Springboard Health Nutrition notebook Health information
Other Nutrients  pixels Return home
2 pixels

Agaricus Max
Article 3

Article 1 | Article 2 | Article 4 | Article 5 | Article 6

Observation on Treatment Effect of Agaricus Blazei Murrill
against Alimentary Tract Tumor

Drs. Wang Jing/Mao Xin Min - Lanzhou Medical College, China
Drs. Cheng Ru Zheng - Gansu Tumor Hospital, China
Drs. Wang Jun Zhi/Hitoshi Ito/Keishiro Shimura - Mie University, Japan


Through clinical study of 10 patients with malignant tumor in their alimentary tracts who took Agaricus Blazei for 3 months, it was found that their clinical symptoms and signs were improved to a certain degree, their peripheral blood picture (hemoglobin, leukocyte and platelets) obviously rose, the ratio between plasma albumin and globulin was maintained within normal level and serum immunoglobulin (lgG, lgM and lgE) obviously rose. Hence, Agaricus Blazei is considered to have comparatively high medicinal value and fine development potential through its effect of improvement in clinical expression, promotion of normal hematopoiesis and enhancement of internal immunity function.

(Keywords: Agaricus Blazei, Alimentary Tract Malignant Tumor, Immunomodulator.)

The terrestrial stem of Fungi plant called Agaricus Blazei was originally grown in Brazil and has later come to be grown popularly in Japan and Indonesia. The mushroom looks close to “Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes)” mushroom and is regarded as a high-quality food material with soft and delicious body. The mushroom is recently conceived to have nutrient function as well. As it has been proven by basic medicinal research, the mushroom is worth further study and development since the polysaccharides extracted from it in the water reinforces internal immunity function and antitumor activity. The following report is based on a clinical therapy observation that was carried out at Mid-West Medical Department of Gansu Tumor Hospital from October 1992 to October 1993 on 10 patients with last stage malignant tumors in their alimentary tracts.

1. The Subject and Experiment Method

1.1 Clinical Data:

20 patients with malignant alimentary tract tumor who had all received various correlative inspections or post-operation diagnosis was chosen as the subject. The 20 patients were randomly divided into experimental group (to take Agaricus Blazei) and control group. There was no obvious difference between the two groups as to the type and condition of disease. See Table 1.

Table 1: Comparison between the Basic Condition of the Patients in the Two Groups

Group # of Patients Average Age Cancer Location
Male Female (Range) Esophageal Stomach Colon
Experimental Group 8 2 58.8 (40 - 77) 3 5  
Control Group 9 1 53.7 (32 - 67) 4 5 2

1.2 Monitored Values

1.2.1 Symptoms and Signs

Mental condition, appetite, nausea, pulses, blood pressure, respiration, etc.

1.2.2 Laboratory Inspections

General blood composition, plasma total protein, albumin - globulin ratio, blood creatinin, blood urea nitrogen, liver function, serum lgG/lgM/lgE, urobilinogen, urine protein, etc.

1.2.3 Special Inspections

Endoscope, renogram and electrocardiogram.

1.3 Treatment Method

Normal treatment methods of western medicine (including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery) were applied to both groups, while the experimental group took, twice a day, extract of daily amount (20g) of Agaricus Blazei using boiled water. Every value was monitored again 3 months after the treatment was started.

2. Result

2.1 Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms such as a fatigue, anorexia, nausea of control group patients continued, and in some cases deteriorated. The symptoms of experimental group patients, including mental condition, anorexia and nausea were gradually improved. No dysphoria or side effects caused by taking the extract was observed at this point.

2.2 Changes in Blood Picture

3 months after the experimental group patients started taking Agaricus Blazei extract, their blood picture was improved (though it is within a normal range). On the other hand, the blood picture of control group patients obviously deteriorated. Especially the depression of platelets was remarkable. Therefore, it is considered that Agaricus Blazei improves the peripheral blood picture. See Table 2.

Table 2: Comparison between the Changes in Blood Pictures of the Two Groups (x±S)





Experimental Group

Before treatment




After treatment




Control Group

Before treatment




After treatment 128.4±5.72) 5.1±0.62) 48.1±4.63)

Note: 1) P<0.05 when compared to before treatment
2) P<0.05 when compared to before observation
3) P<0.01 when compared to before observation
2.3 Proportional Changes in Plasma Total Protein, Albumin and Globulin of the Two Groups

Table 3: Proportional Changes in Plasma Total Protein, Albumin and Globulin of the Two Groups

Group Total Protein Albumin Globulin A/G
Experimental Group Before treatment 57.0±5 36.0±4 21.0±2 1.7±0.3
  After treatment 58.0±3 36.0±3 22.0±3 1.7±0.4
Control Group Before treatment 64.0±5 42.0±7 22.0±3 1.9±0.2
  After treatment 53.0±4 28.0±5 25.0±4 1.0±0.41)

Note: 1) P<0.05 when compared to before observation

While the albumin/globulin ratio of the experimental group stayed within the normal level, that of the control group became almost inversus. Therefore, it is considered that Agaricus Blazei inhibits cancer by controlling the immunity.

2.4 Comparison of Changes in Immunoglobulins of the Two Groups after Taking Agaricus Blazei

The lgG value did not obviously change, while lgM and lgE values obviously increased after taking Agaricus Blazei. See Table 4.

Table 4: Changes in Immunoglobulins after Taking Agaricus Blazei (x±S)

Group lgG lgM LgE
Experimental Group Before treatment 6.13±0.74 0.61±0.08 0.32±0.04
  After treatment 6.94±0.68 0.77±0.061) 0.46±0.063)
Control Group Before treatment 6.04±0.53 0.62±0.06 0.30±0.03
  After treatment 4.29±0.492) 0.45±0.052) 0.16±0.043)


1) P<0.05 when compared to before treatment
2) P<0.01 when compared to before observation
3) P<0.001 when compared to before observation
The inspection results including kidney and liver functions and electrocardiogram of the patients in the two groups are all within normal ranges.

3. Discussion

So far, the effect of Agaricus Blazei is not widely reported in China. The scholars in Japan are making various research on its pharmaceutical and pharmacological aspects. As seen in its pharmaceutical analysis, Agaricus Blazei contains protein, sugar, and small quantity of various elements and vitamins. Its pharmacological study reveals that neutral and acidic polysaccharides separated from water extract of mushrooms such as Agaricus Blazei, Ganoderma Lucidum or Polyporos Umbellatus have both immunological enhancement and tumor inhibition effects. This time, the lgG, lgM and lgE values of the experimental group were all increased from the values before treatment. The increase of lgM and lgE values were significant (P<0.05). On the other hand, as a result of monitoring the control group more than 3 months, all the three values were obviously decreased (P<0.01 – 0.001). Therefore, Agaricus Blazei demonstrated its internal immunity function. The decrease in the three values of control group is caused by the deterioration of internal immunity function from the radiotherapy and chemotherapy, as well as from the malignant tumor itself.

There is a difference between the two groups of patients in the change of ratio between plasma albumin and globulin. The A/G ratio of experimental group after the treatment was unchanged from the ratio before the treatment (the ratio was maintained within a normal range). On the other hand, the A/G ratio of the control group was almost inverted (P<0.05). This decrease in A/G ratio is considered to have been caused by the increase of globulin and not by decrease of albumin, since no obvious damage was found in liver function. Accordingly, the condition of cancer will be worsened. The fact that the A/G level remains within a normal level means that Agaricus Blazei has a cancer inhibition effect. As proven in the past experiments and clinical studies, many plant polysaccharides play the roll of an immunomodulator and are called antitumor polysaccharides. While such polysaccharides do not have an effect to kill cancer cells, they discharge certain cell factors effective in cancer inhibition through activation of internal immunity system and reinforce the anticancer function of natural killer cells and LAK cells. Therefore, Agaricus can be conceived to have the same immunomodulation activity, since it contains such polysaccharides voluminously.

Although patients in both groups experienced excessively low peripheral blood picture derived from retarded hematopoiesis caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the blood pictures of the experimental group patients were maintained in a normal range and could obviously rise from an already low level. On the contrary, the blood picture of the control group, without the help of Agaricus Blazei kept dropping all the way. Hence, in addition to its hematopoietic promotion, Agaricus Blazei is also considered to promote the restoration of retarded myelopoiesis after radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This stands as the ratification of the result obtained in our animal experiment. We had found through our experiment (to be reported) using mice that Agaricus Blazei promoted the restoration of myelopoiesis damaged by chemotherapeutical drug and radiation (99Co-g), while it also promoted the growth of CFU-S, GM-CFU and CFU-F and reinforced serum hematopoietic factor. As shown in the result of the animal experiment, the cause of the increase of peripheral blood cells of the subject patients is related to the promotional effect of Agaricus Blazei for proliferation of internal hematopoietic, ancestor and fibroblastic cells.

Because of its effects in promotion of hematopoietic action, reinforcement of immunity function and inhibition of tumor growth, there lies a substantial value in the future development and application of Agaricus Blazei.

(Dr. Wang Jun Zhi is a co-researcher of Lanzhou Medicine College, currently at Mie University, Japan.)


1.T. Mizuno et al. "Studies on the Host-Mediated Antitumor Polysaccharides: Part IX. Fractionation and Characterization of Antitumor Polysaccharides from Maitake, Grifoia Frondosa.” Agric Bio Chem 1986.56.1679

2.T. Mizuno et al. "Studies on Carcinostatic Polysaccharides (The second report): The Antitumor Activity of b-D-Glycan and Chitin Obtained from a Few Medicinal Fungi (Shizuoka University faculty of agriculture research report)" 1988.38.39

3.Liu Rui Hai et al. "Overview of the Present and the Future of Carcinostatics from the Viewpoint of Crude Drug Pharmacology (Foreign and Chinese Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences/Separate Volume)" 1989.11.16

4.Haranaka "Antitumor Activities and Tumor Necrosis Factor Producibility of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Crude Drugs." Cancer Immunol Immunother 1985.20.1

296 pixels

Return to top

Copyright © 2004 Springboard All rights reserved.
2 pixels
Left tab 436 Pixels Right tab