A paper published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms shines a light on the effects of the edible and medicinal Lion’s Mane mushroom on breast cancer cells.
After capturing the constituents of the fungus in a water extract, researchers administered the concoction to breast cancer cells in vitro (within a petri dish). The study analyzed the effects of the mushroom-derived molecules on estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer — a form of the disease fuelled by estrogen binding and associated with recurrence.
The research team from Ege University, Turkey, measured the impact of Lion’s Mane extract by tracking cell viability, cell cycle disruption, and apoptosis — a mechanism that causes damaged cells to self-destruct.
The application of the extract exerted significant apoptosis in the diseased cells, reduced cell division, interrupted gene expression, and also demonstrated synergistic effects with the hormone therapy drug Tamoxifen.
Lion’s Mane constituents have previously shown promise against lung cancer in human cells and the spread of colon cancer in animal models yet little research has explored their effects on breast cancer. The author of the paper concluded, “Overall, our results provided in vitro evidence that H. erinaceus [lion’s mane] water extract could be a potent candidate for the treatment of ER+ breast cancer.”
Luke Sumpter is a freelance journalist that specializes in health, wellness, and alternative therapies. Currently, he’s working on a dissertation exploring the emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in orthopaedic medicine.