Ingestion of the Agaricus blazei Murill-based mushroom extract AndoSan™ has been shown in randomized placebo-controlled studies to improve symptoms in Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) and also fatigue and quality of life in the latter patients. The aim was to examine whether this clinical impact of AndoSan™ intake could be explained by influence on foremost pro-inflammatory cytokines in the patients. Fifty patients with symptomatic UC and CD were randomized and blinded for oral daily intake of AndoSan™ or placebo. Blood samples taken before (visit 1) and after 21 days' (visit 3) consumption were analysed for cytokines IL-1ß, IL-2, IL-4-8, IL-10, IL-12-13, IL-17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1ß and TNF-α. Baseline cytokine levels were similar in CD and UC. In CD, cytokine levels at visit 1 versus visit 3 were unaltered within the AndoSan™ and the placebo groups. Only IL-2 was significantly reduced at visit 3 in the Andosan™ compared with the placebo group. However, when combining IL-1ß, IL-6 and G-CSF in the patients with CD, the cytokine levels were significantly lower in the AndoSanTM - versus the placebo group, visit 3. In UC, levels of IL-2, IL-5 and MIP-1ß were reduced within the AndoSan™ group. IL-5 was also reduced at visit 3 compared with placebo. Generally, the effect on reduction in systemic cytokine levels by consumption of AndoSan™ was limited and supported only marginally anti-inflammatory effects in these patients. Therefore, other explanations behind the clinical anti-inflammatory effects than the contribution of cytokines seem more pertinent, including anti-allergic and antioxidant activities.
© 2016 The Foundation for the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.