Can I Take Agaricus Blazei Mushroom While Undergoing Chemotherapy?
Agaricus blazei Murill, or AbM for short, is a Brazilian mushroom that has been studied rigorously to see its possible relationship with fighting various health issues such as infections and even allergies. Also known as God's mushroom, or the mushroom of life, Agaricus Blazei carries compounds that provide antioxidants, alongside both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Part of the reason this type of mushroom carries such a powerful punch is due to the beta-glucans and proteoglycans found in their cell walls. These help to activate protective cells as well as a positive immune response.
In recent years, researchers and scientists alike have studied compounds found in the mushrooms and their relationship to cancer . Before you jump at taking Agaricus blazei to support your immune system, it is important to understand the potential benefits in regard to seriously challenged immune systems, as well as the pros of cons of taking it before, during, and after chemotherapy.
Agaricus Blazei Mushroom Health Benefits
Agaricus Blazei mushroom (ABM) is an edible fungus that originated in Brazil but now grows in countries like Japan, China, and the US. ABM also goes by a variety of different names depending on the country like:
- Agaricus subrufescens
- Brazil Mushroom
- Brazilian Sun-Mushroom
- Champignon Agaric
- Cogumelo do Sol
- Callampa Agaricus
- Champignon Brésilien
- Champignon du Brésil
- Sun Mushroom
- Almond Mushroom
- Ba xi mó
Call it whatever you like but this mushroom whose cap color varies from grey, white, and reddish-brown contains phytonutrients that can be used to support bodily functions.
This Brazilian rainforest origin mushroom has been used in folk medicine. It is believed that those living in the Brazilian region had less serious diseases than those in neighboring countries because of their consumption of Agaricus Blazei. It has been used in ancient medicine as a remedy for chronic hepatitis, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and hyperlipidemia .
Now in modern-day medicine, preliminary studies have shown that Agaricus Blazei is rich in immunomodulating substances. Agaricus contains agaritine and ergosterol (provitamin D2) that in studies show apoptosis (programmed cell death) in specific cells such as the ones found in multiple myeloma, leukemia, fibrosarcoma, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer. The polysaccharides in ABM, along with other derivatives, have the ability to multiply phagocytes, natural killer cells, and T-cell activity. Agaricus can also stimulate the production of interferon, interleukin-1, and cytokine production, which mobilize the immune cells resulting from bone marrow production .
A review published in 2011 by Advances in Pharmacological Sciences showed that ABM helped restore unhealthy mutated cells found in ovaries and lungs . While only conducted on animals and test-tube studies, this data is still extremely promising regarding ABM’s impact on humans.
Agaricus Blazei Mushroom Before Chemotherapy
While the research in treating cancer is on-going, one should look into the impacts of supplementing with the mushroom throughout the different stages of cancer, beginning with the time period before chemotherapy.
In one research study, a double-blind study was conducted on 40 patients with multiple myeloma. The patients were scheduled for high dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell support. 19 of the patients received adjuvant treatment containing Agaricus Blazei while 21 is in placebo. After about 7 weeks, the study showed that ABM produces several immunomodulating effects to patients with multiple myeloma, which may possibly have a clinical significance .
In addition, an observational study was conducted in European and Asian countries which are associated with the consumption of mushroom and breast cancer. The report suggests consuming Agaricus may be associated with a lower risk of breast cancer . However, further studies must still be conducted due to the restricted sample size of the study.
Agaricus Blazei During Chemotherapy
ABM has shown strong immunomodulating properties found through various research reports. One specific on-going research study hit a strong point in the 1960s when ABM spores were taken to Japan for both research and cultivation . Many different types of research have shown the effects of ABM as an immunomodulating agent and its therapeutic effect.
Beta-glucan, proteoglycan, and ergosterol are nutrients found in ABM that are being used for various clinical trials against cancer. The beta-1,6 glucan that was extracted from ABM has induced tumor regression in mice and a daily supplement of beta-glucan from ABM has reduced the spread of unhealthy mutated ovarian and lung cells8].
On the other hand, ergosterol and proteoglycan from ABM have shown effects on reducing unhealthy cell growth and decreasing metastasis sarcoma and lung carcinoma-bearing mice. Another interesting study has shown the suppressing effects of ABM on myeloma tumors in mice. With these positive effects on mice trials, it is presumed that they will move forward with looking at the impacts of ABM on humans.
A published study conducted by the International Journal of Gynecological Cancers revealed that the use of Agaricus Blazei in concurrence with chemo treatments has shown improvement in peripheral blood results, growth in IgM and IgE values, and decreased nausea, fatigue, and anorexia . This research is pivotal in studying the relationship between ABM and various diseases.
Agaricus Blazei After Chemotherapy
Now, for the last step to explore. Taking Agaricus post-chemotherapy, shows promising effects. Research conducted on Agaricus Blazei has shown that supplementing with ABM can help better manage the negative side effects of chemotherapy. These side effects can include diminished caloric intake and reduced absorption of nutrients that may affect and jeopardize a person’s quality of life. Chemo treatment can also damage and weaken the body’s natural immunological defense.
ABM is currently being studied to see the relationship between the side effects of chemotherapy and the immunotherapy brought by ABM. The b-glucans, proteoglycan, ergosterol, and other substances found in ABM have promising immune-enhancing properties .
As a supplement in general, Agaricus Blazei contains nutritionally significant nutrients, such as essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, enzymes, dietary fibers, natural sterols, and immuno-stimulating polysaccharides. Overall, Agaricus Blazei can be effective with preventive support in maintaining health and promoting healing through immune system enhancement.
While undergoing chemotherapy, it is essential to consult with your health professional before taking any dietary supplements, including Agaricus blazei mushroom.
Possible Side Effects
The ABM supplements are generally well-tolerated. Although, the safety of Agaricus when taken regularly or in high doses are yet to be studied further. Side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach aches especially when taken in higher doses, but these occurrences are rare.
If you’re looking to supplement with Agaricus blazei, we highly recommend our Agaricus Bio products. With over 80 years of experience in fungal manufacturing and a patented strain, we’re one of the world’s top suppliers for high quality organic Agaricus blazei mushroom supplements.