|Natural Product Number|
Vitazan Professional’s Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum, or ling zhi in Chinese) is a hot water–extracted medicinal mushroom formula standardized to contain 40% polysaccharides (500 mg per capsule). Hot-water extraction is critical in obtaining a high-quality and effective mushroom product, and is the traditional Asian method of extraction. In the whole mushroom, polysaccharides are bound by indigestible cell wall comprised of chitin; chitin must be dissolved through hot water in order to gently release the medicinal components, the mushroom polysaccharides. Conversely, grinding the mushroom may cause damage to the long-chain polysaccharides and fails to remove the indigestible chitin (fibre), limiting the amount of therapeutic constituents that can be fit per capsule. Standardization ensures that the final product contains a consistent amount of polysaccharides to allow delivery of a therapeutic dose.
The active constituents in reishi are triterpenes and polysaccharides. Mushroom polysaccharides interact with receptors on the surfaces of cells to mediate specific functions. Reishi’s constituents possess antihistamine effects, hepatoprotective effects, antihypertensive effects through ACE inhibition, inhibition of cholesterol synthesis, viral inhibition, 5‑alpha reductase inhibition, immune modulatory effects, as well as antitumour effect. Triterpenes may inhibit tumor invasion and metastases, while polysaccharides interact with cell surface receptors to stimulate NK cell function, a type of immune cell responsible for cancer cell surveillance and destruction.
In Japanese, the word reishi means “mushroom of immortality,” while in Chinese the name ling zhi is translated as “spirit mushroom” or “mushroom of spiritual potency,” clearly attesting to the high regard for this mushroom in traditional Asian cultures.
Reishi has been studied for improving immune function in viral infection, improving chronic fatigue, treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), and as an adjuvant therapy in patients with cancer, in particular breast, prostate, and lung cancer, as well as treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer. Reishi has anticoagulant effects, and caution should be used in patients on anticoagulant medications.
Adults: Take 1 capsule daily with food or as directed by your health-care practitioner. To avoid digestive upset, take with food/meal.
Duration of use: Immune support: Use for a minimum of 4 weeks to see beneficial effects.
Cautions and warnings:
Cautions and warnings: Consult a health-care practitioner prior to use if you suffer from an immune system disorder or if you are taking immunosuppressants.
Known adverse reactions: For use beyond 3 months: Dizziness, irritated skin, nausea and diarrhea have been known to occur; in which case, discontinue use.
Note: Product is sensitive to humidity and heat; keep in a cool, dry place.
|Each vegetable capsule contains:|
|Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), 40% polysaccharides||500 mg|
|Other ingredients: Vegetable magnesium stearate in a non‑GMO vegetable capsule composed of vegetable carbohydrate gum and purified water.|
Human Trials of Reishi
|40 male football players were randomized to living at various altitudes and treatment with reishi or placebo for six weeks.||Supplementation with reishi appeared to ameliorate the variation of the CD4+/CD8+ ratio when living at a high altitude.|
|28 patients with either recurrent herpes simplex infections (genitalis or labialis) were treated with a combination herbal formula containing reishi.||The herbal formula containing reishi provided rapid, effective relief from the symptoms of recurring herpes simplex, with relief of symptoms within 4 to 5 days in treated patients compared to 8 to 11 days in control patients.|
|5 Japanese patients suffering from herpes zoster were treated with the same herbal formula as above, containing reishi.||Pain relief started within a few days of intake and was almost complete within 10 days. No patient developed postherpetic neuralgia after more than one year of follow-up.|
|132 patients with neurasthenia (chronic fatigue) were randomized to treatment with reishi 5.4 g/d or placebo for 8 weeks.||Reishi resulted in significantly improved clinical severity score and sense of fatigue, with a respective reduction of 15.5% and 28.3% from baseline, whereas the reductions in the placebo group were 4.9% and 20.1%, respectively. Self-reported sense of well-being increased from baseline to 38.7% in the reishi group compared with 29.7% in the placebo group.|
|26 patients with borderline blood pressure and/or cholesterol were randomized to receive 1.44 g reishi or placebo for 12 weeks in a crossover manner.||There was no difference in blood pressure; however, insulin and HOMA‑IR, a measure of insulin resistance, were lower after treatment with reishi compared to placebo.|
Triglycerides decreased and HDL-cholesterol increased with reishi, but not with placebo.
Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS)
|88 men over the age of 49 years who had slight to moderate LUTS were randomized to treatment with 6 mg reishi extract or placebo for 12 weeks.||Reishi was effective and significantly superior to placebo for improving total prostate symptom score (IPSS) with a decrease of 2.1 points at the end of treatment.|
No changes in peak urinary flow, prostate volume, serum PSA, or testosterone levels.
Adjuvant Cancer Therapy
|58 breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation were randomized to receive a combination of Ganoderma, Codonopsis, and Angelica herbs for six weeks.||The combination containing Ganoderma was associated with a significant reduction in levels of white blood cells from 31.5 % for the placebo group to 13.4 % for the herbal group. Similarly, levels of neutrophils significantly decreased from 35.6 % for the placebo group to 11.0 % for the RG‑CMH group.|
|105 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation were randomized to receive placebo or a combination of citronellol from geranium, and a mixture of reishi, Codonopsis, and Angelica herbs for 6 weeks.||After 6 weeks, the combination including reishi significantly reduced the depletion of white blood cells (14.2% compared with 28.2%) and neutrophils (11.0% compared with 29.1%) induced by chemotherapy.|
|47 patients with advanced colorectal cancer were treated with reishi 5.4 g/d for 12 weeks.||There was a nonsignificant trend to treatment with G. lucidum to increase CD3, CD4, CD8 and CD56 lymphocyte counts, increase levels of IL‑2, IL‑6, and IFN‑γ, as well as NK activity.|
|Open-label study of 36 patients with advanced lung cancer treated with 5.4 g/d reishi for 12 weeks.||There was considerable variability in immunological outcomes between patients. While overall there was no significant change in NK cell activity, CD4 and CD8 counts, IL‑2 or IL‑6 levels, there were markedly improved levels in a subset of patients. Authors concluded that a subset of patients might be responsive to reishi in combination with chemotherapy/radiation.|
|34 patients with advanced cancer were treated with 1.8 g reishi three times daily before meals for 12 weeks.||After 12 weeks, there was an increase in IL‑2, IL‑6, and IFN‑γ, and decreases in IL‑1 and TNF‑α. In addition, ganopoly treatment resulted in a significant increase in the mean NK activity compared to baseline.|
|325 patients with colorectal adenomas diagnosed by colonoscopy were treated with reishi extract 1.5 g/d or no treatment (control) for 12 months.||The number of adenomas at 12 months increased by 0.66 ±0.10 in the control group, but decreased in the reishi group by −0.42 ±0.10 (p < 0.01).|
The total size of adenomas increased by 1.73 mm in the control group and decreased by −1.40 mm in the reishi group (p < 0.01).
The results suggest that reishi suppresses the development of precancerous colorectal adenomas.