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Evaluation of Agaricus blazei in vivo for antigenotoxic, anticarcinogenic, phagocytic and immunomodulatory activities

Centro de Estudos em Nutrição e Genética Toxicológica-CENUGEN, Departamento de Nutrição, Centro Universitário Filadélfia, Londrina-PR, Brazil.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.14). 02/2011; 59(3):412-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2011.01.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The development of various types of cancer results from the interaction among endogenous, environmental and hormonal factors, where the most notable of these factors is diet. The aim of the present study was to determine the antigenotoxic, anticarcinogenic, phagocytic and immunomodulatory activities of Agaricus blazei. The test antigenotoxicity (Comet Assay) and anticarcinogenic (Test of Aberrant Crypt Foci) assess changes in DNA and/or intestinal mucosa that correlate to cancer development. Tests of phagocytosis in the spleen and differential count in blood cells allow the inference of modulation of the immune system as well as to propose a way of eliminating cells with DNA damage. Supplementation with the mushroom was carried out under pre-treatment, simultaneous treatment, post-treatment and pre-treatment+continuous conditions. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the mushroom did not have genotoxic activity but showed antigenotoxic activity. Supplementation caused an increase in the number of monocytes and in phagocytic activity, suggesting that supplementation increases a proliferation of monocytes, consequently increasing phagocytic capacity especially in the groups pre-treatment, simultaneous and pre-treatment+continuous. The data suggest that A. blazei could act as a functional food capable of promoting immunomodulation which can account for the destruction of cells with DNA alterations that correlate with the development of cancer, since this mushroom was demonstrated to have a preventive effect against pre-neoplastic colorectal lesions evaluated by the aberrant crypt foci assay. According to these results and the literature, it is believed that supplementation with A. blazei can be an efficient method for the prevention of cancer as well as possibly being an important coadjuvant treatment in chemotherapy.

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