Posts Tagged prostate

@ MAITAKE, one of the best ‘shrooms you’ve never heard of

MAITAKE, latin name Grifola frondosa also known in the West as Hen-of-the-woods, Ram’s Head and Sheep’s Head.

My wife doesn’t like mushrooms. Often at a meal where mushrooms were an ingredient in one of the courses, I will at some point find a little pile of picked out mushroom on my plate. She says it is not a flavor thing but a texture thing. I like them, so much so that I’ve even given thought to growing my own shiitake mushrooms. This report is about MAITAKE mushrooms, not button or enoki or shiitake, though they all seem to have advantages in fighting cancer.

MAITAKE mushrooms are not your normal mushrooms in appearance. You have likely seen them growing in the woods at the base of a tree. Unlike the bracket fungus growing on trees known as “chicken of the woods” or “sulfur shelf” it is a cluster of greyish brown spoon shaped caps on white stems usually growing at the base of an oak. Found as far west as Idaho. They’ve grown as large as 50 pounds! (Please rely on a mycologist for identification of fungi!) Chinese and the Japanese are fond of them and they have both culinary and medical use in those countries.

Traditionally they have been used to enhance the immune system. Modern medicine has found that they are effective in far more than just that one use: Regulates blood pressure, glucose, insulin, serum and liver lipids and beneficially affect cholesterol and triglycerides.

If you have a problem with taste or texture they are easily obtained in capsule form, (see Sources)

My “raw” early research notes appear below, more detailed discussion of the supporting studies will have to appear later.

–rich in potassium calcium magnesium, vitamins B2 D2 and niacin
–active constituent identified in late ’80’s: BETA GLUCAN, a polysaccharide
–Sloan-Kettering: MAITAKE stimulates immune system in breast cancer patients (phase I/II human trial)
–in vitro: induces apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cell lines: prostate cancer cells, Hep 3B, SGC-7901, murine skin carcinoma cells, and inhibit growth in canine cancer cells, bladder cancer cells.
–hypoglycemic effect…naturally contains an alpha glucosidase inhibitor
–a fraction (active compound separated from the whole mushroom) found to possess anti-metastatic ability, and in 1997 the FDA approved an “Investigational New Drug Application”
–contains antioxidants
–partially inhibits cyclooxygenase
–an extract of MAITAKE inhibits angiogenesis by way of vascular endothelial growth factor.
–shown to enhance interferon activity against bladder cancer cells
–shown to relieve inflammation due to inflammatory bowel disease
–in a small non-controlled study tumor regression or significant improvements in symptoms were observed in half of the subjects using the MAITAKE extract
–contains polysaccharides, beta and alpha glucans
–contains octadecanoic and octadecadienoic acids
–contains ERGOSTEROL a vitamin D2 precursor
–may modulate antigen presentation …against tumor implantation in mice
–bladder cancer: superficial tumors are a common presentation of bladder cancer. Removal of the bladder is the “primary surgical modality” for those patients. Recurrence rate is 65% over 5 years. 15% progress to muscle invasion. A study of one patient with invasive bladder cancer was given an active fraction of MAITAKE orally. That fraction was named “D-fraction”. Despite high risk of recurrence the patient demonstrated NO clinical evidence of progression and appeared to be in remission two years later. The fact that this “study” involved ONE single patient weakens it substantially. There are NO guarantees but one does have to wonder.
–D fraction and interferon were studied together in their combined effect on a prostate cancer cell line (PC-3). The combination appeared to be synergistic and reduced growth by approximately 65% at “low” concentrations.
–patients with hormone refractory prostate cancer respond poorly to chemotherapy (less than 10%, unquote). When carmustine was combined with BETA GLUCAN, (from MAITAKE), the result was an enhanced cytotoxicity with a 90%+- cell viability reduction in the PC-3 androgen independent prostate cancer cell line.
–human prostate cancer cells were treated with a highly purified BETA GLUCAN at various concentrations.
a dose responsive study showed a greater than 95% cell death after 24 hrs. “Combinations as low as 30 to 60 microg/mL with 200 microM vitamin C induced greater than 90% reduction in cell viability.” BETA GLUCAN, VITAMIN C and CARMUSTINE together “may have great potential as an alternative therapeutic modality”. To me that appears to be an UNDERSTATEMENT!
–studies indicate that the active ingredient in MAITAKE, D-FRACTION has potential to decrease the size of lung liver and breast tumors. NK cells (natural killer cells) seem to be enhanced by D-FRACTION at the same time it represses cancer progression, hindered metastasis, and reduced the expression of tumor markers.
–reduces angiogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels to supply oxygen to a growing tumor)
–a dietary supplement called MycoPhyto Complex, a medicinal mushroom blend, was studied. It was found to be able to inhibit metastatic behavior of the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell line, by reducing cell adhesion, migration and invasion.
–in another study of a Chinese combination of various mushrooms called “M8” it was observed that it had antitumor activities. (Armillaria mellea, Grifola frondosa, Garnoderma frondosa, Codyceps militaris, Hericium erinaceus, Coriolus versicolor, Agaricus blazei and Lycium chinense miller)

There are many mushroom species that are beneficial to cancer patients this is just one of them.
Consider including them in your daily diet, either as they are or as a supplement. In a very brief Google search I was unable to find a M8 supplement for sale. The MycoPhyto Complex is easily found at a number of sources. There are lots of other supplements that have single or multiple mushroom extracts/contents. I am not necessarily recommending one over another, but if I had to choose I’d take a multiple mushroom supplement, as well as including them in my meals.

best of health


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@ INDIGO, Isatis tinctoria, PC-SPES INGREDIENT

ISATIS, more commonly known as Indigo plant was the source of the valued dye. It is/was an active proven ingredient in the allegedly bogus PC-SPES treatment for prostate cancer. It is a member of the Brassica family (genus of plants in the ‘mustard’ family). This group of plants incidentally is inclusive of more agriculturally important crops than any other family. Coincidence that plants that are healthy for us tend to be grown by humankind? This family includes such plants as rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, mustard seed, and rapeseed among others. Native to Russia, it has a long history of use as Indigo dye.

My “raw” early research notes appear below, more detailed discussion of the supporting studies will have to occur later.

–INDIRUBIN minor constituent of a well known chinese traditional Rx used in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia. “Numerous studies have shown it inhibits cyclin dependent kinases in tumor cells
–inhibits cell proliferation in the late G1 and G2/M phase by selectively inhibiting cyclin dependent kinases. May also play a role in inhibiting the assembly of microtubules, further slowing rate of cell reproduction.
–MESOINDIGO is a derivative of INDIGO, in vitro cell line studies have shown it to be effective in inducing cell death (apoptosis) and “differentiation” (a good thing) in acute myeloid leukemia. It also has been seen to enhance the effectiveness of conventional chemotherapeutic medicine.
–several species of INDIGO were tested for phytonutrient content and all were found to contain

–the Chinese herbal medicine Qing Dai (INDIGO naturalis) was studied to determine its effect against prostate cancer. One of the active compounds was determined to be INDIRUBIN. INDIRUBIN has been used as the basis for a derivative called “Natura-alpha”. This derivative inhibited the growth of four prostate cancer cell lines, one androgen dependent and three androgen independent. Xenografts were also used in the process of determining effectiveness. It caused tumor reduction, reduced tumor volume, was antiproliferative and anti-invasive. It was described as having minimal side effects.
–study of ISATIS indigotica leaves were determined to have antitumor activity, in nude mice xenotransplants of human hepatoma cells. Inhibited tumor growth by 40%. Induced apoptosis (cell death)
–seven alkaloids were/have been isolated from ISATIS indigotica. Two of them are considered “novel”: they were indole C-glycosides. Both showed significant activities against liver and leukemic cell lines.
–extracts from ISATIS indigotica Fort. were shown to have anti-inflammatory ability to reduce effects of radiation treatment for cancer
–INDIRUBIN..significant cytotoxicity on HL-60 human leukemic cell line, and inhibitory effect on swine pseudorabies virus ( I just report them folks…)
–leaf volatiles in ISATIS tinctoria were characterized by a high amount of ISOTHIOCYANATES

INDIGO as a color is placed somewhere between blue and violet. When you are feeling a little indigo, because the artificial food product you were eating doesn’t agree with either you or your stomach, please think about some of the suggestions found here in
thank you

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@ GRAPEFRUIT, vs childhood

GRAPEFRUIT, “the flesh is acidic” just about summed it up for me for most of my life. As with some other fruits I never quite understood the attraction. Why would anyone put a half of one of these on a plate in front of them and proceed to squirt acid in their eyes by pressing into the [ bleep ] thing with a spoon? Then I got older. Lately I cant seem to get enough GRAPEFRUIT. I sit down and cant stop. Fortunately it doesn’t come in gallon size containers. Maybe I will branch out and try the un-skinned do it yourself type.
(and one of the best alcoholic beverages I have ever had was something called a “Big Pink” love that ‘masculine’ name, in a hip coffee shop called Muddy Waters up in Burlington Vermont. If they had lined up four or five of them I am not sure if or when I would have stopped. The ingredients were Campari, ginger ale, vodka, and GRAPEFRUIT JUICE!)

My early “raw” research notes follow below, more detailed discussion of the supporting studies will appear later.

–GRAPEFRUIT contains MONOTERPENES the effects of which have been described as “sweeping carcinogens out of the body”.
–some studies indicate that GRAPEFRUIT inhibits breast cancer cells in vitro
–inhibits cytochrome P450 3A4
–high in LYCOPENE and LIMINOIDS. (Who thinks that the ONLY place one can find LYCOPENE is in tomatoes? If you stay with these reports for awhile you’ll find there are several other places/foods than tomatoes!)
–contains GLUCARATES which help prevent breast cancer
–contains pectin
–increases antioxidants
–recent research proves that drinking GRAPEFRUIT JUICE provides protection against lung and colon cancer. Drinking three 6 ounce glasses of GRAPEFRUIT JUICE a day reduced the activity of an enzyme that activates cancer causing chemicals
–a flavonoid in GRAPEFRUIT called NARINGENIN helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells
–GRAPEFRUIT derived LYCOPENE was shown to have an effect against androgen independent prostate cancer cells, in a concentration and time dependent manner. Same study determined that LUTEIN demonstrated a similar but slightly lesser response than LYCOPENE. No synergistic or additive effect observed between the two phytonutrients together.
–CALCIUM D GLUCARATE IS THE CALCIUM SALT OF D-GLUCARIC ACID. (found in highest concentrations in Oranges, APPLES, GRAPEFRUIT and CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES.) It (CDG) has been shown to inhibit beta-glucuronidase an enzyme. Elevated b-glucuronidase activity is associated with increased risk of various cancers, particularly those that are hormone related such as breast prostate and colon cancers.
–ten essential oils were tested against three laboratory human cancer cell lines. One of the secondary results was that the ten oils were more effective against prostate cancer than they were against lung or breast. One of the ten was GRAPEFRUIT and the prostate cancer cell line was the PC-3 androgen independent line.
–LYCOPENE is found in GRAPEFRUIT watermelon and papaya as well as tomatoes. It exhibits antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. …it has the potential to interfere with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
–contains a compound called BERGAMOTTIN which reduces the activity of MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) which plays and important role in the ability of cancer cells to invade other tissues. Affected MMP-2, MMP-5 and MMP-9 expression. BERGAMOTTIN a phytochemical in GRAPEFRUIT inhibits tumor activity through its anti-invasive effects on tumor growth.
–multidrug resistance is often seen in cancer cells that have stopped reacting to chemotherapy. One specific chemical on the cancer cell walls is seen to be overexpressed, P-glycoprotein. NARINGIN the predominant flavone found in GRAPEFRUIT is able to “significantly lower P-glycoprotein expression”
–contains D-LIMONENE, one of the most common terpenes in nature (found in orange, lemon, mandarin, lime and GRAPEFRUIT citrus oils). (D-LIMONENE is also described as a solvent of cholesterol) It has also been used for heartburn and GERD, “has well established chemopreventive activity against many types of cancer”
It has already seen a PHASE 1 clinical trial with results showing a partial response in a patient with breast cancer. and “stable disease” for more than six months in several patients with colon cancer.
–the results of another study indicated that the consumption of GRAPEFRUIT or a compound LIMONIN found in GRAPEFRUIT ‘may’ help suppress colon cancer development

If I had known as an eight year old how wonderful GRAPEFRUIT was would I have liked it any better? No!
I was an eight year old! A kid! A smart ass! BUT YOU ARE OLDER WISER AND MORE MATURE! These foods were put on earth FOR YOU! They were created in God’s Kitchen, and you want man made cheese puffs? Artificial sweeteners? Artificial colorants? Preservatives? Chemicals?


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@ FIG: Ficus carica, GO FIGURE!

FIGS were in my mind an unexpected surprise, I didn’t think of it as anything more than a natural package of candy and fiber. It wasn’t! It has some hidden and surprising phytonutrients.

My “raw” research notes appear below, more detailed discussion of the supporting studies will have to follow later.

–of all the common fruits FIGS have the highest concentration of minerals. Ditto polyphenols, RED WINE and TEA are low compared to FIGS.
–FIGS also have BENZALEDHYDE and COUMARINS two other anticancer compounds. BENZALDEHYDE has been used to treat terminal human carcinomas. COUMARINS have been used for skin and prostate cancers.
–FIGS are a member of the MULBERRY family.
–a study at the U of Wisc School of Medicine found a chemical compound called LUPEOL (also found in many fruits STRAWBERRIES MANGOES and FIGS) that may aid in fight against prostate cancer. “Nude” mice were injected with human prostate cancer cells. Mice receiving LUPEOL alone showed a substantial slowing of the cancer process and those that received LUPEOL with a lab produced antibody showed even greater results, Cancer Research Dec 1 2005.
–by dried weight can have 5% COUMARINS
–“these results may indicate a possible preventive effect at the level found naturally in the fruit
–have one of the highest amounts of calcium for any fruit
–contains measurable amounts of oxalates.
–FIG FRUIT LATEX, I tried this once in North Carolina by eating or trying to eat an unripe FIG a very unpleasant experience, contains significant amounts of POLYPHENOLIC compounds..findings in this study indicated potent effect in some cancer lines and little or no effect in others.
–FIG RESIN …showed in vitro inhibitory effects on proliferation of various cancer cell lines.
–FIG leaf extracts contained QUERCETIN and LUTEOLIN
–FIGS are a component of the Mediterranean Diet “for millennia”. In a comparison of black red yellow and green FIG varieties the major CYANIDIN was C3R in all varieties. Extracts of darker varieties showed higher contents of phytochemicals than those levels found in the lighter colored varieties. “Fruits of the Mission FIG variety contained the highest levels of polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, also exhibited the greatest antioxidant activity”
–FIG LATEX has been shown to be effective against warts, this from Iran.
–some studies from as far back as 1952 seemed to be aware that compounds from FIGS could inhibit cancer.
–crude extracts of West Indian Ficus Pumilla were shown to be cytotoxic to the leukemic cell line MT-4
–FIGS are low in calories 100 grams have 74 calories
–antioxidant levels comparable to apples
–chlorogenic acid in FIGS helps lower blood sugar levels
–100 g of dried figs contain 640 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, and 2.03 mg of iron.

There are a number of sweet things that fight cancer. FIGS can be added to the list. Instead of reaching for a bowl of ice cream, milk or soy based, reach for some figs. They will provide phytonutrients that ice cream cant. They will provide vitamins minerals and fibre. They will do more towards improving your health than either you or I ever suspected.

choose carefully
eat well
best wishes


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Plain old APPLES. Who would’ve thought? Not me, it was one of the later items that I studied and that was no accident. I frankly didn’t think that APPLES could….keep the doctor away. What I learned surprised me.

Did you know that eating one medium APPLE equals the same antioxidant value as a 1500mg capsule of VITAMIN C? And did you know that the antioxidants an APPLE provides are five times more prevalent in its skin?

The APPLE is a member of the rose family (rosaceae), MALUS DOMESTICA. Currently there are more than 7500 different cultivars. There are many members of the MALUS genus and it is the most widely domesticated of them. It originated in Western Asia and its “wild” ancestor (the ALMA) can still be found there.

Phenolic phytonutrients have been found consistently to have anti-cancer properties. The ones predominant in APPLES are QUERCETIN (several types), EPICATECHIN, AND PROCYANIDINS.

Much to my additional surprise the phytonutrients in APPLE JUICE were found to help prevent the “decline in cognitive performance that accompanies dietary and genetic deficiencies and aging” in mice as well as the alleviation of oxidative damage and cognitive decline.

We both know that when we look in the mirror there is very little relationship in our appearance to fruit flies, but it still is fascinating to know that those flies fed a diet of APPLE extract lived 10% longer.

For those people, albeit rare who eat the whole darn APPLE core and all (really!?) dont! The seeds are slightly poisonous containing a little amygdalin, perhaps not enough to be dangerous to you or me, but who wants to play with being ill?

My initial “raw” research notes appear below, more detailed discussion of the supporting studies will have to follow at a later date.

–several studies have specifically linked APPLE consumption with a reduction in some cancers, especially lung cancer
–case control study in Hawaii, APPLES and ONIONS linked to reduced risk of lung cancer. In the group with the highest consumption of APPLES, ONIONS and WHITE GRAPEFRUIT there was a 40 to 50% decrease in cancer.
–high in QUERCETIN and QUERCETIN conjugates.
–Finnish study with 10,000 people and a 24 year follow up found a strong inverse association between flavonoid intake and lung cancer development
–6 studies in the past year by a Cornell researcher added to the growing evidence that APPLES affect breast cancer
–may reduce colorectal cancer
–extracts from APPLE skins inhibited colon cancer cells by 43%. Liver cells inhibited 57%. Some varieties performed better than others: FUJI, SPARTAN, and RED DELICIOUS
–APPLE peels contain exceptionally high concentrations of antioxidants.
–APPLE peel extracts were examined for their anti-proliferative effects on various cancer cell types. The peel extracts were obtained from GALA APPLES (I’ve seen these in the local grocery on occasion!). They demonstrated a significant decrease in growth and “clonogenic” survival of a prostate carcinoma CWR22Rnu1 and DU145 cell lines as well as breast Mcf-7 and Mcf-7:Her18 cell lines. The extract decreased a marker for cell proliferation (good) and resulted in an increase in maspin, a tumor suppressor protein (another good thing). The researchers felt that the APPLE peel extract possessed strong antiproliferative effects against cancer cells, (note the word “strong”)
–another study with several thousand patients and several categories of cancers found a “consistent inverse relationship between APPLES and risk of various cancers”. (those cancers were: oral, pharynx, oesophagus, larynx, colorectum, breast, ovary, and prostate.
–another study found an APPLE oligogalactin to be “highly effective against intestinal toxicities and carcinogenesis…and that it may be used for the treatment of colitis and the prevention of carcinogenesis.
(this is a concentrated specific singular compound, I have a feeling that a lot of apples would have to be eaten to equal laboratory levels. The point of this report, here, is that there are things on the horizon that can and will prove valuable in fighting disease…along with a good diet of course!”)
–a study on breast cancer and the synergistic effect of APPLES combined with QUERCETIN 3-BETA-D-GLUCOSIDE, they of course were found to be synergistic when combined together against breast cancer.
–a group of Sprague-Dawley rats were given a chemical that would CAUSE rat mammary breast cancer, they were then divided into groups one getting WHOLE APPLE EXTRACT another not. The WAE group was observed to have a “dose dependent inhibition of breast cancer” and “tumor multiplicity decreased with increased levels of WAE. The APPLE extract was considered to have “potent capacity…to suppress..mammary cancers in rats.”
–OLIGOMERIC PROCYANIDINS from whole APPLES and APPLE extracts and ‘components’ (juice) were and have been shown to “influence multiple mechanisms relevant for cancer prevention in IN VITRO studies”.
–“epidemiological observations indicate that regular consumption of one or more apples a day may reduce the risk for lung and colon cancer”
–Red Delicious APPLE peels were assessed for their bioactive constituents. Twenty-nine compounds were isolated and identified and then tested against human liver cancer cells and human breast cancer cells.
Many of the compounds tested higher in antioxidant activity than ascorbic acid and several were distinctly active against cancer proliferation: two QUERCETIN variants. the researchers summarized “…have potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities”

Much to my surprise “An APPLE a day keeps the doctor away”, or ???oncologist???
It almost seems that one should peel an apple and eat the peel only. APPLES are much more than just their peel/appearance. There are a large number of phytonutrients in APPLES that I have not listed above. The pectin in the flesh of an APPLE has an ability to inhibit cancer too.

This is just the “peel” of the whole story involving APPLES and cancer. My research feels incomplete and I cant wait to return to that phase again and find out more about this common and delicious APPLE.

may you be tempted…to eat of the tree of knowledge
and live better for it


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* Ellagic Acid

Many of the things described so far here on ThousandFeathers have contained ELLAGIC ACID. This is probably close to the first time you’ve ever heard of it. You might ask “If I have never heard of it why is it so important?” Those who’ve been reading along here have probably begun to see the pattern(s). Some foods are better for us. Some foods have more of the phytonutrients that inhibit and in some cases possibly stop cancer. ELLAGIC ACID is one of those phytonutrients.

ELLAGIC ACID found in numerous fruits vegetables and nuts is a natural phenol antioxidant. It has already, in published studies, been shown to be anti-proliferative, chemoprotective, inhibits mutations within a cells DNA, anti-bacterial, causes cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells, anti-viral, and has been shown to reduce blood pressure.


Research indicates that the anti-proliferative properties of ELLAGIC ACID is because of its ability to directly inhibit the DNA binding of various carcinogens (nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). It acts as a scavenger and binds with cancer causing chemicals, inactivating them.

One report indicates that it is antagonistic with CATECHINS such as those found in tea.

Laboratory studies to date have shown effectiveness against breast, cervical, colon, esophageal, liver, lung, pancreatic, skin, tongue, prostate cancers and leukemia.

Unpublished research at the Hollings Cancer Center shows that one cup of raspberries per week will stop prostate cancer growth for a period of up to one week. (this is the very kind of “research” I do not like to report and will always make a point of indicating that it is quite “unfounded” at this time, but there is something intriguing about this, and if this study is ever published I do wish to read it.)

“Dr. Daniel Nixon, of the Medical University of South Carolina stated that ellagic acid, “is known to inhibit certain carcinogen-induced cancers and may have other preventive properties.” Dr. Nixon studied the effects of ellagic acid on cervical carcinoma cells. He found that ellagic acid stopped tumor growth in the lab after a couple of days and induced apoptosis” (cell death).

-study showed that the anti-cancer activities of PUNICALAGIN, ELLAGIC ACID are enhanced in combination with other polyphenols as found in POMEGRANATE juice.

-The daily dose of Ellagic Acid ranges as high as 1 gram (1000 milligrams, or 1000mg).
-In plants ellagic acid is present in the form of ellagitannin, which is ellagic acid bound to a sugar molecule.
The Hollings Cancer Center claimed that one cup of RASPBERRIES could stop prostate cancer growth for up to one week. What have you got to lose? Ounce for ounce, the price of health is ALWAYS cheaper than a bag of potato chips.

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