The Magic of Mushrooms - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Friday, March 7, 2003

The Magic of Mushrooms

What do you see here? I bet you're saying that's a mushroom. Well it's a lot more than a mushroom. This thing has saved thousands, maybe millions of lives because of antibiotics that are derived from it - and probably even more having to do with cancer therapy, in terms of preventing cancer and treating cancer. How can this little thing do that? Let me tell you its history.

During World War II they used these mushrooms and found Penicillin, Erythromycin. But even back then they knew there were chemicals in there called illudins that could kill cancer cells. But those illudins were so strong they made people sick and the research was stopped.

Over the past 10-12 years the University of California, San Diego has taken another look at illudins and they found another active ingredient - it's called irofulven - and that kills cancer cells - in particular, adenocarcinoma - we're talking about lung, breast, prostate, gastrointestinal and colon, and the results are encouraging. Let me tell you about 2 studies.

Using these extracts of the Shiitake mushrooms and the irofulven chemicals in them they looked at people with cancer. The first group was with 15 women with advanced ovarian adenocarcinoma and they gave them this extract. In five of the fifteen, one third, there was an arrest of the tumor, and in three of them there was stability. So it improved in more than 30% of the cases.

In another study with 14 people with advanced cancer of the liver, they found by using these extracts one reversed itself by 76% and three more stabalized - the tumor did not grow. This is exciting and very encouraging. So that tells us this mushroom is more than an antibiotic and more than a mushroom. It can actually prevent & treat cancer - so keep an eye on that.

I'm Dr David Vastola and that's life.

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