into instigating a response.

In the late 1980's, the Japanese mycologist Hiraoki Nanba discovered that the mushroom Grifola frondosa (maitake) was capable of delivering the strongest stimulatory response. It was later found that this was due to maitake having a very uniquely shaped polysaccharide, and this was particularly active when given in oral dosages - very useful to the modern day Herbalist and Nutritionist. It is interesting to note however that these polysaccharides are infact too large and dense to be absorbed by the gut! It is believed therefore that these substances may be active by interacting with the white cell dense peyers patches within the gut, causing an alarm response, then cascade reaction and instigating the immune response systemically.

In light of Nanba's research, fungal polysaccharides became heavily studied, and many were patented and developed into pharmaceutical drugs. The most famous of these is PSK, extracted from the Coriolus versicolor (turkey tail) mushroom, which was used in the treatment of cancers in the United States.

So what exactly do these substances effect within the immune system? It is well established that their effect is of a stimulatory nature, but the stimulation of what? The answer is non-specific immunity. Many of the initial studies carried out on mushroom polysaccharides revealed an increase in number, and activity of NK cells. These cells move through the body and seek out any problematic cells in any tissue. These can be cells infected with a virus, or cells that are becoming cancerous. These cells will identify themselves by displaying certain chemical structures on their outer surface - essentially a distress failr. When an NK cell identifies a cell as abnormal it binds to it, then using a substance called perforin, it perforates the membrane of that cell and induces apoptosis (cell death).

Another method that NK cells use to induce apoptosis, is by sending a signal through the cell membrane of the affected cell to its nucleus in order to programme its death. Some of the original studies performed by Hiraoki Nanba on Human subjects with various cancers, showed an average increase in NK cell numbers of 1.7 times. It is interesting to note that there was also a decrease in metastasis in test subjects.

Another interesting influence upon the immune system that has been rather heavily documented is the effect upon Th cell subsets. T cells move through the body in an inactive (virgin, Th0) state, until they are activated by an antigen presenting cell. Once activated they differentiate themselves into two subsets which are different in regards to the cytokines (messenger chemicals) that they secrete. These subsets are Th1 and Th2. The Th1 subset of T cells secrete cytonkines that include IL-2 and TNF. This type of response stimulates and primes macrophages, and activates NK cells. This type of response also discourages inflammatory responses and antibody mediated immune responses. Th2 stimulates the type of responses that are antibody mediated and encourage inflammatory reactions. It is this type of response that is involved in allergic reactions. These two Th subsets are mutually inhibitory, so if T cells are stimulated to switch to one subset, any responses attributable to the opposing subset will be supressed. It has become clear from a considerable body of evidence that mushroom polysaccharides stimulate T cells, increase their numbers, and cause these cells to move into the Th1 subset.

These findings clearly suggest several potential uses for these wonderful fungi. The first, and one that has already been at the centre of a vast number of studies, is a role in cancer treatment. The stimulation of NK cells via the Th1 subset is what gives this credibility. As previously described, NK cells have the ability to identify cancerous cells, and destroy them. NK cells are by no means the only cells capable of this action, but cancer cells are somehow able to hide themselves from the other cells of the immune system, but from NK cells there is no escape. There is also an obvious use in the management of HIV/AIDS. This is due to the stimulation in T cell production. This application has been used with considerable success by Marijke Pfeiffer in a European outpatient clinic, and several London based hospital outpatient units.

There is also a potential (but currently greatly under-researched) use in the management of allergies and auto-immune conditions. These both rely on the presence of antibodies, and therefore antibody mediated immune responses are responsible for the destructive effects observed in such conditions. As the Th2 subset is mostly responsible for antibody mediated reactions, and because Th1 and Th2 are mutually inhibitory, stimulating Th2-Th1 shift will reduce the ocurrence of these destructive reactions. Martin Powell of MRL has used Ganoderma lucidum successfully in this context, with severe hayfever suferers becoming almost asymptomatic after several weeks supplementation.

We are certainly in the early days when it comes to the use of medicinal mushrooms in western herbal and nutritional practices. However, because of the type of responses highlighted above, many more practitioners are including them in their dispensaries and treatment regimes. There are some wonderful products on the market now for nutritionist and herbalist alike. Mycology Research Laboratories (MRL) have a wonderfully effective range of mushroom tablets at a reasonable price, and Proline Botanicals are now producing tinctures of Ganoderma lucidum, Coriolus versicolor, Grifola frondosa, and Lentinus edodes. If anyone has any clinical experience using fungi, please drop us a line and subit an article.

About the Author: Dale Pinnock is a western medical herbalist, trained at the university of westminster. He also studied nutrition in depth for in excess of 10 years and uses nutrition and herbal medicine in his treatment programmes. He is a published author who's work has featured in publications such as Men's Health. He is also the founder of 'Natural Solutions'

The article below uses information obtained through animal experimentation. As this is a heinous and unscientific way of researching treatments for humans and as it is one of those abhorrent things the elites like to encourage, generally it cannot be trusted. However I posted the article because generally it is rather good.


Maitake D-fraction: Healing and Preventive Potential for Cancer
Hiroaki Nanba, Ph.D.

I have been studying medicinal mushrooms for the last 15 years and have reported that of all mushrooms studied, Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) has the strongest activity in tumour growth inhibition both in administered orally and intraperi-toneally.1,2,3 In this report, Maitake extract D-fraction was investigated to determine its effectiveness not only on the inhibition against tumours already growing, but also on the inhibition of formation of the secondary focus due to metastasis of tumour cells in lymph and/or blood.

In the tests of cancer inhibition rates on mice bearing MM46 (breast cancer), they were bred for one month with foods containing 20% edible mushroom powder. The result was that Maitake outperformed all other mushrooms. Through the 31-day oral administration, total remission of the tumour was visibly confirmed on four out of ten Maitake fed mice. The remaining six rodents also indicated almost 90% suppression rate compared to untreated (control) mice. Most other mushroom extracts are reported ineffective when given orally.4,5 The results of human studies on Maitake D-fraction is reported which indicated strong potential of Maitake D-fraction for cancer treatment.

Maitake (Pron. "my-tah-key") is indigenous to northern part of Japan. The basketball-sized mushroom, weighing sometimes over 50 pounds, grows on the foot of old Japanese oak trees. For hundreds of years, this rare and tasty mushroom has been prized in traditional Japanese herbology. Maitake literally means "Dancing Mushroom". People who found the mushroom in deep mountain valleys started dancing with joy since they knew its delicious taste and the health benefits. Also, in the feudal era, it could be exchanged with the same weight of silver. Maitake was, and still is, one of the most valuable and expensive mushrooms.

This legendary giant mushroom has been available by cultivation since the mid 1980s, which gave opportunities for mycologists, and pharmacologists to study the various medicinal properties on the mushroom as claimed in anecdotes and folklore. In addition to its antitumour effect, anti-hypertension, anti-diabetes, anti-obesity and anti-hepatitis activities have been found in Maitake. Its anti-HIV activity was also confirmed by both Japan National Institute of Health and U.S. National Cancer Institute in early 1992.

Maitake D-fraction
Among the various fractions in the process of standardization of the mushroom extraction, it is known that Maitake D-fraction is most potent in enhancing the immune system, demonstrating highest cancer inhibition in oral administration.3,6 The protein-bound Maitake D-fraction is the acid-insoluble, alkali-soluble and hot water extractable fraction (1,6 beta-glucans carrying 1,3 branched chains) with molecular weight of about one million. Maitake D-fraction has strong ability to potentiate and activate the cellular immune system.

We investigated how much each immune-competent cell is activated by the administration of Maitake D-fraction. Mice in experiment groups were administered either 0.5 mg/Kg of D-fraction by I.P. injection for 10 days or 1.0 mg/Kg of D-fraction by oral administration for 10 days. The activity of Natural Killer cells, cytotoxic T-cells and delayed-hypersensitive T-cells were all increased by 1.5-2.2 times by Maitake D-fraction. Also, it was observed that production of interleukin-1 (which activates T cells), and super-oxide anion (which damages tumour cells) were enhanced. The production of interleukin-2 was also observed to increase by 1.7 fold (Table 1).

From these results it may be concluded that the cellular immune-competent cells ability to inhibit tumour growth may be potentiated by Maitake D-fraction.
The purified D-fraction extract and Maitake crude tablets were tested using mice to investigate acute and chronic toxicity. Based on a previous animal test, which indicates the optimal dose of 1mg/kg of D-fraction for anti-tumour activity, ten times more dosage was employed intraperit-oneally for 30 days. On the 31st day, no abnormal symptoms were observed, when mice were sacrificed and their organs and blood were checked. Furthermore, 5 mg/kg of D-fraction was injected for 120 days and the toxicity was investigated in the same manner.

Since no abnormality was found in this test, we came to the conclusion that there is no toxicity in the D-fraction. At present, it is not permitted to inject D-fraction into the human body; therefore, in our study the D-fraction was used via oral administration. Maitake tablets were also investigated for possible toxicity. Maitake has been appreciated by the Japanese people as the premier culinary mushroom for hundreds of years, and it is therefore unlikely to exhibit any toxicity. However, we did the same test as was done with the D-fraction, by feeding it to mice by mixing it in their diet at a 1:4 ratio for a period of 13 months. After completion of these tests, we concluded that both Maitake D-fraction and the tablets made of Maitake crude powder were safe with no toxicity.

Clinical Results
A number of animal tests have confirmed Maitake’s strong ability in cancer inhibition.7-10 but human trials have not been conducted until recently. A non-randomised clinical study using D-fraction was conducted to see if it is effective against advanced cancer patients as it is against animals. A total of 165 cancer patients in stage III-IV, from 25-65 years old, participated in the study and the data was collected under the cooperation of their medical doctors with major university hospitals and cancer treatment clinics in the western part of Japan. Patients were either taking Maitake D-fraction with crude powder tablets only, or Maitake D-fraction, crude tablets in addition to chemotherapy. Tumour regression or significant symptom improvements was observed in 11 out of 15 breast cancer patients, 12 out of 18 lung cancer patients and 7 out of 15 liver cancer patients. If Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy together, these response rates improved by 12-28 percent.

The criteria to judge the effectiveness are established as follows. A positive response is defined as one of the following:

1) if the size of tumour in CT or MRI screen reduced or stayed unchanged.
2) If the value of tumour mark decreased.
3) If T, N or M factors reduced or remained unchanged.
4) If the remaining life expectancy indicated by the doctor was prolonged by more than 4 times.

As can be seen, these results suggest that breast, lung and liver cancers were improved by Maitake, but it was less effective against bone and stomach cancers or leukaemia. The following are some of the typical cases, which demonstrated improvements by taking Maitake D-fraction and tablets.

51 years old, male, Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)
He had received Adriamycin (ADM) since 1993, but refused it because of little effectiveness and severe side effects of chemotherapy. He took 35 mg of D-fraction and 4 g of Maitake caplet per day. After 8 months, the level of bilirubin and albumin are improved as well as T and N factors. The value of bilirubin reduced to 1.8 mg/dL from 4.7 mg/dL. Also, albumin improved from 2.1 g/dL to 3.7 g/dL and the prothrombin activation was increased to 92% from 36%. Meanwhile, T-factor improved from 3-4 to 1-2 and N-factor changed from 0-1 to 0. T-factor 3 means that tumour diameter is more than 2 cm and some tumours remove into blood vessels. N-factor 1 means that the tumours metastasised to lymph nodes.

56 years old, female, Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)
She was diagnosed in stage III with serum bilirubin of 3.5 mg/dl, albumin of 2.8 g/dl and prothrombia activation of 48%. By eye observation, T-factor was 3, N-factor as 1 and M-factor as 0. She received trans-catheter arterial embolisation (TAE) in January 1994, and 10 mil of lipiodol, 15 mg of ADM and 100 mg of Cisplatin (CDDP) were administered by injection. Then, 200 mg of 5-FU was orally administered for 60 consecutive days but no improvements were observed. In December 1994, she started taking 55 mg of D-fraction liquid and 6 g of Maitake tablets everyday. As of July 1995, value of bilirubin was 2.7, albumin 3.1, and prothrombia activation was improved to 63%. She is now diagnosed as stage I.

53 years old, female, Lung cancer (epidermoid carcinoma)
In November 1993, she was diagnosed as stage III-A according to the TNM classification by UICC (Unia Intern Contra Cancrum). CDDP 80 mg/m, CPA 350 mg/m and ADM 50 mg/m were administered. However, she gave up taking these chemos in March 1994, because of severe side effects. Since then, she took 100 mg/m of Etoposide with 50 mg of D-fraction and 4 g of tablets. After 14 months, she improved to stage I.

71 years old, male, Lung cancer (epidermoid carcinoma)
He was diagnosed as advanced stage IV but refused to take chemotherapy. He had taken D-fraction 70 mg and 6 g tablets everyday but unfortunately died 20 months later. However, he showed improvement and was diagnosed as stage III-A before he died. As he was told he had only 3 months to live by his doctor, Maitake must have contributed to extending his life for 17 more months. T-factor 2 means that tumour size is more than 3 cm and tumours advanced to the hilus. N-factor 2 means that tumour metastasised to lymph nodes (homolaceral mediaspinum). M-factor1 means that there is remote metastasis.

45 years old, female, Breast cancer (intraductal carcinoma)
ER+ (Oestrogen receptor positive) was observed on this patient who had 1.8 cm dia. of tumour focus and had the rigid pleura. In April 1992, she had surgery to remove the focus and then received mild chemotherapy such as 5-FU and ADM until February 1994, but a cancer recurrence (diameter of focus 0.9 cm) was found in April 1994. She refused to undergo surgery at this time, and started taking 100 mg of D-fraction and 5 g of Maitake tablets every day for 6 months. After 6 months, the dose of D-fraction reduced to 50 mg a day. As of May 1995, it was confirmed that the recurred tumour focus disappeared.

44 years old male, Brain tumour (astrocytoma)
This is an example of an effective trial of D-fraction therapy against a brain tumour. The patient has taken 100 mg of D-fraction and 6 g of Maitake tablets every day for 4 months without taking any other medication including chemotherapy or radiation. In this case, the patient showed dramatic improvement. He had received chemotherapy (CCNU) in four cycles since February 1994. But he could not accept it because of severe side effects and received no treatment for four months before starting Maitake administration. After 4 months since he started taking Maitake, a complete regression of an egg-sized tumour focus was confirmed.

It cannot be concluded that Maitake D-fraction and crude powder alone have the strong anti-cancer activities in human cancer. It should be noted, however, that most of the patients under the Maitake treatment claimed improvement of overall symptoms, even when the tumour regression was not observed. Various side effects from chemotherapy such as lost appetite, vomiting, nausea, hair loss and leucopoenia (deficiency of white blood cells) were ameliorated by 90% of the patients. Reduction of the pain was also reported by 83% of the patients.

Preventing Cancer Metastasis
Another interesting of investigation was whether the formation of secondary focus due to metastasis of cancer cells could be inhibited. This test was conducted using mice in the following manner; MM-164 liver carcinoma (1 x 107 cells) was injected to left rear footpad of mice and the footpad was cut off after 48 hours. Then, normal feed was given to the control group (A), 20% Maitake powder was given to group ( B ) and 1 mg/Kg of D-fraction was given to group ( C ) with normal food. All three groups were bred for another 30 days, and the number of tumour focus metastasised in the liver was counted by microscope.

It was observed that the metastasis to the liver was prevented by 91.3% by the administration of D-fraction and by 81.3% by Maitake powder. It is believed that tumour cells present in blood and/or lymph were necrotised by the activated cellular immune-competent cells. The result of this animal test indicates that cancer metastases could be reduced to less than one tenth by the use of Maitake D-fraction daily.

Synergistic Effect with Chemotherapy
Maitake does not kill cancer cells directly. It stimulates the activities of immune-competent cells and potentiates their action against cancer cells. Chemotherapy is supposed to kill cancer cells directly. Which is more effective in terms of cancer growth inhibition? Here are some interesting results from our study on this effect. We used Mitomycin C (MMC), probably the most popular antibiotic used for various cancer treatments, despite its very severe side effects. In this animal test, Maitake D-fraction, MMC, and D-fraction and MMC together (cutting each dose by half) were injected into bearing-bearing mice respectively.

As can be seen in Figure 3, D-fraction alone demonstrated superior bearing growth inhibition to that of MMC (about 80% vs 45%). When MMC and D-fraction were given together, cutting each dose by half, bearing inhibition was further enhanced (nearly 98%). The result indicates some synergistic effect between MMC and Maitake, i.e., bearing cells are directly attacked by MMC while the immune system is activated by D-fraction. Chemotherapy is sometimes very harmful as it significantly lowers the immune system of the patients. We have seen many advanced cancer patients recover from severe side effects caused by chemotherapy by taking Maitake D-fraction (orally) as an adjuvant. From the above studies, it appears that Maitake and chemotherapy work together, and Maitake has proven to be a valuable adjuvant in the chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer.

Since the cultivation method of Maitake mushroom was established in mid 1980’s, this legendary and delicious mushroom has gained much popularity among Japanese people. Anecdotes and folklore on its medicinal values have also been elucidated by a number of mycologists and pharmacologists and its strong anti-bearing activity has attracted many researchers. It should be noted that, unlike many other mushroom extracts that have to be injected intravenously, Maitake D-fraction has a strong ability to inhibit tumour growth when given orally as well. In this context, various tests were conducted focusing on inhibition of growth and metastasis of cancer after surgery, by oral administration of Maitake.

Even though this was a limited and non-controlled trial, the clinical study indicated that Maitake D-fraction is effective against such cancers of the breast, lung, liver, prostate and brain. Both human and animal tests demonstrate a synergistic effect with chemotherapy while ameliorating severe side effects from chemotherapy. Though the data is preliminary, the results of animal (and limited clinical) studies based on Maitake D-fraction suggest significant healing and preventing potential for cancers and other immune-related health disorders. It is important to note that even among Maitake Mushrooms (Grifola-frondosa), there are many strains and some contain very little Beta-glucan, the active ingredient to stimulate the immune system. From such strains of Maitake, D-fraction may not be obtained.
Funny how people insist that death, murder, torture has to be a part of ones dietary needs.....fucking nutters everywhere!!

--- Purple Bex.

Messages In This Thread
Has anyone tried using Cordyceps? - Ratiocinator - 10-08-2007, 06:44 AM
Has anyone tried using Cordyceps? - Rod - 10-11-2007, 03:08 AM
Has anyone tried using Cordyceps? - Rod - 10-11-2007, 03:26 AM

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