Mushrooms Combat Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Medicinal mushrooms have been shown to fight Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections according to multiple scientific studies. In one human study, a mushroom extract eradicated the virus in over 90 percent of those tested. Mushrooms can also inhibit HPV-related cancers according to the research.
Multiple mushrooms have been shown in research to quash or downgrade the virus while boosting immunity. Let’s take a look at mushroom strategies shown to beat down HPV.
In this article
HPV is rampant
Human Papillomavirus affects millions of people around the world. Some 14 million people are infected just within the U.S. each year. HPV occurs in both men and women, but is more often reported among young women after recent sexual activity. Genital warts are common symptoms, but warts in other areas can also be a symptom.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are at are somewhere between 40 and 100 types of HPV that are commonly transmitted. Of these, type 16 and 18 have the highest risk of cervical cancer later on.
By age fifty, 80 percent of sexually active women will have had an HPV infection according to the Centers for Disease Control. HPV-16 appears to cause over 60 percent of all cervical cancer cases, with HPV-18 apparent in another 7 to 10 percent of cases.
Approximately 90 percent of HPV infections are cleared by the immune system within two years. However, the remaining 10 percent face a high risk of cervical cancer for women.
For men, HPV has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Mushroom AHCC clinical research on HPV
A series of studies led by Dr. Judith Smith from the University of Texas Medical School and the UT Health Science Center investigated a medicinal mushroom extract called AHCC. Dr. Smith heads up the Women’s Health Integrative Medicine Research Program at the University of Texas. The program focuses on investigating the use of natural therapies for women.
AHCC stands for active hexose correlated compound. It is an extract from the mycelia of Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) along with other medicinal mushrooms. The mycelia is the root-like fingers that weave within the growing medium – whether soil or in the case of AHCC cultivation, within rice bran. Mycelia are like roots of mushrooms. In the wild, the tiny tenticles can spread for miles.
Dr. Smith and her associates conducted studies HPV in the laboratory, then on mice infected with HPV, and then a human study on women with HPV. The results of this study were presented at the 11th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology in Houston.
In the human study, ten women who tested positive for HPV were treated with the mushroom mycelia extract called AHCC. The patients were given three grams (3,000 mg) of the AHCC once a day for at least six months. During that period, eight of the patients tested negative for HPV, including three that were confirmed eradicated after stopping the AHCC treatment.
The other two patients continued the treatment.
Dr. Judith Smith, a professor at the UTHealth Medical School, has since announced that AHCC will proceed to a Phase II clinical trial. Women with HPV are currently being enrolled, as of 2018. Dr. Smith stated:
“We were able to determine that at least three months of treatment is necessary but some need to extend that to six months. Since AHCC is a nutritional supplement with no side effects and other immune modulating benefits, we will be planning on using six months of treatment in our phase II clinical study to have consistent study treatment plan. This confirms our earlier preclinical research.”
Preclinical research on AHCC
The preclinical research Dr. Smith refers to is a study done on in vitro cells and mice. The researchers gave 50 milligrams per kilogram of the AHCC to mice with HPV16/18 for 90 days with 30 days of follow up, and compared to untreated mice.
This study found that for the cell treatments, seven days of AHCC treatment followed by seven days of no treatment resulted in eradication of the HPV. In the mice, 90 days of treatment with 30 days of no treatment resulted in eradication of the HPV. In mice treated with tumors, significant tumor suppression was found.
Treating HPV with Reishi and Trametes
Research from France’s Medicine Information Formation conducted a study of 472 gingivitis patients who were swabbed and screened for Human Papillomavirus. They found that 61 of the patients were positive for either HPV16 or HPV18.
The HPV-positive patients were randomized and for two months 20 of these patients were treated with the medicinal mushroom species Laetiporus sulphureus. The other 41 patients were treated with a combination of Trametes versicolor and Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum).
After the two months, the researchers found that 88% of the 41 patients treated with Trametes versicolor and Reishi tested negative for HPV. In the other group, 5% tested negative for HPV.
Mushrooms are known for their antiviral abilities in other research.
Other mushrooms fight HPV cancer
This study is confirmed by another study – this from Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
This study tested human cervical cells infected with human papillomavirus together with cervical cancer cells. The cells were tested variously with difference concentrations of Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom extract (water extract) for 24 hours each. Different sources of Reishi mushrooms were also tested. One source was China, with two sources from Mexico.
After tested with nuclear DNA fragmentation, the researchers found that all three Reishi mushroom extracts inhibited the growth of the cancer cells and the HPV infection among the cells.
In a 2016 study from China’s Xinjiang University, scientists tested an extract from the Ferulae mushroom (Pleurotus ferulae) on HPV cervical cancer. The researchers found the mushroom extract boosted the immune response to the HPV cancer cells and inhibited the cancer cells from growing.
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