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Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 157015, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/157015
Review Article

The Mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill Elicits Medicinal Effects on Tumor, Infection, Allergy, and Inflammation through Its Modulation of Innate Immunity and Amelioration of Th1/Th2 Imbalance and Inflammation

1Department of Cellular Therapy, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Ullernchaussen 70, 0130 Oslo, Norway
2Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Ullevål Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
3The University of Oslo, Norway
4Center of Clinical Research, Ullevål Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Received 11 March 2011; Accepted 23 June 2011

Academic Editor: Karim A. Alkadhi

Copyright © 2011 Geir Hetland et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill from the Brazilian rain forest has been used in traditional medicine and as health food for the prevention of a range of diseases, including infection, allergy, and cancer. Other scientists and we have examined whether there is scientific evidence behind such postulations. Agaricus blazei M is rich in the immunomodulating polysaccharides, β-glucans, and has been shown to have antitumor, anti-infection, and antiallergic/-asthmatic properties in mouse models, in addition to anti-inflammatory effects in inflammatory bowel disease patients. These effects are mediated through the mushroom's stimulation of innate immune cells, such as monocytes, NK cells, and dendritic cells, and the amelioration of a skewed Th1/Th2 balance and inflammation.