Anticancer Effects of Ganoderma lucidum: A Review of Scientific Evidence

Authors: John W. M. Yuen ;Mayur Danny I. Gohel DOI: 10.1207/s15327914nc5301_2 Publication Frequency: 8 issues per year

Published in: v Nutrition and Cancer, Volume 53, Issue 1 September 2005 , pages 11 -17

Abstract

“Lingzhi” (Ganoderma lucidum), a popular medicinal mushroom, has been used in China for longevity and health promotion since ancient times. Investigations
into the anticancer activity of lingzhi have been performed in both in vitro and in vivo studies, supporting its application for cancer treatment and
prevention. The proposed anticancer activity of lingzhi has prompted its usage by cancer patients. It remains debatable as to whether lingzhi is a food
supplement for health maintenance or actually a therapeutic “drug” for medical proposes. Thus far there has been no report of human trials using lingzhi as
a direct anticancer agent, despite some evidence showing the usage of lingzhi as a potential supplement to cancer patients. Cellular immune responses and
mitogenic reactivity of cancer patients have been enhanced by lingzhi, as reported in two randomized and one nonrandomized trials, and the quality of life
of 65% of lung cancer patients improved in one study. The direct cytotoxic and anti-angiogenesis mechanisms of lingzhi have been established by in vitro
studies; however, clinical studies should not be neglected to define the applicable dosage in vivo. At present, lingzhi is a health food supplement to
support cancer patients, yet the evidence supporting the potential of direct in vivo anticancer effects should not be underestimated. Lingzhi or its
products can be classified as an anticancer agent when current and more direct scientific evidence becomes available.

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