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May 25, 2022


The main components of Ganoderma lucidum alcohol extract are triterpenoids. It is said that Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids have anti-tumor effects, but do you know what actual anti-tumor effects can Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids play after entering the gastrointestinal tract?

The team of Professor Jianhua Xu and Professor Peng Li from the School of Pharmacy of Fujian Medical University have published a series of research reports. Using the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum provided by Fujian Xianzhilou Biological Science and Technology Co., Ltd. as raw materials, through a specific ethanol extraction process, they obtained two components of Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids: GLA and GLE, which were fed to experimental animals with cancer cells or tumors to see what would happen.

It was found that the triterpenoid components of Ganoderma lucidum have at least the significance of “inhibiting tumor growth, prolonging survival time and improving the effectiveness of chemotherapy”.

Slow down the tumor growth.

The effect is positively correlated to the dose of triterpenoids.

The researchers first subcutaneously inoculated mice with ascitic type hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (H22) or sarcoma cell line (S180), and 24 hours later, they were fed with low, medium and high doses (0.5, 1, and 2 g/kg per day) of GLA for 7 consecutive days; the chemotherapy group was given cyclophosphamide (CTX) (30 mg/kg) every 3 days; the control group was given no treatment.

On the 8th day of the experiment, the tumor weights of the mice in each group were evaluated. The results showed that GLA, a triterpenoid component of Ganoderma lucidum, significantly slowed down the growth of ascitic type hepatocellular carcinomas and sarcomas, and the effect was positively correlated with the dose.



Direct tumor suppression in immunocompromised conditions 

The above experimental results were obtained under the condition of normal immune function. In order to understand whether the inhibition of tumor growth by GLA, a triterpenoid component of Ganoderma lucidum, is related to immune function, the researchers conducted the following experiments:

The colon cancer cell line (Colon-26) was inoculated into nude mice whose immune function was not normal. After the tumor grew out, the medium and high doses of GLA were fed again, and the tumor inhibitory effect was still excellent.

This shows that GLA can directly inhibit tumor growth, and its mechanism of action is different from that of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides to enhance the anti-cancer ability of the immune system and inhibit tumors.


Not only inhibits tumor growth but also prolongs life 

In addition, through GLE, another Ganoderma lucidum triterpene component, the team of Prof. Jianhua Xu and Prof. Peng Li also observed that Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids not only inhibited tumor growth but also prolonged the survival time of tumor-bearing mice after treatment.

According to its published report, GLE (Extract from Ganoderma lucidum) is an extract isolated and purified from Ganoderma lucidum by the Institute of New Medicine of Fujian Medical University. 1 gram of GLE is equivalent to 93 grams of Ganoderma lucidum raw medicinal materials, and its Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoid content is 56.7%.

The experimental results show that compared with the aforementioned GLA, GLE can exert the same excellent inhibitory effect on mouse ascitic type hepatocellular carcinomas and sarcomas at a lower dose (one-fourth of GLA) under the same experimental conditions, and both can reach or exceed the target specified in the evaluation of the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine – the tumor inhibition rate of more than 30%.



The experiment also found that after all treatments were stopped (GLE or chemotherapy drugs were no longer given), the sarcoma mice that originally ate GLE could live longer, and their survival time was positively correlated with the previous dose of GLE. Among them, the survival time of the high-dose GLE group was even significantly longer than that of the positive control group who had previously received chemotherapy.


According to the researcher’s observation, although chemotherapy has an obvious tumor-suppressing effect, the body weight of sarcoma mice will be affected and their fur will also become poorer during the medication process; on the other hand, the tumor suppression rate of the high-dose GLE group is close to that of chemotherapy. And GLE produces no adverse reactions caused by chemotherapeutic drugs, and it can also prolong the survival time, which shows that the triterpenoid components of Ganoderma lucidum have certain safety and effectiveness, and have certain help for the “quality” coexistence with cancer. 

It can assist chemotherapy and improve the effect of tumor suppression

In addition, Professor Peng Li’s team also found through another animal experiment that the triterpenoid components of Ganoderma lucidum can aid chemotherapy drugs.

They first inoculated the HER2-positive human breast cancer cell line (SKBR-3) in immune-deficient nude mice, and after tumors grew out, they fed these nude mice 250 mg/kg of GLE every day and gave paclitaxel (PTX) treatment (intravenous injection) once every three days.

After 14 days of treatment, it was found that compared with GLE or paclitaxel alone, the combination of the two had a significantly better inhibitory effect on tumors.


Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids with established efficacy and stable quality help to coexist with cancer every day.

The above research results show the benefits of specific raw material sources, specific extraction methods, and specific composition of Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoid components to tumor-bearing animals after passing through the digestive system. Thanks to long-term stable experimental materials, researchers can see good experimental results in experimental animals time and time again.

In fact, the anti-tumor effect of Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids has long been scientifically affirmed. The main problem is whether the “Ganoderma lucidum” that consumers choose really has such active ingredients for the long term. After all, the word “Ganoderma lucidum” on the box does not mean that the product must contain Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids. Moreover, products marked with the word “triterpenoids” may not produce the effects of Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids.

The scientifically proven efficacy comes from the ingredients, and the ingredients are closely related to the extraction process and the source of the raw materials. Stable and consistent quality requires standardized management and control in each link to achieve.

When these conditions are met, it is possible to transform the benefits of Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids into the hope of coexisting with cancer and survival with cancer for a long time.


1.Xiaoxia Wei et al. Study on the antitumor effect of GLA, a triterpenoid component of Ganoderma lucidum, in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Fujian Medical University, 2010, 44(6): 417-420.
2.Peng et al. Experimental study on the antitumor effect of Ganoderma lucidum extract. Chinese Journal of Modern Applied Pharmacy, 2011, 28(9): 798-792.
3.Feng Liu et al. Antitumor effects of GLE, a triterpenoid component of Ganoderma lucidum, in vitro and in vivo. Chinese Journal of New Drugs, 2012, 21(23): 2790-2793.
4.Zhiqiang Zhang et al. Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoid components enhance paclitaxel-induced apoptosis of HER2+ breast cancer cells. Journal of Fujian Medical University, 2016, 50(1): 1-5.



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★ The original text of this article was written in Chinese by Wu Tingyao and translated into English by Alfred Liu. If there is any discrepancy between the translation (English) and the original (Chinese), the original Chinese shall prevail. If readers have any questions, please contact the original author, Ms. Wu Tingyao.