Medicinal Mushrooms: Should they be added to a supplement regimen?
A few years ago, I watched a TED Talk <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEV50NEk77s>
Presented by the famous mushroom scientist Paul Trametes. In this talk , he describes how his 84 year old mother was cured of breast cancer (Stage IV, with only several months to live) with a combination of Turkey Tail (Coriolus versicolor) and two chemo drugs. The Turkey Tail beefed-up her NK Cells so that they could assist in the destruction of her disease. Since then, several years ago, there have been additional studies demonstrating the immune modulating effect of these mushrooms. At that time I decided to add Turkey Tail to my own supplement regimen.
This was also shortly after I had spoken with a Chinese fellow with whom my wife and I often met on our morning walks. He had described how his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer and that she had managed to stabilize her condition (he did not use the word “cure”) using Coriolus versicolor. However, he bought his mushrooms in China (he had an apartment in Canton). Since Pca shares many characteristics with breast cancer, aside from being hormone driven, I thought I might give the mushrooms a try. He warned me that a month’s supply was expensive: he had paid almost $500 a month. I sent an email to the distributor in Shanghai requesting prices. Sure enough, a therapeutic dose would run what the guy had told me.
This is how I wound up watching the above-mentioned YouTube video: I wanted to find an American supplier who was less expensive. I began purchasing the mushrooms from Trametes’ company, Host Defense. According to the Chinese fellow, as well as Trametes, a therapeutic dose of Turkey Tail is between 3-6 grams a day with the effect being dose dependent: the higher dose, the stronger the effect. I decided to go for 3 grams which were still a considerable expense to my already mounting supplement costs. I did this for a couple of years until I spoke with the owner of a company called Mushroom Science. It was explained to me that MS uses a hot water method of extraction, rather than the mechanical one used by Host Defense. MS mushrooms are grown and processed in China (as opposed to the U.S. with HD) under very stringent conditions, I was told, and were much closer to the way in which medicinal mushrooms were prepared, traditionally, in China.
I took these for a couple of years and then stopped, again, mainly because of cost.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I came upon two separate references that brought me
back to reconsidering, should I seriously consider adding Turkey Tail to my present supplement regimen?
This is a testimonial “Surviving cancer treatments with coriolus mushroom (Katherine's true story).” Although it appears on the Mushroom Science site, I don’t think it is BS—read it and form your own conclusion. In it, “Katherine” mentions that she was on chemo, had radiation and all the other good stuff. But she was having trouble with the chemo because of a declining white blood cell count (neutropenia). Her oncologist placed her on Neulasta to increase her WBC which, because of its mode of action caused her extreme bone pain. The long and short of it is that after her husband did some research about using Coriolus to increase white blood cell count, she began taking the mushroom: results, she got rid of $3,000 a month Neulasta and completed her chemo cycle. Reference (2) nutritionfacts.org/video/wh... is a short newsletter on white blood cell count. Dr. Gregor shows through numerous references to studies of actual populations, that there is a relationship between WBC, disease and mortality. Again, listen to the clip to form your own conclusions.
My point in writing all of this is that I have neutropenia. I am always either at the very low end of the "normal" range, or even below it. If one thinks about this, because of all the inflammation going on in my body, my WBC should be higher. I haven’t had a C-reactive Protein test in awhile, but I can remember it was always very low (but I will add one to my next blood panel). In any case what these two references did was get me thinking about reconsidering adding medicinal mushrooms (in my case Coriolus versicolor) to my list of supplements. I don’t know what I can drop—the mushrooms, as I have indicated, are expensive at the therapeutic doses—but I may just do this since, in those days, although I wasn’t on chemo and I may have had a brief respite from ADT at one time or another, they may have been working!