Maitake Medical Mushroom Extract VS Pneumonia and Lung Infection

Pneumonia is a serious infection or inflammation of the lungs. The air sacs in the lungs fill with pus and other liquids. Oxygen has trouble reaching your blood. If there is too little oxygen in your blood, your body cells can’t work properly. Because of this, combined with spread of infection through the body, pneumonia can cause death.

Until 1936, pneumonia was the number one cause of death in the United States, although, since then, use of antibiotics brought it under control.

Nevertheless, in 1997, pneumonia and influenza combined ranked as the sixth leading causes of death.

Pneumonia affects your lungs in two ways. Lobar pneumonia affects a section (lobe) of a lung. Bronchial pneumonia (or bronchopneumonia) affects patches throughout both lungs.

Pneumonia is not a single disease. It can have over 30 different causes. There are five main causes of pneumonia:

¦ Bacteria.

¦ Viruses.

¦ Mycoplasmas.

¦ Other infectious agents, such as fungi, including pneumocystis.

¦ Various chemicals.

Bacterial pneumonia remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the elderly. Bacterial pneumonia can attack anyone from infants through the very old. Alcoholics, the debilitated, post-operative patients, people with respiratory diseases or viral infections and people who have weakened immune systems are at greater risk.

Pneumonia bacteria are present in some healthy throats. When body defenses are weakened in some way, by illness, old age, malnutrition, general debility or impaired immunity, the bacteria can multiply and cause serious damage. Usually, when a person’s resistance is lowered, bacteria work their way into the lungs and inflame the air sacs. The infection quickly spreads through the bloodstream and the whole body is invaded.

Research performed with various types of beta-glucans has established that it is effective in combating lung infections in animal models—against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains.

In a 1983 laboratory study, beta-glucan was studied in rats and mice to determine its protective capacity in respiratory infections. Beta-glucan was administered intravenously to the rodents prior to infection with aerosolized bacterial strains, including Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Gram-negative bacilli such as Klebsiella pneumoniae account for less than two percent of community-acquired pneumonias, but they do account for most hospital-acquired (nosocomial) pneumonias, including fatal ones. Beta-glucan was shown to be effective against both bacilli. “Glucan-treated rats had significantly increased rates of phagocytosis and killing of Staphylococcus aureus immediately after infection…” note the researchers. “In contrast, pulmonary killing of Klebsiella pneumoniae in rats was markedly enhanced by glucan at [four hours]…. Histological studies demonstrated greatly increased numbers of macrophages in the lungs of glucan-treated rats; the lungs of glucan-treated mice appeared normal. That results show that glucan can enhance intrapulmonary bacterial killing. In rats, this is due to the ability of glucan to increase the number of lung macrophages resulting in increased bacterial ingestion.”

Source: MaitakeMushroomMagic

Maitake D Fraction Hepatitis Research

Hepatitis (meaning an inflammation of the liver) is caused by several different viruses. Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated water and food and is excreted in the stools. Hepatitis B is acquired from transfusions or other blood products. It can be transmitted through minute cuts or abrasions or by such simple acts as kissing, tooth brushing, ear piercing, tattooing, having dental work or during sexual contact. It can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby. Hepatitis C, formerly called non-A, non-B hepatitis, is primarily spread through infected blood. It causes cirrhosis in 50 percent of cases.

Thus, taking care to insure a strong immune system, reducing high risk behavior, getting regular check-ups, and using a clinically validated daily liver care supplement are all important facets of a total liver health program.

In hepatitis, the liver often becomes tender and enlarged, and the patient usually exhibits symptoms including fever, weakness, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, and aversion to food, which can result in marked weight loss. The virus may be present in the bloodstream, intestines, feces, saliva, and in other bodily secretions.

Hepatitis is common in the United States but even more so in developing nations, and some forms of it can be extremely infectious. Most people recover from viral forms of the disease without treatment, but some die and others may develop a chronic, disabling illness.

Drs. Williams and Di Luzio initially undertook studies on the anti-viral potential of beta-1,3-glucan when they investigated viral hepatitis. The doctors observed that when beta-1,3-glucan was administered prior to, as well as after viral infection, maximum survival was achieved.

In contrast to the profound liver damage found in the control mice, beta-1,3-glucan- treated mice exhibited very little liver pathology. Normalization of liver enzyme and cell markers was observed in the treatment group indicating a return to healthful liver function.

Of greater significance was the observation that mice infected with viral hepatitis showed major impairment of macrophage function, but pretreatment with beta-1,3-glucan resulted in active macrophage function. These studies suggest that maintenance of activated macrophages results in a heightened immune state, increased survival and inhibited liver damage.

“Thus, glucan is capable of increasing survival, inhibiting hepatic necrosis, and maintaining an activated state of phagocytic activity in mice challenged with MHV-A59. Macrophage stimulants may have a significant role in the modification of virally induced hepatic lesions.”

In light of this research, maitake mushroom, like other similar beta-glucans, should be considered a potent adjunctive therapy in the treatment of infectious liver disorders.

Recent studies at Institute of Health and Environmental Medicine, Tianjin, China, have confirmed the above. The research team investigated the inhibitory effect of Maitake D-fraction on hepatitis B virus (HBV), and found that Maitake D-fraction, in combination with human interferon (IFN), synergistically inhibited HBV replication.

This was emphasized earlier in a presentation by researchers at the International Symposium on Production and Products of Lentinus Mushroom, Qingyuan, Zhejiang, China, November 1-3, 1994. In their pilot study on hepatitis B patients, researchers from Zhejiang Medical University and the Edible Fungi Research Institute of Qingyuan, Zhejiang Province, China, teamed with doctors at the People’s Hospital of Qingyuan. They compared maitake with routine treatment. Thirty-two patients with longstanding hepatitis B were given either routine treatment or capsules containing maitake. Kenneth Jones summarized their findings:

“The researchers reported several promising outcomes: a comparatively higher recovery rate in alanine transferase levels in the maitakepolysaccharide group (72.7 percent) than in the control group (56.6 percent); a significantly higher rate of HbeAg seroconversion from positive to negative compared to the control group; and no side effects in the polysaccharide group.”


Source: Maitake Mushroom Magic

Maitake D fraction used in AIDS Treatment

Maitake should be recognized as a potential therapeutic adjunct for persons with HIV/AIDS. In a January 17, 1992 report on an in vitro study conducted for possible anti-HIV drugs, the National Cancer Institute noted that Maitake D-fraction was effective against HIV. The NCI results demonstrated that D-fraction can prevent HIV-infected helper T-cells from being destroyed by as much as 97 percent in vitro. This is very important because measuring a patient’s helper T-cell count is considered as a benchmark in monitoring the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS. Japan’s National Institute of Health had announced similar conclusions one year earlier.

According to authors Lieberman and Babal:

“The researchers at NCI admitted that the maitake extract is as powerful as AZT (a commonly prescribed drug for AIDS, and the only FDA-approved drug at the time) but without the toxic side effects associated with AZT. These prestigious research institutes confirmed in test-tube experiments that D-fraction enhances the activity of other immune cells as well as T lymphocytes. Since then, a number of practitioners involved in AIDS/HIV treatment have reported favorable responses in patients, including increases in helper T-cells and reversal of HIV-positive status to HIV-negative. This feedback supports what the studies show. Some physicians are also applying D-fraction extract topically as a treatment for Kaposi’s sarcoma, a skin cancer which often develops in AIDS patients.”

Two doctors, whose work with maitake has been most often cited, are well known for their successes with HIV/AIDS patients: physician and health freedom activist Dr. Joan Priestley (Omni Medical Center, Anchorage, Alaska) and Dr. David Hughes (Hyperbaric Oxygen Institute, San Bernardino, California).

Dr. Priestley has found considerable improvement in her HIV/AIDS patients who are taking maitake. She has found that her patients’ T-lymphocyte cell counts have stabilized or increased over the course of treatment. She has also found D-fraction to be a more effective treatment than maitake tablets alone. “I have used maitake products on my patients for some time now and have been very impressed with the results,” says Dr. Priestley. “Topical application produced good regression of Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions in one AIDS patient, which I consider a major accomplishment.” Kaposi’s sarcoma is an often fatal skin condition found among some 40 percent of HIV/AIDS patients.

In 1993, Dr. Priestley told health writer Anthony Cichoke:

Kaposi’s sarcoma is clearly improved by taking maitake for some of her patients.

Maitake extract (D-fraction) seems to be working better with her patients than maitake tablets.

Those patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma, who had received radiation treatment before taking maitake, showed dramatic improvement.

Many symptoms of AIDS were generally improved after taking maitake.

Dr. Priestley adds this caveat: More comprehensive and controlled studies are needed to investigate maitake’s activity against Kaposi’s sarcoma because it is known that natural remission sometimes occurs in such cases.

Meanwhile, Dr. David Hughes, of San Bernardino, has applied Maitake D-fraction mixed with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to treat Kaposi’s sarcoma in AIDS patients, reporting the lesions are phased out within several days. Dr. Hughes reports that one of his patients, who had been HIV positive, became HIV negative by taking Maitake D-fraction orally for a month.

According to Dr. Hughes, Maitake D-fraction may be applied directly to the Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions and recommends the following treatment:

Take two-thirds Maitake D-fraction liquid extract, plus one-third DMSO. Apply this mixture with a Q-tip to the Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions. The lesions reduce in a few days.

Dr. Hughes adds two cautions: 1) The mix gets quite hot—so it seems that maitake will react chemically with DMSO; and 2) some patients who kept using it continuously got quite “high.” He cautions patients not to use more than four times per day.

One of Dr. Hughes’s patients claimed his HIV-positive status was turned to negative by his use of maitake. On July 14, 1994, he tested positive for HIV, but a follow-up test result dated August 23 showed that he was HIVnegative. His diary shows the progress of his improvement:

07/20/94: …bad eye infection caused by getting motor oil in eyes….Dr Hughes suggested use of ampicillin and he looked at my blood and again noticed my blood counts were low…. he suggested maitake.

07/21/94: Took maitake as prescribed, one teaspoon in morning and evening.

07/22/94: Continued regime.

07/23/94: Continued regime.

07/24/94: I cut myself and noticed blood was bright pink (oxygenation).

07/25/94: Felt higher energy levels and between ampcillin and maitake. Eye infection cleared up.

07/26/94: Continued higher energy level.

07/28/94:Certain facial lines appeared minimal compared to prior treatment.

07/29/94: Continued higher energy level.

07/30/94: Cut myself again and blood still bright pink.

07/31/ 94: Last day of taking maitake. Dr. Hughes wanted to have blood stabilized and then have blood panel done…. CD4/CD8 ratio went from 0.8 to 1.0 and HIV went from positive to negative.

While we can neither be sure about the initial diagnosis nor ascertain that the condition was thus reversed, it seems evident that Maitake D-fraction played some kind of positive role in this patient’s improvement, probably enhancing his overall immune health.

But, fortunately, we have additional evidence that beta-glucan is an important aspect of HIV/AIDS treatment—and this evidence offers further support for use of maitake by such patients:

One study comes to us from the prestigious M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In 1986, researchers administered an intravenous solution containing beta-glucan to end-stage AIDS patients who experienced notable improvements in several immune “markers,” including interleukin-1 and interleukin-2. Both of these are integral to healthy immune function.

In another study, 20 male patients from 18 to 60 years of age with AIDS or Aids Related Complex (ARC) were enrolled in an evaluation of intravenously administered beta-glucan. Baseline and serial determinations of immune function were obtained. The treatment group exhibited elevations in their plasma interleukin-1, 2, and 3 levels, as well as improvement in helper-suppressor T-cell ratios with IV infusion of beta-1,3-glucan. Elevation of interleukin-1, 2 , and 3 is indicative of immune enhancement and activation. Interleukin-2 enhancement in patients infected with HIV is of notable value, as the virus is known to infect helper T-cells responsible for the production of this important immune system messenger. The production of interleukin-2 alerts the dormant immune system of infectious assault, resulting in the multiplication of immune B-cells and interferon production.

A particularly compelling study concerning HIV was conducted with a form of beta-glucan synthesized from glucose. It was established that beta-1,3-glucan inhibits the attachment of the HIV virus to T-cells. Even more compelling was the fact that after the virus and cells were exposed to beta-1,3-glucan for two weeks, complete inhibition of the replication of the HIV virus ensued. These results prompted a clinical trial in which the beta-1,3-glucan was administered intravenously to three HIV patients. A significant rise in immune system marker CD4 was accomplished.

In light of these improved immune system markers, treatment of immune-compromised patients with Maitake D-fraction or intravenous beta-glucan should be seriously considered.

Source: Maitake Mushroom Magic

Anti Stress Lions Mane Mushroom Slows Progession of Parkinson’s Disease

Columbia University has been engaged in a study to search for nerve growth synthesis-promoting agents in medicinal mushrooms since 1991.

The research team discovered a class of chroman derivatives in the fruit body of Lion’s Mane mushroom called the hericenones C-H that stimulate nerve growth and subsequently reduce stress related issues.

Extracts of Lion’s Mane mushroom promote myelin sheath growth on nerve cells.

Research suggests that Lion’s Mane may even help to slow the progression of degenerative neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Even for those in good health, Lion’s Mane may provide an additional cognitive boost and significant stress relief.

Lion’s Mane is found to be highly effective in the treatment of “environmental stress”.

Lion’s Mane alleviated anxiety in 18 of 20 patients after four months of use.

Lion’s Mane has a “calmative function”, but is neither a narcotic or a hypnotic.

“The Anti-Stress Effect of Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Its Clinical Application” Townsend Letter April, 2004

In a research study 54 people (average age 58.6) whose blood pressure was over 140/90, and who were unresponsive to hypertension medication, began taking three Lion’s Mane capsules per day for four weeks. A significant drop in blood pressure was experienced. All of the test subject’s blood pressure fell below 140/90. Conclusion: Lion’s Mane has the unique ability to calm and support the nerve function for people with chronic stress, anxiety or insomnia. Heart Disease by Burton Goldberg and Hobbs, C 1995

Stress creates acidic conditions in the body that can lead to severe muscle aches. Dr. William B. Stavinhoa of the Health Science Center, University of Texas, found that Lion’s Mane is as powerful as five milligrams of hydrocortisone, but without the side effects. Dr. William B. Stavinhoa of the Health Science Center, University of Texas

Lion’s Mane mushroom can calm the mind, as well as improve memory, concentration and focus. Dr. Ray Sahelia, “Mind Boosters”.

Dr. Terry Willard, a proponent of the medical uses of Lion’s Mane mushroom, maintains that with its use free radicals are decreased by 50.4 percent. Attaining Medical Self Sufficiency An Informed Citizens Guide by Duncan Long

Lion’s Mane has significant scientific backing showing its ability to strengthen the nervous system and normalize stressful effects.

How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 291

Cordyceps Mushroom – The Fight Against Cancer

A promising cancer drug, first discovered in a mushroom commonly used in Chinese medicine, could be made more effective thanks to researchers who have discovered how the drug works. The research is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and was carried out at The University of Nottingham.

In research to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Dr Cornelia de Moor of The University of Nottingham and her team have investigated a drug called cordycepin, which was originally extracted from a rare kind of wild mushroom called cordyceps and is now prepared from a cultivated form.

Dr de Moor said: “Our discovery will open up the possibility of investigating the range of different cancers that could be treated with cordycepin. We have also developed a very effective method that can be used to test new, more efficient or more stable versions of the drug in the Petri dish. This is a great advantage as it will allow us to rule out any non-runners before anyone considers testing them in animals.”

Cordyceps is a strange parasitic mushroom that grows on caterpillars. Properties attributed to cordyceps mushroom in Chinese medicine made it interesting to investigate and it has been studied for some time. In fact, the first scientific publication on cordycepin was in 1950. The problem was that although cordycepin was a promising drug, it was quickly degraded in the body. It can now be given with another drug to help combat this, but the side effects of the second drug are a limit to its potential use.

Dr de Moor continued: “Because of technical obstacles and people moving on to other subjects, it’s taken a long time to figure out exactly how cordycepin works on cells. With this knowledge, it will be possible to predict what types of cancers might be sensitive and what other cancer drugs it may effectively combine with. It could also lay the groundwork for the design of new cancer drugs that work on the same principle.”

The team has observed two effects on the cells: at a low dose cordycepin inhibits the uncontrolled growth and division of the cells and at high doses it stops cells from sticking together, which also inhibits growth. Both of these effects probably have the same underlying mechanism, which is that cordycepin interferes with how cells make proteins. At low doses cordycepin interferes with the production of mRNA, the molecule that gives instructions on how to assemble a protein. And at higher doses it has a direct impact on the making of proteins.

Professor Janet Allen, BBSRC Director of Research said: “Research to understand the underlying bioscience of a problem is always important. This project shows that we can always return to asking questions about the fundamental biology of something in order to refine the solution or resolve unanswered questions. The knowledge generated by this research demonstrates the mechanisms of drug action and could have an impact on one of the most important challenges to health.”

Source The University of Nottingham