Metrics details. Agaricus blazei Murill AbM is an edible Brazilian mushroom that has been used in traditional medicine for a range of diseases. It has been shown to have anti-infection and anti-tumor properties in the mouse, which are due to induction of Th1 responses. On the other hand, IgE-mediated allergy is induced by a Th2 response. A mouse model for allergy was employed, in which the mice were immunized s. This particular AbM extract may both prevent allergy development and be used as a therapeutical substance against established allergy.

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Metrics details. Agaricus blazei Murill AbM is an edible Brazilian mushroom that has been used in traditional medicine for a range of diseases. It has been shown to have anti-infection and anti-tumor properties in the mouse, which are due to induction of Th1 responses.

On the other hand, IgE-mediated allergy is induced by a Th2 response. A mouse model for allergy was employed, in which the mice were immunized s.

This particular AbM extract may both prevent allergy development and be used as a therapeutical substance against established allergy. It has traditionally been used for the prevention of a range of diseases, including cancer, hepatitis, atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and dermatitis [ 1 , 2 ]. Because of its alleged health effects, the mushroom was brought to Japan in the midies and subjected to biomedical research. Anti-tumor and anti-infection immunity are both due to Th1 responses, which also do promote autoimmune disease when overshooting.

On the other hand, anti-helminth and anti-rejection immunity are due to Th2 responses, which may also induce IgE-mediated allergy, whereas delayed-type hypersensitivity is believed to involve Th1 cells.

Moreover, we looked for substances with broad immunogenic specificity and hence a broad range of possible therapeutical activity. This criterion fits substances containing so-called pathogen-associated molecular patterns, which stimulate innate immunity via binding to a few different receptors with broad specificities like Toll-like receptors and dectin In order to test putative functional Th1-stimulating substances, a mouse model for systemic bacterial infection was chosen rather than a tumor model, because of the more rapid outcome of an anti-bacterial than an anti-tumor response.

However, surprisingly, we detected that s. Moreover, it had more profound anti-infection effect even when given p. There are anecdotes about persons who have used AbM for other purposes than allergy, and who have experienced less allergic symptoms when ingesting the remedy. To our knowledge the very few papers on AbM or other Basidiomycetes mushrooms and allergy in English scientific literature rather report on induction of allergy; cheilitis and increased delayed-type sensitivity due to AbM [ 18 , 19 ], hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by Grifola frondosa [ 20 ], and allergic contact dermatitis from Hericeum erinaceum exposure [ 21 ].

Finally, EP describes a process for producing an anti-allergic substance from Basidiomycetes mycelium, including that of AbM and Grifola frondosa.

The aim of the present study was to examine whether the extract that was most effective against systemic pneumococcal infection, also could protect against allergy development when given to a mouse model for allergy. For this purpose the model allergen ovalbumin OVA was injected s.

In addition, Th1, Th2 and Treg cytokines were measured in supernatants of cultured spleen cells from the mice. They were housed 8 animals per cage, individually earmarked, and given water and egg-free feed ad libitum. Experiments were performed according to law and regulations for animal experiments in Norway, which are in agreement with the Helsinki declaration, and they were approved by the local Animal Board under the minister of Agriculture in Norway.

The AbM mixed powder contains per g the following constituents: moisture 5. The amount per liter of the extract for sodium was 11 mg, phosphorus mg, calcium 35 mg, potassium mg, magnesium 99 mg and zinc 60 mg. The results from tests for heavy metals were conformable with strict Japanese regulations for health foods. Since this mushroom extract is a commercial product, the method for its production is a business secret.

Then both groups were boosted with OVA s. The scheme in Table 1 shows the different set-ups. A single cell suspension was prepared under sterile condition by placing the spleen on top of a wire-net in a Petri dish containing 2 ml HBSS. The spleen cells were seeded into a well culture plates Costar Inc. Thereafter the plates were centrifuged at rpm for 5 minutes, and supernatants were collected and stored at C until analysis.

The excised PLN from both injected and non-injected hind limb were weighed and compared as a parameter for local inflammation. Sigma Stat Systat Software, Inc. When the data were normally distributed parametric assays were used, otherwise non-parametric assays. Student's t-test was used for comparing two groups. P values below 0. We used a mouse model for allergy to examine whether the medicinal mushroom AbM could protect against this disease. In these two experiments the levels of anti-OVA IgG2a in the AbM group, relative to PBS, seemed to be even higher Figure 4 than observed above, but were due to large variation not statistically different from the control.

The IgG2a levels were all-over below the detection limit of the assay and thus too low for data analysis. All groups were OVA boosted on day 20 and sacrificed on day Table 2 gives cytokine levels as indices of those for AbM-treated relative to those for PBS treated controls.

For each experiment the highest read-outs above the detection limit of each assay was used, for set-up with either OVA or Con A in vitro stimulated cell cultures. When all indices for all groups of Th2 cytokines mean index: 0.

Hence, there seemed to be a tendency of reduced Th2 relative to Th1 cytokine levels in the AbM groups. Our results are strengthened by the similar findings, observed in two different mouse strains after s.

In the latter Th2-prone mice the so-called PLN assay was used, which was originally employed for toxicological screening of substances that would inflame the foot pad-draining PLN, but which is also convenient for examining systemic IgE response in serum to an allergen given with adjuvant [ 23 ]. The lacking increase in PLN weight in mice injected AbM extract relative to PBS in the foot pad, agrees with the assumed anti-inflammatory anti-allergic effect of the AbM as seen from the tendency of generally lowering of Th2 cytokine levels in spleen cell cultures ex vivo.

Increased specific IgE levels are not equivalent with allergic disease, but a prerequisite for IgE-mediated allergy. We did not examine allergy signs in the mice. These would have been similar to egg allergy, as in food allergy. Possible skin rashes would have been difficult to assess in the mice, and nude mice could not have been used because they lack normal lymphocytes, which are a prerequisite for an allergic immune response.

In possible follow-up studies, the allergen should be given via the natural route; e. Instead, a common food allergen like peanut could have been used, or if one wished to examine airways allergy in the case of aeroallergens, another cheap aeroallergen like birch pollen, although with novel ELISAs for these antigens. The finding of relatively far lower anti-OVA IgE levels in the repeated PBS controls in Figure 5 , may be due to the stress invoked by such repeated intragastric procedure.

In preliminary experiments, in which repeated pre-OVA treatment of mice with the mushroom extract or PBS was delivered intragastrically by the highly trained technicians to increase the dose, all mice looked sick and one animal died, presumably from stress, which is known to impair immunity.

As to possible side effects, there are conflicting reports regarding the effect of AbM on liver function. Whereas one report suggests that use of AbM for several weeks may have induced severe hepatic dysfunction in three cancer patients [ 24 ], another says that AbM extract normalized liver function in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection [ 25 ].

Moreover, our studies on patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection [ 26 ] and on AbM intake in healthy volunteers [ 27 ], revealed no pathological effect whatsoever on hematological parameters including those for liver-, pancreatic- and renal function, even when volumes equivalent by body weight to that given to the mice, were taken.

However, our measurement of suggestive reduced levels of the Treg cytokine IL in the AbM groups, is difficult to interpret. In contrast, when the extract was given in vitro to cell cultures there was an increase in proinflammatory cytokines [ 15 ]. Thus, the microarray analyses agree with the assumption that AbM extract especially promotes a Th1 anti-tumor and anti-infection response in the body and hence reciprocally inhibits a Th2 response.

This is supported by the reported immuno-modulatory effects of AbM in mice [ 19 ]. In an initial experiment, we tried to give the AbM extract repeatedly on subsequent days via a gastric catheter in order to possibly inhibit the specific IgE response completely. However, this procedure was dropped because it was too stressful for the mice even in hands of our well-trained technicians. The unexpected result in the last two columns of Figure 5 may in fact reflect this concern.

Also, we did not use a higher concentration of this extract than what was sold on the health food market. Addition of AbM extract to drink water for the mice in our set-up would have been more natural, but the intake of AbM is impossible to monitor as accurately as with intragastric delivery.

In the current allergy model we did not test other extracts of AbM from other manufacturers that did not have a significant effect against pneumococcal infection in mice [ 17 ]. Whether the AbM extract is effective against allergy in the human setting must be tested in a clinical trial, e. From our results with mice we conclude that a mushroom extract, mainly containing AbM, may prevent the development of IgE-mediated allergy when given before allergen immunization.

Even more interesting, the extract seemed to have a therapeutic effect when given together with or as late as 3 weeks after the allergen immunization. Three weeks in the mouse equals several months in a human, suggesting that also established allergy in patients can be reverted.

Wasser SP, Weis AL: Therapeutic effects of substances occurring in higher basidiomycetes mushrooms: a modern perspective. Crit Rev Immunol. In Cultivation of eight rare and precious gourmet mushrooms Edited by: Huang. Chinese Agriculture University Press; Biol Pharm Bull. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Jpn J Pharmacol. Bernardshaw S, Johnson E, Hetland G: An extract of the mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill administered orally protects against systemic Streptococcus pneumoniae infection in mice.

Scand J Immunol. Immunol Today. Seljelid R: A water-soluble aminated betaD-glucan derivative causes regression of solid tumores in mice. Biosci Rep. Infect Immun. Clin Exp Allergy. Eur J Immunol. Contact Derm. J Microbiol Immunol Infect.

Intern Med. Jpn J Clin Oncol. J Altern Complement Med. Grinde B, Hetland G, Johnson E: Effects on gene expression and viral load of a medicinal extract from Agaricus blazei in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection.

Int Immunopharmacol. Bernardshaw S, Lyberg T, Hetland G, Johnson E: Effect of an extract of the medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill on expression of adhesion molecules and production of reactive oxygen species in monocytes and granulocytes in human whole blood ex vivo. Google Scholar. Congress of Immunology, Rio de Janerio, P2. J Lab Clin Med.


5 Things You Should Know Before You Buy Agaricus blazei Mushroom Extract

Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom extract is a natural health supplement that is becoming extremely popular in Japan. Supplement and pharmaceutical manufacturers often use the fruit body or mycelium of the Agaricus blazei mushroom to produce the extract. The fruit body is the portion of the fungus that is above ground, and the mycelium is the part of the fungus that resides underground. The nutritional profiles of the fruit body and mycelium are slightly different. The fruit body extract is considered a more nutritious and high-quality product than the mycelium extract. The extract from the fruit body contains higher levels of minerals i.


The Health Benefits of Agaricus Blazei Mushroom

Agaricus blazei Murill ABM has shown particularly strong results in treating and preventing cancer and has also traditionally been used as a food source in Brazil. However, the exact immune responses regarding the phagocytosis of macrophage and, the activity of natural killer NK cells in normal mice after exposure to ABM extract was unclear. The results indicated that ABM extract significantly promoted the proliferation of splenocytes both in vitro and in vivo. The percentage of macrophages with phagocytosis after ABM extract treatment increased and these effects were of dose-dependent manners, both in vitro and in vivo. Many mushrooms e. Agaricus blazei Murill ABM has been reported to have antitumor activity 5 - 8.


The medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill from the Brazilian rain forest has been used in traditional medicine and as health food for the prevention of a range of diseases, including infection, allergy, and cancer. Other scientists and we have examined whether there is scientific evidence behind such postulations. Agaricus subrufescens Peck already described in , and Agaricus brasiliensis Wasser [ 1 ] Figure 1 , of Brazilian rain forest origin is used in traditional medicine against cancer and various diseases [ 2 , 3 ]. AbM is also shown to contain agaritine and ergosterol provitamin D2 that is found to induce apoptosis in leukemic cells [ 10 ] and inhibit tumor-induced angiogenesis [ 11 ], respectively, as well as isoflavonoids with potent hypoglycemic action that could be useful against diabetes mellitus [ 12 ]. AbM is reported to have antitumor properties in mouse models of fibrosarcoma, myeloma, ovarian, lung, and prostate cancer, and in human studies against gynecological cancer increased NK cell activity and quality of life and leukemia [ 13 ]. Agaricus blazei Murill. Photo NutriCon.

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