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October 28, 2017 3:18 am

Mushrooms Magical in Fighting Cancer?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 12:08 PM


Members of the research team that will be  trying to tap  medicinal  benefits from mushrooms- photo  courtesy UNBC

Prince George, B.C. – Local  mushrooms  are being studied at UNBC to see if they can become potential  cancer treatments

Genome British Columbia has provided $52,000  in funding  to  allow a team of researchers, led by Biochemistry Professor Dr. Chow Lee, to  search for and  catalogue the properties of   the different  types of mushrooms  in Northern B.C.

The  University of  Northern British Columbia has matched that  funding to give the research team $104 thousand dollars.

“History has taught us that there are many useful medicinal compounds from mushrooms,” says Dr. Lee. “Yet, it is estimated that only 10 per cent of mushroom species on earth are known. This means that mushrooms are a major untapped source of new, potentially powerful and natural pharmaceutical products.”

Researchers harvest a variety of wild mushroom species found all across Northern BC and then extract specific mushroom compounds. Then  tests will be done to see if the compounds have any  beneficial cancer  fighting properties.  Specifically,  they are looking for  something that can either block the growth of a cancer  cell, or  stimulate the immune system to  help the body fight  the cancer.

The project brings together researches from  UNBC’s  Chemistry and Biochemistry   programs, and  the Ecosystem Science and Management Program.



The earth is full of goodness.. so many medicinal properties of plants and berries out there we dont know about…

Good luck with your work :)

And more and more mushroom species have been successfully cultivated. I’ve even grown several here in Prince George using kits from Paul Stamets’ outfit in Washington state.

Why mushrooms? The story makes it sound like this is a stab in the dark but there must be some science behind it?

It would seem the results of past clinical studies on specific mushrooms have found they contain cancer treating drugs. This is probably what is driving the study.

Here is just one example:

Shitake (Lentinula edodes) Black Forest Tree Mushroom or Xiang Gu (Fragrant Mushroom)

This is a tender and tasty mushroom found in many Asian cuisines. It is considered both a delicacy and a medicinal mushroom. Shitake contains a glucan called AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) and is widely used in alternative and complementary treatment of cancer in Japan due to its immune-enhancing functions. Lentinan, a compound found in Shitake, is used as an intravenous anti-cancer drug with antitumor properties. Clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life and lower recurrence of cancer.

According to some source somewhere more than half of the world’s population still relies entirely on plants for medicines.

Plants also supply the active ingredients of most traditional medical products.

Plants have also served as the starting point for countless drugs on the market today.

Researchers generally agree that natural products from plants and other organisms have been the most consistently successful source for ideas for new drugs.

There are very few stabs in the dark today. Most, I understand, are found in the South American jungle.

Glad to see this happening! Natural remedies are the basis for all medicines, it is unfortunate that big pharmacutical companies have a habit of suppressing them to favor their own products (which are synthesized versions of the natural ones). All to often, it seems the synthetic versions of the natural remedies have unwanted side effects.
Hopefully their studies succeed.

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