In 1773, Wua Sha - a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine – reported the effectiveness of Antrodia against the adverse effects of excessive alcohol consumption by the Taiwanese natives.
Much research has since been undertaken to understand the powerful hepatoprotective effects of this mushroom. A study by the National Taiwan Normal University investigated the anti-inflammatory effect of Antrodia cinnamomea, and the molecular mechanisms underlying its activity. The results of their study were published in “The American Journal of Chinese Medicine”.1
The researchers used water as extraction solvent to obtain water extracts from Antrodia. They identified seven ergostane-type triterpenoids from the mushroom, including high amounts of antcin K (AC), antcin C, antcin H, dehydrosulphurenic acid, antcin B, antcin A, and dehydroeburicoic acid. The study concluded that Antrodia and its active component, antcin K, counteracted DEN-induced hepatic injury and inflammation by scavenging ROS activity and upregulating antioxidant defense mechanisms.
Separately it has been shown that Antrodia possesses strong antioxidant activity and it has been suggested that this is a major contributor to its hepatoprotective properties. Antrodia polysaccharides also show hepatoprotective and anti-hepatitis B activity, while a number of maleic/succinic acid derivatives showed potent inhibitory activity against hepatitis C protease through competitive inhibition.2
Further studies reveal that Antrodia boosts the immune system by stimulating the production of T lymphocytes – a type of white blood cell that is essential to the immune system. This allows the body to effectively fight off bacteria and disease-causing pathogens, thus preventing infections and disease.
Antrodia is also rich in polysaccharides, complex carbohydrates, composed of ten or up to several thousand monosaccharides (individual sugar molecules) arranged in chains. Mushroom-derived polysaccharides have recently been researched intensively due to their potential of enhancing the immune system.
Other immune boosting, bioactive components of Antrodia include; triterpenoids, superoxide dismutase (SOD), beta-d-glucan, adenosine, ergosterol, lignin and lectins.
Antrodia is rich in adenosine, a purine that is also found in the body. It helps to dilate or expand the coronary blood vessels and enhances blood supply to the heart muscles, thereby improving blood circulation. It acts in opposition to adrenaline and also possesses anti-platelet activity which prevents platelets from aggregating, thus preventing formation of blood clots. It also prevents atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Other Antrodia Mushroom Benefits
Traditional uses of this potent mushroom also include:
- To treat diarrhoea and abdominal pain
- Protection against viral infections
- Reduce itching/itchy skin
- Type 2 diabetes
- Systemic lupus
- Inflammation and inflammatory conditions
Folklore and history
Antrodia has a history of use stretching back thousands of years in traditional Asian medicinal systems where it is often referred to as the “king of kings”.
Historical information about this mysterious mushroom is scant - however, because of its appearance and growth environment similar to Ganoderma lucidum, Antrodia was once considered as a kind of Ganoderma lucidum.
According to the records of China's most famous pharmacy book, the "Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing", (The Classic of Herbal Medicine), Ganoderma lucidum is the top ranked of Chinese traditional medicine among all the grades of of herbal medicine. With more than two hundred years of experience in food consumption, Antrodia cinnamomea has more efficacies than Ganoderma lucidum, and is known as the "king of Ganoderma lucidum".
Antrodia cinnamomea is known as “niu zhang zhi” or “zhang-yi” in its native Taiwan, where it is also known as the "fungus of fortune".
Growing only inside the rotting heartwood of the indigenous Bull Camphor Tree, Cinnamomum kanekirai, Antrodia was discovered by the Taiwanese aborigines. Cinnamomum kanehirai is a broad-leafed evergreen tree that grows at altitudes of 450-2000 metres in low-elevation mountainous terrain. This peculiar combination of slow growth and host-specific requirements makes this mushroom one of the rarest in the world.
Antrodia Mushroom Capsules
Take 2 capsules, 1 - 3 times a day as a dietary supplement, or as recommended by your health professional.
Antrodia Mushroom Powder
Add 1 - 3g daily to food or drink as a dietary supplement.
Antrodia cinnamomea constituents include: triterpenoids, polysaccharides, superoxide dismutase (SOD), beta-d-glucan, adenosine, ergosterol, lignin and lectins.