Volume 16 Part 1 Article 3: Anti-cancer Activities of White Button Mushrooms

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 3
Year 2004
Title: Anti-cancer Activities of White Button Mushrooms
Author: S. Chen


Results of our research have demonstrated that white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) contain chemicals that can suppress two enzymes, aromatase and steroid 5alpha-reductase. Aromatase converts androgen to estrogen. It is commonly known that estrogen promotes the development of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women. Aromatase inhibitors that suppress the formation of estrogen are currently being used in the treatment of estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Steroid 5alpha-reductase converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and has been shown to play an important role in the development of prostate cancer and benign prostate hyperplasia. The use of steroid 5alpha-reductase inhibitors was found to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer. Through cell culture experiments, we have revealed that mushroom extracts suppress the growth of aromatase-positive breast cancer cells and prostate cancer cells. Our recent efforts have been directed toward the isolation of the active ingredients as well as the examination of the in vivo effects of mushroom extracts using breast and prostate cancer cell-implanted nude mouse models. Our findings indicate that the intake of white button mushrooms could reduce the incidence of breast cancer and prostate cancer.

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