Lingzhi slows progress of Alzheimer’s

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January 23, 2008  
Filed under Aging

CM NEWS – The legendary mushroom has been shown to have another potential therapeutic function: to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum), or reishi in Japanese, is a medicinal fungus used clinically in many Asian countries to promote health and longevity. has been shown to have an effect on and . Together with a special TCM formula, lingzhi can help sooth.

According to the researchers at the University of Hong Kong, synaptic degeneration is a key mode of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have shown the loss of synaptic density proteins in each individual neuron during the progression of Alzheimer’s. It was recently reported that ?-amyloid could cause synaptic dysfunction and contribute to Alzheimer’s pathology.

How does ?-amyloid relate to Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of in the elderly. The neuropathology of Alzheimer’s is characterized at first by the deposition of extracellular amyloid plaques and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, and later by the loss of neurons and their processes.

Alzheimer’s disease is expressed by excessive deposition of the ?-amyloid peptide (?-AP) in the central nervous system. Cognitive impairment appears to be most closely correlated in time with the loss of neurons and neuronal processes.

A correlation between lower synapse density and greater proximity to ?-amyloid plaques was found in a Jan 2007 study.

One study said that antibodies against ?-Amyloid can slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. ?-amyloid is a major histopathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (National Institute on Aging 1997). It is associated with age-related cognitive decline, neurotoxicity, and the formation of neurofibrillary tangles.

In this study, the Hong Kong researchers reported that aqueous extract of lingzhi significantly attenuated A?-induced synaptotoxicity by preserving the synaptic density protein, synaptophysin.

What is synaptophysin? Synaptophysin is a synaptic vesicle glycoprotein with four transmembrane domains. It is present in neuroendocrine cells and in virtually all neurons in the brain and spinal cord that participate in synaptic transmission. It acts as a marker for neuroendocrine tumours.

Taken together, the results prove a hypothesis that anti-aging lingzhi can prevent harmful effects of the exterminating toxin A? in Alzheimer’s disease.

gou-qi or goji As a side note, an earlier research done by the same group of researchers at HKU found that anther anti-aging Chinese medicine gou qi (??, Lycium barbarum) could also worked against ?-amyloid peptide neurotoxicity in Alzheimer’s disease.

This group of researchers seem to believe that studies on anti-aging herbal medicines like lingzhi and gou qi may open a new therapeutic window for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

[Brain Research Volume 1190, 23 January 2008, Pages 215-224]

Other CM NEWS readings on :

More readings:
Evidence found for genes that affect risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (Mayo Clinic News)

More info about lingzhi here.


9 Comments on "Lingzhi slows progress of Alzheimer’s"

  1. Joe on Wed, 23rd Jan 2008 1:25 pm 

    Alzheimer’s is prevent by anti-oxidants. Here is a reference: Zandi PP, Anthony JC, Khachaturian AS, et al. Reduced risk of Alzheimer disease in users of antioxidant vitamin supplements: the Cache County Study. Arch Neurol. 2004 Jan; 61(1): 82-8.

    “BACKGROUND: Antioxidants may protect the aging brain against oxidative damage associated with pathological changes of Alzheimer disease (AD). OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between antioxidant supplement use and risk of AD. DESIGN: Cross-sectional and prospective study of dementia. Elderly (65 years or older) county residents were assessed in 1995 to 1997 for prevalent dementia and AD, and again in 1998 to 2000 for incident illness. Supplement use was ascertained at the first contact. SETTING: Cache County, Utah.

    PARTICIPANTS: Among 4740 respondents (93%) with data sufficient to determine cognitive status at the initial assessment, we identified 200 prevalent cases of AD. Among 3227 survivors at risk, we identified 104 incident AD cases at follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Diagnosis of AD by means of multistage assessment procedures. RESULTS: Analyses of prevalent and incident AD yielded similar results. Use of vitamin E and C (ascorbic acid) supplements in combination was associated with reduced AD prevalence (adjusted odds ratio, 0.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.60) and incidence (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.99). A trend toward lower AD risk was also evident in users of vitamin E and multivitamins containing vitamin C, but we saw no evidence of a protective effect with use of vitamin E or vitamin C supplements alone, with multivitamins alone, or with vitamin B-complex supplements.

    CONCLUSIONS: Use of vitamin E and vitamin C supplements in combination is associated with reduced prevalence and incidence of AD. Antioxidant supplements merit further study as agents for the primary prevention of AD.”

    There are many references to anti-oxidants on PubMed.

  2. Susanna Ng on Thu, 24th Jan 2008 1:21 am 

    thx joe for the info!!! invaluable!! great supplementary info to this article

  3. Ronald on Wed, 30th Jan 2008 2:35 am 

    There is so much marketing about the capsules of these mushrooms from Japan that say they are great for boosting awareness and energy.

    Is this the real deal? I’d love to hear a non bias expert opinion on it.

  4. Susanna Ng on Fri, 8th Feb 2008 9:16 pm 

    sorry fore the late reply, the comment thing has been down for days… just able to fix it.

    first of all, i’m no expert… i’m just a health journalist. =) i can only tell you how much i learn from these scientific reports. for myself, though, my mom bought some lingzhi powder for me last year and i have been taking it sparingly (once or twice a week, if i remember). so far i haven’t got any cold/flu this season. but that could be because a lot of factors so i’m not sure if it’s really lingzhi that has boosted my immunity. anyway, free stuff from mom, why not try? =)

  5. Jenny Wong on Wed, 18th Jun 2008 12:38 am 

    Dear Susanna,

    I was given a box of Ling Zhi capsules I wonder if my 82 year old mom can take it as I just read over the internet that it will cause dry thoat and nose bleed. But it does help to lower cholestrol.

    Thank you.


  6. Tracie on Fri, 20th Jun 2008 8:59 am 

    I have used Lingzhi. Not for alzheimers although I do feel a bit “sharper” mentally. I use it for bengin breast tumors, immunity, metabolism and weight loss. It has been GREAT! No shakes and no side effects, except occassional bowel movements which are not bad if you aren’t taking in a lot of fat. Ovewrall, I have seen changes in my Tcell counts and I have lost 50 pounds in 4 months. I use it as directed. I really like this stuff. I use the 2xslimming formula.
    Give it a try!!!!

  7. Susanna Ng on Mon, 23rd Jun 2008 6:31 pm 

    hi jenny, i can’t answer your question, as i’m not someone in the health care who might have the least authority to give out any medical advice. sorry… i guess you need to check out with a qualified tcm practitioner.

    hi tracie, i’m glad you find something that’s helpful to you. i need to shed off some pounds too… perhaps i should take a look too :)

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  9. Angelia on Fri, 26th Dec 2008 8:47 pm 

    I have been taking the 2 day diet pills (Lingzhi since September 08 and I have lost 35 lbs (Dec 26th). I feel great, have a lot more energy and my concentration is a lot better. I took the capsules for weight loss purposes but have benefited in so many other ways as well. I haven’t had any side effects although my mouth is always dry but that just makes me drink a lot of water!!! NOw that I have ready about the alzheimers and the arthiritis, I will recommend it to my mom. I was skeptical about trying it when a friend recommended it but after watching her shed pounds in what seemed like an instant – I HAD TO TRY IT! I am glad I did.

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