Mushrooms

Agaricus blazei

Today we are going to talk about a type of medicinal mushroom that was causing the talk in the scientific community after numerous scientific studies affirm that it may help to treat tumors thanks to its immunomodulatory activity. It is the Agaricus blazei mushroom. It is also known by the common name of mushroom of the sun due to its peculiar shape. It is considered an edible mushroom with these special characteristics.

Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you all the characteristics, properties and uses of Agaricus blazei.

Main features

This mushroom was not used until recently. In fact, they were quite unknown. It was not recognized until it was located by a Japanese hobbyist who found it with properties similar to the Japanese medicinal mushroom Matsutake. This made it take several samples from the different universities in the world to be able to make a correct identification.

Its medicinal properties caused that in Japan they found a high content of beta-glucans that was higher than that of the medicinal mushrooms known as Reishi, Maitake or Shiitake. From then on, this is when the cultivation of this mushroom spread throughout the world. Some scientists think that the therapeutic value of this mushroom that grows naturally and spontaneously can help everyone. It developed naturally in Brazil although it is cultivated almost all over the world.

The high content of beta-glucans makes this mushroom have extraordinary therapeutic qualities. In addition, the high water content is added that makes it have a higher price. Its name of mushroom of the sun comes from the shape of its hat. It is an edible quite appreciated for its meaty consistency and its intense almond aroma. The almond aroma comes from its high content of aromatic benzene compounds.

If we analyze from the nutritional point of view we can see that it has a great wealth of vegetable proteins with all the essential amino acids. It also has a high content of B and E vitamins and large amounts of minerals.

Active principles of Agaricus blazei

The active principles are those chemical elements that mushrooms contain and that can help health thanks to their medicinal properties. The Agaricus blazei has lots of active ingredients that help promote human health. We are going to analyze which are these active principles:

  • It has a large amount of beta glucans. Betaglycans are stimulators of the immune system so it will help us prevent diseases and treat them, it also has a large amount of Proteoglycans.
  • It is rich in lipids, including phospholipids with antineoplastic action.
  • It contains a precursor of vitamin D that has been shown to have a good anti-angiogenic action. This remedy is called Ergosterol.
  • It has nucleic acids such as glucamannan and sterols.

It should be noted that this mushroom is rich in the enzyme tyrosinase that escapes from transforming the amino acid tyrosine into the hormone dopamine. Dopamine helps to enhance a Coenzyme in cells that helps stimulate mitochondrial metabolism. This gives the cells greater resistance to both free radicals, the action of various pathogens. In this way, our immune system is much stronger.

One of the actions that helps to normalize the immune system is the antihistamine effect. Good results have been obtained after studies of the effects of Agaricus blazei in mice that have general allergies.

Medicinal properties of Agaricus blazei

As we have mentioned, this mushroom has numerous health benefits. Let’s see what they are:

  • Antitumor: if it has been shown through numerous studies that it has a selective cytotoxicity capacity for polysaccharides. This causes apoptosis of the tumor cells. Therefore, the sun mushroom is capable of regulating the spread of cancer. We add the antitumor action of the enhanced immune system together with the antiangiogenic activity of ergosterol and pyroglutamates. It should be mentioned that polysaccharides and proteoglycans act synergistically when they are together. This enables it to activate NK cells to reduce collateral effects and decrease secondary neoplasms.
  • Hepatoprotective: this mushroom helps by acting against toxic liver disease that is induced by chemical substances in the body. Helps to improve the treatment of hepatitis B with recovery of liver function. These treatments normally last an average of 3 months.
  • Antidiabetic: There are people with type I diabetes who have experienced some improvement with treatment of Agaricus blazei. Scientific experiments have focused on diabetic mice and indicate that the immune regulatory action prevents the progress of this autoimmune disease. Additionally, it helps protect beta cells from destruction. If we analyze the condition with respect to type II diabetes, we see that the high content of fibers, has chitin and pectins, together with the high content of group B vitamins, will have a hypoglycemic effect.

There are some more recent studies that showed that an extract of Agaricus blazei is capable of reducing insulin resistance by stimulating adipocytes to increase the production of adiponectin. Adiponectin helps to promote the cellular metabolism of glucose and its consequent decrease in the blood. Another way to improve insulin resistance is by reducing the intake of carbohydrates in the diet. If we add to this a physical exercise with weights and some cardiovascular exercise, as we lower the percentage of body fat, insulin sensitivity will continue to increase.

If you have ever thought about collecting these mushrooms, you will have it more complicated. Due to its high demand for its medicinal properties, few areas of distribution and natural habitat remain intact. The vast majority are in artificial crops to enhance their development in good conditions. This makes it a mushroom grown for medicinal purposes only, although it can be an excellent edible.

As you can see, the properties of this mushroom are very beneficial for health. I hope that with this information you can learn more about Agaricus blazei.

 

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