Monday, February 18, 2008

How Ganoderma (Ling Zhi) help in the Treatment of Cancer and HIV

Cancer and AIDS, at present the most challenging of all the human immune diseases, are two insurmountable obstacles urgently in need of a cure. All known academic circles and fields have devoted a great deal of effort and resources, ceaselessly trying and searching for a possible solution. Researchers devoted to ganoderma-related scientific studies have proved the great contribution made by ganoderma (Ling Zhi) to the wellbeing of the body. They have discovered that ganoderma (Ling Zhi) is of great importance in the process of removing these two insurmountable obstacles.

Cancer (Malignant Tumors)

Historical recording on human malignant tumors were made some four thousand years ago. Cancer is not a modern disease; however, the rate of increase in the number of people suffering from cancer is proportional to that of the rise of civilization. So far, traces of malignant tumors can be found in all human organs except the hair. According to various official statistics, the number of new cancer cases and the rate of developing cancer are counted by the minute. This indicates the prevalence and the seriousness of cancer at present and in the near future.

Cancers are caused by the mutation of cells. Rapid and mass proliferation of mutated cells deprives normal tissues and organs of their functions and eventually causes death. There are a number of theories on the inducement of this cell mutation. The earliest theory, from the 1960s, states that viruses are the primary cause of cancers. For instance, up to the present, cervical cancer is believed within the medical field to be closely related to human papillomavirus. From 1970 to 2000, the theory on "gene mutation" had influenced the research field on cancer for thirty years. The theory claimed that all forms of cancer cells came from a vital gene mutation, yet such a perspective did not suffice to fully explain some characteristics of cancer cells and tumors. In recent years, however the focus on the cause of cancer had shifted onto the new aspect of “chromosomal aberration”. Normal human cells have a total of 23 pairs of chromosomes. Nevertheless, abnormal chromosomes within cells lead to "aneuploidy" (meaning odd numbers) of chromosomes. Chromosomes are the messengers responsible for passing on human inheritance. Once aberrations appear, the behavior of cell reproduction can no longer be predicted, and the new cells may turn into long-lived super cancer cells through a long process of evolution. In the assessment of cancer pathology, an aneuploidy of chromosomes is also thought to be a possible cause of cancer. Nevertheless, no matter what the potential cause (viruses, genes, choromosomes) of human cell mutation are, the condition of the immune system is the key determinant in the formation of cancer.

The human body is unable to detect any symptoms when just a single cell or even as many as a thousand are cancerous. Only when cancer cells proliferate to hundreds of thousand of cells and form a complete tumor is some awareness of symptoms aroused. Thus, it is difficult to detect cancer prior to the tumor formation even with the aid of precision instruments. Once the tumor is formed, its vessels will begin to permeate into healthy vessels to deprive them of nutrients as well as expand its territory. Since the tumor is already a complete system at this point, it can easily elude elimination by immune cells. The cancer cells will then invade the lymphatic system via the newly formed blood vessels to achieve metastasis. As soon as metastasis occurs, the person’s lifespan is officially in the countdown stage. As for the classification of tumor development stages, the cancer staging system defined by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has been widely adopted. Cancer is classified under this system into four stages and these are used as the basis for diagnosis and the assessment of treatment as follows:

Early Stage:
Tumor tissues still remain in one area with no signs of metastasis.
Intermediate Stage:
Cancer cells have proliferated to the lymph node but have not yet invaded other organs.
Advanced Stage:
Cancer cells have proliferated to the lymph nodes and other organs.
Terminal Stage:
Cancer cells have metastasized to distant organs.

Conventional treatments for the different stages described above include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and these are the main approaches to cancer treatment to date. Such conventional methods, however, often bring the patients painful physical and psychological side-effect. In truth, the chances of recovery are not guaranteed. Some hospitals also adopt an integrated traditional Chinese and Western therapeutic method, the so-called "auxiliary drug to chemotherapy and radiotherapy". For example, japan’s PSK, a polysaccharide peptide extracted from Schizophyllum commune, has been found to increase the effectiveness in treating cancer. In the United States, GM-CSF, a form of cytokine injection, is used to boost the immune system of patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The status of tumor development and the method of cancer treatment determine the proliferation of cancer cells. Much research on cancer therapy states that primary cancer (i.e the location where the cancer tissue originates) can be best controlled through treatment. It also states that effective treatment should be given even prior to tumor formation, as this is the best time for treating cancers. Once cancer cells spread out from their 'birthplace', or enter the lymph system through vessels, they are free from restraint. With the current medical technology, it is still impossible to predict where cancers will occur next. Therefore, a doctor’s greatest concern when screening for and treating cancer is whether cancer cells have proliferated or metastasized. Thus prevention is unquestionable a better strategy than treatment in slowing cancer growth.

The use of ganoderma, especially on the human immune system, is perfectly safe; for this reason a great quantity of resources has been invested into studying the effect of ganoderma in cancer treatment. The results have been as encouraging as expected; in ex-vivo tests, animal tests, and clinical trial have all provided evidence of ganoderma’s specific curative effects. The viewpoint on ganoderma’s ability to slow cancer growth has not only inspired the traditional medical field, but has also become a prevailing study in the 21st century. The following text explain the principle and application of ganoderma in relation to "cancer rate reduction", "prevention of cancer cell proliferation" and "auxiliary treatment to chemotherapy and radiotherapy" by means of evidence derived from animal tests, and moreover, expanded to the results of "clinical trials".

Animal Tests on the Anti-Cancer Application of Ganoderma

In 1985, Prof. Da-Cheng Dong presented the findings of an anti-tumor experiment on ganoderma-fed mice with cancer. Mice with S180 tumor were fed with ganoderma fruiting body extracts for 30 consecutive days. High doses of the extracts were found to be effective in inhibiting tumor growth, but ineffective at low dosage. This was the world’s first 1st experiment in the form of oral administration of ganoderma to mice, and the result has broken new ground for ganoderma in tumor inhibition. It has also provided an experimental approach for later clinical trials: taking high dosage of ganoderma extracts is safe, and only by doing that can cancer be possibly arrested.

The achievements over the past 20 years in testing ganoderma’s effect on anti-cancer via animal tests have been fruitful. The paper on G.Lucidium polysaccharide peptides’ role in anti-tumor, proposed by Beijing Medical University Porf. Zhi-Bin Lin in 2004, especially identified the anti-cancer route. That is, ganoderma polysaccharide peptides are able to fight against cancer in nude mice because they indirectly prevent tumor cells from growing new blood vessels, thereby causing cancer cell apoptosis due to starvation. Cancer cells expand into lymphatic system by forming new blood vessels is blocked, the proliferation of cancer cells will be blocked also. Such findings are extremely significant because preventing cancer cell proliferation si the most perplexing problem in cancer treatment.

Animal Anti-Tumor Effects of Ganoderma Triterpenoids in Animals

In 2002, Kimura and co-workers published the initial report of the anti-cancer effect of ganoderma triterpenoids in the journal ‘Anticancer Research’. In their experiment, mice implanted with malignant lung cancer cells were given high dosage ganoderma triterpenoids (100mg/kg, 200mg/kg) for 18 consecutive days. It was found that cancer cell metastasis in the spleen and liver of mice in the treated group was significantly less that that in the control group. Moreover, the higher the dosage used, the less the occurrence of metastasis and the more obvious the anti-tumor impact. Further analysis of the anti-cancer mechanism illustrated ganoderma triterpenoids’ potency in arresting the growth of new blood vessels in the cancer cancer cells, bearing a great similarity to the anti-cancer mechanism of the polysaccharide-peptides postulated by Professor Zhi Bin Lin. Both inhibit cancer by means of arresting the growth of new blood vessels in the cancer cells. The difference between the two substances resides in the inhibitive pathway. Ganoderma triterpenoids inhibit new vessel formation in a direct manner, as opposed to the indirect action of polysaccharides, first strengthening immune molecules that later inhibit new vessel formation. The researches further isolated a triterpenoid, ganoderic acif F, and have confirmed it to be one of the active compounds.

In 2006, Jian-Jiang Zhong and his co-workers at East China University of Science and Technology injected ganoderic acid T, a triterpenoid existing in both the fruiting body and mycelium of ganoderma, into nude mice implanted with lung cancer cells. It was found to be effective in inhibiting tumor growth: the inhibition rate was 70% with a dose of 25 mg/ml; the inhibition rate dropped dramatically to less than 40% when the dosage was reduced in half. This indicates that the higher the dosage, the more effective the cancer cell inhibition.

Many experiments on ganoderma’s anti-tumor application have been reported, but from the perspective of scientific research, the relevant in-vivo studies described above are all remarkable works. Each of them has the same finding: if a large amount (or saturated quantity) of ganoderma fruiting body extracts is given and the active components in the blood can be maintained at high levels, prominent effects on tumor tissue inhibition will result.

In Vitro Anti-cancer Tests of Ganodema Triterpenoid

Ganodema Triterpenoid are the most representative of its active components. However, it is not an easy task to isolate pure triterpenoids because substances such as ganoderic (lucidenic) acid A, B and C are present in very low quantities. For this reason most anti-cancer experiments of triterpenoids were in vitro experiments. The result have provided more convincing hypotheses and solid proof for those who wish to continue doing animal tests and human experiments. Below is a chart of research reports with more pharmacological potential:
Triterpenoids Types of Cancer Cells In Vitro Effect Effective Concentration
Lucidenic acid B Leukemia cells HL-60 Apoptosis of cancer cells 15 µM
Lucidenic acid A, C, N Leukemia cells HL-60 Inhibit the growth of cancer cells >20 µM
Lucidenic acid A, N Hepatoma cells Hep-G2, Hep-G2, 2 15; Leukemia cells P-388 With cytotoxicity in cells <1 µM
Lucidenic acid A, C, N, D2, F, E2, P, Q; Ganoderic acid E, T~Q Prevent nasopharyngeal carcinoma Inhibit Epstein-Barr (EB) virus early antigen
Ganoderic acid U~Z Hepatoma cells Hep-G2 With cytotoxicity
Lucidenic alcohol A, B; Ganoderic alcohol F; ganodermanodiol; ganodermanontriol Ascities carcinoma cells (Meth-A) and lung cancer cells of mice With cytotoxicity <15 µM
Ganoderic acid TR;
Ganoderic DM
Prevent prostate cancer 5-α-reductase inhibitors <15 µM
Ganoderic acid X Human hepatoma cells Huh-7 Apoptosis of cancer cells 20.3 µM
Ganoderic alcohol F hepatoma cells Hep-G2, Huh-&, K562Speed up the aging of cancer cells; proportional to the increase in dosage 1~30 µM
Ganoderic acid T Human lung cancer cells and hepatoma cells Apoptosis of cancer cells <20 µM

Auxiliary Cancer Treatment Using Ganoderma in a Clinical Study

In 1995, Thaithatgom, from Thailand, used ganoderma fruiting body extracts as an auxiliary treatment for 80 cancer patient. It was found to be effective in extending the lifespan of up to 50% of patients, allowing them to live for an extra three to six months. Also, the side effects arising from chemotherapy and radiotherapy were decreased or alleviated. The patients showed pain-relief, good appetite and a better quality of life. In 2003, Gao and co-workers from New Zealand conducted an experiment, giving purified G. lucidum polysaccharide (5.4g/day; 1.8g/dose) orally to 47 patients with terminal colorectal cancer (stage III and stage IV). Forty-one patients remained alive after 12 weeks (3 months) of administration. Blood analysis of the surviving patients showed that the natural killer cell activity of 28 patients (68.3%) had significantly increased. In addition, chemotherapy and radiotherapy side-effects such as extreme fatigue, weight los, vomiting, cold sweat, and diarrhea were reduced and so improving the quality of life of the patient. The conclusion drawn from this study is that ganoderma modulates the patients’ overall immune system, enhances their body’s anti-cancer ability, and raises their tolerance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For this reason, ganoderma is considered to be a potential auxiliary treatment to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, used to enhance the immunity of patients.

The same G.Lucidum polysaccharides used in the experiment were also tested on 34 terminal cancer patients of another group consisting of 7 lung cancer, 6 colorectal cancer, 5 breast cancer, 5 hepatoma, 4 prostate cancer, 2 bladder carcinoma, 2 brain cancer, and 3 anonymous cancer patients. Using the same experimental method, 30 patients remained alive, and the same positive results were also obtained from their blood analyses. That is, natural killer (NK) cell activity was enhanced while side-effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiotherapy were reduced.

Since the polysaccharides used in this clinical trial were purified, a daily dose of 5.4 grams, when converted to “ganoderma extracts”, is equivalent to a relative high dose. Based on this study result, it is recommended to cancer patients that when using ganoderma extracts as an auxiliary treatment, a low dosage will not suffice to fight against persistent cancer cells and intolerable side effects, moreover, administration should not be “short-term” only for a basic course of treatment, at least months is needed.

In addition, the accumulated statistical data also serve as firm support for ganoderma’s effect as an auxiliary treatment to cancer therapy, for each of the data collected is a real case of ganoderma testimony. According to a professional periodical ‘Health Ganoderma’ , published in Taiwan, a scientific survey was conducted in 2007 on patients who had been using ganoderma extracts as anti-cancer auxiliary treatment for the past 20 years. It was discovered that of over 700 cancer patients interviewed, 70% thought that ganoderma extracts could reduce side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and enhance immunity. In particular, this report also explicated detailed personal experiences from 7 ganoderma consumers. It is impossible to avoid praising the extraordinary impact of the effect of ganoderma on cancer prevention when reviewing these true-life stories.

Tumor is indeed a worrying disease with patients experiencing unbearable side effects when undergoing conventional treatment. The research achievements is respect to ganoderma’s anti-cancer application so far can be said to be quite fruitful; nevertheless, new and surprising discoveries continue to take place with each passing day. Ganoderma’s feasibility in assisting cancer treatment is without question. By briefly gathering reports of ganoderma’s overall performance in cancer therapy at hand, it can be observed that, regardless of the stages of treatment, the most important approach of ganoderma is to inhibit cancer cell proliferation or metastasis, to induce apoptosis, and to kill cancer cells directly. Then, by anti-oxidation and stimulating mechanisms such as bone marrow hematopoietic system and liver protection, it not only increases patients’ survival rate, but it also effectively reduces the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It maintains the patients’ quality oflife throughout the period of treatment. Ganoderma certainly plays an indispensable role in the anti-cancer process.

Research on Ganoderma’s Anti-HIV Application

A healthy person has a normal count of leukocytes that create a strong protective network, the immune system, to fight against foreign pathogens such as fungi, germs, and viruses. However, once leukocytes lose their function, the human body will be unable to survive in a pathogen-filled environment. HIV, a type of virus belonging to RNA, cannot divideand proliferate on its own; it needs to parasitize a cell in which it replicates. Once the host cell is fully consumed, it will become weak like deflated balloon and will lose its original functions. The virus will then seek another host cell and continue replicate. About 30 – 40 years ago, according to speculation, the HIV, which originally existed only inside monkeys, accidentally found a new breeding ground when it entered the human body. At that time, HIV replication and proliferation could not take place inside the monkey; however, in the human body, it was able to invade the leukocytes, especially Th2 cells, to replicate and proliferate like a parasite. The leucocytes invaded by the HIV become ‘slave’ of the virus employed for their further replication and proliferation. As more and more viruses are replicated, the number of invaded leukocytes increases, as do the wasted leukocytes. Let us imagine a bunch of monkeys (the HIV viruses) are spoiling an orchard (the human immune system), throwing the fruits on the ground regardless of fruit maturity. One after another, the fruit trees are devastated and the orchard finally becomes a worthless ruin. When the speed of leukocytes formation does not keep up with the amount required for maintaining immune functions, immunity will gradually weaken, along with death of healthy leukocytes. As a result, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is developed. The vulnerable individual is doomed to lose his or her immunity completely and to be unable to defend against invasion by foreign organisms. A person may die even from a common cold. It has been some thirty years since the first AIDS case was discovered in the United States in 1981.

Depending on the immunity of the host body, it takes about 5 to 10 years or even over 10 years for the virus to infect the body, to cause the host body to become HIV positive and to progress to AIDS. When the virus replicates it must use an enzyme, called reverse transcriptase, which synthesizes RNA into DNA. Inaddition, the virus produces a key enzyme, called protease, to help it replicate. In 1996, Dr David Ho invented a method in treating HIV, High Active Antiretroviral Therapy or HAART, which is designed to inhibit HIV virus replication in order to gain immediate control of HIV. Examining ganoderma once again, it is found that ganoderma uses a double-sided anti-HIV strategy: on the one hand, it inhibits virus replication; on the other hand, it enhances human immunity and increases the numbers of newly formed healthy immune cells.

In 1998, a research team, led Dr Masao Hattori, Dean of the Institute of Natural Medicine of Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan, was the first to publish a report on anti-HIV activity of ganoderma triterpenoids. In an in vitro test, ganoderic acid β, ganoderic alcohol A, B, F and ganodermanontriol were found to exhibit strong activity in inhibiting HIV-1 protease. Although the inhibition effect or ganoderic A, B, C, H, α is not as promising as that of ganoderic acids, they are still considered as having efficacy to a moderate extent. HIV-1 protease is a requisite enzyme in HIV replication and proliferation. Without the presence of this enzyme, HIV replication is deactivated and remains idle. Thus, if the pathway to HIV-1 protease synthesis can be blocked, then it is possible to stop HIV from progressing to AIDS. Similar to the above metaphor, the ganoderic acids act like a hypnotizer gradually easing down the activity of the monkeys in the orchard. Although the monkeys are not ousted from the orchard, they are put to sleep so that the orchard can be resuscitated once again. These efficacious ganoderic acids are the most important triterpenoids isolated from ganoderma fruiting body. In other words, it is the triterpenoids of ganoder that exhibit anti-HIV effects.

In addition, the immunity of people who are HIV carriers or undergoing AIDS treatment will also be enhanced after ganoderma administration. Therefore, on one hand, ganoderma triterpenoids inhibit virus replication, and on the other hand, ganoderma extract strengthens immunity, helping the disease to be controlled. National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan conducted an experiment on 5 HIV carriers, giving them ganoderma fruiting body extracts for 6 consecutive weeks. A significant increase in T cell activity was observed in 3 out of the 5 people. In 2006, the periodical ‘Health Ganoderma’ published an article on the improved condition in several AIDS patients in Thailand who used ganoderma extract as supplementary treatment. Their leukocytes showed an evident increase in the level of CD4 T cells. What is more amazing is an actual case that occurred in Indonesia. There was a person who took a high dosage (27gm/day) of ganoderma fruit-body extracts every day and after 6 months administration, the result of his HIV blood test was “HIV Negative”. Regardless of the need for further discussion of the case, it is difficult to cast aside the rationality based on the extraordinary effect of ganoderma on human immune function. After all, this is a true case that demonstrates that the use of ganoderma will only make things better. To regard it from a sanguine sandpoint, once can consider this case as a reference for future studies on ganoderma in the treatment of AIDS.


Until now, cancer has ranked second in the leading causes of death in humans. Doctors believe that this situation is progressively getting worse and they have been attempting to raise the awareness of cancer and its treatment. Early diction of cancer is the most efficient strategy as treatment will be more effective at this stage. In fact, once cancer cells are detected, it is similar to having a ticking time-bomb inside the body. For example, hepatoma patients beyond stage II are prone to lose their digestive function, resulting in difficulty in swallowing and becoming parenteral nutrition-dependent; it is difficult to prolong the lifespan of patients in such condition. Nevertheless, ganoderma had been proven safe in scientific test. By virtue of its effect in reducing chemotherapy and radiotherapy side effects, ganoderma’s potency is said to surpass any other medicines of the same level. Yet, this is just the rip of the iceberg. The chief function of ganoderma is its capability in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and metastasis, and inducing cancer cell apoptosis; this is considered the best holistic treatment. If not ganoderma, what else can replace it? A further look into the prospect of ganoderma biotechnology, indicates that further efforts should be made to isolate or purify the ganoderma anti-tumor components, followed by more animal and clinical tests, to provide more evidence of its anti-cancer effect. For example, ganoderma triterpenoids have a tumor-inhibiting effect. Some ganoderic acids even show effects equivalent to those of conventional medicines. These “highly effective triterpenoids” have great potential to develop into new anti-cancer drugs.
Ganoderma triterpenoids can restrain HIV activity as well as effectively strength the human immunity. Although no international clinical trial have been carried out so far, a light of hope shines through the testimonies of AIDS patients using ganoderma.

7-1 Taking Lingzhi together with chemotherapy may have significant results for patients who have had surgery for breast cancer, colon cancer, or gastric cancer.
Reported by Dr. Hiroshi Kawai, lecturer of Kinki University

The experimental subjects were patients who were treated improperly after surgery, and patients who were suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy.

After a mastectomy, one patient's face turned gloomy. After taking Lingzhi for two months, her facial complexion improved.

One patient's limbs became paralyzed and swollen after a mastectomy. After consuming Lingzhi for one month, the numbness significantly improved.

Some patients used Lingzhi together with some herbal medicines for ten days after a colostomy. Night sweats disappeared and appetites improved.

Some patients who had had a gastric cancer operation lost their appetites. When six capsules of Lingzhi were taken each day, their appetites improved.

In view of the above results, we can see that Lingzhi taken with chemotherapy can be a valuable auxiliary treatment and side effects of chemotherapy can be reduced.

7-2Prevents metastasis of cancerous cells, relieves pain, and promotes Longevity.
Lingzhi belongs to the Polyporaceae of fungi family, and is believed to be an effective cancer treatment in Japan, China, the U.S.A., Canada, the U.S.S.R. and Scotland. Some medical specialists in different countries are using the latest scientific instruments to do clinical test, e.g. Prof. Ta-cheng, Medical College of the National Taiwan University; Prof. Cheng Hui-hua and Prof. Tung Ui-chi of Taipei Medical College. The experimental results have proven that Lingzhi is effective in cancer treatment. Information concerning Lingzhi in treating cancer collected from research reports are as listed below.
  1. The anti-cancer components of Lingzhi are polysaccharides and germanium.
  2. Its efficacy is of "composite nature" with multiplying effects. Thus no effects can be obtained when taken separately.
  3. It can strengthen stamina, elevate the immune system and restrain metastasis of cancerous cells.
  4. After undergoing surgery, it is helpful for patients with cancerous problems such as esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, breast cancer, intestinal cancer and uterine cancer.
  5. It can eliminate cancerous ascites, increase appetite and relieve the pain of
    telophase cancer.
  6. It can be used together with other cancer treatments, such as surgery, radiation or combined with chemotherapy. It has no side effects and is effective.

Based on the above clinical reports, we can see that Lingzhi possesses cancer preventing, subduing and curing qualities.

Most of us may have tooth decay, short-sightedness or cancer factors in us when we are young, and these problem car? take their toll at any time. We should try our best to prevent them from occurring. If we want to prevent tooth decay, we should eat more foods that are rich in calcium and avoid sweets. If we want to avoid short-sightedness, we should take more vitamin A and avoid eye fatigue. If we want to prevent cancer, we should consume Lingzhi and avoid an imbalanced diet.

Research from Japan, China and Taiwan and other countries professional :

Shuang Hor Supreme Ganoderma" was 1st separately awarded Immuno-regulatory Health Food Accreditation(Taiwan's Health Ministry Food Accreditation with Reference Number A00003)and Liver Function Food Accreditation(Taiwan's Health Ministry Food Accreditation with Reference Number A000015) based on the results of experiments

Immuno-regulatory Health:
1. Enhance antibody production
2. Enhance immune cells proliferation.
3. Modulate T cells function
4.Enhance natural killer cells activity
5. Enhance phagocytes activity

Liver Function
1. Decrease GOT and GPT value of serum
2.Increase protein content in liver
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