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Triterpenes - Why they are so valuable for us

March 22, 2022
Dr. Dorothee Bös et al.

Triterpenes belong to the group of lipids. The so-called steroids are derived from the lipids. These include:
  • Steroid hormones
  • Sterols (= sterols) such as cholesterol or mycosterols (ergosterol or ergosterol as a precursor of vitamin D)
  • Bile acids
Triterpenes are also among the secondary plant substances that are also found in fungi. Since they belong to the lipids, they are not soluble in cold water, but only in hot water and in alcohol.

Occurrence

Steroids have been found, for example, in the mushrooms Agaricus blazei murrill (ABM) and Cordyceps. Reishi is said to contain more than 100 different triterpenes, and triterpenes (polyporusterones) have also been found in Polyporus umbellatus. Reishi is particularly noteworthy here because it is very rich in spores and triterpenes can be detected mainly in the spores. In Hericium erinaceus, diterpenoids (cyathan derivative), i.e., so-called erinacins, were detected. Ergosterol, also called ergosterol, is found in Agaricus blazei murrill (ABM), Cordyceps, Coriolus, Hericium, Maitake, Polyporus, Reishi (fruiting bodies) and in Shiitake. Another sterol, lanosterol, is found in reishi.

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Our experienced team will be happy to advise you in detail and free of charge on all matters relating to your health.

Effect of the triterpenes

Terpenes and the substances derived from them, such as the triterpenes, are partly responsible for the adaptogenic effect of the fungi. Due to their chemical structure, they are used in all diseases for which steroid hormones such as cortisone are normally used. Triterpenes have a positive effect on:
  • Inflammations
  • Allergies
  • Viral diseases (inhibition of reverse transcriptase in HIV and EBV)
  • Liver diseases (liver protective)
  • cancer (cytotoxic and anti-angiogenic)
  • Impotence
  • High blood pressure: ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) is inhibited; ACE has an indirect vasoconstrictor effect
  • Elevated cholesteroland triglyceride levels (inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis and lowering of LDL cholesterol)
  • Thrombosis tendency (anti-aggregative)
Triterpenes of Polyporus (polyporusterone A and B) have antioxidant and antihemolytic effects in hemolysis caused by chemical agents. Erinacins from Hericium erinaceus also have a stimulating effect on nerve growth factors in the brain and periphery. This leads to regeneration and remyelination of nerves. In addition, nerve growth factors cause the regulation of TH1 / TH-2 immune response in the central nervous system in autoimmune processes. Ergosterol, a precursor of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), is found only in plants or fungi. It is essential for the human body and very important for the storage of calcium in the bone matrix.

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Scientific studies / sources

  • Willard, T.: “Reishi – The Miracle Mushroom of the Ancient Chinese”; Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, 1999.
  • Halpern, G.M.: “Healing Mushrooms. Effective Treatments for today’s illnesses”; Square One Publishers, 2007.
  • Prof. Dr. med. Ivo Bianchi: “Modern Mycotherapy”; Hinckel Druck, 2008
  • Smith, Rowan and Sullivan: “Medicinal Mushrooms: Their therapeutic properties and current medical usage with special emphasis on cancer treatments”; May 2002, University of Strathclyde.
  • Halpern, G.M.: “Healing Mushrooms. Effective Treatments for today’s illnesses”; Square One Publishers, 2007.
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