Inflammation is a physiological state related to antimicrobial defence and tissue repair. However, inflammation becomes a disease when it is chronic and unrelated to the above, as is the case with immune-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis.
Gastroenterologists have been searching for improved treatment opportunities for patients with IBD who in severe cases end up with colectomy or very costly anti-TNF (Remicade or Humira) treatment, which often must be discontinued due to serious side effects mainly from opportunistic infections but also from congestive heart failure as well as resistance to treatment.
When examining the safety of AndoSan™ intake in healthy volunteers in 2008 , prof. Egil Johnson and colleagues detected that in contrast with the pro-inflammatory findings in vitro, this mixed mushroom extract did in fact have anti-inflammatory properties in vivo. After just 12 days of oral treatment with AndoSan™ there was a significant decrease in serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Also importantly, there were no pathological findings in blood tests for liver, pancreas or kidney function and no detectable clinical side effects.
Pilot study in IBD patients
Based on the anti-inflammatory findings in healthy volunteers, patients with IBD; ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, were then treated with AndoSan™ in a 2010 pilot study at Oslo University Hospital, Departments of Gastroenterological Surgery and Medicine . After 12 days of AndoSan™ ingestion there was a significant decline in number of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the patients’ blood. A significant reduction of calprotectin in faeces (stools), a marker of gastrointestinal inflammation was also observed. Some patients, although not systematically studied, even noted reduction of disease symptoms including less diarrhea and joint pain. Altogether, these results pointed towards an anti-inflammatory effect of AndoSan™ in the IBD patients, without detection of any potential side effects.
New study in ulcerative colitis patients delivers promising results
Results from a clinical trial on use of AndoSan™ for patients with ulcerative colitis were recently published in the peer reviewed journal PLOS One. The trial took place at the Department of Gastrointestinal and Pediatric Surgery at Oslo University Hospital.
50 patients with symptomatic ulcerative colitis were block-randomized and blinded for oral daily intake of AndoSan™ or placebo for a 21 day experimental period. The patients reported scores for symptoms, fatigue and health related quality of life.
The recently published study  concludes that beneficiary effects on symptoms, fatigue and health related quality of life from AndoSan™ consumption were demonstrated in this peer reviewed study, supporting use of AndoSan™ as a supplement to conventional medication for patients with mild to moderate symptoms from ulcerative colitis.
- Johnson E, Førland DT, Saetre L, Bernardshaw SV, Lyberg T, Hetland G (2009) Effect of an extract based on the medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei murill on release of cytokines, chemokines and leukocyte growth factors in human blood ex vivo and in vivo. Scand J Immunol. 2009 Mar; 69(3): 242-50.
- Førland DT, Johnson E, Saetre L, Lyberg T, Lygren I, Hetland G (2011) Effect of an extract based on the medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill on expression of cytokines and calprotectin in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Scand J Immunol. 2011 Jan; 73(1): 66-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2010.02477.x.
- Therkelsen SP, Hetland G, Lyberg T, Lygren I, Johnson E (2016) Effect of a Medicinal Agaricus blazei Murill-Based Mushroom Extract, AndoSan™, on Symptoms, Fatigue and Quality of Life in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis in a Randomized Single-Blinded Placebo Controlled Study. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150191. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0150191