Agaricus bisporus is an edible basidiomycete mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America. It has two color states while immature—white and brown—both of which have various names. When mature, it is known as portobello mushroom. (1) It has many health benefits, including in cancer prevention (Section A) and cancer treatment (Section B)
Cremini mushrooms health benefits include their anticancer potential. Studies have shown that mushrooms promote decreased tumor cell proliferation as well as tumor weight. Cremini mushrooms contain conjugated linoleic acid or CLA, which has positive effects against cancerous cell growth. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that when mice consumed mushroom extract, they saw a significant reduction in the growth of breast cancer cells. Research has also shown that cremini mushrooms health benefits include positive effects against prostate cancer and leukemic monocyte lymphoma. (1)
One of the major active components in cremini mushrooms is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to have protective effects against growth of cancerous cells. (4)
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition that was conducted on mice found that when the mice consumed mushrooms extract, they experienced a significant reduction in growth of breast cancer cells. The study found evidence that Agaricus bisporus extract suppresses the activity of aromatase, resulting in a reduction of estrogen production. Estrogen dominance has been identified as one major contributor to postmenopausal breast cancer in women — however compounds, such as flavones and isoflavones, found in cremini mushrooms have been shown to help inhibit some of estrogen’s negative effects. (5)
Other studies have found similar positive effects of mushrooms in regard to treating prostate cancer and leukemic monocyte lymphoma. (6)
According to studies, the anticancer compounds found in various species of mushrooms, including Agaricus, play a crucial role in reducing cancer risk by decreasing reactive oxygen species, regulating cell division (mitotic kinase), regulating angiogenesis (development of blood vessels) and leading to apoptosis (destruction/death of harmful cells). There’s also evidence that consuming mushrooms can complement cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, in addition to reducing common side effects of these treatments, such as nausea, bone marrow suppression, anemia and suppressed immune function.
We want to let you know that based on recent studies, the jury is still out on the reliability of crimini mushrooms as a source of vitamin B12. This area of nutritional research is controversial for three reasons: (1) vitamin B12 is not always detected in mushrooms, including crimini mushrooms; (2) when vitamin B12 is detected in mushrooms, it is usually found on the outermost portions of the mushrooms, suggesting that bacteria on the mushroom surface may have been produced the vitamin B12 rather than the mushrooms themselves; and (3) the chemical structure of vitamin B12 found on some mushrooms, while based on the corrin-type ring structure that is characteristic of vitamin B12, can have important differences from the form of vitamin B12 that provides us with full vitamin benefits. We use one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive nutrient databases to help us assess the nutrient composition of our WHFoods, and based on this data, we rank crimini mushrooms as a good source of vitamin B12 and our only ranked non-animal source of this vitamin. And you may be getting an important vitamin B12 boost from consumption of crimini mushrooms. However, based on the research evidence, we do not recommend that you rely on crimini mushrooms (or other fungi) as your primary source of B12.r
Beta-glucans (β-glucans), naturally occurring polysaccharides, are present as constituents of the cell wall of cereal grains, mushrooms, algae, or microbes including bacteria, fungi, and yeast. Since Pillemer et al. first prepared and investigated zymosan in the 1940s and others followed with the investigation of β-glucans in the 1960s and 1970s, researchers have well established the significant role of β-glucans on the immune system relative to cancer treatment, infection immunity, and restoration of damaged bone marrow. However, information on their biological role in anti-metastatic activity remains limited. As an immunomodulating agent, β-glucan acts through the activation of innate immune cells such as macrophages, dendritic cells, granulocytes, and natural killer cells. This activation triggers the responses of adaptive immune cells such as CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells and B cells, resulting in the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis. Reports have shown that β-glucans exert multiple effects on cancer cells and cancer prevention. However the mechanisms of their actions appear complex due to differences in source, chemical structure, insufficiently defined preparation, and molecular weight, hence the inconsistent and often contradictory results obtained. This review is focused on the potential of β-glucans as anti-metastatic agents and the known mechanisms underlying their biological effects.