Mushrooms to cure MS?

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Many of todays medicines have their origins in nature and today’s post is about medical mushrooms. Mushrooms or fungi have given us a number of treatments and where would people with transplants be without cyclosporin A, which is an immunosuppressive agent derived from fungi.

As any of the long-term readers will know, I introduced the concept of “mushroom food” rather than say this is BS (pooh from a male cow). But today there really is a story of mushroom food and our furry friends.

It rained last week so we should be seeing the first crop of 2022 mushrooms and I will be out an about, but which ones should you pick to get rid of your MS?

Here is what was used in the current study

Lions mane mushroom, Asian mushroom not to be confused with beefsteak mushroom, king oyster mushroom and velvet shank. You may have seen king oysters in your stir-fry, others need to be cooked and I wouldn’t advise anybody to eat mushrooms unless they know what they are.

This paper looks at the effect of these mushrooms in an animal model of demyelination and reports positive effects. Will it be in a news?

Yamashina K, Yamamoto S, Matsumoto M, Iwasa K, Takeda N, Haruta C, Maruyama K, Shimizu K, Yoshikawa K. Suppressive Effect of Fruiting Bodies of Medicinal Mushrooms on Demyelination and Motor Dysfunction in a Cuprizone-Induced Multiple Sclerosis Mouse Model. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2022;24(9):15-24.

Epidemiologic studies have shown a high prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Europe and North America, and a low prevalence in East Asia. Mushrooms contain various biological response modifiers (BRMs) and are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine in East Asian countries. To investigate whether mushrooms have potential beneficial effects on MS, we administered mushrooms to cuprizone (bis-cyclohexanone-oxalyldihydrazone, CPZ)-induced MS model mice. This model is used to study the processes of demyelination in the CNS. The CPZ-induced demyelination is involved in the apoptotic death of mature oligodendrocytes, neuroinflammation, and motor dysfunction. Mice were fed a powdered diet containing 5% each mushroom and CPZ diet for 5 weeks, which coincides with peak demyelination. We measured the body weight of the mice, evaluated their motor function using a rotarod, and quantified the myelin levels using Black-Gold II staining. Ganoderma lucidum and Hericium erinaceus treatments showed recovery from weight loss. Pleurotus eryngii, G. lucidum, and Flammulina velutipes treatments significantly improved CPZ-induced motor dysfunction. P. eryngii, G. lucidum, F. velutipes, and H. erinaceus treatments effectively suppressed CPZ-induced demyelination. The four medicinal mushrooms may be promising BRMs for prevention and alleviation of the symptoms of MS.

I am sure many of you have eaten the occasional king oyster mushroom but did you feel better for it?

I must say this needs would need to be shown to be of value in humans before it could be recommended, so do not go down to the health food shop.

If a mouse eats about 3-5 grammes a day (in about 15-20 meals), which is about a quarter (forth) of its body weight a day. If the mushoom is 5% in the food, it is a 20th of 3-5grammes a day so about 0.25g of mushrooms for a 25g mouse so dose equivalent dose 100th of 70kg (average human) = 0.7kg of mushrooms a day. So for the four mushrooms, it is about 3kg of mushrooms a day for 5 weeks

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4 comments

  • In Italy is quite a good year for boletus mushrooms despite the drought. I hope to be able to get a few more boletus and I hope to get a lot of dark knights (tricholoma Terrell if I remember well).
    Anyway, 700 g of mushrooms per day require to have a shredder for a stomach…

  • Eating 0.7kg of mushrooms per day isn’t practical, so either we need to see human trials with achievable doses, or somebody needs needs to identify the active components and study those. If you eat mushrooms, they need to be cooked to liberate the interesting constituents from the chitin containing cell walls, but overheating could potentially destroy the active components too. Cooking will reduce the weight (most of a mushroom’s weight is water which evaporates while cooking) and it’s unclear if the mice had cooked or raw mushrooms. Mice might be able, unlike we humans, to digest chitin, but I don’t know.
    Lion’s mane mushrooms are fascinating to grow, but I didn’t notice any MS improvement when I ate 2 fruiting bodies over a few weeks for food, but they tasted great. They are a good lobster substitute for vegetarians.

  • It would have been helpful to state the better-known names of these mushrooms as well as their Latin names;

    Ganoderma lucidum is Reishi

    Pleurotus erymgii is King Oyster or King Trumpet mushroom

    Hericum Erimaceus is Lion’s Mane

    Flammulina Veluptipes is Shark Mushroom

    The first three are available at supermarkets or Asian shops.

    There are many products containing these mushrooms.

    You can buy all these NOW! It will be a long wait for trials on humans.

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