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Ganoderma lingzhi helps reduce the risk of colon cancer
2021-10-19    Hit:82   Font: 
June 29, 2017 / Hiroshima University, etc. / Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry

Text / Wu Tingyao

I still remember that in late October 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, under the WHO, issued the "Carcinogenicity Assessment Report of Red Meat and Processed Meat", which caused a great uproar around the world. This made you and me who like food very upset and also prompted the author to write an article "Love to eat red meat but fear death? Eat more Ganoderma lucidum!"
In the past, some studies have pointed out that Reishi polysaccharides and triterpenes can prevent colon cancer, but the related mechanism of action is still unclear.
On June 29, 2017, a research report published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry by several Japanese researchers from Hiroshima University discusses how Ganoderma lingzhi reduces the occurrence of colon cancer on many levels.
Researchers added 5% water extract of Reishi fruiting body or preparation made directly from Reishi fruiting body powder without extraction to high-fat feed for three weeks and found that:
Mechanism 1: Regulate the intestinal flora and reduce the production of secondary bile acids → reduce carcinogens
In all rats on a high-fat diet that ate Ganoderma lingzhi, the secondary bile acids in their intestines, such as lithocholic acid and deoxycholic acid, were significantly reduced.
"Secondary bile acid" is the product of bile decomposed by intestinal bacteria and is carcinogenic. Bile is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder beforehand. When we eat, it is released into the small intestine through the bile duct to help digest fat.
In other words, the more fat we eat, the more bile that enters the intestines to help, and the more secondary bile acids will eventually be produced. It doesn't hurt to do it occasionally. If you've been eating like this for more than a decade, it's not going to be good.
However, the experimental results showed that rats on a high-fat diet that also ate Ganoderma lingzhi not only had a lower concentration of secondary bile acids in the intestines but even their intestinal flora (such as Clostridium coccoidesClostridium leptum) that produced secondary bile was also significantly reduced. This shows that Ganoderma lingzhi is likely to reduce the risk of colon cancer induced by a high-fat diet through the regulation of intestinal flora.
Mechanism 2: Increase mucin → maintain the integrity of the intestinal mucosa
The experiment also found that all rats on a high-fat diet that eat Ganoderma lingzhi have a significant increase in mucins in their feces, which is a sign of maintenance of the intestinal mucosa.

The mucus secreted by intestinal cells will cover the intestinal tract to form an intestinal mucosal barrier to maintain intestinal health. The main component of intestinal mucus is "mucin". When mucin decreases, the intestinal mucosa becomes thinner, and the intestinal cells that were originally protected by it are vulnerable to invasion, and the occurrence of colon cancer naturally increases.

According to common sense, a high-fat diet can reduce mucin, but Ganoderma lingzhi can reverse this situation and provide a second layer of protection against the occurrence of colon cancer.

Mechanism 3: Increase the content of short-chain fatty acids → protect cells and reduce inflammation
The experiment also analyzed the content of short-chain fatty acids in the cecum of rats.

The cecum is the foremost segment of the large intestine and is connected to the small intestine. After the dietary fiber that cannot be digested by the small intestine enters the large intestine, it will be decomposed by bacteria in the large intestine to release short-chain fatty acids, the most important of which are acetic acid, propionic acid and butyric acid.

These short-chain fatty acids are absorbed by the intestinal cells and become the energy source for the intestinal cells to repair damaged cells. At the same time, short-chain fatty acids can maintain the pH of the intestines and inhibit the growth of bad bacteria; they can even regulate the immune cells in the intestinal mucosa and inhibit intestinal inflammation.

Long-term high-fat diet will reduce the production of short-chain fatty acids. However, this study pointed out that if Ganoderma lingzhi is taken at the same time, propionic acid and butyric acid in the cecum of rats will be significantly increased, suggesting a third mechanism by which Ganoderma lingzhi reduces colon cancer risk.

Mechanism 4: Increase IgA antibodies → improve intestinal immunity

The study also analyzed IgA antibodies in rat feces to understand the immune status of the intestinal tract.

The intestine is the body's largest immune organ, and the main goalkeeper among them is the IgA antibody. It can be seen from the feces of the rats that the rats on the high-fat diet that also ate Ganoderma lingzhi water extract had a significant increase in the content of IgA antibodies, indicating that the intestinal immunity would be enhanced as a result.

However, if the rats on the high-fat diet ate unextracted Ganoderma lingzhi preparations, there was no significant change in IgA antibodies, indicating that different forms of Ganoderma lingzhi still has different effects on the intestinal immune function. 

Love to eat delicacies but fear death? Eat more Ganoderma lucidum!

The research and analysis of Japanese scholars let us know that Ganoderma lingzhi can reduce the risk of colon cancer induced by high-fat diet in at least four ways (as shown in the figure below).

SourceBiosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2017 Jun 29:1-9.

Of course, the results of the study are not encouraging us to eat a high-fat diet with peace of mind. A moderate diet is absolutely an indispensable element for maintaining your health. It's just that when you really want to eat a few more bites of delicacies and don't want to cause too much burden on your health, eating more Ganoderma lucidum should not let you down.

[Source] Yang Y et al. Feeding of the water extract from Ganoderma lingzhi to rats modulates secondary bile acids, intestinal microflora, mucins, and propionate important to colon cancer. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2017; 81(9): 1796-1804. 

About the author/ Ms. Wu Tingyao
Wu Tingyao has been reporting on first-hand Ganoderma information since 1999. She is the author of Healing with Ganoderma (published in The People's Medical Publishing House in April 2017). 
★ This article is published under the exclusive authorization of the author. ★ The above works cannot be reproduced, excerpted or used in other ways without the authorization of the author. ★ For violations of the above statement, the author will pursue relevant legal responsibilities. ★ The original text of this article was written in Chinese by Wu Tingyao and translated into English by Alfred Liu. If there is any discrepancy between the translation (English) and the original (Chinese), the original Chinese shall prevail. If readers have any questions, please contact the original author, Ms. Wu Tingyao.
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