Findings from the International Medicinal Mushroom Congress
Since 2001, the “International Medicinal Mushroom Conference” has been held regularly every two years at changing locations. Scientists from all over the world exchange information about medicinal mushrooms in it. The latest findings from fungal research will be presented to trade visitors there. The tenth International Vital Mushroom Congress was held in China in September 2019.
The topics of the congress ranged from scientific research results and clinical applications to references and lore on the traditional use of medicinal mushrooms. Cordyceps, for example, was probably known in folk medicine 5200 years ago, and there are reports of Reishi that are about 2500 years old. Nowadays, the professional world is particularly interested in scientific studies. Scientific research into the underlying mechanisms of action is therefore constantly being expanded.
More and more attention is paid to vital mushrooms in complementary cancer therapy. The tumor-inhibiting properties of beta-glucans and bioactive ingredients such as enzymes contained in mushrooms have already been investigated in various studies. Currently, the attention of scientists with regard to the anti-cancer effect of fungi is particularly focused on the so-called secondary metabolites.
These have numerous positive effects on health and, with many different modes of action, are very interesting new areas of research. In Germany, too, tumor-inhibiting active ingredients from medicinal plants and medicinal mushrooms are being studied at the Charité hospital in Berlin.
The great importance of the intestinal flora is increasingly being pointed out in cancer therapy. This is because various endogenous immune mechanisms are tuned and activated via the so-called microbiome (the intestinal flora). Even the latest immunotherapeutics used in oncology, so-called checkpoint inhibitors, depend on a well-functioning intestinal flora for their effect. Mushroom powder from the whole mushroom in particular has been shown to regenerate the intestinal mucosa and create a diverse, healthy microbiome.
Increasingly, there are also studies in oncology on concomitant measures to chemotherapeutic agents. In this context, for example, in animal studies under 5-fluorouracil, a combination with the use of ABM reduced mortality
Vital mushroom ABM
be reduced. In addition, protection of the digestive system as well as the kidney was evident, as there was a decrease in diarrhea and proteinuria when combined with ABM. Moreover, hair growth improved with the parallel application of this fungus.
Another particularly salient congress theme was once again the importance of the quality of medicinal mushrooms. Especially in the production of fungi, which absorb substances from their environment, the choice of substrate plays a decisive role. Studies were presented at the congress in which isoflavones, i.e. phytoestrogens, were found in mushrooms. However, fungi lack the enzymes necessary to synthesize phytoestrogens. These substances with hormone-like effects thus originate from low-quality culture media.
There have also been reports of liver-damaging effects of TCM preparations, but these were caused by contaminants in the respective mushrooms or herbs and not by the mushrooms and herbs themselves. Just as mushrooms have a detoxifying effect in the body, they naturally remove existing toxins, such as pesticides and heavy metals, from the soil in which they are grown. Therefore, mushroom powders must necessarily be obtained from controlled and maximally trustworthy sources.
We at MykoTroph will of course keep an eye on all the latest developments and research results. In this way, you benefit from advice and information that is always at the cutting edge of science. For an individual recommendation, please use our free telephone consultation: +49 40 334686-300.