Phellinus linteus mushroom extract health benefit by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
January 20 2016

Phellinus linteus -- called song gen in Chinese medicine, sang-hwang in Korean and meshimakobu in Japanese -- is a mushroom whose extracts have anti-tumor properties on skin, lung, breast and prostate cancer cells. Phellinus linteus extracts also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
   Phellinus linteus Teng, a well-known fungus of the genus Phellinus in the family of Hymenochaetaceae, is being increasingly used to treat a wide variety of disease processes such as oral ulcer, gastroenteric disorder, inflammation, lymphatic disease, and various cancers.

Phytomedicine. 2013. Phellinus linteus mushroom protects against tacrine-induced mitochondrial impairment and oxidative stress in HepG2 cells.

Phellinus linteus and cancer
Phellinus linteus has a marked anti-cancer effect. One way is by blocking an enzyme called AKT. AKT is known to control signals that lead to cell growth. Phellinus linteus extracts have anti-tumor properties on skin, lung, breast and prostate cancer cells. Here is an interesting case report.

Breast cancer
Nutr Cancer. 2015. Phellinus linteus extract induces autophagy and synergizes with 5-fluorouracil to inhibit breast cancer cell growth. Phellinus linteus (PL) is a medicinal mushroom due to its several biological properties, including anticancer activity. We conclude that PL extracts synergized with low doses of 5-FU to inhibit triple-negative breast cancer cell growth and demonstrated that PL extract can induce autophagy-related cell death.

Liver cancer
A case of spontaneous regression of hepatocellular carcinoma with multiple lung metastases.
Radiat Med. 2006. Kojima H, Tanigawa N, Kariya S, Komemushi A, Shomura Y, Sawada S, Arai E, Yokota Y.
Department of Radiology, Kansai Medical University, Nishinomiya Kyouritsu, Osaka, Japan.
Spontaneous regression of hepatocellular carcinoma is a rare phenomenon. We present herein the case of a patient with hepatocellular carcinoma with multiple lung metastases in whom malignancy spontaneously regressed after taking Pheliinus linteus Mycelium. A 79-year-old man consulted our hospital complaining of epigastric discomfort. Abdominal MRI and CT revealed a 3 cm diameter tumor in the liver, and chest CT showed numerous nodular lesions. The levels of alpha-fetoprotein and protein induced by vitamin K deficiency or antagonist-II were very high. We diagnosed hepatocellular carcinoma with multiple lung metastases, and no therapy was performed. Independently he took exact from Phellinus linteus Mycelium for one month, and 6 months later the tumors appeared to be in complete regression.

Acidic polysaccharide from Phellinus linteus inhibits melanoma cell metastasis by blocking cell adhesion and invasion.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2006. Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), Yusong, Taejon.
The acidic polysaccharide (PL) from Phellinus linteus is an immunostimulator that has therapeutic activity against cancers. Here, we show that PL markedly inhibits melanoma cell metastasis in mice, and report that Phellinus linteus directly inhibits cancer cell adhesion to and invasion through the extracellular matrix, but that it has no direct effect on cancer cell growth. In addition, we found that Phellinus linteus increased macrophage NO production. These results suggest that Phellinus linteus has two antimetastatic functions, i.e., it acts as an immunopotentiator and as a direct inhibitor of cancer cell adhesion.

Mechanism of action
Phellinus linteus is a fungus distributed throughout Japan, Korea and China. Boiled water-soluble extracts from P. linteus (PLW) have shown anti-tumor and immune influencing properties in experiments done by intraperitoneal treatment, or in in vitro cell cultures.
   Many polysaccharides isolated from mushrooms are considered to be biological response modifiers and have been shown to enhance various immune responses in vivo and in vitro.  

Substances in the Phellinus linteus mushroom
The fruiting body has polysaccharides, hispidin, phelligridimer A, davallialactone, methyldavallialactone, hypholomine B, interfungins A, inoscavin A, protocatechuic acid, protocatechualdehyde, caffeic acid, phellinusfurans, and ellagic acid.