You must have seen some tragic character in a play who coughed for so long that he coughed up a mouthful of blood in one of his acute coughs……He was diagnosed with tuberculosis and had to be isolated so that he would not spread the disease to others. With the early intervention of modern medicine, few people got so sick, but the culprit, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, was ready to launch a massive attack when the immune system is compromised. Now, from China came the good news that Ganoderma lucidum spores and spore lipids may prophylactically inhibit Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
A study published by Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in “Frontiers in Microbiology” in January 2016 pointed out that the preventive administration of Ganoderma lucidum extract (spores and spore lipid) can inhibit the replication and proliferation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mice and reduce the number of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lungs and spleen of mice.
All diseases caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis are collectively referred to as “tuberculosis”. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is mainly transmitted through droplets. It is highly infectious in confined spaces and close distances. Any tissues and organs in our body may be infected. However,“tuberculosis” caused by infection of the lungs is the most common. People with severe tuberculosis will die due to damage to their lungs.
Taking the statistics of Taiwan in 2012 as an example, the number of deaths due to tuberculosis in that year was more than 600, which was ten times the number of deaths caused by SARS in 2003. SARS comes once occasionally, but tuberculosis is always present. It is said that tuberculosis has not disappeared since the ancient Neolithic Age. Even if the invention of BCG controlled the scale of infection, but it still hasn’t completely blocked the threat of tuberculosis to mankind. We have to be cautious against it.
Don’t think that tuberculosis has nothing to do with you. It is understood that as many as one-third of the global population is infected with tuberculosis. You and I may be one of them. It’s just that the vast majority of infected people have no symptoms (prolonged cough for more than a month, weight loss, fever and night sweats) and low infectious “latent tuberculosis infection.”
In fact, as long as the immunity is sufficient, Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be kept in an “inactive” state. The problem is that when the immune system is compromised, especially when receiving radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or being infected with HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis may have a big chance to attack. Therefore, how to avoid infection and how to effectively suppress it after infection is the focus of the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis.
The research team of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College first used C57BL/6 mice and a small amount of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to establish an animal experimental model similar to human “latent tuberculosis infection”, and further explored the anti-tuberculosis effect of Ganoderma lucidum. The team found that:
While the mice were infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, they were simultaneously treated with Ganoderma lucidum preparations (15 mg of spores and 15 mg of spore lipid were taken orally each day for 16 weeks, then the experiment ended), the number of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lungs and spleen of the mice did not differ from that in the untreated group. However, if the same dose of Ganoderma lucidum can be given to the mice one month before the start of the experiment (infection), it can effectively reduce the number of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lungs and spleen of the mice. Especially in the first three to five weeks when Mycobacterium tuberculosis enters the body of the mouse, the inhibitory effect is more significant.
It was also observed in the experiment that there was no correlation between the number of immune cells in the peripheral blood of the mice, the number of proliferation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the extent of lung and spleen lesions. However, in mice that ate Ganoderma lucidum preparations before infection, during three to five weeks after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the dendritic cells in the peripheral blood decreased sharply, and the dendritic cells in the lungs increased greatly. This phenomenon may partly explain why pre-eating Ganoderma lucidum can inhibit the Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lungs of mice.
[Source] Zhan L, et al. Prophylactic use of Ganoderma lucidum extract may inhibit Mycobacterium tuberculosis replication in a new mouse model of spontaneous latent tuberculosis infection. Front Microbiol. 2016 Jan 8;6:1490. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01490. eCollection 2015.
About the author/ Ms. Wu Tingyao
Wu Tingyao has been reporting on first-hand Ganoderma lucidum information since 1999. She is the author of Healing with Ganoderma (published in The People’s Medical Publishing House in April 2017).
★ This article is published under the exclusive authorization of the author ★ The above works cannot be reproduced, excerpted or used in other ways without the authorization of the author ★ Violation of the above statement, the author will pursue its related legal responsibilities ★ 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.