The Oysters that Fight Cancer

Cancer has been, and still is, a common killing disease. And till present, there are a lot of ongoing researches and studies to combat cancer.

But what is Cancer?

Cancer is a group of disease involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade  or spread to other parts of the body.

Tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths. Another 10% is due to obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and excessive drinking of alcohol. Other factors include certain infections, exposure to ionizing radiation and environmental pollutants.

Studies shows that there is a great relationship between Cancer and our immune system (Cancer Reaserch UK).  This relationship states that Cancer can weaken the immune system, Cancer treatment may weaken the immune system and that the immune system can fight cancer.

Some cells of the immune system can recognize cancer cells as abnormal and kill them. Unfortunately, this may not be enough to get rid of a cancer altogether. But some new treatments aim to use the immune system to fight cancer.

This is where Oyster Mushrooms comes in.

Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) is a common edible mushroom. It is the most  flexible mushroom, very easy to grow and is commonly available everywhere. It has also long been eaten as a functional food for enhancement of the immune system.

A research shows a possible anti-tumor effect from polysaccharides in oysters. A polysaccharide is a complex carbohydrate made up of smaller sugar molecules.

This Specific polysaccharides is known as beta-D-glucans and are suspected to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer.The beta-D-glucan isolated from oyster mushrooms is called pleuran.

In addition, the International Journal of OncologyJedinaki and Silva (2008) identified two molecular mechanisms from alcohol extracts of oyster mushrooms that “specifically inhibits growth of colon and breast cancer cells without significant effect on normal cells, and has a potential therapeutic/preventive effect on breast and colon cancer.”

Moreover, A study from NCBI resources shows that a water-soluble extract prepared from the fresh oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus produced apoptosis(programmed cell death) on human androgen-independent prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Its tumor colony-forming efficiency was also dramatically reduced to 4.5% or 0.5%.

Hence, there is a promising tomorrow for the usage of oyster mushroom to combat cancer and the possibility that oyster mushroom consumption can improve cancer treatment should be a cause for serious consideration.


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