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A brutal debunking


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First thing I want to say here is DONT SHOOT THE MESSENGER! I have no real opinion on the value of medicinal mushrooms except that they probably dont do any harm and that some of them probably have some medicinal value. So please refrain from calling me an idiot.

This morning I saw a post by M... that had some pics of what appear to be oyster mushrooms and noted that 2 of the groups in the photo had fruiting bodies neatly stacked one above the other in the way that Hypsizygus generally fruits. I havent found Hypsi in a couple of years so I went to Michael Kuo's mushroomexpert.com to look at his entry for Hypsizygus to refresh my memory. The link to the entry is here: https://www.mushroomexpert.com/hypsizygus_tessulatus.html

but to save everyone the trouble of going to look Im going to paste what Kuo said there about medicinal mushrooms. He said:

" Regarding the putative "medicinal" properties of this mushroom: I am sorry to put it this bluntly, but this mushroom is not going to cure your cancer, nor any other ailment you may have‚ÄĒand if someone has sold you a product based on the assumption that it will, you have purchased some snake oil from a witting or unwitting charlatan. The only health benefits associated with consuming species of Hypsizygus result from the exercise involved with hunting for them in the woods. There is no legitimate scientific support for the idea that mushrooms are medicinal in any specific, eat-them-to-get-better way. None. There is only pseudoscience, bad science reporting in the mainstream news media, and very wishful science reporting in the alternative health media. For further information, see Nicholas Money's "Are mushrooms medicinal?" (2016). "

So of course I found Nicholas Money's "Are mushrooms medicinal?" (2016) on the internet and actually read what the guy had to say. If you are into medicinal mushrooms then you also should read this because he essentially says nobody has actually proved anything about the usefulness of mushrooms in curing anything. He also takes a pretty big swing at Paul Stamets and his company Fungi Perfecti. The link to this piece is here:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878614616000180

enjoy.

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I read this article which I'm glad you linked.  I do realize that the likelihood of various medicinal fungi is quite high, but I'm sure with so many that some are of use.  As the paper states what's really missing is numerous and well-conducted studies on their viability.

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I’m happy to see more of this kind of reporting recently. Whether it’s CBD oil or medicinal mushrooms there is a lot of bad/no science being used to make these claims. The ironic thing is that it’s usually from people who are all about whatever science supports their political beliefs, but cannot be convinced otherwise if it doesn’t jive with those.

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  • 8 months later...

To play DEV-adv'  almost everything done in medicine is guess work. give it to mice, did mice die?, are they bleeding from the anus, if we kill it can we tell it's body from another,

what chemical expressions do we see? it can take 20 years for a wild plant or shroom  to be tested and put on the market, and millions of dollars, and a rich person that not going to die of boredom waiting to find out. in an age where we all grew up scared of germs and were taught not to even look at the mushrooms it's not suprising that the is very little research. it's actually why i'd love to become a mycologist one day. also it's entirely possible the mice and naturally allergic and we are not to many mushrooms. 

 

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Regarding the use of fungi for "medicinal" purposes, there's likely quite a bit that is not yet well understood. Science has no choice other than to move slowly on testing hypotheses regarding such use. This is because many of the claims about the potential health impacts of fungi apply to long-term use. Also, there is a very important difference between claims that fungi cure disease as opposed to claims that fungi promote good heath. The latter is much more difficult to subject to testing via the scientific method. 

Complicating this issue is --of course-- money. On one hand there are those who wish to turn a profit by peddling "medicinal" fungi. On the other hand, there's the established pharmaceutical industry that views such potential competition as a threat to bottom line. 

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Here s a link to Harvard Health on the known and suspected benefit of CBD as well as some of the negative effects it may have. Note that they say, as with nearly all other supposed "medicinal" mushroom benefits that  further research is needed. I like to know what science knows rather than listen to hype. TimG

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476

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  • 4 months later...

kinda funny. I was just posting a peer reviewed study about compounds found in some wild mushrooms that reduce neuroinflammation.

 

 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224420305586

 

of course Michale Kuo is correct. There's never been a clinical trial for mushroom extracts of any kind. OTOH there is mounting evidence that the medicinal properties of mushrooms are worth investigating. 

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I had read a similar study about lions main last month. I thought it was interesting that the effect only lasted as long as the treatment.

Why would pharmaceutical companies ignore mushrooms? They are in business to make money. If there are organic compounds in mushrooms purported in alternative circles I would be shocked to learn that they aren't spending money to isolate the compounds for their own gain.

That said, I have been shocked by incompetence before.

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  • 9 months later...

I suspect mushroom expert is being paid off by Big pharma, because we all know the health benefits of Turkey Tails. They say the same thing in reference to Turkey Tails too on their site, which is pure rubbish! Big pharma doesn't want people to find natural cures. They want to hook everybody on their dangerous addictive chemical cocktails which cause a whole host of negative and sometimes deadly side effects, all while draining your wallet immensely in the process ūüėČ

 

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/trametes_versicolor.html

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I have heard testimonials from credible individuals who claim to have experienced desirable effects associated with the use of fungi. But, claiming that some fungal preparation will cure cancer is irresponsible. Anyone suffering from cancer should follow the advice of certified medical professionals who represent the current understanding of the treatments that yield the best results. Will this current understanding change in the future? Probably. Science evolves. There is no "proof" of a scientific hypothesis; verification via the scientific method is as good as it gets. Will fungi play a role in this evolution? Probably. The anecdotal --and emerging scientific-- evidence suggests this. 

Is the pharmaceutical industry driven by a desire to maximize profit? Certainly. Is government oversight a sufficient means of regulation? Once again, this is a process that evolves, and there have been regrettable errors, eg. thalidomide, over-prescribing opiates. But this does not imply that foraged mushrooms/plants should be viewed as a substitute for accessing established medical guidance. 

Are there down-sides associated with using herbal/fungal preparations? In some cases, the evidence indicates "yes". Immune-boosting substances present in some fungi can interfere with prescription drugs used to control chronic maladies. Oxalate --a chemical found in Chaga-- has the potential to damage one's kidneys. This danger is likely a function of (at least) all of the following: amount/frequency of Chaga ingested; other foods/substances included or excluded from one's diet; pre-existing medical disposition. But, the same things may be said about virtually any approved pharmaceutical substance. 

I see no "brutal debunking" of claims that some fungi have the potential to contribute to good health. On the other hand, I see no point in proposing conspiracy theories such as "...mushroom expert is being paid off by Big pharma." Also, I see nothing useful in suggesting a correlation with one's political beliefs. 

If one wishes to use fungal preparations to presumably promote good health then I think the best way to proceed is to do some research. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should consult a physician. 

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I just re-watched the movie Fantastic Fungi. The account of Paul Stamets's mom recovering from cancer is truly amazing. It should be noted that Mr. Stamets's mom --under the guidance of a medical doctor-- received chemotherapy, Herceptin, and a preparation made from Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor). Probably not useful to make any grand generalizations, and certainly --as advised in my last post-- treatment of cancer should be overseen by a certified medical professional. But, this is a truly amazing account that suggests there are legitimate medical uses for fungi. 

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