Known Medicinal Effects General Info Research Papers
Code 828 - Agaricus Extract - 120 Caps x 700 mg. - $29.95
Code 829 - Agaricus Drops (4:1 Extract) - 4 fl. oz. - $39.95
garicus Blazei Murill (ABM - though some have suggested that the correct species name for this new species is, Agaricus brasiliensis) is another botanical that has remarkable properties, some of which have been excessively touted or exaggerated by promoters, others which have been overlooked entirely. Known as "Cogmelo de Deus" ("Mushroom of God"), ABM is a regular part of the diet of the indigenous peoples outside San Paulo, Brazil, where researchers found very low incidence of a variety of adult illnesses. They believe that ADM is a contributing factor.
It is well-established that various mushrooms have important immunological effects - and their effects have been known for centuries. The ABM mushroom was tested at the Tokyo University National Center Center Laboratory and the Tokyo College of Pharmacy. Compared to the other commonly used mushrooms - including maitake, reishi, and shiitake - ABM exhibited far superior Immune Enhancing Effect. Compositional studies attribute this effect to the much higher levels of key polysaccharides and other components unique to ABM.
Again, we are careful to distance ourselves from those who would label ABM a "cancer cure." Other than a handful of positive claims from leukemia patients, we have not witnessed a stampede of mushroom users who claim that Agaricus has cured their cancer. On the other hand, this is another "herbal" that orthodoxy "pooh-poohs" out of hand, with no real appreciation for its medicinal history, tradition, and the protocols for its use for which there is substantial evidence of healing ability. (Dr. Alexander Yuan in Hong Kong has produced a very good summary of its history and usage. Read Part I, and Part II - both are sizeable Adobe Acrobat files and can a good while to download, so be patient.)
Anti tumor effect: ABM contains high level of effective elements such as polysaccarides, both Beta(1-3)D-glucan & Beta(1-6)D-glucan protein compounds, ribonucleic acid protein compounds, acid heteroglucan, xyloglucan, lectin, etc. When these elements are introduced into our white blood cells, it enhances the activity of macrophage, an antibody cell that destroys or delays the proliferation of cancer cells.
Anti cancer effect: ABM contains natural steroids, known for it's anti cancer effect. (It is different from the chemically produced steroids that enhance the body that is often said to be the cause of cancer). It is particularly effective in prevention of uteran cancer.
Preventative effect: ABM contains large amounts of non digestive dietary fibers that absorb cancerous materials in our body and discharge away from our system.
Blood glucose reducing effect: Effective elements mentioned above such as Beta(1-3)D-glucan & Beta(1-6)D-glucan protein compounds, ribonucleic acid protein compounds also has positive effects to reduce the blood glucose(sugar).
Blood pressure, Cholesterol & Arteriosclerosis reducing effect: The above mentioned dietary fiber and unsaturated fatty acid, such as linolin, contained in ABM, have effects to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and arteriosclerosis.
Vitamin D2 effect: ABM contains vitamins B1 and B2 but also contains large amounts of ergosterol, which would be converted to vitamin D2 when it is dried in the sun or heated in a mechanical drying process. Vitamin D2 has positive effects to lessen the danger of osteoclasis. [Top of Page]
Agaricus (ABM): General Info
This section written by Osmar Borzacchini and found
in several places on the net -- provided for background reading only
ABM originates from Piedade, located in the suburbs of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The climatic conditions in Piedade include temperatures that soar to 35-38 degrees C. during the day and dip to between 20-25 C. at night, with the humidity that averages 80%. The place also experiences regular squall toward evening. ABM thrives only under these conditions, suggesting that its survival is significantly affected by these climatic conditions.
Around the same time, ABM was introduced to Japan. Dr. Shoji Shibata, who at the time was a professor in the harmacological Department of Tokyo University, and Dr. Tetuo Ikegawa of the National Cancer Center, jointly researched the pharmacological effects of 4 Agaricus. The research results were released at the general convention of the Japan Pharmacological Association and the Japan Cancer Association. The experience with mice verified that the polysaccharide beta-D-glucan contained in 4 Agaricus significantly activated the immune system.
The polysaccharide contained in ABM vitalizes production of interferon and interleukin in small animals (guinea pigs). This effect indirectly functions to destroy or prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. This refers to a cytokine inducing effect. Moreover, the experiments conducted by the researchers named above proved that this effect can also prevent viruses and other external factors from entering the tissue.
Clinical results obtained in collaboration with university researchers and hospital since the report on the anti-cancer effect of ABM was released at the general convention of the Japan Cancer Association in 1980 proved that although many fungi polysaccharide only effect solid cancer and polysaccharide of ABM is effective against Ehrlich’s ascites carcinoma sigmoid colonic cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and liver cancer as well as against solid cancer.
This trial showed ABM to be 80% more effective than the world's number one cancer drug PSK, an extract of Coriolus Versicolor. ABM was found to contain far higher levels of beta glucans than Maitake, Shiitake, and Reishi. The renown Dr. M Ghoneun (MGN-3) developed studies about the NK cells activities and presented them at the International Congress on Immunology held in San Francisco. One theme was the explanation of ABM's power in intensifying the NK cells activities and it's importance in immunological recording and in cancer treatments. He also related a study with ABM on the effect in 57 mice with active NK cells. "IT INCURRED A DEFENSE RATE UP TO 9 TIMES IN ABM INJECTED MICE". At present ABM is considered the most potent mushroom in supporting the immune system and in controlling various diseases such as Cancer and Aids. So successful are the studies in Japan that they are now buying over 90% of the available Agaricus from Brazil.
The results of the experiments suggest that it also activates metabolism by revitalizing normal biological tissue. Digestive enzymes such as amylase trypsin martase and the protease contained in fungus also enhances digestion. Furthermore, tyrosinase, an enzyme which oxidizes tyrosine and produces melanin, has a hypotensive effect.
Living organisms are equipped with immunity system which expels pathogens, toxic chemicals and tumorous cells generated through mutation. When tumorous cells attach to form a simple protein lump, it is Decomposed by microorganisms such as bacteria. Thanks to this function, which is called immunity, bodies can maintain their health by fighting off harmful microorganisms, stopping them from entering tissue or discharging them from tissue.
The human immune system is comprised of more than 130 subsets of white blood cells. About 15% of them are called Natural Killer (NK) cells, These provide the first line of defense for dealing with any form of invasion to the body. Each cell contains several small granules which act as ‘ammunition.’ When an NI cell recognizes a cancer cell, for instance, it attaches itself to the cells outer membrane and inject these granules directly into the interior of the cell.
More specifically, natural killer cells or NK cells play a critical role neutralizing outside organisms such as viruses and bacteria that enter the body. Through a process called phagocytosis, the NK cells “kiss” and engulf foreign agents and release toxic chemicals that destroy them.
In cancer patients, the NK cells and cancer cells constantly baffle one another. The NK cells attempt to destroy cancer cells while at the same time cancer cells try to neutralize NK cells before they can harm them. If the NK cells are weak or if there are not enough NK cells in the body, the cancer spreads throughout the body resulting in death. Several factors contribute to this weakening of the immune system: most notably stress, age, pollution, and smoking.
When their immune systems work properly, humans remain healthy. However, the immune systems in many people are weakened by stress, poor eating habits and pollution, such as air pollution. These people can suffer from a number of diseases.
It is widely believed that cancer is caused by a decline in the immune system caused by aging and other factors. It is also known that atopic dermatitis asthma, pollinosis and rheumatism result from an excessive immuno reaction. The AIDS virus destroys immune cells and triggers diseases.
ABM, which is enjoying growing attention, contains a large amount of polysaccharide, which is believed to enhance immunity. It does not only bolster immunity but reduces excessive immuno reactions to maintain a balance. Of all fungi, ABM Mushroom is particularly rich in polysaccharide, and has shown particularly strong results in treating and preventing cancer. We believe that ABM is the ideal food for the people of today, who are exposed to a difficult living environment. [Top of Page]
The story of the life-enhancing ABM by Osmar Borzacchini
The ABM mushroom was discovered by Takatoshi Furumoto in the district of Piedade near São Paulo in Brazil. The scientist discovered that very few people suffered from geriatric illnesses in this community...
Furumoto's research revealed that the healthy state of the people of Piedade was due to their frequently eating the ABM mushroom. In order to examine the mushroom species and establish its effect on cancer, samples were sent to the University of Buenos Aires and the University of the Province of Mie in Japan. Finally, Dr. Shobo Shibata, who was then working at the Department of Pharmacology as a professor, and Dr. Tetsuo Ikegawa of Japan's National Cancer Research Centre managed to detect the pharmacological action of ABM. That was about 30 years ago. Their research findings were published on the occasion of the General Assembly of the Japanese Pharmacology Association and the Japanese Cancer Research Society.
ABM works like an "abridged version of the life cycle". Setting out from the assumption that, in nature, plants behave like producers and animals like consumers, scientists found that, in the case of this mushroom, it turns the animal and plant remains into the basic substances from which it makes new organic matter.
Currently, mushrooms like ABM are a focal point of attention because they are regarded as the new health boosters. Oriental medicine has used various species of mushroom for over a thousand years. Chinese medicine, which has now adopted some western methods of treatment, has developed processes for extracting the active ingredients from the mushroom. These substances are used as immunological activators, since the polysacharide ß-glucan that is contained in ABM enhances the immune system. [Top of Page]
Characteristics of ABM
The ABM mushroom grows in temperate regions with ambient temperatures ranging from 23° to 28°C. On account of the species having been discovered in the Piedade region, it is now referred to world-wide as the "Piedade mushroom". In some regions it also goes by the term "Royal Agaricus", while in Japan it is called "himmematsutake".
Depending on where they are grown, the ABM mushrooms attain a height of ten to 15 centimetres. Unlike other species, this mushroom does not thrive in the shade of trees but in open spaces. Its cultures can be found in pastures, by the roadside and in open fields, especially where mules are in use.
Since the ABM only grows in very special conditions, attempts to achieve constant yields proved unsuccessful until the early 1990s. For years, breeding ABM in artificial conditions proved difficult, even with considerable Japanese support. It was not possible to achieve a stable yield for marketing purposes. [Top of Page]
Immunological Significance of ABM
Living organisms have an immune system whose function is to eliminate pathogens, chemical toxic substances and mutation-induced cell proliferation. Cell proliferation causes the formation of a layer containing proteins that is decomposed by micro-organisms, e.g. bacteria. It is thanks to this function, which we know as immunity, that the body stays healthy. It combats dangerous organisms by preventing them from penetrating the tissue, and therefore the body as a whole.
It is widely held that cancer develops through a weakening of the immune system through aging or other factors. This is one of the reasons why attention is focusing more and more on ABM. The mushroom contains large quantities of polysaccharides, which have been attributed an immunity enhancing effect. In addition, it reduces hyper-reaction of the immune system and thus contributes to establishing an equilibrium in the system as a whole.
Residue of pressed sugar cane is used for breeding compost used in breeding Agaricus bisporus, the garden champignon, is also ideally suited to breeding ABM. In Brazil, raw material such as horse dung and the residue of pressed sugar cane is used normally for this purpose. However, great care has to be taken that the compost material is not infested with fungi, insects, mites, and other undesirable intruders during the composting process. Pasteurisation is achieved through heating the compost material to temperatures of 600 to 650 Celsius in a chamber or a plastic tunnel with steam coming from a boiler. Once it has been pasteurised, the compost material is filled into plastic sacks with a capacity of four to five kilograms and an opening of 50 to 60 centimetres.
Immediately afterwards, the ABM hyphae are injected. Following inoculation, the plastic sacks are closed simply by folding the sack opening in order to prevent contamination.
Then, together with the fully developed mycelia, the compost material is brought to the final location, which may be greenhouses, sheds or open land. To grow the mushrooms in greenhouses or sheds, the inoculated compost material that already contains mushrooms is taken out of the plastic sacks and distributed on shelves in framed beds set up inside the structure. These beds have to be covered with treated earth and must be constantly kept moist. If the mushrooms are to be bred in the open, a gentle slope that has been weeded is preferable. The compost material should be put into 40 cm-long, ten cm-wide furrows and covered with a 2-3 cm-thick layer of treated soil. It must be constantly kept moist. The ABM mushroom requires a constantly moist layer of soil, for it is only in these conditions that fruit formation will occur. Using a spraying device with a large opening is recommendable for watering in sheds or greenhouses. Out in the open, a watering can may be used. [Top of Page]
The mushrooms are best harvested when the cap, or pileus, is still covered by the membrane but is already slightly opened. The mushroom is held at the head and turned out of the soil at the roots while a slight downward pressure is applied. Immediately after harvesting and cleaning, the mushrooms are cut down the middle for drying and laid on bamboo or taquara sieves. Drying can be carried out in the open or in greenhouses, but should progress slowly. A temperature of 400 to 420 Celsius is required. The dried mushrooms are packaged in plastic bags with a net weight of one kilogram or less. These are distributed in response to individual orders from direct customers or exporters for Japan or the USA. On the Brazilian market, the prices fluctuate considerably depending on the quality of the product and the producer. In Brazil, the mushroom is sold at kilo prices of 250 Cruzeiro Real (US$ 275). Elsewhere a kilogram costs US$ 350. [Top of Page]
Osmar Borzacchini is agricultural director of Piedade District, São Paulo, Brazil.
AGARICUS RESEARCH - Item #1
TITLE: Anti-tumor Activity and Some Properties of Water-insoluble Hetero-glycans from "Himematsutake," the Fruiting Body of Agaricus blazei Murill.
AUTHORS: Mizuno T, Inagaki R, Kanao T, Hagiwara T, Nakamura T, Ito H, Shimura K, Sumiya T, Asakura
JOURNAL: Agricultural and Biological Chemistry; 54(11):2889-2896 1990 ADDRESS: Faculty of Agriculture, Shizuoku Univ., Ohya, Shizuoku 422, Japan ABSTRACT: After extraction of a hot-water-soluble polysaccharide (FI) from the fruiting bodies of Himematsutake (Agaricus blazei Murill), water-insoluble polysaccharides were obtained by successive extraction with 1% ammonium oxalate solution (FII), 5% sodium hydroxide solution (FIII and FIV), 20% sodium hydroxide solution (FV), and 5% lithium chloride-dimethylacetamide solution (FVI) in that order. These water-insoluble fractions were futher fractionated by ethanol precipitation, gel-filtration, etc. Polysaccharides, polysaccharide-protein complexes, and chitin substances thus obtained were assayed for their anti-tumor activities using the Sarcome 180/mice i.p. o.p. method.
The heteroglycan-protein complexes, FII-a,-b,-c, obtained from FII had weak antitumor activities. A remarkable antitumor activity was found in a lycoprotein, FIII-2-b, fractionated and purified from FIII. The polysaccharide portion of this polysaccharide-protein complex (polysaccharide, 50.2% and protein, 43.3% each on a weight basis) consisted of (1--6)-beta-D-glucan, and its protein portion was rich in Asx, Glx, Ala, Leu, and Pro.
A high antitumor activity was found in a xyloglucan-protein complex, FIV-2-b, fractionated and purified from FIV. Antitumor activity was found also in a glucoxylan, FV-2-a, obtained from FV. No significant antitumor activity was found in a chitin substance, FVI.
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AGARICUS RESEARCH - Item #2
TITLE: Antitumor Activity and Some Properties of Water-soluble Polysaccharides from "Himematsutake," the Fruiting Body of Agaricus blazei Murill.
AUTHORS: Mizuno T, Hagiwara T, Nakamura T, Ito H, Shimura K, Sumiya T, Asakura A
JOURNAL: Agricultural and Biological Chemistry; 54(11):2897-2906 1990
ADDRESS: Faculty of Agriculture, Shizuoku Univ., Ohya, Shizuoku 422, Japan
ABSTRACT: Polysaccharides extracted from Himematsutake, the fruiting body of Agaricus blazei Murill with hot water were fractionated and purified by ethanol precipitation, ion-exchange chromatography, gel-filtration, affinity chromatography, etc. A total of 17 polysaccharide samples thus obtained were given an antitumor activity test (Sarcoma 180/mice i.p. p.o. method) and traces of their activities through the fractionation and purification processes were found. FI0-a-beta, FA-1-a-alpha, FA-1-a-beta, and FA-2-b-beta, were obtained as water soluble polysaccharides fractions having great antitumor activities. Analyses of physico-chemical properties and IR- and NMR-spectra of the these active fractions showed that their main components were: FI0-a-beta, (1--6)-; (1--3)-beta-D-glucan; FA-1-a-alpha, acidic (1--6)-; (1--4)-alpha-D-glucan; FA-1-a-beta, acidic (1--6)-; (1--3)-alpha-D-glucan; and FA-2-b-beta, acidic RNA-protein complex. [Top of Page]
AGARICUS RESEARCH - Item #3
TITLE: Selective Tumoricidal Effect of Soluble Proteoglucan Extracted from the Basidiomycete, Agaricus blazei Murill, Mediated Via Natural Killer Cell Activation and Apoptosis.
AUTHORS: Fujimiya Y, Suzuki Y, Oshiman K, Kobori H, Moriguchi K, Nakashima H, Matumoto Y, Takahara S, Ebina T, Katakura R
JOURNAL: Cancer Immunol Immunother; 46(3):147-59 1998
ADDRESS: Division of Immunology, Miyagi Cancer Center Research Institute, Natori, Japan.
ABSTRACT: We have isolated a novel type of natural tumoricidal product from the basidiomycete strain, Agaricus blazei Murill. Using the double-grafted tumor system in Balb/c mice, treatment of the primary tumor with an acid-treated fraction (ATF) obtained from the fruit bodies resulted in infiltration of the distant tumor by natural killer (NK) cells with marked tumoricidal activity. As shown by electrophoresis and DNA fragmentation assay, the ATF also directly inhibited tumor cell growth in vitro by inducing apoptotic processing; this apoptotic effect was also demonstrated by increased expression of the Apo2.7 antigen on the mitochondrial membranes of tumor cells, as shown by flow-cytometric analysis.The ATF had no effect on normal mouse splenic or interleukin-2-treated splenic mononuclear cells, indicating that it is selectively cytotoxic for the tumor cells. Cell-cycle analysis demonstrated that ATF induced the loss of S phase in MethA tumor cells, but did not affect normal splenic mononuclear cells, which were mainly in the G0G1 phase. Various chromatofocussing purification steps and NMR analysis showed the tumoricidal activity to be chiefly present in fractions containing (1-->4)-alpha-D-glucan and (1-->6)-beta-D-glucan, present in a ratio of approximately 1:2 in the ATF (molecular mass 170 kDa), while the final purified fraction, HM3-G (molecular mass 380 kDa), with the highest tumoricidal activity, consisted of more than 90% glucose, the main component being (1-->4)-alpha-D-glucan with (1-->6)-beta branching, in the ratio of approximately 4:1.
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