Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Medicinal Fungi - Reishi - Ganoderma lucidum

[1] "Ganoderma lucidum is widely used and recommended by Asian physicians and naturopaths for its supporting effects on the immune system. Preliminary laboratory research and limited preclinical trials have suggested that G. lucidum has potential anticancer and immunomodulatory properties, and cancer patients have been using G. lucidum-derived supplements more commonly as an alternative medicine. However, a 2015 Cochrane database review found insufficient evidence to justify the use of G. lucidum as a first-line cancer treatment. It suggests that G. lucidum may have "benefit as an alternative adjunct to conventional treatment in consideration of its potential of enhancing tumour response and stimulating host immunity.""

Why be interested?

Study [3d] indicates that there might be some activity against bone mets.

Study [4a] & others suggest that there might be direct activity at the androgen receptor level.

However, the studies don't stir up much rnthusiasm in me.

[2] (U.S. - Sliva) "Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum) is a popular medicinal mushroom that has been used as a home remedy for the general promotion of health and longevity in East Asia. The dried powder of G. lucidum, which was recommended as a cancer chemotherapy agent in traditional Chinese medicine, is currently popularly used worldwide in the form of dietary supplements."

[2a] (2002)

"... spores or dried fruiting body of G. lucidum inhibit constitutively active transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kappaB in ... prostate PC-3 cancer cells. Furthermore, Ganoderma inhibition of expression of uPA {urokinase-type plasminogen activator} and uPA receptor (uPAR), as well secretion of uPA, resulted in the suppression of the migration of ... PC-3 cells."

[2b] (2003) Warns of variable bioavailability by source.

[2c] (2004)

"Ganoderma lucidum inhibits cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner by the down-regulation of expression of cyclin B and Cdc2 and by the up-regulation of p21 expression. The inhibition of cell growth was also demonstrated by cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase. Furthermore, Ganoderma lucidum induced apoptosis of PC-3 cells ..." etc. "Thus, Ganoderma lucidum exerts its effect on cancer cells by multiple mechanisms ..."

[2d] (2005)

"We found that G. lucidum inhibits the early event in angiogenesis, capillary morphogenesis of the human aortic endothelial cells. These effects are caused by the inhibition of constitutively active AP-1 in prostate cancer cells, resulting in the down-regulation of secretion of VEGF and TGF-beta1 from PC-3 cells."

[3] (Japan - Kondo)

[3a] (2005)

"The inhibitory effects of methanol extracts of 19 edible and medicinal mushrooms on 5alpha-reductase activity were examined. The extract of Ganoderma lucidum Fr. Krast (Ganodermataceae) showed the strongest 5alpha-reductase inhibitory activity."

[3b] (2007)

"The anti-androgen effect of ganoderol B isolated from the fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum." "Ganoderol B with 5alpha-reductase inhibitory activity and the ability to bind to androgen receptor (AR) can inhibit androgen-induced LNCaP cell growth and suppress regrowth of the ventral prostate induced by testosterone in rats. The down-regulation of AR signaling by ganoderol B provides an important mechanism for its anti-androgenic activity. In view of the fact that PSA (prostatic specific antigen, a well-accepted prognostic indicator of prostate cancer) is down-regulated, an important implication of this study is that ganoderol B intervention strategy aimed at toning down the amplitude of androgen signaling could be helpful in controlling morbidity of prostate cancer."

[3c] (2009)

"The 30% EtOH extracts of Ganoderma lucidum Fr. Karst (Ganodermateceae) showed weak 5alpha-reductase inhibitory activity and binding ability to androgen receptor. When LNCaP (lymph-node carcinoma of the prostate) cells were treated with the EtOH extracts, cell proliferation was inhibited. Treatment with the extracts significantly inhibited the testosterone-induced growth of the ventral prostate in castrated rats. These results showed that G. lucidum might be a useful ingredient in the treatment of androgen-induced diseases, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostate cancer. From the 30% EtOH extracts, we isolated ganoderiol F, which showed binding activity to androgen receptor and inhibited LNCaP cell proliferation, as one of the active compounds in the 30% EtOH extracts."

[3d] (2009)

"Ganoderic acid DM, with 5alpha-reductase inhibitory and androgen receptor (AR) binding activity, isolated from the ethanol extracts of Ganoderma lucidum, can inhibit prostate cancer cell growth and block osteoclastogenesis."

[4] (Israel - Wasser / Mahajna)

[4a] (2007)

"We have previously shown that ethyl acetate extract of G. lucidum inhibits LNCaP prostate cancer cell viability and proliferation. We also demonstrated that G. lucidum extract decreased androgen receptor transcriptional activity, suppressed levels of secreted prostate-specific antigen, and suppressed androgen receptor protein level. In this study we investigated the mechanisms that underlie the activities of G. lucidum crude extract and its active fraction GLF4 in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Our data demonstrate that G. lucidum inhibits cell viability by induction of apoptosis through the extrinsic pathway that include activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3 and inhibits cell proliferation by the down-regulation of cyclin D1 expression. Furthermore, G. lucidum crude extract and fraction GLF4 interfere with androgen receptor function via competition with the natural ligand dihydrotestosterone and suppression of androgen receptor/androgen response element complex formation. These results indicate that G. lucidum extracts have profound activity against LNCaP cells ..."

[4b] (2009) {need full text}

"Pharmacological values of medicinal mushrooms for prostate cancer therapy: the case of Ganoderma lucidum."

[5] (2015 - China)

"... one immortalized human normal prostatic epithelial cell line (BPH) and four human prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP, 22Rv1, PC-3, and DU-145) were treated with Ganoderma Lucidum triterpenoids (GLT) at different doses and for different time periods. Cell viability, apoptosis, and cell cycle were analyzed ... Gene expression and binding to DNA were assessed ... It was found that GLT dose-dependently inhibited prostate cancer cell growth through induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. GLT-induced apoptosis was due to activation of Caspases-9 and -3 and turning on the downstream apoptotic events. GLT-induced cell cycle arrest (mainly G1 arrest) was due to up-regulation of p21 expression at the early time and down-regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) and E2F1 expression at the late time. These findings demonstrate that GLT suppresses prostate cancer cell growth by inducing growth arrest and apoptosis"


Reishi was one of the 8 (stated) ingredients of PC-SPES:


Chrysanthemum mori folium (Mum,Chu-hua)

- Ganoderma lucidium (Reishi Mushroom, Ling zhi)

- Glycyrrhiza Glabra and Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice)

- Isatis indigotica Fort (Dyers Woad, Da Qing Ye)

- Panax Pseudo-Ginseng (San Qi)


Rabdosia rubescens (Rubescens, Dong Ling Cao)

- Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Baikal Skullcap, Huang-chin)

- Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto)