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Is Agaricus Blazei Good for Liver?

Traditional medicine has long placed a significant importance on the liver’s health. It is not surprising considering the liver’s many critical functions in maintaining the body’s overall well-being; it detoxifies, synthesizes essential proteins, and metabolizes fats. These functions are only the tip of the iceberg regarding the liver’s importance. Given its significance, liver health has become a focus of dietary supplements that aim to support it. One of these supplements is the Agaricus Blazei Murill (ABM) extract. But, what is ABM extract, and how is Agaricus blazei good for liver? 

The scientific name of Agaricus blazei Murill (ABM) is Agaricus subrufescens.  Agaricus blazei Murill is known as almond mushroom, himematsutake, and Agaricus brasiliensis, God’s mushroom. Agaricus blazei mushroom is a type of functional mushroom that originated from Brazil and U.S.A and became one of the very popular dietary supplements in Japan and other Asian countries. It has been gaining popularity primarily due to its effectiveness in supporting the immune system functions. Today, ABM mushroom products are also becoming more popular in the supplement industry due to their immunomodulatory properties[1], among others.

The liver is one of the organs that benefit from ABM extract. Maintaining healthy liver function is of paramount importance for overall health and well-being. The liver is one of the body's most vital organs, and it performs a wide range of essential functions, including [2]:

Functions of healthy liver

  • Detoxification: The liver filters toxins and waste products from the blood, helping to purify the body. It metabolizes drugs and alcohol and removes harmful substances from the bloodstream.
  • Metabolism: The liver plays a key role in the metabolism of nutrients, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It regulates blood sugar levels and stores and releases glucose as needed.
  • Nutrients & Energy Storage: The liver stores important vitamins, minerals, and glycogen, which provide a reserve of energy when required.
  • Protein Production: It produces essential proteins, including clotting factors, albumin, and enzymes necessary for digestion.
  • Bile Production: The liver produces bile, which is essential for the digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Immune Function: The liver helps in immune system function by filtering out bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances from the blood.
  • Regulation of Cholesterol Levels: The liver produces and regulates cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Blood Pressure Regulation: It helps control blood pressure by regulating blood volume.
  • Metabolism of Hormones: The liver metabolizes hormones, ensuring proper hormonal balance in the body.

Given these crucial functions, the importance of a healthy liver cannot be overstated. When the liver is not functioning properly, it can lead to a wide range of health issues. 

Is Agaricus Blazei Good For Liver?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption, and avoiding harmful substances like excessive alcohol and illicit drugs is essential for liver health. 

Researchers suggest that the Agaricus blazei extract works by reducing inflammation and scavenging free radicals that lead to liver damage. ABM extract contains polysaccharides, phenols, and flavonoids, which help fight oxidative stress that can cause liver hazards, including fatty liver. [3]

Aside from the extract's antioxidant properties, research suggests that ABM extract may also help to reduce significantly in fatty liver scores compared to the control group.[3]

Phase 1 clinical study with 78 subjects suggests Agaricus blazei mushroom is safe in cancer patients in remission.[6]  

Moreover, research suggests that Agaricus blazei murill may also help to protect the liver from alcohol-induced damage significantly compared to the control group.[7

Consuming Agaricus blazei extract may also improve liver function test results, as seen in individuals with poor liver health who took ABM extract for twelve months.[4] In these cases, the extract improved liver function before antiviral treatment, leading to better patient outcomes. 

The liver is vital and should be cared for with attention and caution. A healthy, functioning liver is a key to overall body health. So far, research indicates Agaricus blazei Murill extract is among the natural dietary supplements that may support liver health.[5] As outlined above, some evidence supports the liver's benefits in supporting liver function in several ways. Further research is necessary to explore ABM's full potential to care for liver health, but current studies suggest that it may be positively involved in a healthy liver. Is Agaricus blazei good for liver? Yes, it is. However, we recommend you be selective about the quality of the mushroom extract. The quality of mushrooms would depend on how and where they grow. 

Adding Agaricus blazei mushrooms to your diet can be part of a healthy liver maintenance plan that may lead to long-term vitality and health while ABM mushroom supports your immune system functions by strengthening the activities of natural killer cells and macrophages. 

Reference

  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Liver: Anatomy and Functions. Retrieved October 16, 2023, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-anatomy-and-functions

  2. Bertollo, A. G., Mingoti, M. E. D., Plissari, M. E., Betti, G., Roman Junior, W. A., Luzardo, A. R., & Ignácio, Z. M. (2022). Agaricus blazei Murrill mushroom: A review on the prevention and treatment of cancer. Pharmacological Research - Modern Chinese Medicine, 2, 100032. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2667142521000312

  3. Al-Dbass AM, Al-Daihan SK, Bhat RS. Agaricus blazei Murill as an efficient hepatoprotective and antioxidant agent against CCl4-induced liver injury in rats. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2012 Jul;19(3):303-9. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.03.004. Epub 2012 Apr 1. PMID: 23961190; PMCID: PMC3730730. From https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23961190/

  4. Hsu CH, Hwang KC, Chiang YH, Chou P. The mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill extract normalizes liver function in patients with chronic hepatitis B. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Apr;14(3):299-301. doi: 10.1089/acm.2006.6344. PMID: 18370584. From https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18370584/

  5. Huang K, El-Seedi HR, Xu B. Critical review on chemical compositions and health-promoting effects of mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill. Curr Res Food Sci. 2022 Nov 5;5:2190-2203. doi: 10.1016/j.crfs.2022.10.029. PMID: 36387602; PMCID: PMC9661389. From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9661389/

  6. Ohno S, Sumiyoshi Y, Hashine K, Shirato A, Kyo S, Inoue M. Phase I Clinical Study of the Dietary Supplement, Agaricus blazei Murill, in Cancer Patients in Remission - PubMed (nih.gov) Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011:2011:192381. doi: 10.1155/2011/192381. Epub 2011 Apr 18. 

  7. Wang, H., Li, G., Zhang, W., Han, C., Xu, X., & Li, P. (2014). The Protective Effect of Agaricus blazei Murrill, Submerged Culture Using the Optimized Medium Composition, on Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/573978