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Oversikt

Reishi Extract Mushroom Complex

60 vegetarian capsules
Item Catalog Number: 01708

Reishisoppens egenskaper og anvendelse

Reishi har vært brukt i tradisjonell kinesisk og japansk medisin i minst 2000 år, og framstår også i våre dager som et av de fremste kinesiske styrkemidlene. Den er bl.a. kjent for å gi mer energi, hjelpe kroppen til å motstå sykdommer og stress, og å kunne gi et langt liv. Vestlig urteleger ser på reishi primært som et immunstimulerende middel som kan aktivere ulike faser av vårt immunforsvar, og den brukes f.eks. til å behandle allergier, høydesyke, astma og soppforgiftning. Den skal også være effektiv mot ulike krefttyper, og har dessuten vist seg å kunne bekjempe aldersbetinget reduksjon av de intellektuelle evnene (demens).

Sykdommer og plager hvor det kan være aktuelt å benytte reishi

Bronkitt, astma, allergier og soppinfeksjoner

Reishi inneholder antihistaminforbindelser. De blokkerer histamininduserte betennelser og opphovning ved allergier i åndedrettsorganene, og demper mageplager knyttet til mat-allergier. Reishisoppens antihistamin letter astma ved å hindre betennelsesreaksjoner som trekker sammen luftveiene og gjør pusting vanskelig. I tillegg stimulerer reishi utviklingen av de immuncellene som kalles makrofager, og som sluker og fordøyer infeksjonsbakterier. Dette beskytter mot at sekundære infeksjoner oppstår i tilfeller av kronisk bronkitt. Denne stimuleringen av makrofagene påvirker også gjærsopper, og gjør reishi verdifull som behandling ved soppinfeksjoner.

Kreft

I Japan regnes bruk av reishi som en velprøvd behandling ved noen typer av kreft, og har blitt brukt på en sikker måte og med god virkning, ofte i kombinasjon med andre medisiner og strålebehandling. Det er dokumentert at reishi kan hjelpe til å redusere bivirkningen ved forskjellig cellegiftbehandling og strålebehandling, og bidrar samtidig til å gjenopprette immunforsvaret, noe som er vesentlig for å komme seg igjen etter en kreftsykdom. Reishi stimulerer produksjonen av interferon og interleukin 1 og 2, kraftige og naturlige antikreftstoffer som produseres i kroppen. Reishi har også vist seg å være et godt forebyggende middel mot kreft da den stimulerer kroppens egen evne til å beskytte seg. Viltvoksende reishi inneholder organisk germanium, et grunnstoff som, særlig i Japan, er antatt å ha kraftig immunstyrkende effekt og som også kan motvirke kreft.

I mange studier i Japan er det påvist at reishi kan reversere leukopenia (nedbrytning av hvite blodlegemer). Dette utnyttes i stor grad klinisk i forbindelse med cellegiftbehandling for å beskytte de hvite blodlegemene. Beskyttelse mot stråleskader kan oppnås ved å gi reishi før strålebehandling. Dessuten kan reishi øke livskvaliteten hos pasienter der behandling ikke lenger virker. Reishi sies og virke svært godt sammen med soppen shiitake, da effekten av den ene soppen øker effekten av den andre.

Høyt blodtrykk og forhøyet kolesterol

Det finnes grunner til å tro at reishi kan senke både høyt blodtrykk og for høye kolesterolverdier. I Asia er reishi i utstrakt bruk for å styrke hjertekarsystemet. Soppen er funnet å kunne beskytte mot forkalkning i arteriene, og lindrer angina og kortpustethet som er forbundet med hjertesykdommer.

Vitenskapsfolk ved Oklahoma Oral Roberts University fant at stoffer i reishi reduserte strømmen av nerveimpulser gjennom det sympatiske nervesystemet, den delen av nervesystemet som blir aktivert ved emosjonelt stress. I to kontrollerte kliniske studier hvor man undersøkte effekten av reishi på høyt blodtrykk hos mennesker fant man at soppen kunne redusere blodtrykket signifikant, sammenlignet med placebo. Forsøkspersonene med høyt blodtrykk i den ene studien hadde ikke respondert på tidligere medisinering. Reishisopp og skolemedisinske blodtrykksmidler kan i følge forskning ved universiteter i Kina og Japan være en effektiv kombinasjon, men mer forskning på dette området er nødvendig.

Soppen hjelper også å senke LDL (det dårlige kolesterolet) og reduserer overskudd av fettsyrer i blodet. Russiske forskere som undersøkte ulike sopparter med tanke på å finne kolesterolsenkende medisiner fant at reishiekstrakter stoppet akkumuleringen av kolesterol i arteriene på laboratoriedyr. En antatt virkningsmekanisme er at triterpenoidene i reishi har evne til effektivt å hemme biosyntesen av kolesterol. 92 pasienter med hjerteinfarkt og brystsmerter ble behandlet med reishiekstrakt, og 72% av disse pasientene følte at symptomene ble svakere. 14 av 15 pasienter som hadde for høye blodfettverdier og som ble behandlet med reishiekstrakt, fikk lavere kolesterolverdier. Flere andre studier har underbygget disse funnene.

Stress

Reishi er en utmerket antistress-urt. Den har blitt hyppig brukt av eremitter, munker, innvidde taoister og spirituelt søkende i hele Asia. Soppen roer sinnet, løsner spenninger, styrker nervene, bedrer hukommelsen, skjerper konsentrasjon og fokus, bygger opp viljestyrke, og som et resultat av alt dette, gir den visdom. Det er grunnen til at den av slike søkende personer er blitt kalt ”soppen med spirituell kraft”. I våre dager tror folk i Asia mer enn noensinne på reishisoppens kraft til å gi bedre livskvalitet ved å styrke en persons indre liv. Alle vitenskapelige undersøkelser som er gjort forklarer imidlertid bare den fysiske naturen til reishi, men det er den utbredde oppfatningen av at reishi kan gi en et bedre liv på alle plan som har gjort soppen til et slikt ettertraktet styrkemiddel. Reishi er en utmerket ”beskytter” ved at den verner oss på alle plan, fysisk, immunologisk, mentalt og spirituelt. Den hjelper oss til å tilpasse oss verden, og gir oss ekstra kraft til å oppnå de beste kvalitetene livet kan gi. Når vi ved hjelp av soppen blir så godt beskyttet og sørget for, kan vi i følge østlige tradisjoner oppnå ting som ellers ville være uoppnåelig. Det er grunnen til at reishi også er blitt kalt ”Urten for Guds lykke”.

Alle som bruker reishi merker seg roen som synes å følge etter inntak av soppen. Mange har opplevd at de kunne slutte å bruke rusmidler. Og virkningen av reishi synes å være kumulativ ved at den gradvis styrker nervene og forandrer vårt syn på livet etter hvert som man inntar mer og mer. I kinesisk urtemedisin har reishi vært sett på som det fremste shen-tonikumet som finnes.

Alkoholisme, skrumplever og andre leversykdommer

Kinesiske leger påstår at reishi er spesielt nyttig for hepatittpasienter som ennå ikke har hatt alvorlig tap av leverfunksjonen. Ifølge teoriene i tradisjonell kinesisk medisin er personer der leversymptomene følges av emosjonelt stress eller konstante spenninger de som responderer best på reishibehandling. Reishi kan også hjelpe til å beskytte mot fettlever og skrumplever forårsaket av overforbruk av alkohol. Den er anvendelig for personer som er i et tidlig stadium av alkoholrelaterte leversykdommer der det ennå ikke er alvorlig svikt i leverfunksjonen. Soppen kan også være en verdifull antidot. Slik kan reishi-te, gitt over en periode på to - tre dager, fremskynde rehabiliteringen etter en soppforgiftning. Reishi kan også bidra til å lette nervøs uro etter inntak av store mengder koffein.

Styrking av immunforsvaret

Reishi virker på immunforsvaret slik at det fungerer optimalt. Soppen vil ikke bare stimulere immunforsvaret, men den regulerer det. Ved et for aktivt immunforsvar, noe som kan forekomme ved autoimmune sykdommer og allergier, blir virkningen dempet, mens et immunforsvar som er for svakt, blir styrket. En gruppe kjemiske stoffer som kalles ganodermsyrer (triterpener) hjelper til med å bekjempe autoimmune sykdommer som allergier. Soppen er derfor potensielt nyttig ved type 1 allergier, inklusive anafylasktiske sjokk, atopisk eksem, høyfeber, snue, medisin-allergier og bronkialastma. Reishiekstrakter har også vist seg å være nyttige ved kontakteksem, og i Japan og Kina er soppen vel ansett i behandling av myastenia gravis, en alvorlig autoimmun sykdom. I tillegg blir den i Japan hyppig foreskrevet ved kronisk bronkitt, hukommelsestap, søvnproblemer og en hel rekke degenerative sykdommer hos eldre, ofte slike som er knyttet til senilitet. Reishisoppens virkning på hjernen har ført til at den brukes ved aldersrelatert intellektuell svekkelse, slik som er knyttet til Alzheimers sykdom og åreforkalkning. Rapportene som forteller om suksess ved slik bruk er tallrike, men foreløpig ikke vitenskapelig bekreftet. Ganodermsyrene er også kraftige antioksidanter som tar hånd om frie radikaler.

Soppens innholdsstoffer

De primære innholdsstoffene som er medvirkende til reishisoppens medisinske virkning er polysakkarider og triterpener. Mer enn hundre ulike triterpenmolekyler har blitt identifisert i reishi, men også mange andre fytokjemikalier i soppen kan spille en rolle for plantens helsebringende egenskaper. Typer og mengder av innholdsstoffer varierer i ulike deler av soppen. Mange triterpener som ikke finnes i mycelet, øker i konsentrasjon etter hvert som sopphatten utvikler seg. Kvantitativt fremviser hattene den rikeste kilden til triterpener, fulgt av stilken og så sporene. Sammenligning av innholdet i tre ulike varianter av reishi er blitt analysert: rød, purpur og svart reishi. De røde og purpur hadde lignende mønster av triterpener, mens den svarte inneholdt lite triterpener.

Hvordan reishi brukes

Reishi er kanskje den mest brukte medisinske soppen i verden. Dette er en seig sopp som inneholder så lite vann at den veier nesten det samme frisk som tørket. Rå reishi er lite egnet som mat da soppen er både treaktig og ufordøyelig. Man bør heller ikke bruke rå reishi som er pulverisert. Hvis du får tak i fersk eller tørket reishisopp bør du koke den, både for at den skal bli spiselig og for å drepe eventuelle bakterier som kan ha vokst på den under dyrkingen. Den klassiske metoden for å tilberede reishi med utgangspunkt i fersk eller tørket sopp, er å kutte den opp i småbiter og la den småkoke i vann i 24 timer i en kjele med lokk. Den væsken som blir igjen etter at soppen er fjernet drikkes i små slurker i løpet av det kommende døgnet, men vær klar over at det smaker temmelig bittert. De fleste vil derfor bruke kommersielle reishipreparater, og da er det viktig å finne produkter som er laget av reishisopp av høy kvalitet. Japanske sopper regnes generelt for å være bedre enn de kinesiske, da de stammer fra utvalgte kloner som har et tykt porelag og mindre forvedete deler. Jo tykkere porelag soppen har, desto bedre kvalitet antas den å ha.

Enkelte produkter av reishisopp finnes i standardisert form, og disse blir normalt standardisert til 4% triterpener og 10% polysakkarider. Doseringen som hver enkelt trenger kan være forskjellig, men ofte brukes en 250 mg eller 350 mg tablett (laget av soppekstrakt) inntil tre ganger daglig. Ellers bør preparatene inntas i de mengder som er angitt på forpakningen.

Ikke bruk reishi i mer enn to til tre måneder sammenhengende, da det foreløpig er få studier som viser effekten av lang tids bruk. Hvis du inntar reishi fast over en lengre periode, bør du ta en pause på en måned for hver tredje måned du bruker soppen. Tar du blodfortynnende midler bør du bruke reishi bare under legetilsyn. Eksperimenter har imidlertid vist at giftigheten til reishi er meget lav.

Selv om bivirkninger ved bruk av reishi forekommer ekstremt sjeldent, så er de ikke ukjente. Tre til seks måneders kontinuerlig bruk har hos enkelte medført tørrhet i munn, hals og nese, kronisk kløe, oppblåst mage og neseblødning. Disse bivirkningen opptrer imidlertid så sjelden at deres eksakte årsak er ukjent, men det kan være utslag av allergi mot soppen. Reishi bør muligens unngås av folk som har kjente allergier mot sopp eller mugg.

Denne teksten er hentet og brukt med tillatelse fra Urtekilden - www.rolv.no

Reishi mushroom has been traditionally used to boost immune system vitality. Its broad-spectrum benefits have been demonstrated in thousands of studies.21

An abundance of evidence demonstrates that Reishi constituents enhance the protective activity of the body’s hematopoietic stem cells, T-cells, and other crucial immune factors.22-29Reishi’s immune-supporting compounds include an array of unique polysaccharides, triterpenes,and other constituents,30,31 many of which assist activation of the cell surface receptors that modulate normal immunity.32

The Reishi mushroom also supports the body’s production of endogenous antioxidant enzymes—such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione—which, in turn, support the body’s natural immune defenses against free radical damage.33,34

Reishi Extract Mushroom Complex delivers powerful compounds and represents the nextgeneration of natural immune support. Reishi extracts standardized to polysaccharides have been available for years, but most do not standardize for triterpenes and include spores. Thanks to an advanced extraction technology, this one does … and its active compounds are highly bio-available. Its multiple components have been shown to support healthy immune function and enhanced longevity in animal models.

How Reishi Combats Aging

By Emily Steiner

Over the past several decades, scientific research has intensified and focused on analyzing the hundreds of unique bio-active compounds found in the medicinal Reishi Mushroom.  Just this year alone, three new compounds were discovered. With each new finding, intriguing medical applications for Reishi have emerged. 

Reishi Combats Aging  

There is now a wealth of impressive data that demonstrates Reishi’s life extending properties1,2  but also its significant ability to stimulate brain neurons,3 search and destroy cancer cells4 and prevent the development of new fat cells in obese individuals.5  As an example of growing science supporting Reishi, researchers using laboratory mice have detailed life span extension of 9% to more than 20% —the equivalent of 7 to nearly 16 years in human terms.2,6,7

As if these targeted benefits were not sufficient, Reishi’s numerous compounds show a therapeutic effect on asthma,8 allergies,9 autoimmune diseases, 10-15 Alzheimer’s16 and Parkinson’s diseases,17-21 diabetes,22-26 liver disease,27-36 and more.

Given Reishi’s complex composition of bioactive compounds, there is still more to discover.  In this report, we will bring you up to date on how Reishi successfully targets a broad spectrum of deleterious factors of aging.

Multiple Components Target Aging Mechanisms

Reishi mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for at least 2,000 years.37 The mushrooms were known to the ancients as “the mushroom of immortality”37—and for good reason. They had the reputation of promoting health and longevity, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk of life-shortening conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.38-41 Science has finally validated this traditional wisdom.

Originally, Reishi mushrooms were rare and expensive,38,42 but now advances in cultivation techniques have made these medicinal mushrooms more available which has led to an explosion of research on their properties and components.38,42

Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can contribute to longer life spans.1,2 They can help manage some of today’s most troubling age-related conditions, including autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, liver disease, cancer, and more.

How is it that this simple mushroom can have such wide-ranging health effects? Keep in mind that there isn’t one single cause of aging and disease. Numerous factors contribute to these conditions—meaning that in order to combat them, you need to fight them from a multi-targeted approach. That’s exactly what makes Reishi mushrooms so powerful. The mushroom itself contains hundreds of biologically active molecules—all of which work together to have such broad-reaching health benefits.37

Researchers have identified three specific compounds that are essential to Reishi’s powerful antioxidant and antiaging effects:

  1. Polysaccharides have anticancer effects based on their ability to prevent abnormal blood vessel formation, and to boost immune system function.40,42
  2. Triterpenes protect the liver, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent platelet clumping that leads to heart attack and stroke, fight allergic responses triggered by histamine, and also possess anticancer activity.42
  3. Ganoderma lucidum peptide is a unique protein that has remarkably potent antioxidant characteristics that are still being unraveled.43

But what makes Reishi mushroom beneficial to so many varied aspects of your health is its actions on many different targets in your body. The actions triggered by Reishi mushrooms produce important changes that may contribute to their promotion of longevity. Reishi extracts are known to:

  • Protect cellular DNA from oxidant damage that causes aging and cancer.44
  • Protect mitochondrial DNA and the mitochondria themselves from oxidant damage that weakens their energy-producing abilities and makes them inefficient, another major cause of aging.45-47
  • Increase levels and activity of a large suite of natural intracellular antioxidant molecules, resulting in reduced oxidation of cell membranes and organelles that lead to aging and its related diseases.38,48
  • Protect kidney tubule cells from oxidant damage that leads to kidney failure.49
  • Increase expression of a key longevity gene and promote an increased life span in species ranging from yeasts, to primitive worms, to mammals such as mice.1,2,50,51

Several studies have shown that Reishi is one of the most powerful mushrooms with regard to antioxidant characteristics.52,53 Reishi mushrooms boost total antioxidant capacity, an important measure of the vigor with which they fight oxidant damage.52,54

In a human study, Reishi mushrooms were given to healthy volunteers as a single 1,100 mgdose.54 Plasma antioxidant capacity rose rapidly to a peak at 90 minutes, while urine antioxidant capacity (a measure of what has been in the body) rose by 29% after 3 hours. Neither study showed any evidence of toxicity or side effects.39

Reishi’s many mechanisms of action are what allow it to have such a dramatic impact on such a wide array of age-related health threats. Let’s now look at some of the most promising areas of research.

Breaking News on Reishi Mushrooms and Cancer Prevention

New compounds are being discovered within extracts of Reishi mushroom on a regular basis; at least 3 were identified in late 2012 alone.55 These discoveries are shedding light on Reishi extracts’ remarkable, multi-targeted anti-cancer properties.

Most intriguing are findings that add to our knowledge about Reishi and the phenomenon ofimmune surveillance. New cancer cells appear in your body every day, but your healthy immune system normally searches these out, quickly activating killer cells to destroy developing cancers before they can form tumors.

Advancing age, coupled with the onset of other chronic illnesses, and exposure to various environmental toxins (and even some medications), means that your immune system’s ability to carry out immune surveillance wanes. And, if just one abnormal, cancer-prone cell escapes detection and destruction, it can develop into a full-blown malignancy with tremendous swiftness.

META-ANALYSIS CONDUCTED ON REISHI FOR CANCER TREATMENT

An evaluation of all available clinical trials on the use of Reishi in cancer treatment was published in June 2012.

While there was insufficient data to demonstrate efficacy Reishi by itself, when Reishi was given alongside radiation and/or chemotherapy, patients were 50% more likely to respond positively compared to those given chemo/radiation alone. the results in cancer patients receiving Reishi showed the expected increases in immune cells known to enhance tumor response and stimulate host immunity.82

We at Life Extension® look forward to better quality methodological trials to clarify the value of Reishi in adjunctive cancer treatment.

There’s an abundance of data on ways that Reishi extracts boost immune surveillance and enhance detection and elimination of emerging cancer cells from the body.56 And in late 2012, several new studies revealed that these mushrooms have substantially deeper and more advanced mechanisms than had been previously suspected.  The mechanisms of how Reishi identifies and then attacks cancer cells are extremely sophisticated and effective. We know that cancer cells evade immune system surveillance by “hiding” their abnormal surface markers.4These types of molecular changes not only permit primary cancer to arise, but also contribute to relapses of cancer following chemotherapy.57

Reishi extracts force cancer cells to reveal their telltale markers, flagging them for destruction by immune killer cells.4 At the same time, Reishi extracts induce the production of specific molecules that the immune system needs to complete the killing process.4 Ultimately, Reishi extracts enhance the killing of cancer cells by normal immune killer cells, and reduce the amount of chemotherapy drugs required to finish the job.57,58

In addition to their impressive immune-surveillance-boosting properties, Reishi extracts have numerous other ways of attacking cancer:

  • Reishi compounds, particularly the triterpenes and polysaccharides, limit tumors’ growth rate by blocking the abnormal reproductive cycles of cancer cells.59
  • Some of these compounds are directly toxic to cancer cells, while sparing healthy tissue.60,61
  • Reishi compounds inhibit metastatic processes and decrease the expression of genes involved in cancer cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis.61
  • Reishi compounds also trigger the programmed cell death called apoptosis that’s suppressed in malignant cells.55,60-62

Together, all of these effects of Reishi mushrooms are shown to reduce the size and growth rates of human tumors, both in animals and in human clinical trials.

The most dramatic impact has been shown in colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death among cancers that affect both men and women.63

Clinical studies show that Reishi extracts suppress the development of adenomas, which are pre-malignant masses found in the large intestine.64

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Chromosome

Remarkable Benefits of Reishi

  • Recent studies show that Reishi mushrooms have hundreds of components in three distinct classes of bioactive molecules, making them ideal for combating the complex and multifactorial diseases we face with advancing age.
  • Reishi extracts prolong life spans in animal experiments by 9 to more than 20%.
  • Reishi boosts the immune system’s vigilance against cancer cells, potentially reducing the risk of developing a detectable and deadly tumor.
  • Reishi extracts can suppress an overly vigorous immune response, helping to quell symptoms of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Independent of their immune-modulating effects, Reishi mushrooms’ active molecules are showing promise in the battle against neurodegenerative diseases, obesity and diabetes, and liver disease.
  • If there is such a thing as the “ideal” supplement, capable of attacking multiple complex diseases each with multiple causative factors, Reishi mushrooms are surely an outstanding candidate.

Reishi Balances the Immune System

Woman with tissue having flu or allergy 

Reishi mushrooms have a well-known ability to beneficially modulate the immune system.11,65-67 The mushrooms’ ability to boost immunity is the source of their advanced cancer- and infection-fighting properties. But it is equally important to keep your immune system from overreacting and turning on itself, as is the case with autoimmune diseases such as allergies. Reishi mushrooms have demonstrated the ability to modulate the delicate balance necessary for a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can reduce the overactive immune response that occurs in conditions such as allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.

The polysaccharides and triterpenes found in Reishi mushrooms act at multiple targets in the cascade of events leading to inflammation and excessive immune response.17,67,68

Reishi extracts inhibit the release of histamine from specialized immune cells called "mast cells."65They have the ability to reduce the activity in nerves that transmit the itch sensation to the brain after a mosquito bite or similar itchy stimulus.69,70

In animal models, Reishi extracts were able to sharply reduce the symptoms associated with allergies, such as rhinitis (watery, itchy nose) and mosquito bites.9 Studies also show that Reishi extracts can reduce “airway hyper-responsiveness,” the “twitchy” smooth muscle responses in the lung bronchi that trigger an asthma attack.8

Reishi extracts also show promise for the management of the underlying immune imbalance that leads to autoimmune diseases.10-15

Reishi Promotes Neuroprotection

Reishi extracts were found to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, which in turn supports the rapid development of healthy neurons and enhances their mitochondrial function.3

Reishi’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make these mushrooms attractive candidates for preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Both of these diseases are driven by oxidative stress and inflammation. 

The triterpenes and polysaccharides from the mushrooms reduce the oxidative impact of destructive proteins such as Abeta, the chief trigger of Alzheimer’s disease,16 and they protect brain cells from the inflammation known to cause Parkinson’s disease.17-21

Studies reveal that supplementing with Reishi mushrooms has beneficial effects for stroke victims. First, it can limit the size of the stroke-damaged area in the brain, which helps limit behavioral and functional damage caused by the stroke.71 Second, Reishi mushrooms protect brain tissue fromhypoxia/reperfusion injury, the “one-two” punch of oxygen starvation followed by excessive oxidation that produces most of the damage in the brains of stroke victims.19

But as valuable as these benefits are, nowhere are the effects of Reishi mushroom extracts more clear than in their impact on diabetes-related cognitive disorders. In animal studies, Reishi spores alleviated diabetes-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the hippocampus, one of the brain’s chief memory-processing areas.22

Reishi and Diabesity

Obesity is a health hazard sweeping the globe in epidemic proportions—and chief among its complications is type II diabetes. The conditions are so often found hand-in-hand that researchers refer to them as a single disease called “diabesity.” Reishi mushrooms are especially valuable in the fight against this epidemic because they’ve been shown to have benefits across the entire spectrum of diabesity. 23-26

Laboratory studies show that the polysaccharides and triterpenes in Reishi extracts can prevent the development of new fat cells from pre-adipocytes, helping to limit excessive fat storage seen in obese people. 5 The extracts also have favorable effects on lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides), which are frequently elevated in those with obesity and/or diabetes—and are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 23

Reishi extracts work to lower blood sugar by several different mechanisms. 5,23,24, 72-76 Reishi inhibits alpha-glucosidase, the chief enzyme responsible for digesting starches into sugars. 77This inhibition prevents the sharp after-meal spike in glucose that is so dangerous as we age. 78They also limit the destruction caused by advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the proteins whose malfunction promotes aging and inflammation. 79

Studies have shown that reducing blood sugar and glycation with Reishi supplements reduces diabetic consequences like kidney disease.80 Reishi extracts also speed wound healing in diabetic individuals, the result of enhanced antioxidant function. 81

Life Extension Magazine February 2013
How Reishi Combats Aging
By Emily Steiner

Reishi Safeguards Liver Function

Reishi Combats Aging  

Your liver is the direct recipient of toxic threats both from the environment and from destructive molecules produced within your body. While it is well protected with its own antioxidant and detoxification systems, oxidation and inflammation eventually take their toll, leaving the aging liver at risk for decreased function, increased accumulation of toxic injury, fibrosis, and cancer. Fortunately, Reishi mushrooms offer direct protection against such threats.27

Studies show, for instance, that pre-treating animals with Reishi spores can protect them when they’re exposed to cadmium, a highly toxic metal capable of causing massive liver failure.28 Researchers found the spores decreased the cadmium accumulation in liver, while “pushing” the toxic metal into the liquid matrix of the cells. Once there, the mushroom spores increased the production of a cadmium-binding protein that removes the toxin from the body.28

Reishi mushroom extracts similarly protect liver tissue from the toxic effects of certain bacterial infections. In animals with such infections, Reishi polysaccharides inhibit inflammation in liver cells.29 Other studies reveal that Reishi polysaccharides restore natural liver antioxidant systems to normal function following an infection, while inhibiting liver enzymes that produce excessive oxidative stress.30,31 Reishi mushrooms limit the activity of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is elevated in many liver conditions, including inflammation, cirrhosis, and jaundice.31,32

One of the most exciting potential applications for Reishi mushrooms in liver disease is in the condition called liver fibrosis, which is the final stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Statistics have shown that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver disease, ultimately affecting 20 to 30% of the population.32-35 In an animal model of toxin-induced liver fibrosis, treatment with Reishi extract reversed the fibrosis even after it was well-established.36 This is an exceptional result, because in most cases, liver disease that has advanced to the stage of fibrosis is considered irreversible.

Summary

Woman with tissue having flu or allergy 

Reishi mushrooms provide a broad-spectrum approach to the treatment and prevention of many of today’s age-related diseases. With their diverse molecular makeup, they offer a broad spectrum of actions that attack aging at its root.

This is seen clearly in research demonstrating Reishi’s ability to prolong the life spans of laboratory mice by 9% to more than 20%—the equivalent of 7 to nearly 16 years in human terms.

This is further demonstrated in research that has uncovered its powerful anti-cancer activity. Reishi mushrooms contribute to enhanced immune surveillance that can seek and destroy cancer cells before they can form threatening tumors.

Finally, studies have shown that Reishi extracts have a role in the prevention or mitigation of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders, while offering protection against neurodegeneration, obesity and diabetes, and liver diseases of many kinds.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

References

  1. Chuang MH, Chiou SH, Huang CH, Yang WB, Wong CH. The lifespan-promoting effect of acetic acid and Reishi polysaccharide. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Nov 15;17(22):7831-40.
  2. Wu Z, Zhang Y, Tan N, Zhao C, Yang J, Zhu J-S. ReishiMax extends the life span of mice: A preliminary report./**/
 

Detaljer

How Reishi Combats Aging

By Emily Steiner

Over the past several decades, scientific research has intensified and focused on analyzing the hundreds of unique bio-active compounds found in the medicinal Reishi Mushroom.  Just this year alone, three new compounds were discovered. With each new finding, intriguing medical applications for Reishi have emerged. 

Reishi Combats Aging  

There is now a wealth of impressive data that demonstrates Reishi’s life extending properties1,2  but also its significant ability to stimulate brain neurons,3 search and destroy cancer cells4 and prevent the development of new fat cells in obese individuals.5  As an example of growing science supporting Reishi, researchers using laboratory mice have detailed life span extension of 9% to more than 20%—the equivalent of 7 to nearly 16 years in human terms.2,6,7

As if these targeted benefits were not sufficient, Reishi’s numerous compounds show a therapeutic effect on asthma,8 allergies,9 autoimmune diseases, 10-15Alzheimer’s16 and Parkinson’s diseases,17-21 diabetes,22-26 liver disease,27-36 and more.

Given Reishi’s complex composition of bioactive compounds, there is still more to discover.  In this report, we will bring you up to date on how Reishi successfully targets a broad spectrum of deleterious factors of aging.

Multiple Components Target Aging Mechanisms

Reishi mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for at least 2,000 years.37 The mushrooms were known to the ancients as “the mushroom of immortality”37—and for good reason. They had the reputation of promoting health and longevity, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk of life-shortening conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.38-41 Science has finally validated this traditional wisdom.

Originally, Reishi mushrooms were rare and expensive,38,42 but now advances in cultivation techniques have made these medicinal mushrooms more available which has led to an explosion of research on their properties and components.38,42

Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can contribute to longer life spans.1,2 They can help manage some of today’s most troubling age-related conditions, including autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, liver disease, cancer, and more.

How is it that this simple mushroom can have such wide-ranging health effects? Keep in mind that there isn’t one single cause of aging and disease. Numerous factors contribute to these conditions—meaning that in order to combat them, you need to fight them from a multi-targeted approach. That’s exactly what makes Reishi mushrooms so powerful. The mushroom itself contains hundreds of biologically active molecules—all of which work together to have such broad-reaching health benefits.37

Researchers have identified three specific compounds that are essential to Reishi’s powerful antioxidant and antiaging effects:

  1. Polysaccharides have anticancer effects based on their ability to prevent abnormal blood vessel formation, and to boost immune system function.40,42
  2. Triterpenes protect the liver, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent platelet clumping that leads to heart attack and stroke, fight allergic responses triggered by histamine, and also possess anticancer activity.42
  3. Ganoderma lucidum peptide is a unique protein that has remarkably potent antioxidant characteristics that are still being unraveled.43

But what makes Reishi mushroom beneficial to so many varied aspects of your health is its actions on many different targets in your body. The actions triggered by Reishi mushrooms produce important changes that may contribute to their promotion of longevity. Reishi extracts are known to:

  • Protect cellular DNA from oxidant damage that causes aging and cancer.44
  • Protect mitochondrial DNA and the mitochondria themselves from oxidant damage that weakens their energy-producing abilities and makes them inefficient, another major cause of aging.45-47
  • Increase levels and activity of a large suite of natural intracellular antioxidant molecules, resulting in reduced oxidation of cell membranes and organelles that lead to aging and its related diseases.38,48
  • Protect kidney tubule cells from oxidant damage that leads to kidney failure.49
  • Increase expression of a key longevity gene and promote an increased life span in species ranging from yeasts, to primitive worms, to mammals such as mice.1,2,50,51

Several studies have shown that Reishi is one of the most powerful mushrooms with regard to antioxidant characteristics.52,53 Reishi mushrooms boost total antioxidant capacity, an important measure of the vigor with which they fight oxidant damage.52,54

In a human study, Reishi mushrooms were given to healthy volunteers as a single 1,100 mg dose.54 Plasma antioxidant capacity rose rapidly to a peak at 90 minutes, while urine antioxidant capacity (a measure of what has been in the body) rose by 29% after 3 hours. Neither study showed any evidence of toxicity or side effects.39

Reishi’s many mechanisms of action are what allow it to have such a dramatic impact on such a wide array of age-related health threats. Let’s now look at some of the most promising areas of research.

Breaking News on Reishi Mushrooms and Cancer Prevention

New compounds are being discovered within extracts of Reishi mushroom on a regular basis; at least 3 were identified in late 2012 alone.55 These discoveries are shedding light on Reishi extracts’ remarkable, multi-targeted anti-cancer properties.

Most intriguing are findings that add to our knowledge about Reishi and the phenomenon of immune surveillance.New cancer cells appear in your body every day, but your healthy immune system normally searches these out, quickly activating killer cells to destroy developing cancers before they can form tumors.

Advancing age, coupled with the onset of other chronic illnesses, and exposure to various environmental toxins (and even some medications), means that your immune system’s ability to carry out immune surveillance wanes. And, if just one abnormal, cancer-prone cell escapes detection and destruction, it can develop into a full-blown malignancy with tremendous swiftness.

META-ANALYSIS CONDUCTED ON REISHI FOR CANCER TREATMENT

An evaluation of all available clinical trials on the use of Reishi in cancer treatment was published in June 2012.

While there was insufficient data to demonstrate efficacy Reishi by itself, when Reishi was given alongsideradiation and/or chemotherapy, patients were 50% more likely to respond positively compared to those given chemo/radiation alone. the results in cancer patients receiving Reishi showed the expected increases in immune cells known to enhance tumor response and stimulate host immunity.82

We at Life Extension® look forward to better quality methodological trials to clarify the value of Reishi in adjunctive cancer treatment.

There’s an abundance of data on ways that Reishi extracts boost immune surveillance and enhance detection and elimination of emerging cancer cells from the body.56 And in late 2012, several new studies revealed that these mushrooms have substantially deeper and more advanced mechanisms than had been previously suspected.  The mechanisms of how Reishi identifies and then attacks cancer cells are extremely sophisticated and effective. We know that cancer cells evade immune system surveillance by “hiding” their abnormal surface markers.4 These types of molecular changes not only permit primary cancer to arise, but also contribute to relapses of cancer following chemotherapy.57

Reishi extracts force cancer cells to reveal their telltale markers, flagging them for destruction by immune killer cells.4At the same time, Reishi extracts induce the production of specific molecules that the immune system needs to complete the killing process.4 Ultimately, Reishi extracts enhance the killing of cancer cells by normal immune killer cells, and reduce the amount of chemotherapy drugs required to finish the job.57,58

In addition to their impressive immune-surveillance-boosting properties, Reishi extracts have numerous other ways of attacking cancer:

  • Reishi compounds, particularly the triterpenes and polysaccharides, limit tumors’ growth rate by blocking the abnormal reproductive cycles of cancer cells.59
  • Some of these compounds are directly toxic to cancer cells, while sparing healthy tissue.60,61
  • Reishi compounds inhibit metastatic processes and decrease the expression of genes involved in cancer cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis.61
  • Reishi compounds also trigger the programmed cell death called apoptosis that’s suppressed in malignant cells.55,60-62

Together, all of these effects of Reishi mushrooms are shown to reduce the size and growth rates of human tumors, both in animals and in human clinical trials.

The most dramatic impact has been shown in colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death among cancers that affect both men and women.63

Clinical studies show that Reishi extracts suppress the development of adenomas, which are pre-malignant masses found in the large intestine.64

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Chromosome

Remarkable Benefits of Reishi

  • Recent studies show that Reishi mushrooms have hundreds of components in three distinct classes of bioactive molecules, making them ideal for combating the complex and multifactorial diseases we face with advancing age.
  • Reishi extracts prolong life spans in animal experiments by 9 to more than20%.
  • Reishi boosts the immune system’s vigilance against cancer cells, potentially reducing the risk of developing a detectable and deadly tumor.
  • Reishi extracts can suppress an overly vigorous immune response, helping to quell symptoms of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Independent of their immune-modulating effects, Reishi mushrooms’ active molecules are showing promise in the battle against neurodegenerative diseases, obesity and diabetes, and liver disease.
  • If there is such a thing as the “ideal” supplement, capable of attacking multiple complex diseases each with multiple causative factors, Reishi mushrooms are surely an outstanding candidate.

Reishi Balances the Immune System

Woman with tissue having flu or allergy 

Reishi mushrooms have a well-known ability to beneficially modulate the immune system.11,65-67 The mushrooms’ ability to boost immunity is the source of their advanced cancer- and infection-fighting properties. But it is equally important to keep your immune system from overreacting and turning on itself, as is the case with autoimmune diseases such as allergies. Reishi mushrooms have demonstrated the ability to modulate the delicate balance necessary for a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can reduce the overactive immune response that occurs in conditions such as allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.

The polysaccharides and triterpenes found in Reishi mushrooms act at multiple targets in the cascade of events leading to inflammation and excessive immune response.17,67,68

Reishi extracts inhibit the release of histamine from specialized immune cells called "mast cells."65 They have the ability to reduce the activity in nerves that transmit the itch sensation to the brain after a mosquito bite or similar itchy stimulus.69,70

In animal models, Reishi extracts were able to sharply reduce the symptoms associated with allergies, such as rhinitis (watery, itchy nose) and mosquito bites.9 Studies also show that Reishi extracts can reduce “airway hyper-responsiveness,” the “twitchy” smooth muscle responses in the lung bronchi that trigger an asthma attack.8

Reishi extracts also show promise for the management of the underlying immune imbalance that leads to autoimmune diseases.10-15

Reishi Promotes Neuroprotection

Reishi extracts were found to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, which in turn supports the rapid development of healthy neurons and enhances their mitochondrial function.3

Reishi’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make these mushrooms attractive candidates for preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Both of these diseases are driven by oxidative stress and inflammation. 

The triterpenes and polysaccharides from the mushrooms reduce the oxidative impact of destructive proteins such asAbeta, the chief trigger of Alzheimer’s disease,16 and they protect brain cells from the inflammation known to cause Parkinson’s disease.17-21

Studies reveal that supplementing with Reishi mushrooms has beneficial effects for stroke victims. First, it can limit the size of the stroke-damaged area in the brain, which helps limit behavioral and functional damage caused by the stroke.71 Second, Reishi mushrooms protect brain tissue from hypoxia/reperfusion injury, the “one-two” punch of oxygen starvation followed by excessive oxidation that produces most of the damage in the brains of stroke victims.19

But as valuable as these benefits are, nowhere are the effects of Reishi mushroom extracts more clear than in their impact on diabetes-related cognitive disorders. In animal studies, Reishi spores alleviated diabetes-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the hippocampus, one of the brain’s chief memory-processing areas.22

Reishi and Diabesity

Obesity is a health hazard sweeping the globe in epidemic proportions—and chief among its complications is type II diabetes. The conditions are so often found hand-in-hand that researchers refer to them as a single disease called “diabesity.” Reishi mushrooms are especially valuable in the fight against this epidemic because they’ve been shown to have benefits across the entire spectrum of diabesity. 23-26

Laboratory studies show that the polysaccharides and triterpenes in Reishi extracts can prevent the development of new fat cells from pre-adipocytes, helping to limit excessive fat storage seen in obese people. 5 The extracts also have favorable effects on lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides), which are frequently elevated in those with obesity and/or diabetes—and are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 23

Reishi extracts work to lower blood sugar by several different mechanisms. 5,23,24, 72-76 Reishi inhibits alpha-glucosidase, the chief enzyme responsible for digesting starches into sugars. 77 This inhibition prevents the sharp after-meal spike in glucose that is so dangerous as we age. 78 They also limit the destruction caused by advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the proteins whose malfunction promotes aging and inflammation. 79

Studies have shown that reducing blood sugar and glycation with Reishi supplements reduces diabetic consequences like kidney disease.80 Reishi extracts also speed wound healing in diabetic individuals, the result of enhanced antioxidant function. 81

Reishi Safeguards Liver Function

Reishi Combats Aging  

Your liver is the direct recipient of toxic threats both from the environment and from destructive molecules produced within your body. While it is well protected with its own antioxidant and detoxification systems, oxidation and inflammation eventually take their toll, leaving the aging liver at risk for decreased function, increased accumulation of toxic injury, fibrosis, and cancer. Fortunately, Reishi mushrooms offer direct protection against such threats.27

Studies show, for instance, that pre-treating animals with Reishi spores can protect them when they’re exposed to cadmium, a highly toxic metal capable of causing massive liver failure.28 Researchers found the spores decreased the cadmium accumulation in liver, while “pushing” the toxic metal into the liquid matrix of the cells. Once there, the mushroom spores increased the production of a cadmium-binding protein that removes the toxin from the body.28

Reishi mushroom extracts similarly protect liver tissue from the toxic effects of certain bacterial infections. In animals with such infections, Reishi polysaccharides inhibit inflammation in liver cells.29 Other studies reveal that Reishi polysaccharides restore natural liver antioxidant systems to normal function following an infection, while inhibiting liver enzymes that produce excessive oxidative stress.30,31 Reishi mushrooms limit the activity of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is elevated in many liver conditions, including inflammation, cirrhosis, and jaundice.31,32

One of the most exciting potential applications for Reishi mushrooms in liver disease is in the condition called liver fibrosis, which is the final stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Statistics have shown that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver disease, ultimately affecting 20 to 30% of the population.32-35 In an animal model of toxin-induced liver fibrosis, treatment with Reishi extract reversed the fibrosis even after it was well-established.36 This is an exceptional result, because in most cases, liver disease that has advanced to the stage of fibrosis is considered irreversible.

Summary

Woman with tissue having flu or allergy 

Reishi mushrooms provide a broad-spectrum approach to the treatment and prevention of many of today’s age-related diseases. With their diverse molecular makeup, they offer a broad spectrum of actions that attack aging at its root.

This is seen clearly in research demonstrating Reishi’s ability to prolong the life spans of laboratory mice by 9% to more than 20% —the equivalent of 7 to nearly 16 years in human terms.

This is further demonstrated in research that has uncovered its powerful anti-cancer activity. Reishi mushrooms contribute to enhanced immune surveillance that can seek and destroy cancer cells before they can form threatening tumors.

Finally, studies have shown that Reishi extracts have a role in the prevention or mitigation of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders, while offering protection against neurodegeneration, obesity and diabetes, and liver diseases of many kinds.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

References

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  2. Wu Z, Zhang Y, Tan N, Zhao C, Yang J, Zhu J-S. ReishiMax extends the life span of mice: A preliminary report.The FASEB Journal. 2011 April;25(601.2).
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