This article is reproduced from the 94th issue of GANODERMA magazine in 2022. The copyright of the article belongs to the author.
Zhi-Bin Lin, professor of the Department of Pharmacology, Peking University School of Basic Medical Sciences
In this article, Prof. Lin introduced two cases reported in scientific journals. One of them was that taking Ganoderma lucidum spore powder cured gastric diffuse large B cell lymphoma, and the other one was that taking Ganoderma lucidum powder caused toxic hepatitis. The former proved that tumor regression was related to Ganoderma lucidum spore powder while the latter exposed the hidden concerns caused by poor quality Ganoderma products. Therefore, one joy and one shock reminded consumers to be cautious when purchasing Ganoderma products so as not to waste money and hurt their bodies!
Many medical journals have a “Case Report” column that reports meaningful findings from the diagnosis and treatment of individual patients, as well as discovering the effects or serious side effects of drugs. In the history of medicine, sometimes individual discoveries promote the development of science.
For example, British bacteriologist Alexander Fleming first discovered and reported that penicillin secretion has an anti-staphylococcal effect in 1928, and named it penicillin. This discovery was shelved for many years until 1941 when British pharmacologist Howard Walter Florey and German biochemist Ernest Chain were inspired by Fleming’s paper to complete the purification of penicillin and its anti-streptococci pharmacological experiments and proved its antibacterial efficacy in a dying patient, penicillin began to receive attention.
After their secondary research and development, penicillin has been produced on an industrial scale as the first antibiotic used in human history, saving countless lives and becoming a major discovery in the 20th century. Therefore, Fleming, Florey and Chain, who relayed to research and develop penicillin, were awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
The following two clinical case reports of Ganoderma lucidum, although discovered by chance, have been carefully studied and analyzed by the reporter. The former provides evidence for the use of Ganoderma lucidum in the treatment of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in the stomach while the latter It tells us that bad Ganoderma lucidum products can cause toxic hepatitis.
Ganoderma lucidum spore powder cured a case of gastric diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
There are many cases in the folk that Ganoderma lucidum has the effect of treating cancer, but it is rare to be reported by medical professional publications.
In 2007, Wah Cheuk et al. of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong reported in the International Journal of Surgical Pathology a case of a 47-year-old male patient with no relevant medical history who came to the hospital in January 2003 because of upper abdominal pain.
Helicobacter pylori infection was found to be positive by the urea breath test, and a large area of gastric ulcer was found in the pyloric region of the stomach by gastroscopy. Biopsy sampling revealed a large number of medium to large lymphocytes infiltrating the gastric wall, with irregularly shaped nuclei, vacuolated chromatin located in the nucleus, and prominent nucleoli.
Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that these cells were positive for CD20, a B-cell differentiation antigen, expressed in more than 95% of B-cell lymphomas, whereas helper T cells (Th), cytotoxic T cells (CTL) and regulatory T cells (Treg) were negative for CD3, and the Ki67 proliferation index, which reflects the proliferative activity of tumor cells, was as high as 85%. The patient was clinically diagnosed with gastric diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Since the patient tested positive for Helicobacter pylori infection, the hospital decided to perform Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment on the patient from February 1 to 7, followed by surgical resection on February 10. Surprisingly, the pathological examination of resected gastric tissue samples did not reveal the histopathological changes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma but instead found a large number of small CD3+CD8+ cytotoxic T cells infiltrating the full thickness of the gastric wall, and the Ki67 proliferation index dropped to less than 1%.
In addition, in situ RT-PCR detection of T cell receptor beta chain (TCRβ) mRNA gene showed a polyclonal pattern, and no monoclonal T cell population was detected.
The test results provided by the reporter showed that the T cells in the patient’s stomach tissue were normal rather than malignant. Because tumor cells lose the ability to differentiate and mature and only have the same specific genetic marker, they are monoclonal while normal cell proliferation is polyclonal.
It was learned from the inquiry that the patient took 60 capsules of Ganoderma lucidum spore powder (3 times the recommended dose of the recommender) per day from February 1 to 5. After surgery, the patient did not receive any adjuvant therapy, and the tumor did not recur during the two-and-a-half-year follow-up.
The researchers believe that the immunohistochemical results of surgically resected biopsy samples do not support the possibility of Helicobacter pylori eradication of large B-cell lymphoma, so they speculate that it may be that patients taking large doses of Ganoderma lucidum spore powder promotes active host immune response of cytotoxic T cells to large B-cell lymphoma, which in turn lead to complete tumor regression .
This case report has a clear diagnosis and treatment process. The author of the article has proved that tumor regression is related to Ganoderma lucidum spore powder through histopathological and cellular and molecular biological research analysis, which is highly scientific and worthy of further research.
The following is a case of toxic hepatitis induced by Ganoderma lucidum powder.
Many pharmacological studies have proved that Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body extract and its polysaccharides and triterpenes, as well as Ganoderma lucidum spore powder, have obvious hepatoprotective effects. They have obvious improvement effect in clinical treatment of viral hepatitis.
However, in 2004, Man-Fung Yuen et al. of the University of Hong Kong School of Medicine reported a case report of Ganoderma lucidum powder-induced toxic hepatitis in the Journal of Hepatology.
A 78-year-old woman sought treatment at this hospital due to general malaise, loss of appetite, itchy skin, and tea-colored urine for two weeks. The patient had a history of hypertension and had been taking the antihypertensive drug felodipine routinely for 2 years. During this period, her liver function tests were normal, and she also took calcium, multivitamin tablets and Ganoderma lucidum by herself. After taking decocted Ganoderma lucidum for one year, the patient switched to a new commercially available Ganoderma lucidum powder product. She developed the above symptoms after four weeks of taking such a product.
Physical examination revealed marked jaundice in the patient. The results of her blood biochemical tests are shown in the table below. Immunological examination ruled out the possibility of the patient suffering from viral hepatitis A, B, C, and E. The histopathological results of liver biopsy showed that the patient had pathological changes in drug-toxic hepatitis.
During one year of taking Ganoderma lucidum water decoction, the patient showed no abnormality. But after switching to commercially available Ganoderma lucidum powder, she quickly developed symptoms of toxic hepatitis. After discontinuing the Ganoderma lucidum powder, her above-mentioned blood biochemical indicators gradually returned to normal. Therefore, the patient was diagnosed with toxic hepatitis caused by Ganoderma lucidum powder. The reporter pointed out that since the composition of the Ganoderma lucidum powder could not be detected, it is worth considering whether the liver toxicity was caused by other ingredients or the dose change after switching to take the Ganoderma lucidum powder .
Since the reporter did not explain the source and properties of Ganoderma lucidum powder, it is unclear whether this powder is Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body powder, Ganoderma lucidum spore powder or Ganoderma lucidum mycelium powder. The author believes that the most likely cause of toxic hepatitis caused by Ganoderma lucidum powder in this case is the quality problem of the bad product, that is, the pollution caused by mold, pesticides and heavy metals.
Therefore, when purchasing Ganoderma products, consumers must buy products with the approval number of the competent authority. Only such products that have been tested by a third party and approved by a competent authority can provide consumers with reliable, safe and effective guarantees.
1. Wah Cheuk, et al. Regression of Gastric Large B-Cell Lymphoma Accompanied by a Florid Lymphoma-like T-Cell Reaction: Immunomodulatory Effect of Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi). International Journal of Surgical Pathology. 2007; 15(2):180-86.
2. Man-Fung Yuen, et al. Hepatotoxicity due to a formulation of Ganoderma lucidum (lingzhi). Journal of Hepatology. 2004; 41(4):686-7.
About Prof. Zhi-Bin Lin
As a pioneer in the research of Ganoderma in China, he has devoted himself to Ganoderma research for nearly half a century. As the former vice president of Beijing Medical University (BMU), the former vice dean of BMU School of Basic Medical Sciences and the former director of BMU Institute of Basic Medicine and the former director of the Department of Pharmacology of BMU, he is now a professor of the Department of Pharmacology of Peking University School of Basic Medicine. He had been appointed visiting scholar of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1983 to 1984 and visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong from 2000 to 2002. He has been appointed honorary professor of Perm State Pharmaceutical Academy since 2006.
Since 1970, he has used modern sci-tech methods to study the pharmacological effects and mechanisms of Ganoderma lucidum and its active ingredients. He has published more than 100 research papers on Ganoderma. From 2014 to 2019, he was selected into the list of Highly Cited Chinese Researchers released by Elsevier for six consecutive years.
He is the author of Modern Research on Ganoderma (from 1st edition to 4th edition), Lingzhi From Mystery to Science (from 1st edition to 3rd edition), Ganoderma Lucidum Assists in the Treatment of Cancer by Strengthening the Body’s Resistance and Eliminating Pathogenic Factors, Talk on Ganoderma, Ganoderma and Health and many other works on Ganoderma.