Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum), also known as reishi (Japan) or lingzhi (China), is an edible mushroom widely used in Asian countries for promoting health and longevity for over 2000 years. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to prevent and treat various diseases such as bronchitis, hepatitis, hypertension, cancer and immunological disorders.
Ganoderma Lucidum & Cancer
Polysaccharides and triterpenes are the 2 major groups of bioactive active compounds in Ganoderma lucidum mushroom that contribute to its anti-cancer activity. Numeorous human, animal and laboratory cell studies have shown that polysaccharides, triterpenes and other compounds in Ganoderma lucidum exhibit chemopreventive and/or anti-tumour effects.
Anti-Tumour Effects of Ganoderma Lucidum
Ganoderma lucidum exhibits anti-tumour effects through:
1. Immunomodulatory activity
Polysaccharides activate immune cells such as macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells, T and B lymphocytes. that destroy tumour cells, suppress tumour growth and induce tumour cells apoptosis (programmed cell death).
2. Direct cytotoxicity against tumor cells
Triterpenes have the ability to kill tumour cells by inducing apoptosis, interfering with cell cycle and inhibiting angiogenesis.
Both polysaccharides and triterpenes are demonstrated to have antioxidant activity. One of the causes of cancer is oxidative damage to DNA in cells. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and protect cellullar components from oxidative damage. This reduces the risk of carcinogenesis and mutations.
Ganoderma Lucidum – Potential Adjunvant Cancer Therapy
Ganoderma lucidum is commonly used an alternative adjunct to conventional cancer treatment.
It is available in the forms of powder, dietary supplements and tea. Beneficial compounds are extracted from the mycelia, spores and fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum.
Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi/Ling Zhi) Supplements
As a dietary supplement, Ganoderma lucidum is often combined with related fungi. Medicinal mushrooms can help to improve quality of life and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in dogs with cancer.
1. Health Concerns Power Mushrooms contains Ganoderma lucidum and other mushroom extracts. It comes in tablet form and is available here (with dosage instructions).
2. Canine Matrix Maximum Recovery is a powerful blend of Ganoderma lucidum and other organic mushrooms. It is available in powder form here.