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A Randomized, Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Study of a Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharide Extract in Neurasthenia

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Abstract

Ganoderma lucidum has been widely used to treat various diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and neurasthenia in many Asian countries. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of a polysaccharide extract of G. lucidum (Ganopoly) in Chinese patients with neurasthenia. One hundred thirty-two patients with neurasthenia according to the diagnosis criteria of the 10th International Classification of Diseases were included in this study. Written consents were obtained from the patients, and the study was conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice guidelines. Patients were randomized to receive Ganopoly or placebo orally at 1,800 mg three times a day for 8 weeks. Efficacy assessments comprised the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) improvement of severity scale and the Visual Analogues Scales for the sense of fatigue and well-being. In 123 assessable patients in two treatment groups at the end of the study, Ganopoly treatment for 8 weeks resulted in significantly lower scores after 8 weeks in the CGI severity score and sense of fatigue, with a respective reduction of 15.5% and 28.3% from baseline, whereas the reductions in the placebo group were 4.9% and 20.1%, respectively. The score at day 56 in the sense of well-being increased from baseline to 38.7% in the Ganopoly group compared with 29.7% in the placebo group. The distribution of the five possible outcomes from very much improved to minimally worse was significantly different (X (2) = 10.55; df = 4; P = .0322) after treatment with Ganopoly or placebo. There was a percentage of 51.6% (32 of 62) in the Ganopoly group rated as more than minimally improved compared with 24.6% (15 of 61) in the placebo group (X (2) = 9.51; df = 1; P = .002). Ganopoly was well tolerated in the study patients. These findings indicated that Ganopoly was significantly superior to placebo with respect to the clinical improvement of symptoms in neurasthenia.

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... Polysaccharides normalized hippocampal proinflammatory (Il-6, TNFα) and anti-inflammatory (Il-10) cytokine levels increased by chronic stress in mice [96]. Improvement [97] or worsening [98] of self-reported fatigue and improvement of well-being [96,98]. Reduction [99] or no change [98] in depression and anxiety symptoms. ...
... Polysaccharides normalized hippocampal proinflammatory (Il-6, TNFα) and anti-inflammatory (Il-10) cytokine levels increased by chronic stress in mice [96]. Improvement [97] or worsening [98] of self-reported fatigue and improvement of well-being [96,98]. Reduction [99] or no change [98] in depression and anxiety symptoms. ...
... Improvement [97] or worsening [98] of self-reported fatigue and improvement of well-being [96,98]. Reduction [99] or no change [98] in depression and anxiety symptoms. ...
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Dietary interventions for people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) are an ongoing field of research. In this article, we present a comprehensive background for understanding the possibility of using edible medicinal mushrooms as an adjunctive treatment for MDD. We start with a brief history of MDD, its diagnosis, epidemiology and treatment, and the effects of diet on depression symptoms, followed by a review of neurobiological, behavioral, and clinical studies of medicinal mushrooms. We specifically highlight the results of preclinical and clinical studies on dietary supplementation with three selected mushroom species: Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus), Caterpillar mushroom (Cordyceps militaris), and Lingzhi/Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). Preliminary small-sample clinical studies suggest that Lion’s mane can influence well-being of humans. In the case of Reishi, the results of clinical studies are equivocal, while in the case of Caterpillar Mushroom, such studies are underway. Edible mushrooms contain 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP), which is a direct precursor of serotonin—a neurotransmitter targeted in pharmacotherapy of MDD. Therefore, in light of the well-recognized role of stress as a pathogenic factor of MDD, we also describe the neurobiological mechanisms of the interaction between stress and serotonergic neurotransmission; and summarize the current state of knowledge on dietary supplementation with 5-HTP in MDD.
... Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss. ex Fr.) Karst, one of the most highly ranked herbal medicines by Asian people, has been extensively used in the treatment of a variety of diseases including diabetes, neurasthenia, hypertension, chronic hepatopathy, and cancer (Tang et al., 2005;Gao et al., 2004Gao et al., , 2002. Polysaccharide fraction extracted from G. lucidum has been marketed as an over-the-counter product in China. ...
... There exists certain literature on the hypnotic effects of G. lucidum extract in human beings (Wang et al., 2001;Tang et al., 2005). In addition, G. lucidum components may directly modulate the activity of the central and/or peripheral nervous systems. ...
... However, the enhancement of delta activity during NREM sleep caused by GLE may be related to the unknown pathway other than the modulation of benzodiazepines receptor. Tang et al. (2005) reported that Ganopoly, the polysaccharide extract of G. lucidum, improved the insomnia severity scores in patients with neurasthenia. The mechanism for the beneficial effect of G. lucidum on insomnia is unknown. ...
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Ganoderma lucidum has been used for the treatment of a variety of diseases. For the first time here we report a detailed study on the mechanisms and effects of G. lucidum aqueous extract (GLE) on sleep and its sedative activity. GLE showed no effects on sleep architecture in normal rats at doses of 80 and 120 mg/kg. However, GLE significantly decreased sleep latency, increased sleeping time, non-REM sleep time and light sleep time in pentobarbital-treated rats. Suppression of locomotor activity in normal mice induced by GLE was also observed. Flumazenil, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, at a dose of 3.5 mg/kg showed a significant antagonistic effect on the shortening in sleep latency, increase in sleeping time, non-REM sleep time or light sleep time in pentobarbital-treated rat induced by GLE. Significant effect was also observed with GLE on delta activity during non-REM sleep and flumazenil did not block this effect. In conclusion, GLE may be a herb having benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity at least in part.
... Nowadays, many published studies have established the multiple health benefits of G. lucidum in preventing or fighting multiple gastrointestinal and extraintestinal diseases, from constipation and gastritis, to anorexia, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, and diabetes [35,75,95]. Additional studies have reported on the anticancer [6,31,52,114,115], preventing cardiovascular disease, and tumorigenesis [116][117][118][119], antioxidant [6,120,121], cardioprotective [122], antidiabetic potency [6,123,124], and antimicrobial activity [6,35,125] of this mushroom. Altogether, Figure 4 demonstrates the nutritional and health benefits of G. lucidum, which will be spotlighted individually as follows. ...
... Nowadays, many published studies have established the multiple health benefits of G. lucidum in preventing or fighting multiple gastrointestinal and extraintestinal diseases, from constipation and gastritis, to anorexia, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, and diabetes [35,75,95]. Additional studies have reported on the anticancer [6,31,52,114,115], preventing cardiovascular disease, and tumorigenesis [116][117][118][119], antioxidant [6,120,121], cardioprotective [122], antidiabetic potency [6,123,124], and antimicrobial activity [6,35,125] ...
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Ganoderma lucidum has a long history of medicinal uses in the Far East countries of more than 2000 years due to its healing properties. Recently, G. lucidum has come under scientific scrutiny to evaluate its content of bioactive components that affect human physiology, and has been exploited for potent components in the pharmacology, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics industries. For instance, evidence is accumulating on the potential of this mushroom species as a promising antiviral medicine for treating many viral diseases, such as dengue virus, enterovirus 71, and recently coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Still, more research studies on the biotherapeutic components of G. lucidum are needed to ensure the safety and efficiency of G. lucidum and promote the development of commercial functional foods. This paper provides an extensive overview of the nutraceutical value of Ganoderma lucidum and the development of commercial functional food. Moreover, the geo-origin tracing strategies of this mushroom and its products are discussed, a highly important parameter to ensure product quality and safety. The discussed features will open new avenues and reveal more secrets to widely utilizing this mushroom in many industrial fields; i.e., pharmaceutical and nutritional ones, which will positively reflect the global economy.
... Recommended amounts derived from historic Chinese medicine tradition, expert opinion and marketing trends vary between 1.5 g and 9 g of dried extract per day 41,42 . Most human clinical trials investigating Ganoderma lucidum [20][21][22][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51] or Cordyceps sinensis 38 have included safety haematological and biochemical (including hepatic and renal) biomarkers, and reported no pathological abnormalities, and no moderate, serious or severe adverse events. Mild herbal sensitivity side effects were noted for some participants after Ganoderma lucidum including dry mouth, sore throat and nausea, with a smaller proportion of participants reporting vomiting, headache, diarrhoea, dizziness, insomnia and shortness of breath [20][21][22][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51] . ...
... Most human clinical trials investigating Ganoderma lucidum [20][21][22][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51] or Cordyceps sinensis 38 have included safety haematological and biochemical (including hepatic and renal) biomarkers, and reported no pathological abnormalities, and no moderate, serious or severe adverse events. Mild herbal sensitivity side effects were noted for some participants after Ganoderma lucidum including dry mouth, sore throat and nausea, with a smaller proportion of participants reporting vomiting, headache, diarrhoea, dizziness, insomnia and shortness of breath [20][21][22][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51] . It should be noted that there has been one report of a severe adverse event (hepatotoxicity) after 1 month supplementation with Ganoderma lucidum 52 , however this was thought to be due to the excipient ingredients. ...
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... Ganoderma lucidum: The mushroom Ganoderma lucidum has been widely used in Asian medicine to treat various diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and neurasthenia. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Tang et al. (2005) investigated the efficacy and safety of a polysaccharide extract of Ganoderma lucidum (Ganopoly) in 132 patients with neurasthenia [92] . Ganopoly or placebo was orally applied at 1,800 mg three times a day for 8 weeks. ...
... Ganoderma lucidum: The mushroom Ganoderma lucidum has been widely used in Asian medicine to treat various diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and neurasthenia. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Tang et al. (2005) investigated the efficacy and safety of a polysaccharide extract of Ganoderma lucidum (Ganopoly) in 132 patients with neurasthenia [92] . Ganopoly or placebo was orally applied at 1,800 mg three times a day for 8 weeks. ...
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... β-Glucan also significantly increased the population of DCs (CD11c+/CD8+) and macrophages (CD11b+/F4-80+) and decreased the population of regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC)s, resulting in an enhanced immune response [54]. Ganoderma lucidum supplementation resulted in a more stable disease state in the lung cancer study population than in the control group [83]. In addition, there was a significant increase in CD3 percentage, natural killer cell activity, and lymphocyte mitogenic reactivity against concanavalin A in lung cancer patients [11]. ...
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Cancer is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Various chemotherapeutic drugs have been extensively used for cancer treatment. However, current anticancer drugs cause severe side effects and induce resistance. Therefore, the development of novel and effective anticancer agents with minimal or no side effects is important. Notably, natural compounds have been highlighted as anticancer drugs. Among them, many researchers have focused on mushrooms that have biological activities, including antitumor activity. The aim of this review is to discuss the anticancer potential of different mushrooms and the underlying molecular mechanisms. We provide information regarding the current clinical status and possible modes of molecular actions of various mushrooms and mushroom-derived compounds. This review will help researchers and clinicians in designing evidence-based preclinical and clinical studies to test the anticancer potential of mushrooms and their active compounds in different types of cancers.
... • G. lucidum is commonly used in Asian regions for the treatment of diabetes, cancer, and neurasthenia, among other ailments. Tang et al. (Tang et al., 2005) conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trials having Ganopoly ® and found that the mushroom has notably positive effects on the latter. For 8 weeks, neurasthenic patients (132) were randomly assigned to obtain either a placebo or 1800 mg 3 times daily. ...
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Fungi are extremely diverse in terms of morphology, ecology, metabolism, and phylogeny. Approximately, 130 medicinal activities like antitumor, immunomodulation, antioxidant, radical scavenging, cardioprotective and antiviral actions are assumed to be produced by the various varieties of medicinal mushrooms. The polysaccharides, present in mushrooms like β-glucans, micronutrients, antioxidants like glycoproteins, triterpenoids, flavonoids, and ergosterols can help establish natural resistance against infections and toxins.. Clinical trials have been performed on mushrooms like Agaricus blazei Murrill Kyowa for their anticancer effect, A. blazei Murrill for its antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects, and some other mushrooms had also been evaluated for their neurological effects. The human evaluation dose studies had been also performed and the toxicity dose was evaluated from the literature for number of mushrooms. All the mushrooms were found to be safe at a dose of 2000 mg/kg but some with mild side effects. The safety and therapeutic effectiveness of the fungal mushrooms had shifted the interest of biotechnologists toward fungal nanobiotechnology as the drug delivery system due to the vast advantages of nanotechnology systems. In complement to the vital nutritional significance of medicinal mushrooms, numerous species have been identified as sources of bioactive chemicals. Moreover, there are unanswered queries regarding its safety, efficacy, critical issues that affect the future mushroom medicine development, that could jeopardize its usage in the twenty-first century.
... IL-2, IL-6, IFN-γ and NK cell activity in plasma were increased, while IL-1 and TNF-α were considerably reduced. [32][33][34] Early research on G. lucidum against leukemia indicated that it is an ideal leukemia treatment drug, and its underlying mechanism may be that G. lucidum induces the differentiation of leukemia cells to the mature stage and inhibits their proliferation. 35 In various nonrandomized clinical trials of different types of cancer, especially breast cancer, when combined with radiotherapy or chemotherapy, polysaccharide extracts of G. lucidum could be very efficient to reduce the metastasis potential and/or adverse effects, and enhance the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. ...
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Jing Xu,1,* Fengyuan Chen,1,* Guoquan Wang,1,* Bin Liu,2 Hang Song,1 Teng Ma2 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei, 230012, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Beijing Chest Hospital, Capital Medical University/Beijing Tuberculosis and Thoracic Tumor Research Institute, Beijing, 101149, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workCorrespondence: Teng Ma; Hang Song Email mateng82913@163.com; hangsong@ahtcm.edu.cnAbstract: G. lucidum has a long history of thousands of years in China and is closely related with the lives of the Chinese people. It is reported to cure various diseases due to its high nutritional value and wide range of uses. The fascinating effects of G. lucidum have tethered a multitude of efforts to explore its effective ingredients and supplement functions. At present, many cancer research studies have reported the G. lucidum polysaccharides (GLPs) and G. lucidum triterpenes (GLTs) as the main active ingredients in G. lucidum, which have shown positive effects on radiotherapy and chemotherapy. GLPs or GLTs treatment synergizes with radiotherapy and chemotherapy through multiple pathways, including oxidative stress, apoptosis, immune microenvironment, etc. Therefore, this review aims to analyze and summarize these complex molecules from G. lucidum in order to create more treatment options for cancer patients in the future.Keywords: GLP, GLTs, pharmacology, general structure, radiotherapy and chemotherapy
... G. lucidum has been widely used in Asian regions to treat not only cancer but diabetes and neurasthenia as well. For the latter, the mushroom seems to have particularly beneficial effects, as demonstrated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted by Tang et al. [108] with Ganopoly ® . A total of 132 neurasthenic patients were randomized to receive placebo or 1800 mg three times daily for 8 weeks. ...
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Medicinal mushrooms have important health benefits and exhibit a broad spectrum of pharmacological activities, including antiallergic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiviral, cytotoxic, immunomodulating, antidepressive, antihyperlipidemic, antidiabetic, digestive, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, nephroprotective, osteoprotective, and hypotensive activities. The growing interest in mycotherapy requires a strong commitment from the scientific community to expand clinical trials and to propose supplements of safe origin and genetic purity. Bioactive compounds of selected medicinal mushrooms and their effects and mechanisms in in vitro and in vivo clinical studies are reported in this review. Besides, we analyzed the therapeutic use and pharmacological activities of mushrooms.
... 17,18 According to recent studies, the pharmacological activity of this genus is similar to that described in ancient classic monographs. 19,20 It was recorded as the top grade in the classical Chinese herbal literature Shennong's herbal classic (Shennong Ben Cao Jing) (Dong Han Dynasty, A.D. . This literature recorded that G. lingzhi has the effect of strengthening and restoring health. ...
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In recent years, some natural products isolated from the fungi of the genus Ganoderma have been found to have anti-tumor, liver protection, anti-inflammatory, immune regulation, anti-oxidation, anti-viral, anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic effects. This review summarizes the research progress of some promising natural products and their pharmacological activities. The triterpenoids, meroterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, steroids, alkaloids and polysaccharides isolated from Ganoderma lucidum and other species of Ganoderma were reviewed, including their corresponding chemical structures and biological activities. In particular, the triterpenes, polysaccharides and meroterpenoids of Ganoderma show a wide range of biological activities. Among them, the hydroxyl groups on the C-3, C-24 and C-25 positions of the lanostane triterpenes compound were the necessary active groups for the anti-HIV-1 virus. Previous study showed that lanostane triterpenes can inhibit human immunodeficiency virus-1 protease with an IC50 value of 20–40 μM, which has potential anti-HIV-1 activity. Polysaccharides can promote the production of TNF α and IFN-γ by macrophages and spleen cells in mice, and further inhibit or kill tumor cells. Some meroterpenoids contain oxygen-containing heterocycles, and they have significant antioxidant activity. In addition, Ganoderma has been used as a medicine to treat diseases for more than 2000 years, and we also reviewed its traditional uses.
... On the other hand, PG perceived an efficacy score of 3.46, where 4 indicates "no change" and 3 "minimally better" [17]. These findings are in accordance with those of Tang et al. [24], where the patient's perception of change was measured through the Clinical Global Impression Scale. ...
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... After many years of research in modern medicine, it has been found that G. lucidum shows many physiological and pharmacological activities. According to the results of recent clinical reports, G. lucidum is mainly used in the clinical treatment of cancer, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, liver injury, neurasthenia and other diseases [2][3][4][5][6]. G. lucidum contains a variety of bioactive molecules, such as triterpenes, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, fatty acids, sterols, proteins and polysaccharides, among which polysaccharides and triterpenes are considered the main medicinal components of G. lucidum [1]. ...
... This effect could be attributed to reishi, which has been traditionally used for insomnia treatment [16]. Indeed, a randomized controlled trial described that the polysaccharide extract of Ganoderma lucidum improved the insomnia severity scores in patients with neurasthenia [42]. Moreover, Ganoderma lucidum extract has been shown to increase total sleep time and nonrapid eye movement sleep time in animal studies [43,44], with a probable mechanism linked to the modulation of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α [44]. ...
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Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to respiratory tract infections, so natural strategies to ameliorate the duration and severity of these infections are of great interest in this population. The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of the consumption of a combination of elderberry and reishi extracts on the incidence, severity, and duration of respiratory tract infections in a group of healthy elderly volunteers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study was performed during the winter season. A group of 60 nursing home residents ≥65 years of age was randomly assigned to receive a combination of 1.5 g of elderberry +0.5 g of reishi or a placebo daily for 14 weeks. Data about the health conditions of the volunteers were evaluated and recorded by a medical doctor every 2 weeks. The incidence of respiratory infections was similar in both groups. However, volunteers in the extract group presented a significantly lower duration of common cold events (2.5 vs. 4.8 days, p = 0.033).and a significantly lower probability of having a high severity influenza-like illness event (p = 0.039). Moreover, the incidence of sleep disturbances was significantly lower in the extract group (p = 0.049). Therefore, the administration of a combination of elderberry and reishi extracts to the elderly population during the winter season might be used as a natural strategy to reduce the duration and severity of respiratory tract infections.
... Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom could also be supportive to both ADHD and autism. Some studies suggest it could have antidepressant-like effects and neuroprotective activity [120] but extracts of G. lucidum should be used with caution as there appears to be potential for toxicity [121]. Therefore, researchers suggest that reishi should be administered in combination with traditional treatment rather than replacing it [122]. ...
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder still very poorly understood first recognized in early childhood in the form of a multi-organ system disability caused by impaired neurogenesis and apoptosis, impaired synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning or imbalanced excitatory-inhibition system. Inflammation has been recognised as the pathogenesis of autism but a holistic approach is required. The aetiology is largely unknown and there is no clinical treatment. The gut microbiota may affect symptom manifestation which may benefit from a balanced diet, re-establishment of intestinal permeability, improvement of gut microbiota, raised immunity, supply of antioxidants and detoxification speed. Specific mushrooms may have specific effects on health, well-being, behaviour and fitness and address the potential impact of a dietary mushroom supplement on gastrointestinal inflammation in ASD patients.
... Studies showed that PSP have immunopotentiation by inducing production of interleukin 6 (IL-6), interferon (IFN), immunoglobulin G (IgG), macrophages and T-lymphocytes; counter immunosuppressive effects of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and blood transfusion; antagonize immunosuppression induced by tumors; inhibit proliferation of various cancers by inducing production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and general immune enhancement; improve appetite and liver function; calm the central nervous system; and enhance pain threshold [6]. In addition, numerous researches have revealed that some polysaccharides extracted from traditional Chinese medicine herb have anti-fatigue activity [7][8][9][10][11][12]. Therefore, C. versicolor may be good candidates for further development as clinically used an anti-fatigue herbal supplement. ...
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In this study, Coriolus versicolor mycelia (CVM) was evaluated the ergogenic and anti-fatigue activities. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups (n = 8/group) to receive vehicle or CVM by oral gavage for 4 weeks at 0, 615, 1230 or 3075 mg/kg/day, which were respectively designated the vehicle, CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups. Forelimb grip strength, endurance swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-associated parameters serum lactate, ammonia, glucose and creatine kinase (CK) after physical challenge were performed to evaluate exercise performance and anti-fatigue activity. Results revealed that the forelimb grip strength of mice in group CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X were significantly increased by 1.20-, 1.18- and 1.23-fold, respectively, compared to the vehicle group. After the 15 minute swimming exercise, the levels of serum lactate of CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups were significantly lower than the vehicle control group by 29%, 23% and 31%, respectively. The levels of ammonia in CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups were significantly lowered by 22%, 25% and 41%, respectively, compared to the vehicle control group. In addition, the levels of serum CK in CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups were significantly lowered by 13% and 11%, respectively, compared to the vehicle control group. Accordingly, the supplementation with CVM has beneficial effects on performance improvement and anti-fatigue activity, and thus has great potential as a source for natural health products.
... One should note that there is no universal guideline as regards daily doses at which Ganoderma-based supplements should be used. A variety of doses have been applied in different studies with a maximum of 1.8 g taken three times a day [45]. To discuss the potential risks arising from the occurrence of toxic metals in the studied Ganoderma, we have assumed a 1.5 g daily dose, which is often recommended by the manufacturers. ...
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This study analyzed the content of 62 elements in 10 Ganoderma species cultivated in China and Poland and wild growing in Polish forests. Thirty elements (25 micro- and 5 macro-elements) were identified in all species, whereas 32 trace elements only in a very limited number of samples. The highest contents of major elements were observed in cultivated G. pfeifferi and G. sinense originated from Poland and China, respectively. Among wild growing species, G. applanatum showed the highest content of In, Mg, and P, G. pfeifferi of Te, both G. pfeifferi and G. resinaceum of K. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that among tested group of mushroom species, fruit bodies of wild growing G. resinaceum and cultivated G. pfeifferi were characterized by a higher level of all elements jointly than the other analyzed Ganoderma species. The greatest similarity was observed for G. atrum, G. capense, G. carnosum and cultivated G. lucidum as regards accumulation of all elements. Significant differences between cultivated and wild growing G. lucidum were observed only for K and In, whereas in G. pfeifferi differences were found for Ba, Cd, Eu, Ge, Ni, Rh, Sr, Te, Zn, Mg, and Na. Significant differences in Ca, P, and Pr contents were determined for both the species.
... G. lucidum extracts reported in earlier studies inhibited sympathetic nerve activity in anaesthetized animals (34), elevated pain threshold, prolonged death time induced by caffeine, and relaxed skeletal muscle in mice (35). Furthermore, it has been shown to improve the insomnia severity scores in patients with neurasthenia (36). GAE produced the latency to onset and reduction of the duration in a dose dependent manner. ...
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Various mushroom proteins, such as lectins, fungal immunomodulatory proteins, ribosome inactivating proteins, ribonucleases, laccases and other proteins have interesting biological activities. These have become popular sources of natural antitumor, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidative and immunomodulatory agents. This paper updated the present status of bioactive compounds in Ganoderma lucidum a mushroom with biomedical potential. Ganoderma lucidum collected from botanical garden growing on Mimosops elangi as pathogen was investigate for the bioactive compounds and anticonvulsant activity. Its aqueous extract was injected in wistar albino rats. Phytochemical analysis was done by chemical, FTIR and mass spectrometric methods. Acute toxicity was determined using Lorke's method. The anticonvulsant activity of the extract was assessed in pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced and maximal electroshock (MES) induced convulsion in rats, with valproic acid and phenytoin as positive control (PC), respectively. Gamma amino butyric
... They are a group of wood-degrading mushrooms with hard fruiting bodies comprising a pileus, spore, and stipe [1]. For over a century, Ganoderma species extracts have been traditionally used as a Chinese medicinal mushroom for the treatment of hepatitis [2,3], cancer-related fatigue and immune functions [4,5], neurasthenia [6], and cancer [7], where Ganoderma extract has been shown to have anticancer activity against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells [8,9], 95-D lung cancer cells [10], PC-3 prostate cancer cells [9], and HUC-PC and MTC-11 bladder cancer cells [11]. To date, more than 100 ganoderic acids, a kind of highly oxygenated C30 lanostanetype triterpenoid, have been isolated from Ganoderma species [1] and they were active forms that exert various pharmacological activities, as mentioned above. ...
Article
Ganoderma is a genus of medicinal mushroom traditionally used for treating various diseases. Ganoderic acid A is one of the major bioactive Ganoderma triterpenoids isolated from Ganoderma species. Herein, we produced a highly specific monoclonal antibody against ganoderic acid A (MAb 12 A) and developed an indirect competitive ELISA for the highly sensitive detection of ganoderic acid A in Ganoderma lingzhi, with a limit of detection of 6.10 ng/mL. Several validation analyses support the accuracy and reliability of the developed indirect competitive ELISA for use in the quality control of Ganoderma based on ganoderic acid A content. Furthermore, quantitative analysis of ganoderic acid A in G. lingzhi revealed that the pileus exhibits the highest ganoderic acid A content compared with the stipe and spore of the fruiting body; the best extraction efficiency was found when 50 % ethanol was used, which suggests the use of a strong liquor to completely harness the potential of Ganoderma triterpenoids in daily life. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
... The genus Ganoderma has been studied from many different points of view, depending on the interests of each research group: a) As a source of drugs and nutraceuticals (Boh, et al., 2007;Fujita et al., 2005;Han and Yuan, 2005;Joseph et al., 2009;Lindequist et al., 2005;Mau et al., 2002;Mizuno et al., 1995;Suárez-Medellín et al., 2007;Sliva et al., 2003;Tang et al., 2005;Tasaka et al., 1988;Trigos and Suárez-Medellín, 2010;Wachtel-Galor et al., 2004;Wang et al., 2005;Wasser et al., 2000;Yang, 2005). ...
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Background: In our country, one of the main witnesses of the fungal chemistry development (hereafter referred to as mycochemistry), was the journal previously known as Boletín de la Sociedad Mexicana de Micología, subsequently Revista Mexicana de Micología, and today Scientia Fungorum. Objective: Offer a brief overview about the development of Mexican Mycochemistry through the review of some of their main works up to this days. Methods: An extensive review of all the available literature about mycochemistry produced in México was performed, using the archives of Scientia Fungorum (1968-2018) as primary source, and complementing with the works published by mexican scientists in the main indexed journals of the field. Results and conclusions: The research works consulted were grouped according to their main subject, and then presented in five sections: mycotoxins; bromatologic studies and alike; raw extracts; isolation and identification of metabolites; and enzymes. The constant improvement in quantity and quality of the research published during the last years, is the best proof that the mexican mycochemistry is on its highest moment ever. Keywords: mycochemistry, fungal metabolites, natural products derived from mushrooms
... To date, G. lucidum extract has been reported to potentiate the anesthetic effect of pentobarbital, reducing spontaneous locomotor activity 4 and prolonging sleep time in rodents. 5 In clinical studies G. lucidum polysaccharides significantly improved symptoms of neurasthenia, 6 whereas spore powder had a beneficial effect on quality of life and cancer-related fatigue in patients with breast cancer. 7 Moreover, neuroprotective effects of G. lucidum have been demonstrated. ...
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Ganoderma lucidum is a well-known medicinal mushroom with a long history of use. This study was designed to assess the anticonvulsant potential of an aqueous extract from cultured G. lucidum mycelium in 3 acute seizure models: timed intravenous pentylenetetrazole infusion, maximal electroshock seizure threshold, and 6-Hz-induced psychomotor seizure tests in mice. Moreover, antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of G. lucidum were evaluated using the forced swim test and the elevated plus maze test in mice, respectively. No changes in seizure thresholds in the intravenous pentylenetetrazole and maximal electroshock seizure threshold tests after acute treatment with G. lucidum extract (200-600 mg/kg) was observed. However, the studied extract (100-400 mg/kg) significantly increased the threshold for psychomotor seizures in the 6-Hz seizure test. In the forced swim test, G. lucidum (100-400 mg/kg) significantly reduced the duration of immobility. No anxiolytic-like or sedative effects were reported in mice pretreated with the extract (400-600 mg/kg). G. lucidum extract (50-2400 mg/kg) did not produce toxic effects in the chimney test (motor coordination) or grip-strength test (neuromuscular strength). Further studies are required to explain the neuropharmacological effects of G. lucidum and to identify its active ingredients that may affect seizure threshold, mood, or anxiety.
... lucidum), has been widely used as a remedy to promote health and longevity in China and other Asian countries (Shiao et al., 1994;Lin, 2001). G. lucidum has long been known to present a wide spectrum of biological effects including prevention of chronic diseases (Kwok et al., 2005;Tang et al., 2005;Chen et al., 2006;He et al., 2006;Li et al., 2007), immunoregulatory and antitumor activities (Hong et al., 2004;Cao and Lin, 2006;Tang et al., 2006), and sedative effects (Chu et al., 2007). Increasing lines of evidence have shown that G. lucidum has immunoregulatory (Hong et al., 2004;Chen et al., 2006) and anti-tumor activities (Sliva et al, 2002;Jiang et al., 2004a, b;Sliva, 2006). ...
... The genus Ganoderma has been studied from many different points of view, depending on the interests of each research group: a) As a source of drugs and nutraceuticals (Boh, et al., 2007;Fujita et al., 2005;Han and Yuan, 2005;Joseph et al., 2009;Lindequist et al., 2005;Mau et al., 2002;Mizuno et al., 1995;Suárez-Medellín et al., 2007;Sliva et al., 2003;Tang et al., 2005;Tasaka et al., 1988;Trigos and Suárez-Medellín, 2010;Wachtel-Galor et al., 2004;Wang et al., 2005;Wasser et al., 2000;Yang, 2005). ...
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The fungi belonging to the genus Ganoderma have been used since ancient times in Eastern traditional medicine in the treatment and prevention of several diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes, among many other conditions. More than 140 biologically active triterpenoids and 200 polysaccharides, as well as proteins and miscellaneous metabolites have been isolated from the fruiting bodies, mycelium and spores of different species of Ganoderma. The aim of this study is to summarize the main biologically active metabolites isolated from members of this genus to date, yet without pretending to be an exhaustive review, since that would be impossible due the dynamism of the field.
... Curt.: Fr.) P. Karst. (Ganodermataceae, Aphyllophoromycetideae), as an important species in East Asian countries, possesses various signifi cantly biological properties, such as inhibiting growth of inoculated S-180, Heps, and EAC tumor cells in mice 1 ; stimulating mouse spleen lymphocytes 2,3 ; antigrowth of vascular endothelial cells 4 ; improvement of symptoms in neurasthenia 5 ; and so forth. So far, it is well known that the main bioactive constituents of G. lucidum are polysaccharides and triterpenes. ...
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LZ-B-1, a water-soluble peptidoglycan, was prepared from the fruiting bodies of Ling Zhi or Reishi medicinal mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum, by ultrafiltration, DEAE-Sepharose Fast-Flow column, and Sepharose CL-6B column. To develop functional food or pharmaceuticals using LZ-B-1 and to investigate the relationship between the structure and bioactivity of LZ-B-1, the composition and immunomodulatory capacity of LZ-B-1 were studied herein. The peptidoglycan had a relative molecular weight of 1.12 × 104 Da, and total carbohydrate and peptide percentages were determined to be ∼94.2% and ∼5.4%, respectively. The carbohydrate moiety was mainly composed of L-fucose, D-galatose, and D-glucose in a molar ratio of approximately 1:5:2, together with small amounts of L-arabinose and D-mannose. The peptide moiety mainly contained arginine, threonine, glycine, serine, and aspartic acid in a molar ratio of approximately 1:1:2:2:1. Methylation reaction and GC-MS analysis indicated that the carbohydrate moiety mainly consisted of 1,6-disubstituted-galactopyranosyl, 1,2,6-trisubstituted-galactopyranosyl, 1-substituted-fucopyranosyl, 1,3-disubstituted- glucopyranosyl, 1,4,6-trisubstituted-glucopyranosyl, and 1-substituted-glucopyranosyl. Mouse spleen cell proliferation assay in vitro showed that a concentration of 200 μg/mL of LZ-B-1 was the optimum concentration to promote the proliferation of mouse spleen lymphocytes (MSLs). In general, the higher the mouse spleen cell proliferation rate, the stronger the immunomodulatory activity. How the peptidoglycan stimulates the proliferation of MSLs and the bioactivity-structure relationship requires more research.
... Evidence about other herbs for invigorating qi and yang on CFS have also been reported, but these have been vague and sporadic. Poria (Poria cocos Wolf.) was reported to possess antineurasthenia activity (17) and to improve sleep (18). Cistanche Deserticola [Cistanche salsa (C.A. Mey) G. Beck] is able to prolong the duration of swimming (19) and hexobarbital-induced sleeping time (20). ...
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More and more patients have been diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in recent years. Western drug use for this syndrome is often associated with many side-effects and little clinical benefit. As an alternative medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has provided some evidences based upon ancient texts and recent studies, not only to offer clinical benefit but also offer insights into their mechanisms of action. It has perceived advantages such as being natural, effective and safe to ameliorate symptoms of CFS such as fatigue, disordered sleep, cognitive handicaps and other complex complaints, although there are some limitations regarding the diagnostic standards and methodology in related clinical or experimental studies. Modern mechanisms of TCM on CFS mainly focus on adjusting immune dysfunction, regulating abnormal activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and serving as an antioxidant. It is vitally important for the further development to establish standards for 'zheng' of CFS, i.e. the different types of CFS pathogenesis in TCM, to perform randomized and controlled trials of TCM on CFS and to make full use of the latest biological, biochemical, molecular and immunological approaches in the experimental design.
... ex Fr.) Karst, also known as 'Lingzhi' in China, has a long history of medical use in Asian countries. This medical mushroom, which was used to promote health and longevity in the past, has been recently shown to have therapeutic effects on many diseases, including neurasthenia, insomnia, nephritis, hepatitides, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (1)(2)(3)(4)(5). Especially, it shows prominent anti-tumor actions. ...
Article
Ganoderma ludicum polysaccharides (GlPS) are the major bioactive composition of Ganoderma lucidum, a well-recognized oriental medical fungus. The published data have shown a complementary effect of GlPS in cancer therapy. The present study was designed to determine the anti-tumor efficacy of GlPS and the possible mechanism covering this effect. Murine Sarcoma 180 (S180) model was established, and GlPS administered orally for 10 days. On the 10th day, tumors were weighed to assess the inhibitory effect of GlPS and sera were collected for proteomic analysis and in vitro study. The in vivo results demonstrated that 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg GlPS inhibited S180 growth by 32.67, 44.80 and 45.24%, respectively (P<0.01). Proteomic study revealed marked protein changes after the process of treatment. Three significantly changed proteins were identified by ESI-Q-TOF-MS and database search indicated that they were haptoblobin, apolipoprotein A-II and serum amyloid A (SAA), respectively. Additionally, the expression change of SAA was confirmed by both Western blot and RT-PCR. The adhesion assay showed that GlPS-treated sera dramatically inhibited the adhesion ability of human prostate carcinoma (PC-3M) cells to human umbilical cord vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs), and this effect partially recovered after immunodepletion by the antibody against SAA. Collectively, these results suggest that GlPS inhibited the tumor growth and tumor cell adhesion to HUVECs via up-regulation of SAA protein expression.
Article
Three undescribed lanostane triterpenoids, 24E-en-11-oxo-ganoderiol D (1), 11β-hydroxy-ganoderiol D (2), and 11β-hydroxy-lucidone H (3) were isolated from the 80% EtOH extract of the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma hainanense. Structural elucidation of all the compounds were performed by spectral methods such as 1 D and 2 D (1H-1H COSY, HMQC, and HMBC) NMR spectroscopy. All the triterpenoids were in vitro evaluated for their cytotoxic activities against six mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines (MCF7, MDA-MB-231, SK-BR-3, BT-20, HCC38, and AU565). As a result, compound 3 exhibited significant cytotoxic activities against all tested cell lines with IC50 values less than 20 μM.
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Ganoderma lucidum is a medicinal mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine with putative tranquilizing effects. However, the component of G. lucidum that promotes sleep has not been clearly identified. Here, the effect and mechanism of the acidic part of the alcohol extract of G. lucidum mycelia (GLAA) on sleep were studied in mice. Administration of 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg GLAA for 28 days promoted sleep in pentobarbital-treated mice by shortening sleep latency and prolonging sleeping time. GLAA administration increased the levels of the sleep-promoting neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine and the Tph2, Iptr3 and Gng13 transcripts in the sleep-regulating serotonergic synapse pathway in the hypothalamus during this process. Moreover, GLAA administration reduced lipopolysaccharide and raised peptidoglycan levels in serum. GLAA-enriched gut bacteria and metabolites, including Bifidobacterium, Bifidobacterium animalis, indole-3-carboxylic acid and acetylphosphate were negatively correlated with sleep latency and positively correlated with sleeping time and the hypothalamus 5-hydroxytryptamine concentration. Both the GLAA sleep promotion effect and the altered faecal metabolites correlated with sleep behaviours disappeared after gut microbiota depletion with antibiotics. Our results showed that GLAA promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-associated pathway in mice.
Article
Previous research has shown that the extracts from the Ganoderma lucidum spore (GS) have potentially cardioprotective effects, but there is still abundant room for development in determining its mechanism. In this study, the rat model of cardiac dysfunction was established by intraperitoneal injection of trimethylamine‐N‐oxide (TMAO), and the extracts of GS (oil, lipophilic components, and polysaccharides) were given intragastrically at a dose of 50 mg/kg/day to screen the pharmacological active components of GS. After 50 days of treatments, we found that the extraction from GS reduced the levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low‐density lipoprotein; increased the levels of high‐density lipoprotein; and reduced the levels of serum TMAO when compared to the model group (P < 0.05); especially the GS polysaccharides (DT) and GS lipophilic components (XF) exhibited decreases in serum TMAO compared to TMAO‐induced control. The results of 16S rRNA sequencing showed that GS could change the gut microbiota, increasing the abundance of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria in the DT‐treated group and XF‐treated group, while reducing the abundance of Actinobacteria and Tenericutes. Quantitative proteomics analysis showed that GS extracts (DT and XF) could regulate the expression of some related proteins, such as Ucp1 (XF‐TMAO/M‐TMAO ratio is 2.76), Mpz (8.52), Fasn (2.39), Nefl (1.85), Mtnd5 (0.83), Mtnd2 (0.36), S100a8 (0.69), S100a9 (0.70), and Bdh1 (0.72). The results showed that XF can maintain the metabolic balance and function of the heart by regulating the expression of some proteins related to cardiovascular disease, and DT can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by targeting gut microbiota.
Chapter
The term neurasthenia has had a variegated history, and although retained as a diagnostic entity in the ICD-10 it does not appear in the DSM-IV. In cultures where neurasthenia still enjoys popular professional and lay acceptance it has a variety of usages: ♦ a nosological entity ♦ an idiom for expressing distress ♦ a culturally sanctioned illness behaviour ♦ an explanatory model for a constellation of somatic symptoms ♦ an euphemism for avoiding the stigma of mental disorder. Therefore, in diagnosing, understanding, and managing neurasthenia the clinician has to be aware of the context in which the term is used.
Article
Introduction Idiopathic chronic fatigue is a common condition that has a profound impact on daily life. Given the absence of a clearly defined guideline for conventional treatment, herbal medicines are often the preferred interventions in these patients. In this updated systematic review, we evaluate the evidence for the efficacy of herbal medicines in patients with idiopathic chronic fatigue using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach. Method Core electronic databases were searched up to May 2019. The review included RCTs that compared herbal medicines with placebo, waitlist, or conventional drug treatments. Risk of bias was assessed to evaluate the methodological quality of the individual studies and a meta-analysis was performed to calculate summary effect estimates based on a random effects model. The certainty of the evidence was evaluated by GRADE assessment. Results Twenty-two RCTs (1819 patients) were eligible for inclusion in the review. The standardized mean difference on the fatigue symptom scale was -1.19 (95 % confidence interval −1.45, −0.92, I² = 85 %) in favor of herbal medicines. Only a few studies reported adverse events, all of which were mild and self-limiting. The certainty of evidence level for the effect of herbal medicines was found to be very low by GRADE assessment. Conclusion Even though our summary effects estimate suggests a potential benefit of herbal medicines for managing fatigue symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome, the evidence needs to be updated by rigorous clinical trials with detailed reporting of adverse events in the future.
Thesis
Medicinal mushrooms have been used for several hundred years, mainly in Asian countries, for the treatment of various pathologies. More recently, they have been used in the treatment of cancer. As part of this thesis, we are particularly interested in the lingzhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) also called immortality fungus, for its anticancer properties. We therefore reported on the mechanisms of action of both the total extracts of Ganoderma lucidum and the two main bioactive molecules groups, i.e., polysaccharides and triterpenes. Their efficiencies have been demonstrated through in vitro tests and clinical studies. Although these natural compounds have been shown to be effective as a standard therapy treatment in the treatment of cancer (used as monotherapy or in combination with radiotherapy or chemotherapy) in Japan and China for over 30 years, it is fundamental to mention that they can also have significant side effects requiring advices of uses for human health. RESUME : Les champignons médicinaux sont utilisés depuis plusieurs centaines d'années, principalement dans les pays asiatiques, pour le traitement de différentes pathologies. Plus récemment, ils ont été utilisés dans le traitement du cancer. Dans le cadre de cette thèse, nous nous sommes particulièrement intéressés au ganoderme luisant (Ganoderma lucidum) également appelé champignon de l’immortalité, pour ses propriétés anticancéreuses. Nous avons donc étudié les mécanismes d’action à la fois des extraits totaux de Ganoderma lucidum et des deux principaux groupes de molécules bioactives : les polysaccharides et les triterpènes. Leurs efficacités ont été mises en évidence au travers de tests in vitro et d’études cliniques. Bien que ces composés naturels aient prouvé leur efficacité en tant que traitement de support aux thérapeutiques standards dans le traitement du cancer (utilisations en monothérapie ou en association avec la radiothérapie ou la chimiothérapie) au Japon et en Chine depuis plus de 30 ans, il est fondamental de mentionner qu’ils peuvent également présenter des effets indésirables non négligeables nécessitant des conseils d’utilisations pour la santé humaine. MOTS-CLES : Cancer, Ganoderma lucidum, mécanismes d’action, polysaccharides, triterpènes
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A pair of new alkaloid enantiomers [(+)- and (−)-1] as well as a pair of known enantiomeric analogues [(+)- and (−)-2] were isolated from the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma luteomarginatum. Their planar structures were determined by extensive spectroscopic analyses. The absolute configurations were established by comparison of the experimental and calculated electronic circular dichroism (ECD) or comparison of the experimental and reported specific optical rotation ([α]D). These rare Ganoderma alkaloids have a phenyl-substituted 6,7-dihydro-5H-cyclopenta[c]pyridine skeleton that has only been reported from the genus Ganoderma. The (+)- and (−)-1 were new Ganoderma alkaloids, while (+)- and (−)-2 were isolated from G. luteomarginatum for the first time. Thus, these four isolates could be tentatively determined as chemotaxonomic constituents of G. luteomarginatum.
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Located throughout the body, cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are therapeutic targets for obesity/metabolic diseases, neurological/mental disorders, and immune modulation. Phytocannabinoids are greatly important for the development of new medicines with high efficacy and/or minor side effects. Plants and fungi are used in traditional medicine for beneficial effects to mental and immune system. The current research studied five fungi from the genus Ganoderma and five plants: Ganoderma hainanense J.D. Zhao, L.W. Hsu & X.Q. Zhang; Ganoderma capense (Lloyd) Teng, Zhong Guo De Zhen Jun; Ganoderma cochlear (Blume & T. Nees) Bres., Hedwigia; Ganoderma resinaceum Boud.; Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat.; Carthamus tinctorius L. (Compositae); Cynanchum otophyllum C. K. Schneid. (Asclepiadaceae); Coffea arabica L. (Rubiaceae); Prinsepia utilis Royle (Rosaceae); Lepidium meyenii Walp. (Brassicaceae). They show immunoregulation, promotion of longevity and maintenance of vitality, stimulant effects on the central nervous system, hormone balance and other beneficial effects. However, it remains unclear whether cannabinoid receptors are involved in these effects. Aim of the study: This work aimed to identify components working on CB1 and CB2 from the above plants and fungi, as novel phytocannabinoids, and to investigate mechanisms of how these compounds affected the cells. By analyzing the structure-activity relationship, we could identify the core structure for future development. Materials and methods: Eighty-two natural compounds were screened on stably transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines, CHO-CB1 and CHO-CB2, with application of a label-free dynamic mass redistribution (DMR) technology that measured cellular responses to compounds. CP55,940 and WIN55,212-2 were agonist probe molecules, and SR141716A and SR144528 were antagonist probes. Pertussis toxin, cholera toxin, LY294002 and U73122 were signaling pathway inhibitors. The DMR data were acquired by Epic Imager software (Corning, NY), processed by Imager Beta 3.7 (Corning), and analyzed by GraphPad Prism 6 (GraphPad Software, San Diego, CA). Results: Transfected CHO-CB1 and CHO-CB2 cell lines were established and characterized. Seven compounds induced responses/activities in the cells. Among the seven compounds, four were purified from two Ganoderma species with potencies between 20 and 35 μM. Three antagonists: Kfb68 antagonized both receptors with a better desensitizing effect on CB2 to WIN55,212-2 over CP55,940. Kga1 and Kfb28 were antagonists selective to CB1 and CB2, respectively. Kfb77 was a special agonist and it stimulated CB1 in a mechanism different from that of CP55,940. Another three active compounds, derived from the Lepidium meyenii Walp. (Brassicaceae), were also identified but their effects were mediated through mechanisms much related to the signaling transduction pathways, especially through the stimulatory Gs protein. Conclusions: We identified four natural cannabinoids that exhibited structural and functional diversities. Our work confirms the presence of active ingredients in the Ganoderma species to CB1 and CB2, and this finding establishes connections between the fungi and the cannabinoid receptors, which will serve as a starting point to connect their beneficial effects to the endocannabinoid system. This research will also enrich the inventory of cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids from fungi. Yet due to some limitations, further structure-activity relationship studies and mechanism investigation are warranted in future.
Chapter
Approximately 130 medicinal functions are thought to be produced by medicinal mushrooms and fungi, including: antitumor, immunomodulating, antioxidant, radical scavenging, cardiovascular, anti-hypercholesterolemia, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antifungal, detoxification, hepato-protective, anti-diabetic, and other effects. Many, if not all, higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms contain biologically active compounds in fruit bodies, cultured mycelium, and cultured broth. Special attention is paid to mushroom polysaccharides. The data on mushroom polysaccharides and different secondary metabolites are summarized for approximately 700 species of higher Hetero- and Homobasidiomycetes. Numerous bioactive polysaccharides or polysaccharide-protein complexes described from medicinal mushrooms appear to enhance innate and cell-mediated immune responses, and exhibit antitumor activities in animals and humans. Whilst the mechanism of their antitumor actions is still not completely understood, stimulation and modulation of key host immune responses by these mushroom compounds appear central. Particularly, and most importantly for modern medicine, are polysaccharides and low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites with antitumor and immunostimulating properties. Approximately 400 studies have been conducted worldwide with numerous published clinical trials on medicinal mushrooms. Several of the mushroom compounds have proceeded through Phase I, II, and III clinical studies, and are used extensively and successfully in Asia to treat various cancers and other diseases. Special attention is stressed to many highly important unsolved problems in the study of medicinal mushrooms.
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Ganoderma lucidum, commonly treated as Lingzhi mushroom, is a traditional Chinese medicine which has been widely used over two millennia in Asian countries for maintaining vivacity and longevity. Numerous publications can be found reporting that G. lucidum may possess various beneficial medical properties and contributes to a variety of biological actions by primary metabolites, such as polysaccharides, proteins and triterpenes. Although G. lucidum still remains as a popular agent in commercial products, there is a lack of scientific study on the safety and effectiveness of G. lucidum in humans. There have been some reports of human trials using G. lucidum as a direct control agent for various diseases including arthritis, asthma, diabetes, gastritis, hepatitis, hypertension and neurasthenia, but scientific evidence is still inconclusive. In this paper, we discuss various aspects pertaining to the beneficial medical properties of G. lucidum (excluding anti-cancer activities). In particular, we have addressed some of the loopholes in previous studies that support G. lucidum and its secondary metabolites as effective agents to treat various human diseases. Most of the clinical trials were successful with G. lucidum preparation, however factors like small sample size, lack of a placebo control group, lack of information regarding long term treatment of the drug, age, patient's gender and side effects, standard method of extraction of G. lucidum, standard dosage, and number of patients treated undermine the validity of the results. Hence, G. lucidum can be used as a therapeutic drug when more direct and supportive scientific evidence are available in near future.
Article
Ganoderic acid A (GAA) is one of the major Ganoderma triterpenes produced by medicinal mushroom belonging to the genus Ganoderma (Ganodermataceae). Due to its interesting pharmacological activities, Ganoderma species have been traditionally used in China for the treatment of various diseases. Herein, we developed a colloidal gold-based immunochromatographic strip assay (ICA) for the rapid detection of GAA using highly specific monoclonal antibody against GAA (MAb 12A) conjugated with gold nanoparticles. Using the developed ICA, the detection of GAA can be completed within 15min after dipping the test strip into an analyte solution with the limit of detection (LOD) for GAA of ~500ng/mL. In addition, this system makes it possible to perform a semi-quantitative analysis of GAA in Ganoderma lingzhi, where high reliability was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The newly developed ICA can potentially be applied to the standardization of Ganoderma using GAA as an index because GAA is major triterpenoid present much in the mushroom.
Article
Polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum (GLPs) have been taken as effective supplements for healthy people or cancer patients over thousand years. However, this short survey indicates that instead of inhibiting, both submerge-cultured intracellular GLP and fruiting body GLP can stimulate the growth of some human carcinoma cell lines lacking of functional p53, such as HCT-116 p53−/−, Saos-2, H1299, HL-60, MDA-MB-157; while the two GLPs inhibit all other assayed cells with functional p53. This could be an alert since mutational inactivation of tumor suppressor p53 is the most frequent genetic alteration in human tumors.
Article
Decision making on behalf of an incapacitated patient at the end of life is a complex process, particularly in family-centric societies. The situation is more complex when attempts are made to accommodate Eastern concepts of end-of-life care with more conventional Western approaches. In this case report of an incapacitated 74-year-old Singaporean man of Malay descent with relapsed Stage 4 diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who was without an established lasting power of attorney, we highlight the difficult deliberations that ensue when the patient's family, acting as his proxy, elected to administer Lingzhi through his nasogastric tube (NGT). Focusing upon the questions pertaining to end-of-life decision making in Asia, we consider the issues surrounding the use of NGT and zhi in palliative care (PC) and the implementation of NGT for administering Lingzhi in a PC setting, particularly in light of a dearth of data on such treatment measures among PC patients.
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• Mushrooms have been used as medicinal agents for millennia • Many of the therapeutic claims are based largely on in vitro and animal experiments and a lack of well-designed clinical trials makes assessment of efficacy and toxicity difficult • Much of the current research focuses on purified bioactive compounds, which is not reflective of traditional practices • Capsules are often the preferred choice for efficiency and patient adherence • Edible mushrooms should be procured from a reliable source as wild mushrooms can be mistaken for poisonous species and may contain heavy metals.
Article
Ganoderic acid A is one of the important active triterpenoid components of Ganoderma lucidum, however the study on pharmacokinetics and oral bioavailability of it is still lacking. The present study aims to investigate pharmacokinetic properties and the absolute oral bioavailability of Ganoderic acid A. A sensitive and selective LC-MS/MS method was developed for the determination of Ganoderic acid A. The validated method was successfully applied to the quantification of Ganoderic acid A in rat plasma after oral and intravenous administrations of triterpenoid extract from Ganoderma lucidum with different single dosages. Ganoderic acid A was rapidly absorbed with the time to maximum concentration (C-max) <0.611 h after oral administrations for all oral dosage groups. The C-max after oral administration were 358.733, 1378.20 and 3010.40 ng mL(-1) for 100, 200, 400 mg kg(-1) dosages, respectively. Area under the concentration-time curve from time zero to the last time point were 954.732, 3235.07 and 7197.236 h ng mL(-1) after oral administration for 100, 200, 400 mg kg(-1) dosages and 880.950, 1751.076 and 7129.951 h ng mL(-1) after intravenous administration for 10, 20, 40 mg kg(-1) dosages, respectively. The half-life ranged from 0.363- 0.630 h and 2.183 to 2.485 h after intravenous and oral administration, respectively. Absolute bioavailability ranged from 10.38-17.97%.
Article
Le Ganoderma lucidum (GL) est un agent apoptoptique incontournable dans la lutte antitumorale. Il agit par de nombreuses voies (caspases, p38 mitogen-activated kinase [p38 MAPK], NF-kappaB, Akt/Erk, Bcl2, VEGF) et est utilisé avec succès dans les cancers digestifs, mammaires, prostatiques et les leucémies-lymphomes. Il possède des propriétés antivirales contre l’herpès ou l’hépatite B. C’est un excellent néphrohépatoprotecteur; propriété précieuse chez les patients qui subissent une chimiothérapie. Il s’impose dans le traitement du syndrome métabolique, grâce à ses effets sur le cholestérol, l’HTA ou la glycémie. Par ses propriétés antalgiques ou anti-inflammatoires dénuées d’effet indésirable, il soulage les patients atteints d’arthrose ou d’arthrite. Ganoderma lucidum (GL) is an essential apoptotic agent against tumoral cells which action implies several pathways (caspases, p38 MAPK, NF-kappaB, Akt/Erk, Bcl2, VEGF). It is appropriately recommended in digestive, breast, prostatic or leucemic cancers. It possesses anti-viral properties against herpes or hepatitis B. Its excellent nephro-hepatoprotective profile enables to protect patients undergoing chemotherapy and receiving many medications. Because of its actions against hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, it could be used in metabolic diseases. It is an anti-inflammatory and antalgic agent devoided of noxious effect. Mots clésChampignon-Cancer-Virus-Syndrome métabolique-Anti-inflammatoire KeywordsMushroom-Cancer-Virus-Metabolic disease-NSAIDS
Article
The anti-fatigue effects of the Radix Rehmanniae Preparata polysaccharides (RRPP) were studied in mice. The RRPP were orally administered at doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg for 4 weeks and the anti-fatigue activity was evaluated using a weight-loaded swimming test, along with the determination of serum urea nitrogen (SUN), hepatic glycogen and blood lactic acid (BLA) contents. The results showed that there was no significant difference in the body weight of mice in the three RRPP groups compared with the negative control group during initial, intermediate and terminal stages in the experiment (p>0.05). The ratio of exhausting swimming time was obviously increased 31.48% (p<0.05) and 61.51% (p<0.01) in the middle-dose group and the high-dose RRPP group, respectively. The BLA and SUN levels were decreased in middle-dose and high-dose RRPP groups (p<0.01). Hepatic glycogen level was increased in three RRPP treated groups (p<0.01). Therefore, RRPP may be responsible for the pharmacological effect of anti-fatigue of Radix Rehmanniae Preparata. The mechanism was related to the increase of the storage of hepatic glycogen and the decrease of the accumulation of SUN and BLA.
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate if preadministration with Ganoderma lucidum spore (GLS) could (1) alleviate oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in rat hippocampus of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of streptozotocin (STZ), (2) protect neurons from apoptosis, and (3) improve cognitive dysfunction. Three groups of Sprague-Dawley rats were preadministrated with GLS at doses of 2.0, 4.0 and 8.0g/kg, respectively, for 3 weeks before the ICV STZ injury. Thereafter the rats were operated with ICV STZ (1.5mg/kg) bilaterally on days 1 and 3. The behavioral alterations, oxidative stress indexes, ATP, cytochrome oxidase (CytOx), and histopathology of hippocampal neurons were studied. The results showed that ICV STZ model rats exhibited a significant increase of malondialdehyde (MDA), a significant decrease of glutathione reductase (GR), reduced glutathione (GSH), ATP and CytOx, accompanied with marked impairments in spatial learning and memory, and severe damage of hippocampal neuron. In conclusion, preadministration with GLS at dose of 8.0g/kg in ICV STZ rats significantly reversed these abnormalities. In conclusion, preadministration with GLS might protect hippocampus from oxidative impairment and energy metabolism disturbance of ICV STZ. This may also provide useful information for future research on the pathogenesis and prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Article
To investigate the neuroprotective effects of water-soluble Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (GLPS) on cerebral ischemic injury in rats, and to explore the involved mechanisms. Two models [middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in primary cultured rat cortical neurons] were employed to mimic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) damage, in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Cerebral infarct area was measured by tetrazolium staining, and neurological functional deficits were assessed at 24h after I/R. Neuronal apoptosis was studied by Nissl staining and DNA fragmentation assay. Neuronal injury was assessed by morphological examination using phase-contrast microscopy and quantified by measuring the amount of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage, cell viability was measured by sodium 3'-1- (phenylaminocarbonyl)-3, 4-tetrazolium-bis (4-methoxy-6-nitro) benzene sulfonic acid (XTT) reduction. Neuronal apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry, and electron microscopy was used to study morphological changes of neurons. Caspase-3, -8 and -9 activation and Bcl-2, Bax protein expression were determined by western blot analysis. Oral administration of GLPS (100, 200 and 400mg/kg) significantly reduced cerebral infarct area, attenuated neurological functional deficits, and reduced neuronal apoptosis in ischemic cortex. In OGD model, GLSP (0.1, 1 and 10 microg/ml) effectively reduced neuronal cell death and relieved cell injury. Moreover, GLPS decreased the percentage of apoptotic neurons, relieved neuronal morphological damage, suppressed overexpression of active caspases-3, -8 and -9 and Bax, and inhibited the reduction of Bcl-2 expression. Our findings indicate that GLPS protects against cerebral ischemic injury by inhibiting apoptosis by downregulating caspase-3 activation and modulating the Bcl-2/Bax ratio.
Article
Ganoderma lucidum, commonly known as reishi or lingzhi mushroom, is regarded as a precious high value medicinal herb. It can stimulate the immune system in cancer patients. It is used to relieve pain, protect against nerve degeneration, reduce blood sugar and cholesterol, and it shows anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activites. The active substances are polysaccharides and triterpenes which are found in the spores. Broken spores contain more active compounds and are more active than unbroken spores because of their thick two-layer walls. The result of this study showed that alcohol and dichloromethane did not extract the triterpenes from unbroken spores. Moreover, boiling unbroken spores in water can extract some polysaccharides but their quantity is less than that of broken spores. Furthermore, the acid or alkaline condition which simulates gastric or intestinal conditions, respectively, is not able to break the spore wall as proven by electron microscopic examination, TLC chromatograms, or active substances analysis. Therefore, broken spores should be used as a medicinal product for oral administration in order to achieve higher amounts of the active principles,better gastrointestinal absorption and hence better therapeutic value.
Article
The medicinal use of mushrooms, so-called higher fungi, has a very long tradition in the Asian countries, whereas their use in the Western hemisphere has been slightly increasing only since the last decades. The paper gives an overview about the most important medicinal mushrooms and summarizes the actual knowledge about chemistry and pharmacology of Lentinula edo-des (Shiitake, Golden Oak Mushroom), Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi, Ling Zhi), Agaricus brasiliensis (Royal sun agaricus), Grifola frondosa (Maitake, Hen-of-the-Woods) and Hericium erinaceus (Yamabushitake, Lion's Man, Monkey's Head).
Article
Post-mitotic cells such as brain and heart cells are particularly vulnerable to oxidative damages during ageing. In this study, we evaluated the effect of Ganoderma lucidum on the antioxidant status in the mitochondria of heart and brain of aged mice. The effect was evaluated by estimating the activities of manganese-superoxide dismutase (Mn SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and catalase (CAT) as well as levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation, advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the heart and brain mitochondria of aged mice after oral administration of ethanolic extract of G. lucidum (50 and 250mg/kg), once daily for 15 days. The effect was compared with that of aged and young control animals. dl-alpha-lipoic acid (100mg/kg) was taken as the positive control. Administration of G. lucidum extract significantly (p<0.05) elevated the levels of GSH as well as activities of Mn SOD, GPx, and GST and decreased significantly (p<0.05) the levels of lipid peroxidation, AOPP and ROS. G. lucidum administration could improve the age-related decline of antioxidant status which was partly ascribed to free radical scavenging activity.
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The level of bioactive transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was measured in serum from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), healthy control subjects, and patients with major depression, systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE), and multiple sclerosis (MS) of both the relapsing/remitting (R/R) and the chronic progressive (CP) types. Patients with CFS had significantly higher levels of bioactive TGF-beta levels compared to the healthy control major depression, SLE, R/R MS, and CP MS groups (P < 0.01). Additionally, no significant differences were found between the healthy control subjects and any of the disease comparison groups. The current finding that TGF-beta is significantly elevated among patients with CFS supports the findings of two previous studies examining smaller numbers of CFS patients. In conclusion, TGF-beta levels were significantly higher in CFS patients compared to patients with various diseases known to be associated with immunologic abnormalities and/or pathologic fatigue. These findings raise interesting questions about the possible role of TGF-beta in the pathogenesis of CFS.
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A disturbed hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland axis and alterations at the immune system level have been observed in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Glucocorticoids are known to modulate T cell responses; therefore, purified CD4 T cells from CFS patients were studied to determine whether they have an altered sensitivity to dexamethasone (DEX). CD4 T cells from CFS patients produced less interferon-γ than did cells from controls; by contrast, interleukin-4 production and cell proliferation were comparable. With CD4 T cells from CFS patients (compared with cells from controls), a 10- to 20-fold lower DEX concentration was needed to achieve 50% inhibition of interleukin-4 production and proliferation, indicating an increased sensitivity to DEX in CFS patients. Surprisingly, interferon-γ production in patients and controls was equally sensitive to DEX. A differential sensitivity of cytokines or CD4 T cell subsets to glucocorticoids might explain an altered immunologic function in CFS patients.
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Concurrent use of herbs may mimic, magnify, or oppose the effect of drugs. Plausible cases of herb-drug interactions include: bleeding when warfarin is combined with ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), garlic (Allium sativum), dong quai (Angelica sinensis), or danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza); mild serotonin syndrome in patients who mix St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) with serotonin-reuptake inhibitors; decreased bioavailability of digoxin, theophylline, cyclosporin, and phenprocoumon when these drugs are combined with St John's wort; induction of mania in depressed patients who mix antidepressants and Panax ginseng; exacerbation of extrapyramidal effects with neuroleptic drugs and betel nut (Areca catechu); increased risk of hypertension when tricyclic antidepressants are combined with yohimbine (Pausinystalia yohimbe); potentiation of oral and topical corticosteroids by liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra); decreased blood concentrations of prednisolone when taken with the Chinese herbal product xaio chai hu tang (sho-salko-to); and decreased concentrations of phenytoin when combined with the Ayurvedic syrup shankhapushpi. Anthranoid-containing plants (including senna [Cassia senna] and cascara [Rhamnus purshiana]) and soluble fibres (including guar gum and psyllium) can decrease the absorption of drugs. Many reports of herb-drug interactions are sketchy and lack laboratory analysis of suspect preparations. Health-care practitioners should caution patients against mixing herbs and pharmaceutical drugs.
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Neurasthenia imposes a high burden on primary medical health care systems in all societies. To determine the prevalence of ICD-10 neurasthenia and associated comorbidity, disability and health care utilisation. Utilisation of a national sample of Australian households previously surveyed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and other measures. Prolonged and excessive fatigue was reported by 1465 people (13.29% of the sample). Of these, one in nine people meet current ICD-10 criteria for neurasthenia. Comorbidity was associated with affective, anxiety and physical disorders. People with neurasthenia alone (<0.5% of the population) were less disabled and used less services than those with comorbid disorders. Fatigue is frequent in the Australian community and is common in people attending general practice. Neurasthenia is disabling and demanding of services largely because of its comorbidity with other mental and physical disorders. Until a remedy for persistent fatigue is provided, doctors should take an active psychological approach to treatment.
Article
Background Neurasthenia imposes a high burden on primary medical health care systems in all societies. Aims To determine the prevalence of ICD—10 neurasthenia and associated comorbidity, disability and health care utilisation. Method Utilisation of a national sample of Australian households previously surveyed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and other measures. Results Prolonged and excessive fatigue was reported by 1465 people (13.29% of the sample). Of these, one in nine people meet current ICD-10 criteria for neurasthenia. Comorbidity was associated with affective, anxiety and physical disorders. People with neurasthenia alone (<0.5% of the population) were less disabled and used less services than those with comorbid disorders. Conclusions Fatigue is frequent in the Australian community and is common in people attending general practice. Neurasthenia is disabling and demanding of services largely because of its comorbidity with other mental and physical disorders. Until a remedy for persistent fatigue is provided, doctors should take an active psychological approach to treatment.
Article
In vitro and animal studies have established that the polysaccharide fractions of Ganoderma lucidum have potential antitumor activity and inhibitory effect on tumor metastasis. Ganopoly (crude polysaccharide fractions extracted from G. lucidum by patented technique, kindly provided by Encore International Ltd., Auckland, NZ) has demonstrated immunomodulating and tumor inhibitory effects in in vitro and mouse models. A clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ganopoly in patients with advanced cancer. One hundred and forty-three patients with advanced, previously treated cancer were enrolled. Eligibility criteria included confirmation of diagnosis, objectively measurable disease, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 2, life expectancy of 12 weeks or greater, no recent or concomitant anticancer therapy, and informed consent. Patients underwent evaluation of the extent of disease, quality of life, hematologic, biochemical, and selected immune function studies at baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks of Ganopoly therapy. Standard criteria were used to evaluate adverse events and response. Ganopoly was given orally at 1800 mg three times daily. Twenty-seven patients were not assessable for response and toxicity because they were lost to follow-up or refused further therapy before 12 weeks of treatment. Of the 100 fully assessable patients, 46 patients (32.2%) had progressive disease (PD) before or at the 6-week evaluation point (range, 5 days—6 weeks). Sixteen patients (11.2%) developed PD between 6 and 12 weeks of therapy. No objective (partial or complete) responses were observed, but 38 of 143 patients (26.6%) had stable disease (SD) for 12 weeks or more (range, 12-50 weeks). There was no significant change in the FACT-G scores in 85 assessable patients. However, palliative effects on cancer-related symptoms, such as sweating and insomnia, have been observed in many patients. In the group of patients with SD, FACT-G scores improved in 23 patients, were unchanged in 5 patients, and declined in 1 patient. Within this group, the median change from the baseline score to the 6- and 12-week score was +7.6 and +10.3 score, both statistically significant (P < 0.05). No significant changes of the selected immune function parameters were observed in 75 assessable patients. However, in the group of 32 patients with SD for 12 weeks or more, Ganopoly significantly increased lymphocyte mitogenic reactivity to concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin by 28 ± 7.3% (P < 0.05) and significantly enhanced natural killer cell activity by 25 ± 5.9% (P < 0.05). Five adverse events (grade 1) were recorded, 3 of which were gastrointestinal (nausea, 2; diarrhea, 1). The results indicate that Ganopoly may have an adjunct role in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer, although objective responses were not observed in this study.
Article
Ganoderma, highly ranked in Oriental traditional medicine, has been used as a remedy for many types of chronic diseases, including hepatopathy, type II diabetes, neurasthenia, hypertension, and cancer. Various polysaccharides (i.e., β-D-glucans and glycoproteins) and triterpenoids are the major active constituents present in Ganoderma. In vitro and animal studies have indicated that Ganoderma exhibits cancer-preventive and anticancer activity. Data from a clinical study in cancer patients showed Ganopoly, a crude Ganoderma polysaccharide extract, enhanced host immune function, including increased activity of effector cells such as T lymphocytes, macrophages, and natural killer cells, despite the lack of striking objective antitumor activity. Several clinical studies revealed that treatment of prostate cancer patients with the Ganoderma-containing PC-SPES (a mixture of eight herbal extracts) gave a significant decrease in the prostate-specific antigen levels, which compares favorably with second-line hormonal therapy that has agents such as estrogens and ketoconazole. Currently available data from numerous in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that the cancer-preventive and tumoricidal properties of Ganoderma might be ascribed to its antioxidative and radical-scavenging effects, enhancement of host immune function, induction of cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis, and other biological effects. Although Ganoderma may represent a practical and promising approach for cancer prevention and cancer treatment, further experimental, epidemiological, and clinical studies are needed to identify unrevealed molecular targets, resolve the relationship between Ganoderma intake and cancer risks, and explore the optimum dosing, efficacy, and safety, alone or in combination with chemotherapy/radiotherapy.
Article
Animal studies have demonstrated that the polysaccharide fractions of Ganoderma lucidum (Ling Zhi, reishi mushroom) have potential hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities. This clinical study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ganopoly (polysaccharide fractions extracted from G. lucidum by patented technique) in 71 patients with confirmed type II diabetes mellitus (DM). Eligibility criteria included type II DM of >3 months' duration for which patients were not receiving insulin; age >18 years; normal vital signs for age and disease state; normal electrocardiogram (ECG); and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level of 8.9.16.7 mmol/L in sulfonylurea-naive patients or an FPG <10 mmol/L before washout in sulfonylurea-treated patients. Patients were randomly grouped to be given either Ganopoly or placebo orally at 1800 mg three times daily for 12 weeks. Patients underwent 4 weeks of dose adjustment followed by 8 weeks of dose maintenance. Fasting and stimulated glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), plasma glucose, insulin, and C-peptide were monitered at predetermined intervals. Adverse events and hypoglycemic episodes were recorded. The treatment of Ganopoly significantly decreased the mean HbA1c from 8.4 at baseline to 7.6% at 12 weeks. Significant changes in mean FPG and PPG levels at the last visit paralleled the changes in mean HbA1c levels. At baseline, the mean FPG and PPG values in patients treated with Ganopoly were 12.0 and 13.6 mmol/L, respectively. At week 12, mean PPG values had decreased to 11.8 mmol/L. However, these parameters did not change or slightly increased in patients receiving placebo. The between-group difference in PPG levels at week 12 was significant (p < 0.05). Changes in fasting insulin, 2-hour post-prandial insulin, fasting C-peptide, and 2-hour post-prandial C-peptide were consistent, with the between-group differences in these end points being significant at the last visit. Overall, Ganopoly was well tolerated.
Article
A number of products prepared from Ganoderma lucidum (Ling Zhi, Reishi) are sold throughout the world as dietary supplements or over-the-counter (OTC) products, while in many Asian countries (China, Japan, and Korea) Ling Zhi preparations can be sold as drugs, and a doctor's prescription is needed. There is increasing interest in the marketing of Ling Zhi, with an estimated annual sales increase of 18%. The global production of Ling Zhi was estimated to be 4900-5000 tons in 2002, and at least 100 brands of Ling Zhi products are sold on the market. The estimated annual global turnover of Ling Zhi products should be approximately US$2.16 billion. Modern research of Ling Zhi's biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutics has provided initial scientific basis for its marketing. Ling Zhi has been prepared into various types of formulations. These include slices and powder of fruiting bodies, extracts prepared by water and/or organic solvents, spore products, drinks, syrups, and lotions for external use. Ingredients from other herbal medicines have been added to Ling Zhi products to achieve synergism (pharmacodynamic potentiation). Multiple levels of marketing channels of Ling Zhi exist. These mainly include direct sale, pharmacies, tonic and health food shops, website-based sale, and herbal specialist/traditional medical doctors'clinics. There are strict limitations for herbal product claims. Product labeling may include structure/function claims or statements about well-being. Randomized, multicenter, and controlled clinical trials are the most important studies for claims for the indication of herbal medicines when appropriate. A telephone survey on consumer's evaluation of Ganopoly (a G. lucidum polysaccharide extract) in Auckland has indicated that most consumers (71.6%) used Ganopoly as a drug for the treatment of various chronic diseases, including cancer and hepatopathy.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine several conceptual and cross-cultural issues in neurasthenia, particularly in terms of their relationship to chronic fatigue syndrome. A review of this relationship led to the conclusion that these conditions are much more alike in Western countries than in countries such as China, where neurasthenia could almost be regarded as a “culture-bound syndrome.” This may be a consequence of factors such as the heterogeneous nature of neurasthenia and different diagnostic practices in different countries, despite the ICD-10 definition of neurasthenia, intended for worldwide use. Likewise, there is no consensus on what the “core” characteristics of neurasthenia are, because its clinical presentation and key features in different countries are very different. Despite the finding of relatively low comorbidity rates between neurasthenia and other mental disorders, clinical experience suggests that features of neurasthenia frequently overlap with those of depression, chronic anxiety, and somatoform disorders. There is no convincing evidence that in cases of overlap or comorbidity, other diagnoses should automatically have “primacy” over neurasthenia nor should the diagnosis of neurasthenia thereby be excluded. Although some aspects of its validity have improved recently, especially its descriptive validity, the overall validity of the diagnosis of neurasthenia is still not satisfactory. Suggestions for further research, aimed at improving the diagnostic validity of neurasthenia, are offered in this paper.
Article
The need for dextran fractions with a narrow molecular-weight distribution for clinical use is well known. The definition of such material has significantly improved by the use of gel permeation chromatography (GPC) techniques. However, an internationally accepted standard method of analysis giving accurate and reproducible results in different laboratories has yet to be defined. This paper reviews the GPC packings that can be or have been used for determining the molecular weight distribution of dextran polymers. The application of GPC to the determination of the molecular weight of dextrans on TSK PW type columns is described and its accuracy and reproducibility are discussed. This material appears to meet the criteria required for a standard method.
Article
This review highlights the recent research progress in the study of immunomodulating effects of Ganoderma, which belongs to the basidiomycotina class of fungi. The commonly used Ganoderma species include G. lucidum, G. tsugae, G. capense, and G. applanatum. Several major substances with potent immunomodulating action have been isolated from Ganoderma. These include polysaccharides (in particular β-d-glucan), proteins (e.g., Ling Zhi-8) and triterpenoids. The major immunomodulating effects of these active substances derived from Ganoderma include mitogenicity and activation of immune effector cells, such as lymphocytes, macrophages, and natural killer cells, resulting in the production of cytokines, including interleukins (ILs), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interferons. There is evidence indicating that β-d-glucans from medicinal mushrooms induce biological response by binding to membrane complement receptor type three (CR3, αMβ2 integrin, or CD11b/CD18) on immune effector cells. The ligand–receptor complex is then internalized, intriguing a series of molecular events such as the activation of the nuclear factor NF-κB. Immunosuppressive effects by Ganoderma components have also been observed. The therapeutic effects of Ganoderma, such as anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects, have been associated with its immunomodulating effects. However, further studies are needed to determine the molecular mechanisms of the immunomodulating effects of Ganoderma mushrooms.
Article
In order to isolate an active constituent from the central inhibitory Ganoderma extract, an activity-guided fractionation was performed to yield adenosine. Adenosine reduced spontaneous motor activity, elevated pain threshold, prolonged the death time induced by caffeine and relaxed skeletal muscle in mice.
Article
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to estimate the 1-month and 1-year prevalence of mental disorders in the Australian adult population; to determine the amount of disablement associated with this; and to determine the use of health and other services by persons with common mental disorders.Method: For the Adult Survey, a household sample of 10 600 persons aged 18 years and over were interviewed across Australia by experienced field staff of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was 78% of the target sample. The interview consisted of the composite international diagnostic interview in its automated presentation (CIDI-A) and other components to determine disablement, use of services and satisfaction with services received. The diagnostic classifications used in the analyses were both ICD-10 and DSM-IV. Only the results from ICD-10 are reported here.Results: A total of 17.7% of the sample had one or more common mental disorders, anxiety, depression, alcohol or substance abuse and neurasthenia. This morbidity was associated with considerable disablement in daily life: 3 days of impaired social role performance in the previous 4 weeks, compared with 1 day for the general population. Of all cases, 64.6% had had no contact with health services in the previous year; 29.4% had seen GPs and 7.5% had seen psychiatrists.Conclusion: Australia now has its own national estimates of psychiatric morbidity. The morbidity is associated with considerable disablement, but most of it is untreated. General practitioners encounter by far the largest proportion of those reaching services.
Article
Simple sugars, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, and their derivatives, including the methyl ethers with free or potentially free reducing groups, give an orange-yellow color when treated with phenol and concentrated sulfuric acid. The reaction is sensitive and the color is stable. By use of this phenol-sulfuric acid reaction, a method has been developed to determine submicro amounts of sugars and related substances. In conjunction with paper partition chromatography the method is useful for the determination of the composition of polysaccharides and their methyl derivatives.
Article
This chapter discusses medicinal benefits of the Mushroom Ganoderma. Recently, the fruit body and liquid-cultured mycelium of Ganoderma have been reported to contain polysaccharides which inhibit the growth of tumors. Identified as glucans, one of the major constituents in the cell wall of fungi, they appear to increase bodily resistance against the growth of tumors, induce the production of interferon, enhance the immunity function, and kill tumor cells within the body. The role of medicinal mushrooms in metabolic regulation is gaining greater attention. Their use in the development and application of beneficial biological activities offers an advantage in that the active principle is safe and can be tolerated by humans. Cultivation of such mushrooms provides an adequate supply but is unnecessary if mycelial cultures grown in large-scale fermentations can produce the same active principle. Finally, the search for new uses for the traditional medicinal fungi continues and the public should be educated about their potential value.
Article
Detection and quantification of bacterial endotoxin in plasma by the Limulus amebocyte lysate test (or other assays for endotoxins) is hindered by the presence of inhibitors. Treatment of plasma to overcome inhibitory activities is required before plasma can be successfully assayed for endotoxin. We have conducted an investigation comparing the three most commonly used procedures (dilution-heating, trifluoroacetic acid oxidation, and chloroform extraction) for treatment of plasma before its assay for endotoxin with the chromogenic Limulus test. Initially, conditions were optimized for treatment of plasma by each of these methods. Subsequently, a direct comparison of the three plasma treatment procedures was performed with plasma spiked with known concentrations of endotoxin. The optimized dilution-heating procedure resulted in the most sensitive detection of endotoxin, with sensitivity approximately 10 times greater than the optimized trifluoroacetic acid oxidation procedure and approximately 100 times greater than treatment of plasma by chloroform extraction. Maximal detection of low concentrations of endotoxin by the chromogenic Limulus test was obtained by dilution of plasma fourfold with 0.15 mol/L NaCl followed by heating at 60 degrees C for 30 minutes. This procedure was simple, rapid, and did not involve addition of any reagents to plasma that could potentially add contaminating endotoxin.
Article
In an effort to understand the mechanism of cardiovascular actions of Ganoderma lucidum which was cultivated in Korea, the mycelium was isolated for a large-scale culture. Water extract of the mycelia was evaluated for its cardiovascular activity in anesthetized rabbits and rats. The left femoral artery and vein were cannulated for the measurement of arterial pressure and subsequent delivery of drugs. The left kidney was exposed retroperitoneally and a branch of the renal nerve was used to integrate renal efferent or afferent nerve activities. The extract decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which was accompanied by an inhibition of renal efferent sympathetic nerve activity. The extract did not decrease heart rate in these animals, although there was clear hypotension in the extract dose dependent manner. This suggests that the hypotension induced by the treatment of the extract was secondary to the primary effect of the extract in the central nerve system, which suppressed the sympathetic outflow. Therefore we concluded that the mechanism of hypotensive action of Ganoderma lucidum was due to its central inhibition of sympathetic nerve activity.
Article
A new reagent for the chromogenic Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) assay is described. LAL was formulated for optimal performance in either an endpoint procedure or a kinetic procedure with the chromogenic substrate, buffer, and LAL components colyophilized as a single reagent. The kinetic chromogenic method required an incubating microplate reader coupled to a computer for collection and analysis of data. The kinetic method had a longer incubation time than the endpoint method and spanned a range of over 3 orders of magnitude compared with the 1-order-of-magnitude range of the endpoint assay. The kinetic method was less subject to operator error, since readings were continuous and automatic. The endpoint test was more operator intensive, requiring both addition of acetic acid to stop the reaction and transfer of the sample to the reading device. A single-step chromogenic reagent was also prepared without lyophilization by mixing reconstituted gel clot LAL with a buffer and a chromogenic substrate. The reagent prepared in this manner performed as well as the colyophilized agent.
Article
The chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder of unknown aetiology which is characterized by debilitating fatigue. Recent evidence has suggested that viruses may persist in the tissues of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. A concurrent immunological disturbance is likely to be associated with the persistence of viral antigens. Therefore, the humoral and cellular immunity of 100 patients who were suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and that of 100 healthy, age- and sex-matched control subjects were compared. This study documents the frequent occurrence of abnormalities within the cellular and humoral immune systems of patients with well-defined chronic fatigue syndrome. Disordered immunity may be central to the pathogenesis of chronic fatigue syndrome. In patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, a significant (P less than 0.01) reduction was found in the absolute number of peripheral blood lymphocytes in the total T-cell (CD2), the helper/inducer T-cell (CD4) and the suppressor/cytotoxic T-cell (CD8) subsets. A significant (P less than 0.001) reduction also was found in T-cell function, which was measured: in vivo by delayed-type hypersensitivity skin-testing (reduced responses were recorded in 50 [88%] of 57 patients); and in vitro by phytohaemagglutinin stimulation. Reduced immunoglobulin (Ig) levels were common (56% of patients), with the levels of serum IgG3- and IgG1-subclasses particularly (P less than 0.05) affected.
Article
Bicinchoninic acid, sodium salt, is a stable, water-soluble compound capable of forming an intense purple complex with cuprous ion (Cu1+) in an alkaline environment. This reagent forms the basis of an analytical method capable of monitoring cuprous ion produced in the reaction of protein with alkaline Cu2+ (biuret reaction). The color produced from this reaction is stable and increases in a proportional fashion over a broad range of increasing protein concentrations. When compared to the method of Lowry et al., the results reported here demonstrate a greater tolerance of the bicinchoninate reagent toward such commonly encountered interferences as nonionic detergents and simple buffer salts. The stability of the reagent and resulting chromophore also allows for a simplified, one-step analysis and an enhanced flexibility in protocol selection. This new method maintains the high sensitivity and low protein-to-protein variation associated with the Lowry technique.
Article
Amineptine is a new tricyclic compound with a grafted long aliphatic chain active on Dopamine synaptic release and as such more desinhibitor, safer and short acting. The study was coordinated by a national and 13 local counsellors. It was an open study. Inclusions criteria and results are examined, making obvious that patients responded well according to the Hamilton rating scale for depression (17 item version--16.4 points dropped at day 7th in 43%) and that it is an efficaceous antidepressant.
Article
We report on the diagnostic comparative study of the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders-Second Edition (CCMD-2) and the DSM-III-R in a field trial in China. The Adult Diagnostic Interview Schedule-Second Edition (ADIS-2), a modified diagnostic interview schedule that can generate both CCMD-2 and DSM-III-R diagnoses, was used to test 254 psychiatric patients in China. It was found that the reliability and validity of the CCMD-2 and DSM-III-R are compatible in most diagnostic categories such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, bipolar disorders, and depressive disorders. The discrepancies between Chinese and American diagnostic systems were found mainly in neurasthenia and hysterical neuroses. Such discrepancies may have resulted from frequent changes of the diagnostic terms in the West, such as the phenomenon of neurasthenia, or from creating a new disorder entity in CCMD-2, such as "Eastern gymnastic exercises-induced mental disorder. "Further cross-cultural studies focusing on these discrepant disorders are urgently needed to understand the cultural influences on diagnosis, as well as to improve the professional classification of mental disorders in different diagnostic systems.
Article
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has many characteristics suggesting persistent fatigue following a viral illness. At least nine different RNA and DNA viruses have been considered to be associated with this disease, but none of these viruses has been found to be the etiologic agent. Immunologic studies have demonstrated activated CD8+ cells and reduced function of natural killer cells suggesting a host response to an infection that has led to persistent immune disorders. Some of the symptoms of CFS may be due to cytokines produced by this hyperactive immune response to a virus that is still present in the host or that has been eliminated but leaves abnormal immunologic sequelae. These possibilities offer directions for future studies of CFS and therapeutic approaches to this condition.
Article
One hundred and eighteen patients with neurasthenia, as defined by ICD 10 (International Classification of Diseases), participated in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of pivagabine (4-[(2,2-dimethyl-1-oxopropyl)amino]butanoic acid, CAS 69542-93-4, Tonerg). Pivagabine 1800 mg/d was administered orally for four weeks. At the end of the trial, active medication was significantly superior to placebo on the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) improvement of illness scale. In addition, pivagabine treatment reduced the physical and mental fatigability of patients, and increased their sense of well-being.
Article
This review highlights some of the recently isolated and identified substances of higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms origin that express promising antitumor, immune modulating, cardiovascular and hypercholesterolemia, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic effects. Medicinal mushrooms have a long history of use in folk medicine. In particular, mushrooms useful against cancers of the stomach, esophagus, lungs, etc. are known in China, Russia, Japan, Korea, as well as the U.S.A. and Canada. There are about 200 species of mushrooms that have been found to markedly inhibit the growth of different kinds of tumors. Searching for new antitumor and other medicinal substances from mushrooms and to study the medicinal value of these mushrooms have become a matter of great significance. However, most of the mushroom origin antitumor substances have not been clearly defined. Several antitumor polysaccharides such as hetero-beta-glucans and their protein complexes (e.g., xyloglucans and acidic beta-glucan-containing uronic acid), as well as dietary fibers, lectins, and terpenoids have been isolated from medicinal mushrooms. In Japan, Russia, China, and the U.S.A. several different polysaccharide antitumor agents have been developed from the fruiting body, mycelia, and culture medium of various medicinal mushrooms (Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum, Schizophyllum commune, Trametes versicolor, Inonotus obliquus, and Flammulina velutipes). Both cellular components and secondary metabolites of a large number of mushrooms have been shown to effect the immune system of the host and therefore could be used to treat a variety of disease states.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine several conceptual and cross-cultural issues in neurasthenia, particularly in terms of their relationship to chronic fatigue syndrome. A review of this relationship led to the conclusion that these conditions are much more alike in Western countries than in countries such as China, where neurasthenia could almost be regarded as a "culture-bound syndrome." This may be a consequence of factors such as the heterogeneous nature of neurasthenia and different diagnostic practices in different countries, despite the ICD-10 definition of neurasthenia, intended for worldwide use. Likewise, there is no consensus on what the "core" characteristics of neurasthenia are, because its clinical presentation and key features in different countries are very different. Despite the finding of relatively low comorbidity rates between neurasthenia and other mental disorders, clinical experience suggests that features of neurasthenia frequently overlap with those of depression, chronic anxiety, and somatoform disorders. There is no convincing evidence that in cases of overlap or comorbidity, other diagnoses should automatically have "primacy" over neurasthenia nor should the diagnosis of neurasthenia thereby be excluded. Although some aspects of its validity have improved recently, especially its descriptive validity, the overall validity of the diagnosis of neurasthenia is still not satisfactory. Suggestions for further research, aimed at improving the diagnostic validity of neurasthenia, are offered in this paper.
Article
The objectives of this study were to estimate the 1-month and 1-year prevalence of mental disorders in the Australian adult population; to determine the amount of disablement associated with this; and to determine the use of health and other services by persons with common mental disorders. For the Adult Survey, a household sample of 10600 persons aged 18 years and over were interviewed across Australia by experienced field staff of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was 78% of the target sample. The interview consisted of the composite international diagnostic interview in its automated presentation (CIDI-A) and other components to determine disablement, use of services and satisfaction with services received. The diagnostic classifications used in the analyses were both ICD-10 and DSM-IV. Only the results from ICD-10 are reported here. A total of 17.7% of the sample had one or more common mental disorders, anxiety, depression, alcohol or substance abuse and neurasthenia. This morbidity was associated with considerable disablement in daily life: 3 days of impaired social role performance in the previous 4 weeks, compared with 1 day for the general population. Of all cases, 64.6% had had no contact with health services in the previous year; 29.4% had seen GPs and 7.5% had seen psychiatrists. Australia now has its own national estimates of psychiatric morbidity. The morbidity is associated with considerable disablement, but most of it is untreated. General practitioners encounter by far the largest proportion of those reaching services.
Article
Applied researchThe quantity of applied health research on complementary medicine is growing rapidly, and the quality is improving. The number of randomised trials of complementary treatments has approximately doubled every five years,1 and the Cochrane Library now includes nearly 50 systematic reviews of complementary medicine interventions.Much of this evidence involves small numbers of patients and is of poor methodological quality; however, high quality systematic reviews of complementary medicine have been published recently which provide a reliable basis for making healthcare decisions. For example, a Cochrane systematic review of St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) for mild to moderate depression included 27 trials with a total of more than 2000 participants.2 The review found that St John's wort was superior to placebo and equivalent to tricyclic antidepressants but had fewer adverse effects. Although not all questions have been answered, particularly those of safety,3 the review does provide a basis for making treatment decisions. Another Cochrane review of a botanical medicine examined the effects of Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) on benign prostatic hyperplasia. Eighteen studies with a total sample size of nearly 3000 patients were included. Clear benefits were shown for urinary symptoms and peak urine flow.4 Other recent, high quality systematic reviews have found acupuncture to be effective for pain5,6 and nausea7 but not for helping smokers to quit.8One consequence of the increase in the availability of high quality data is that guidelines and consensus statements published by conventional medical bodies have supported the value of complementary medicine. In the United Kingdom guidelines from the Royal College of General Practitioners recommend physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, or osteopathy within six weeks of the onset of persistent uncomplicated back pain.9 The BMA recently published a report supporting the use of acupuncture.10 In the United States, the National Institutes of Health have issued consensus statements supporting the use of hypnosis for pain related to cancer and the use of acupuncture for pain and nausea.11,12 Acupuncture, hypnosis, and relaxation techniques are included in guidelines on the management of pain associated with cancer that have been published by the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network.13These shifts highlight an improved awareness among researchers of the importance of complementary medicine and an improved awareness among complementary medicine practitioners of the importance of research. These changes have led to increased funding and the establishment of complementary medicine research units at sites of research excellence. Some of the ongoing research studies are shown in the box. In the United Kingdom, the NHS recently funded two trials of acupuncture for treating chronic pain. In Germany, a centre for research into complementary medicine at the Technische Universitat in Munich has produced a series of important systematic reviews.2,5,14 And in the United States, a centre for research into complementary medicine at the National Institutes of Health has a $68m (£45m) budget and supports a large number of trials and research centres. The United States also has a large number of units for research into complementary medicine that are based at conventional research institutions such as the University of Maryland, Columbia University in New York, Harvard University in Massachusetts, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. These institutions provide the sort of intellectual and practical infrastructure essential for high quality research; this support has long been missing in complementary medicine. For example, a phase I trial of a botanical cancer treatment planned at Memorial Sloan-Kettering has been developed by a team that includes experts in complementary medicine research, a statistician who is an expert in developing novel designs for phase I studies, an expert in assessing quality of life, and senior oncologists with extensive experience in clinical research. The researchers have access to a large number of patients who are receiving the highest standard of care. These basic prerequisites for conducting high quality research into complementary medicine would not have been in place several years ago.
Article
Reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as superoxide anions and hydroxyl radicals, are associated with carcinogenesis and other pathophysiological conditions. Therefore, elimination or inactivation of ROS or inhibition of their excess generation may be beneficial in terms of reducing the risk for cancer and other diseases. Ganoderma lucidum has been used in traditional oriental medicine and has potential antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities. In the present study, we tested the amino-polysaccharide fraction (designated as 'G009') from Ganoderma lucidum for the ability to protect against oxidative damage induced by ROS. G009 significantly inhibited iron-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates and showed a dose-dependent inactivation of hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anions. It also reduced strand breakage in phiX174 supercoiled DNA caused by UV-induced photolysis of hydrogen peroxide and attenuated phorbol ester-induced generation of superoxide anions in differentiated human promyelocytic leukaemia (HL-60) cells. These findings suggest that G009 from Ganoderma lucidum possesses chemopreventive potential.
Article
The authors reviewed the evidence for the claim that the Chinese tend to deny depression or express it somatically, examined the possible determinants of those characteristics, and explored implications of the findings for the diagnosis and management of depression in China and for psychiatry in the WEST: This paper reviews and interprets original studies and literature reviews considering emotional distress, depression, neurasthenia, and somatization in Chinese subjects. Interpretation of the literature is complicated by the considerable heterogeneity among people described as "the Chinese" and by numerous factors affecting collection of data, including issues of illness definition, sampling, and case finding; differences in help-seeking behavior; idiomatic expression of emotional distress; and the stigma of mental illness. Despite difficulties in interpreting the literature, the available data suggest that the Chinese do tend to deny depression or express it somatically. The existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the Chinese tend to deny depression or express it somatically. However, Western influences on Chinese society and on the detection and identification of depression are likely to have modified the expression of depressive illness quite sharply since the early 1980s. Analyzing these changes may provide useful insight into the evolution of the diagnosis of depression in Western and other cultures.
Article
Kava and valerian are herbal remedies, claimed to have anxiolytic and sedative properties respectively, without dependence potential or any appreciable side-effects. In this pilot study, 24 patients suffering from stress-induced insomnia were treated for 6 weeks with kava 120 mg daily. This was followed by 2 weeks off treatment and then, 5 having dropped out, 19 received valerian 600 mg daily for another 6 weeks. Stress was measured in three areas: social, personal and life-events; insomnia in three areas also: time to fall asleep, hours slept and waking mood. Total stress severity was significantly relieved by both compounds (p < 0.01) with no significant differences between them; as was also insomnia (p < 0.01). The proportion of patients with no side-effects was 58% with each drug respectively and the 'commonest' effect was vivid dreams with valerian (16%), followed by dizziness with kava (12% ). These compounds may be useful in the treatment of stress and insomnia but further studies are required to determine their relative roles for such indications.