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Review
. 2005;53(1):11-7.
doi: 10.1207/s15327914nc5301_2.

Anticancer Effects of Ganoderma Lucidum: A Review of Scientific Evidence

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Review

Anticancer Effects of Ganoderma Lucidum: A Review of Scientific Evidence

John W M Yuen et al. Nutr Cancer. .

Abstract

"Lingzhi" (Ganoderma lucidum), a popular medicinal mushroom, has been used in China for longevity and health promotion since ancient times. Investigations into the anticancer activity of lingzhi have been performed in both in vitro and in vivo studies, supporting its application for cancer treatment and prevention. The proposed anticancer activity of lingzhi has prompted its usage by cancer patients. It remains debatable as to whether lingzhi is a food supplement for health maintenance or actually a therapeutic "drug" for medical proposes. Thus far there has been no report of human trials using lingzhi as a direct anticancer agent, despite some evidence showing the usage of lingzhi as a potential supplement to cancer patients. Cellular immune responses and mitogenic reactivity of cancer patients have been enhanced by lingzhi, as reported in two randomized and one nonrandomized trials, and the quality of life of 65% of lung cancer patients improved in one study. The direct cytotoxic and anti-angiogenesis mechanisms of lingzhi have been established by in vitro studies; however, clinical studies should not be neglected to define the applicable dosage in vivo. At present, lingzhi is a health food supplement to support cancer patients, yet the evidence supporting the potential of direct in vivo anticancer effects should not be underestimated. Lingzhi or its products can be classified as an anticancer agent when current and more direct scientific evidence becomes available.

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