In Brazil, China, Taiwan, and Korea, Agaricus blazei is believed to stimulate the immune system, fight cancer, reduce blood cholesterol levels, cure digestive and circulatory disorders, prevent peptic ulcer and osteoporosis, improve the quality of life of diabetics, and fight emotional and physical stress. A growing number of scientific researches support these claimed health benefits of the Agaricus blazei, especially on cancer treatment.
Complex polysaccharides isolated from Agaricus blazei like beta-glucans have been found in laboratory studies to inhibit tumor growth and directly kill cancer cells. Other studies also suggest the ability of Agaricus blazei extract to inhibit cancer metastases.
Beta-glucans from Agaricus blazei works on a cellular and molecular level to stimulate the vital components of the immune system such as neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, monocytes, and natural killer (NK) cells. These immune system cells do not only help the body fight infection but also fight tumors and cancer cells.
Agaricus blazei has also been found to exhibit antioxidant properties. The antioxidants in the mushroom will prevent the oxidation of cholesterols, which form plaques in the inner linings of blood vessels, hardening blood vessels and obstructing blood flow. Cholesterol plaques in blood vessels are the major culprits in incidents of heart attack and stroke. Antioxidants also benefits the body by neutralizing unstable and harmful free radicals that damages cells and tissues.
In one study, Agaricus blazei extract protected laboratory mice from fatal septicemia (serious bacterial infection). The extract also increased the survival rate of the infected mice.
Agaricus blazei extract showed anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypertriglyceridemic, anti-arteriosclerosis, , and anti-hypertriglyceridemic activities in laboratory rats with streptozocin induced diabetes.
In Japan, thousands of patients are using Agaricus blazei to improve their quality of life after undergoing chemotherapy. Patients who are taking Agaricus blazei report improvement of the side effects of chemotherapy such as appetite loss, alopecia (hair loss), emotional instability, and general weakness.
Studies on human subjects show that both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly reduced in subjects that take Agaricus blazei than those who take placebo.