An animal study has shown more anti-cancer properties from medicinal mushrooms. Hericium Erinaceus, or Lion’s Mane mushroom, contains several bioactive compounds. Would they be able to prevent cancer cell metastasis?
Metastasis is the spread of a cancer from the organ in which it originated to other parts of the body. Tumor cells metastasize into secondary tumors, and are common in the late stages of cancer. They can spread via the blood or lymphatic system to other parts of the body, but most commonly to the lungs, liver, brain, and bones.
Some cancers, such as colon cancers, are usually not curable after they’ve spread, so preventing metastasis is one of the main goals in developing new cancer treatment.
SP Kim, SH Nam, and M Friedman, from Korea’s Ajou University, developed a study to investigate the effect of Hericium Erinaceus extracts on the metastasis of colon cancer cells to the lung.
Hericium Erinaceus is a popular edible mushroom, which is becoming an important part of the alternative medicinal toolkit. It’s been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, and is now being tested rigorously for a variety of anti-cancer properties.
Hericium Erinaceus has anti-metastatic effects: prevents colon cancer cells spreading to the lung
The researchers used four different extracts of Hericium Erinaceus, which were tested on colon cancer-transplanted mice.
The hot water extract and microwaved 50% ethanol extracts had significant effects. These extracts stopped the cancer cells metastasizing to the lungs by as much as 69%, compared to a control.
The hot water extract of Hericium Erinaceus given in the animal’s food reduced the formation of tumor nodules in their lungs by 50%. The microwave ethanol extract was even better, reducing tumor formation by 55%. The medicinal mushroom also prevented lung weight from increasing, which would happen if cancer cells metastasized.
The researchers concluded that these Hericium Erinaceus extracts have a significant effect on preventing metastasis. They have a promising future as preventive therapies, and could become a health-promoting functional food.
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