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Observation on the Treatment Effect of Agaricus Blazei Murrill to the Liver Function of Chronic Hepatitis Patients

Drs. Wang Li Rong/Feng Qing Rong/Xu Xiao Yuan/Ma Huai Liang – Department of Infection, The 1st Affiliated Hospital of Lanzhou Medicine College, Drs. Wang Jun Zhi/Hitoshi Ito/Keishiro Shimura - Mie University School of Medicine.


Experimental group (10 cases) of chronic hepatitis B patients who received treatment using Agaricus Blazei grown in Japan was studied. Inspection of items such as liver function, g-globulin and hemocyte was carried out before and after the treatment. In the comparison with control group, there was a significant change (P<0.005-0.001) in the values such as connective cholic acid, serum ferritin, protein electrophoresis, coagulation time, ALT, AST, bilirubin, leukocyte and platelets of experiment group patients. It is conceivable that Agaricus Blazei improves the clinical symptom of chronic hepatitis B patients, promotes the restoration of liver function and reinforces hematopoietic cell.

(Keywords: Agaricus Blazei, Vegetable Polysaccharides, Chronic Hepatitis B, Therapeutic Effect)

As proven by experiments and researches, Agaricus Blazei, a fungous plant of “Shiitake” family is known to provide reinforcement of nutrition liver and kidney. In order to examine its protective function to hepatocytes, we conducted a treatment using Agaricus Blazei for patients with chronic hepatitis and confirmed a satisfactory therapeutic effect through clinical observation from May 1992 to November 1993, which we report as follows.

Data and Method

I. Clinical Data

1. Background of the Subject Patients

The subject patients (total 20 examples) were a part of chronic and active hepatitis B patient who were hospitalized at the Department of Hematology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Lanzhou Medical College during the period from May 1992 to November 1993. They were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group, each consisting of 10 patients. The examples comply with the diagnosis standard established at Shanghai Hepatitis Conference held in May 1990.

2. General Data

The age of the patients of the experimental group ranged 24 – 55 and the average was 41. The experimental group consisted of 9 males and 1 female.

The age of the patients of the control group ranged 21 – 57 and the average was 39. The control group consisted of 8 males and 2 females.

3. Expression of the Clinical Symptom

All the 20 patients were presenting the general clinical expression of chronic hepatitis caused by virus, including fatigue, anorexia, dark urine color, dull pain in the liver and abdominal distension. Among them, 11 patients wore the color of liver disease on their faces, 7 patients carried spider-like nevus and liver palms, and 6 patients presented various degrees of jaundice (serum bilirubin of one

patient was as high as 335mmol/L). All the patients had their ALT exceeding the normal level. 6 patients were experiencing the increase of AST or ALT/AST ratio lower than 1. Liver swellings were felt up to 0.5 – 2.0cm under ribs or 2-4cm under xiphoid. 6 patients had such swellings and 5 patients were presenting positive ascites.

4. Diagnosis Standard

Our diagnosis complies with the clinical and pathological standards for chronic and active hepatitis B established at Shanghai Hepatitis Conference held in May 1990.

II. Treatment Method

1. Experimental Group (10 examples):

While they were given a standard treatment for liver disease, the experimental group patients took Agaricus Blazei (supplied by Japan Iwakin Co. Ltd. Laboratory) boiled in the water (daily amount of 20g, twice a day) for 3 consecutive months. After the 3-month treatment period, the conditions of patients were re-checked.

2. Control Group (10 examples):

The control group patients received the same standard treatment for liver disease and they also took vitamins and energy mixture including diuretics, digestives and antiinfectives. Albumin and complex amino acid were also given to patients in serious condition.

III. Monitored Values

1. Changes in the Liver Functions:

ALT, AST, bilirubin, serum ferritin (ST), connective cholic acid (CG), g-globulin and coagulation time were monitored at pre-treatment test and post-treatment biweekly tests to see their dynamic changes.

2. Changes in the Blood Picture:

Leukocyte and platelets were monitored before and after treatment.

IV. Rating of Therapeutic Effect

1. The rating of the therapeutic effect established at the Shanghai Hepatitis Conference held in May 1990 is as follows:

  • Especially effective: (1) Disappearance of subjective symptom, (2) decrease or no change in swelling and other chronic symptom, (3) recovery of liver function ALT to normal level and improvement in A/G ratio, and (4) negative HBVM activity replisome.
  • Effective: (1) Improvement or disappearance of subjective symptom, (2) no change in swelling and other chronic symptom, (3) recovery of liver function ALT to normal level and no change in A/G ratio, and (4) negative HBVM activity replisome.
  • Ineffective: Any result short of the above standards.

V. Side Effect

Patients went through rigid inspection during and after treatment for any side effects.

VI. Statistical Processing

“T” inspection processing was applied to the data of each item.


1. Symptoms and Signs:

The symptoms of most of the experimental group patients were improved. For example, symptoms such as abdominal distension, fatigue and hepatodynia either disappeared or improved. Signs were also improved to some degree. The number of patients with retraction of the liver and spleen decreased to 5/8 and 3/6 examples respectively, and 2 examples of ascites retraction disappeared. It was obvious that the improvement in the clinical symptoms of the experimental group far exceeded that of the control group.

2. After the 3-month treatment using Agaricus Blazei, the liver function was obviously improved, and there was a remarkable change in values including ALT, AST, bilirubin (P<0.05-0.001). It is obvious that Agaricus Blazei has a therapeutic effect against enzyme depression and jaundice (see Table 1).

Table 1: Influence of Agaricus Blazei to the Liver Function of Chronic Hepatopaths (x±S)

Group Timing ALT(m) P value AST(m) P value Bilirubin
P value
Experimental Group (10) Before 83.1±33.21 <0.001* 83.1±33.21 <0.005* 114.14±127 <0.05*
After 24.12 ±8.97 <0.001** 139.3 ±4.7 <0.001** 17.83 ±4.02 <0.05**
Control Group (10) Before 88.3 ±35.26 <0.01* 137.7 ±3.4 >0.1* 103.55±50.96 <0.001*
After 64.6 ±28.48 128.4 ±5.72) 31.36 ±17.16

Note: * Comparison within the group
** Comparison with the result of control group patients after treatment

3. Agaricus Blazei influences to all correlative perspectives of the liver function of chronic hepatopath. Serum connective cholic acid, serum ferritin, g-globulin, coagulation time after the treatment showed remarkable depression (P<0.05-0.001). It is conceived that Agaricus Blazei has various therapeutic effects to hepatopaths and presents a comprehensive control in the positive direction.

Table 2: Influence of Agaricus Blazei to the Correlative Perspectives of Liver Function of Chronic Hepatopaths (x±S)

Group Timing Connective Cholic Acid (mg/dl) P value Serum Ferritin (Ng/ml) P value g-Globulin (g%) P value Coagulation Time (S) P value
Experimental Group (10) Before 2803 ± 1535.53 <0.001* 340.7 ± 136.5 <0.005* 27.78 ± 0.91 <0.025* 19.8 ±3.27 <0.001*
After 748 ± 951.36 <0.005** 198 ± 110.79 <0.025** 22.24 ± 5.68
Control Group (10) Before 2803 ± 1189.77 <0.01* 302.8 ± 41.84 >0.5* 26.37 ± 7.93 >0.01* 19.7 ±3.09 <0.005*
After 2456.1±835.6 293.1±28.75 27.56±4.82

Note: * Comparison within the group
** Comparison with the result of control group patients after treatment

4. Agaricus Blazei Influences the Peripheral Blood of Chronic Hepatopaths

As shown in the experiment result, Agaricus Blazei causes promotional and formational action to the hematopoietic cells of mice. It was also found in clinical studies that it controls the peripheral hemocyte of chronic hepatitis patients to the positive direction. As shown in Table 3, the values after treatment using Agaricus Blazei obviously increases and presents a remarkable statistical significance (P<0.025-0.001). It can be said that Agaricus Blazei has obvious stimulative and proliferative effects to hemocytes.

Table 3: Influence of Agaricus Blazei to the Peripheral hemocytes of Chronic Hepatopaths (x±S)

Group Timing Leukocytes (x109/L) P value Platelets (x1012/L) P value
Experimental Group (10) Before treatment 4.55±0.85 <0.01* 67.6±11.29 <0.001*
After treatment 5.06±1.41 <0.025** 96.6±1.73 <0.025**
Control Group (10) Before treatment 4.68±0.46 <0.05* 68.7±15.9 >0.5*
After treatment 4.79±0.51 71.6±16.09

Note: * Comparison within the group
** Comparison with the result of control group patients after treatment

5. Comparison of Total Therapeutic Effect

The treatment was especially effective to 2 patients (20%) and effective to 8 patients (80%) of total 10 patients of experimental group. For control group, the treatment was especially effective to 1 patient (10%), effective to 6 patients (60%) and ineffective to 3 patients (30%).

6. Side Effects

No obvious reaction was observed during the treatment period except minor nausea and thirst reported by individual patients. These reactions disappears as they continue the recipe. No one stopped the recipe due to these minor reactions.


Agaricus Blazei belongs to Fungi plant and it originated from Brazil. Recently, it is widely grown in Japan and Indonesia. It is sometimes called “Shiitake fungi” because its appearance resembles Shiitake. Since the edible part of the mushroom produces elegant aroma and has soft and delicious, it has been regarded as a high-quality food material. 100g of dried Agaricus Blazei contains 45g of protein and 38-40g of carbohydrate as well as various elements such as vitamin B group and nicotinic acid. According to the researches in Japan, it is found that these elements have nutrient effects to liver and kidney. The water extract from Agaricus Blazei contains rich polysaccharides that features immunological enhancement anticancer activity. This time, Agaricus Blazei’s function to promote the recovery of hepatocytes of chronic hepatitis patients was found through our clinical research.

As it is shown in the result of the test treatment this time, the disappearance and improvement of symptoms and signs of experimental group patients far exceeded those of control group. The mushroom also has an effect to improvement in liver function including dramatic enzyme depression. After the patients stopped the treatment, so far there is no sign of rebound phenomenon. AST, ALT, serum bilirubin, g-globulin, CG and SF are all improved and the difference in these values before and after the treatment is remarkable (P<0.05-0.001). Liver functions of the patients checked after the treatment period and were maintaining the normal level. So the therapeutic effect is stable and long lasting. As seen in the completely improved situation of liver function, Agaricus Blazei provides a reliable protection to hepatocytes through its remarkable promotion of the recovery of liver function and enhancement of liver reserve function of chronic hepatitis.

As shown in number of result in research and experiment, vegetable polysaccharides remarkably promote the formation of hematopoietic cells. Although the mechanism is still unknown, the result is presumed to have been achieved by directly promoting the approach to proliferation and differentiation stage of hematopoietic cells or by effectively stimulating the control factor of these cells. As confirmed by out experiment result, it is certain that Agaricus Blazei, with its voluminous vegetable polysaccharide contents, has an effect to increase the number of peripheral hemocyte. Especially, the leukocyte value increased after the treatment to 6.06±1.40 (x109/L) from pre-treatment value of 4.55±0.85. Th same result have been obtained through other academic experiments as well.

As observed in our experiment, Agaricus Blazei is, when compared to other medicines, an ideal medicine for chronic hepatitis. Considering its potential applications to human society and contribution to human health, Agaricus Blazei is worth further study and research not only as a new crude drug but also as a therapeutic medicine for the next healthcare era of the 21st century.

(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” 1986.56.1679

2.“The 6th National Virus Hepatitis Conference Report” China Epidemic Disease Magazine 1991.1.52

3.Ma Lan Fang et al. “Influence of the Polysaccharides to Hematopoietic Cell Formation” China Hematology Magazine 1988.9.14

4.Lee Xing Yu et al. “Observation of the Effect of Seaweed Pent-Polysaccharides against Anti-radiation Damages” 1988.9.14

5.Zhou Zhi Wen et al. “Influence of Polysaccharides to Normal Hematopoietic and Colony Stimulation Factors of Rats” China Hematology Magazine 1991.12.409

6.Zhu Qi et al. “Influence of Vegetable Polysaccharides to the Formation of Lymphocytes and Hematopoietic Cells of Rats” Military Medical Science Institute Publication 1985.3.279

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