Friday, March 8, 2013

Magical Mushrooms; the Sequel

Perhaps you have Read my post on Magical Mushrooms: How they Reduce Breast Cancer Risk.  Here is some more fun mushroom wisdom.

Coriolus mushrooms are actually the source of PSK, a compound used in drugs used to treat a wide variety of cancers.  PSK seems to work in multiple steps of the malignant process by inhibiting adhesion, invasion, motility and metastatic growth of tumor cells in animal models of cancer.  Also called Turkey Tail, Coriolus PSP (supplement form that differs slightly from the drug PSK) offers significant immune support.  In fact, the “cold remedy” suggested by my oncologist is to take Coriolus PSP, oregano oil, chaga and grapefruit seed extract (all in supplement form) for three days.  I wouldn’t take oregano oil for too long or too often as it is estrogenic properties, but as part of a quick cold remedy, it works well. 

Via Mark Kaylor, Mushroom Wisdom:

“In many parts of the world, Turkey Tail extracts are used as adjuvants in cancer therapy, both as prescription items for instance in Japan, or as dietary supplements taken by patients along with conventional treatment …As a cancer-preventive agent used on a regular basis Turkey Tail may inhibit carcinogenesis by reducing the effects of some carcinogens, such as those occurring in tobacco smoke, on susceptible host cells; it has shown anti-tumor activity in many cancers (shortened for this post).

The use of these extracts during conventional cancer treatments, such as chemo and radiation therapy, have a rational basis because some research shows that it might reduce the possibility of secondary malignancies induced by radiotherapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy.  Turkey Tail may also protect healthy host cells during radiation and chemo treatments by either directly or indirectly acting as an antioxidant, reducing the effects of oxidative stress.”

A note about medicinal mushrooms:  After 3-4 months using a single extract at a high does, a small number of people will experience a slight “tailing off” in terms of immune support.  Using two extracts simultaneously creates a far more powerful immune response than using any single extract alone.   (JHS Natural Products).  When using mushroom extracts for preventive immune support they can be used at a lower dose as compared to use for immune challenges, so the “tailing off” is not experienced.   The best choice over the long term may be to rotate between two different mushroom extracts, using one extract at a time, and then rotating to a different extract every six months.  Even though the “tailing off” is not experienced at lower doses, it may be best to keep coming at the immune system from different directions, changing up the protocol to keep it fresh.  That said, this is all a very individual choice and I have had good luck with using maitake and shitake first and then switching to chaga and shitake.  Recently I added in meshima too.   It is best to speak with your medical provider for advice on the best combination for your body. 

Nothing in this post represents medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist or naturopathic doctor. I have compiled this information solely for those seeking information on medicinal mushrooms and their ability to support the body against cancer.   

For more mushroom wisdom:


~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. She is also on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She mentors women who are coping with issues of well-being associated with breast cancer and its aftermath; she is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health and more and has contributed to Breast Cancer Answers as well as written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Natural Healing-Natural Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, and other publications and newsletters. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

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