Background: Ingestion of AndoSan™, based on the mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill, has previously been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects because of reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines in healthy individuals and patients with ulcerative colitis. In this randomized single-blinded placebo controlled study we examined whether intake of AndoSan™ also resulted in clinical effects.
Methods and findings: 50 patients with symptomatic ulcerative colitis were block-randomized and blinded for oral daily intake of AndoSan™ or placebo for the 21 days' experimental period. The patients reported scores for symptoms, fatigue and health related quality of life (HRQoL) at days 0, 14 and 21. Fecal calprotectin and general blood parameters were also analyzed. In the AndoSan™ group (n = 24) symptoms improved from baseline (day 0) to days 14 and 21, with respective mean scores (95% CI) of 5.88 (4.92-6.83), 4.71 (3.90-5.52) (p = 0.002) and 4.50 (3.70-5.30) (p = 0.001). Corresponding improved mean scores (±SD) for total fatigue were 16.6 (5.59), 14.1 (4.50) (p = 0.001) and 15.1 (4.09) (p = 0.023). These scores in the placebo group (n = 26) were not improved. When comparing the two study groups using mixed model statistics, we found significant better scores for the AndoSan™-patients. HRQoL for dimensions bodily pain, vitality, social functioning and mental health improved in the AndoSan™ group. There were no alterations in general blood samples and fecal calprotectin.
Conclusions: Beneficiary effects on symptoms, fatigue and HRQoL from AndoSan™ consumption were demonstrated in this per-protocol study, supporting its use as a supplement to conventional medication for patients with mild to moderate symptoms from ulcerative colitis. The patients did not report any harms or unintended effects of AndoSan™ in this study.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01496053.