Does Lingzhi have an inhibitory effect on the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)? Does eating Lingzhi after getting novel coronary pneumonia (COVID-19) help to suppress the novel coronavirus?
We have always used the function of “Ganoderma lucidum’s immune regulation” as the theoretical basis of “Ganoderma lucidum’s anti-virus”. Now, there is finally direct evidence to provide us with a clear answer.
A report published by the Taiwanese research team in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) on January 15 this year (2021) confirmed that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides, one of the main active ingredients in Ganoderma lucidum, can inhibit the infection of cells by the novel coronavirus, inhibit the replication and proliferation of the novel coronavirus in the cells, and reduce the number of the novel coronavirus in the lungs after animals are infected with the novel coronavirus.
Inhibit virus replication without harming cells
The above-mentioned research team first conducted in vitro experiments: first, Vero E6 cells and the Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract (code name RF3) were cultured together, and then the novel coronavirus was added to observe the number of virus replication and cell survival after 48 hours.
As we all know, the novel coronavirus invades the human body through the ACE2 receptor on the cell. Vero E6 cells from the kidney tissue of African green monkeys can express a large number of ACE2 receptors, so when they comes into contact with the novel coronavirus, the novel coronavirus can easily enter these cells to replicate and proliferate.
The results show that the Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract can reduce the amount of virus replication to half at a low concentration of 2 μg/mL without causing cell death (see the picture and text taken from the research report below for details).
Reduce the amount of virus in the lungs of hamsters
The next step was animal experiments: hamsters were first infected with the novel coronavirus, and then Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract was administered to these hamsters orally at a daily dose of 200 mg/kg for 3 days.
It was found that the amount of virus in the lungs of hamsters was only about half of the control group (without any drugs) (as shown in the figure below), and the weight of hamsters did not drop significantly. This means that the Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract can not only effectively inhibit the proliferation of the novel coronavirus but also is highly safe to eat.
Source/PNAS February 2,2021 118(5)e2021579118
Don’t underestimate the results of the “hamster” experiment. The respiratory tissue of hamsters is similar to that of humans. When the immune system is stimulated by infection, the respiratory tissues of hamsters also have inflammatory cytokines similar to humans. Therefore, the results of the Reishi mushroom polysaccharide extract and the novel coronavirus fighting each other on hamsters are of a considerable reference value.
Reishi polysaccharides stand out from more than 3,000 drugs and extracts
The above experiments have shown us that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides can protect cells and fight against novel coronavirus infections – at least when taken before infection or during the initial stage of infection, Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides do have a very good antiviral effect.
It is really not simple that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides can stand out in this research.
The research team first collected 2,855 human or animal medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Second, the team selected nearly 200 medicinal materials with curative effects on viral infections from the classics of traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Next, the team screened out 15 drugs or ingredients with potential against viral infections in cell experiments conducted in the P3 laboratory.
The team then winnowed the top 7 drugs or ingredients into animal experiments to go head to head with the virus strains. In the end, only 2 kinds of drugs (the anti-malaria drug called mefloquine and the anti-AIDS drug called neflinavir) and 3 kinds of herbal medicines and herbal extracts (Reishi mushroom polysaccharides, Perilla frutescens and Mentha haplocalyx) can really exert antiviral effects in the body.
Among these five ingredients, only Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides can be effective against viruses without causing cell death, weight loss or affecting body functions.
Moreover, polysaccharides are only one of the active ingredients in Ganoderma lucidum. If we can add triterpenes or use the whole Ganoderma lucidum to fight the virus, what will happen?
Vaccines can only protect one part of our body, but what should be used to protect the part that vaccines cannot protect?
Let’s eat more Reishi mushroom!
And it must be Reishi mushroom that has undergone standardized organic cultivation, extraction, and processing, has complete active ingredients and has health food approvals. Only such Reishi mushroom will not let you down.
Jia-Tsrong Jan, et al. Identification of existing pharmaceuticals and herbal medicines as inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection. PNAS February 2, 2021 118 (5) e2021579118;
Tingyao has been reporting on first-hand Ganoderma lucidum information since 1999. She is the author of “Ganoderma lucidum: Ingenious Beyond Description” (published in The People’s Medical Publishing House in April 2017).
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