by Mark Sircus
December 05, 2016
Lingzhi mushrooms (Reishi) are a gold mine
in terms of provide a broad-spectrum approach to the treatment and
prevention of diseases.
A considerable number of studies in
Japan, China, USA, and the UK in the past 30 years have shown that
the consumption of Lingzhi mushrooms has been linked to the
treatment of a vast range of diseases, common ailments, and
From asthma to zoster, the applications
of these mushrooms seem to be related to a multitude of body organs
Most of the scientific research that has been conducted appears to
support Lingzhi's role as a normalizing substance - a nutritional
supplement that can yield medical benefits through its normalization
and regulation of the body's organs and functions.
Lingzhi's numerous compounds show a therapeutic effect on,
autoimmune diseases 
    
diabetes   
  
pancreatic issues 
  
liver disease  
      ,
Lingzhi mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for at least
The mushrooms were known to the ancients
as "the mushroom of immortality." They had the reputation of
promoting health, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk
of life-shortening conditions such as cardiovascular disease and
cancer.   
Originally, Lingzhi mushrooms were rare and expensive, but now
advances in cultivation techniques have made these medicinal
mushrooms more available which has led to an explosion of research
on their properties and components showing that they can help manage
some of today's most troubling age-related conditions, including
autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, liver
disease, cancer, and more.
Researchers have identified three specific compounds that are
essential to Lingzhi's powerful antioxidant and anti-aging effects:
anticancer effects based on their ability to prevent
abnormal blood vessel formation, and to boost immune system
Triterpenes protect the
liver, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent
platelet clumping that leads to heart attack and stroke,
fight allergic responses triggered by histamine, and also
possess anticancer activity.
peptide is a unique protein
that has remarkably potent antioxidant characteristics that
are still being unraveled.
Lingzhi extracts are known to:
Protect cellular DNA from
oxidant damage that causes aging and cancer.
Protect mitochondrial DNA and
the mitochondria themselves from oxidant damage that weakens
their energy-producing abilities and makes them inefficient,
another major cause of aging.  
Increase levels and activity of
a large suite of natural intracellular antioxidant
molecules, resulting in reduced oxidation of cell membranes
and organelles that lead to aging and its related diseases.
Protect kidney tubule cells from
oxidant damage that leads to kidney failure.
Increase expression of a key
longevity gene and promote an increased life span in species
ranging from yeasts, to primitive worms, to mammals such as
Several studies have shown that Lingzhi
is one of the most powerful mushrooms with regard to antioxidant
characteristics.  Lingzhi mushrooms boost
total antioxidant capacity, an important measure of the vigor with
which they fight oxidant damage.
In a human study, Lingzhi mushrooms were given to healthy volunteers
as a single 1100mg dose.
Plasma antioxidant capacity rose rapidly
to a peak at ninety minutes, while urine antioxidant capacity (a
measure of what has been in the body) rose by 29% after three hours.
Neither study showed any evidence of toxicity or side effects.
There's an abundance of data on ways that Lingzhi extracts boost
immune surveillance and enhance detection and elimination of
emerging cancer cells from the body.
And in late 2012, several new studies
revealed that these mushrooms have substantially deeper and more
advanced mechanisms than had been previously suspected. Cancer cells
evade immune system surveillance by "hiding" their abnormal surface
These types of molecular changes not
only permit primary cancer to arise, but also contribute to relapses
of cancer following chemotherapy.
Lingzhi extracts force cancer cells to
reveal their telltale markers, flagging them for destruction by
immune killer cells. At the same time, Lingzhi extracts induce the
production of specific molecules that the immune system needs to
complete the killing process.
Lingzhi extracts have numerous other ways of
Lingzhi compounds, particularly
the triterpenes and polysaccharides, limit tumors' growth
rate by blocking the abnormal reproductive cycles of cancer
Some of these compounds are
directly toxic to cancer cells, while sparing healthy
Lingzhi compounds inhibit
metastatic processes and decrease the expression of genes
involved in cancer cell survival, proliferation, invasion,
Lingzhi compounds also trigger
the programmed cell death called apoptosis that's suppressed
in malignant cells.
Together, all of these effects of
Lingzhi mushrooms are shown to reduce the size and growth rates of
human tumors, both in animals and in human clinical trials.
The most dramatic impact has been shown in colorectal cancer, which
is the second leading cause of cancer death among cancers that
affect both men and women.
Clinical studies show that Lingzhi extracts suppress the development
of adenomas, which are pre-malignant masses found in the large
Lingzhi mushrooms have a well-known ability to beneficially modulate
the immune system.  
The mushrooms' ability to boost immunity
is the source of their advanced cancer- and infection-fighting
properties. But it is equally important to keep your immune system
from overreacting and turning on itself, as is the case with
autoimmune diseases such as allergies.
Lingzhi mushrooms have demonstrated the
ability to modulate the delicate balance necessary for a healthy
Studies have shown that Lingzhi
mushrooms can reduce the overactive immune response that occurs in
conditions such as allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
The polysaccharides and triterpenes found in Lingzhi mushrooms act
at multiple targets in the cascade of events leading to inflammation
and excessive immune response.
Lingzhi extracts inhibit the release of histamine from specialized
immune cells called "mast cells."
They have the ability to reduce the
activity in nerves that transmit the itch sensation to the brain
after a mosquito bite or similar itchy stimulus.  
In animal models, Lingzhi extracts were able to sharply reduce the
symptoms associated with allergies, such as rhinitis (watery, itchy
nose) and mosquito bites. Studies also show that Lingzhi extracts
can reduce "airway hyper-responsiveness," the "twitchy" smooth
muscle responses in the lung bronchi that trigger an asthma attack.
Lingzhi extracts also show promise for the management of the
underlying immune imbalance that leads to autoimmune diseases.
Lingzhi extracts were found to stimulate the production of nerve
growth factor, which in turn supports the rapid development of
healthy neurons and enhances their mitochondrial function.
Lingzhi's powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make
these mushrooms attractive candidates for preventing
neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Both of these diseases are driven by
oxidative stress and inflammation.
The triterpenes and polysaccharides from the mushrooms reduce the
oxidative impact of destructive proteins such as Amyloid-beta, the
chief trigger of Alzheimer's disease and they protect brain cells
from the inflammation known to cause Parkinson's disease.
Studies reveal that supplementing with Lingzhi mushrooms has
beneficial effects for stroke victims.
First, it can limit the size of
the stroke-damaged area in the brain, which helps limit
behavioral and functional damage caused by the stroke.
Second, Lingzhi mushrooms
protect brain tissue from hypoxia/reperfusion injury, the
"one-two" punch of oxygen starvation followed by excessive
oxidation that produces most of the damage in the brains of
But as valuable as these benefits are,
nowhere are the effects of Lingzhi mushroom extracts more clear than
in their impact on diabetes-related cognitive disorders.
In animal studies, Lingzhi spores
alleviated diabetes-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial
dysfunction in the hippocampus, one of the brain's chief
Lingzhi and Diabeties
Obesity is a health hazard sweeping the globe in epidemic
proportions - and chief among its complications is type II diabetes.
The conditions are so often found
hand-in-hand that researchers refer to them as a single disease
called diabesity - diabetes plus obesity.
Lingzhi mushrooms are especially
valuable in the fight against this epidemic because they've been
shown to have benefits across the entire spectrum of diabesity.
Laboratory studies show that the polysaccharides and triterpenes in
Lingzhi extracts can prevent the development of new fat cells from
pre-adipocytes, helping to limit excessive fat storage seen in obese
The extracts also have favorable effects
on lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides), which are
frequently elevated in those with obesity and/or diabetes - and are
risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Lingzhi extracts work to lower blood sugar by several different
mechanisms.   
Lingzhi inhibits alpha-glucosidase, the
chief enzyme responsible for digesting starches into sugars.
 This inhibition prevents the sharp after-meal
spike in glucose that is so dangerous as we age. 
They also limit the destruction caused
by advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the proteins whose
malfunction promotes aging and inflammation. 
Studies have shown that reducing blood sugar and glycation with
Lingzhi supplements reduces diabetic consequences like kidney
Lingzhi extracts also speed wound
healing in diabetic individuals, the result of enhanced antioxidant
Your liver is the direct recipient of toxic threats both from the
environment and from destructive molecules produced within your
While it is well protected with its own
antioxidant and detoxification systems, oxidation and inflammation
eventually take their toll, leaving the aging liver at risk for
decreased function, increased accumulation of toxic injury,
fibrosis, and cancer.
Fortunately, Lingzhi mushrooms offer
direct protection against such threats.
Studies show, for instance, that pre-treating animals with Lingzhi
spores can protect them when they're exposed to cadmium, a highly
toxic metal capable of causing massive liver failure.
Researchers found the spores decreased
the cadmium accumulation in liver, while "pushing" the toxic metal
into the liquid matrix of the cells. Once there, the mushroom spores
increased the production of a cadmium-binding protein that removes
the toxin from the body.
Lingzhi mushroom extracts similarly protect liver tissue from the
toxic effects of certain bacterial infections. In animals with such
infections, Lingzhi polysaccharides inhibit inflammation in liver
Other studies reveal that Lingzhi
polysaccharides restore natural liver antioxidant systems to normal
function following an infection, while inhibiting liver enzymes that
produce excessive oxidative stress.
Lingzhi mushrooms limit the activity of
beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is elevated in many liver
conditions, including inflammation, cirrhosis, and jaundice.
One of the most exciting potential applications for Lingzhi
mushrooms in liver disease is in the condition called liver
fibrosis, which is the final stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver
Statistics have shown that non-alcoholic
fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver disease,
ultimately affecting 20 to 30% of the population. In an animal model
of toxin-induced liver fibrosis, treatment with Lingzhi extract
reversed the fibrosis even after it was well-established.
This is an exceptional result, because
in most cases, liver disease that has advanced to the stage of
fibrosis is considered irreversible.
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