Reishi Mushroom Extract Bolsters Immune Function in Post-operative Breast and Colon Cancer Patients, Improving Overall Outcomes: An important finding for those over 50
Source: Journal of Clinical and Translational Oncology (2021)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (May 31, 2023)
A research paper published in the journal Clinical and Translational Oncology in 2021 showed that when breast and lung cancer patients were provided with a Reishi Mushroom Extract supplement after their surgery, it significantly bolstered their immune system function compared to the patients who did not receive the Reishi Mushroom Extract supplement. This is important because T-lymphocyte function and other markers of immune function have been shown to be important predictive markers for overall survival in cancer patients and the non-cancer patients.
More specifically, the patients given Reishi Mushoom Extract daily showed higher levels of certain T-lymphocytes that fight cancer and infection and they also showed lower levels of immune-suppressing prostaglandins (COX-2) and cytokines (TGF-beta1) compared to patients not ingesting Reishi Mushroom Extract. Reishi Mushroom Extract also improved the AGR and NLR ratios (Albumin-to-globulin; and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios), which have been shown to be important predictors of cancer progression and overall survival. In other words, a higher Albumin-to-Globulin Ratio and a lower Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte ration are associated with reduced risk of cancer recurrence and improved overall chances of survival.
The Albumin-to-Globulin ratio partially represents the nutritional status of the immune system, and the Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte ratio indicates the background level of inflammation generated by neutrophils, which promotes cancer growth and progression. This study is not only important for cancer survivors, but for anyone who is over 50 years of age. By age 50 the thymus gland has undergone involution, having shrunk down to a fraction of its original size and is largely non-functional. Prior to age 45 or 50 the thymus gland modulates function of our T-lymphocytes, making them highly effective killing machines that can identify and kill emerging cancer cells, as well as viruses, bacteria, and other foreign agents. But after age of 50, our lymphocytes are less intelligent and capable due to the loss of thymus gland modulation. This is one of the reasons why we become more prone to virulent, life-threatening infections and cancer as we age.
Studies such as this one show that we can bolster our T-lymphocyte function and other aspects of immune function that help to ward off cancer via supplementation with Reishi Mushroom Extract as well as other well-documented immune modulating natural agents. Immune support after age 50 is something you should strongly consider in my opinion. I personally take a supplement each day containing Reishi mushroom extract, astraglus, indole-3-carbinol and Milk thistle each day to support my own immune system and detoxification enzyme function. I have included the reference for this breast and lung cancer study in the text below, as well as the references for the AGR and NLR ratios, as related to cancer risk.
Deng Y. et al. Dynamic biomarkers indicate the immunological benefits provided by Ganoderma spore powder in post-operative breast and lung cancer patients. Clinical and Translational Oncology. 2021; 23: 1481-1490 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12094-020-02547-9
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.