Dietary supplements (e.g., vitamin, omega-3 fatty acid, herbs, etc.) have recently drawn tremendous interests in combating COVID-19 around the globe. Especially, botanical ingredients with the characteristics of anti-viral activity, alleviation of influenza syndromes, and immune modulation are recognized as plausible nutraceuticals for COVID-19 prevention. For example, the common herbs, such as ginger, garlic, curcumin, and elderberry, are able to improve respiratory diseases and enhance immune responses. Additionally, the pharmacological benefits of oriental herbs, i.e., reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), ginseng (Panax ginseng), also suggest the potential efficacy in COVID-19.
Safety of use in Antrodia cinnamomea
A. cinnamomea, known as Niu-Chang-Chih, is an aboriginal and edible mushroom in Taiwan. It is a popular herbal ingredient in folk livercare and hangover remedies in Asia (e.g., Japan, China). The composition of A. cinnamomea is similar with that of reishi mushroom, including polysaccharides, triterpenes, adenosines, etc., but there are over 200 types of identified triterpenes in A. cinnamomea, which are five times more than those of reishi mushroom. A. cinnamomea acquires various biological activities including hepato‐protective, antihypertensive, antihyperlipidemic, anti‐inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and immunomodulatory activities (1). However, there is no history of use in the Western countries, which restricts its market stretch and causes the concern of its safety of use in the USA and Europe. Till now, USFDA acknowledges Greenyn A. cinnamomea mycelia (Antromax®) with NDI notification “without objection” (NDIN No. 1170), and it is the first USFDA approved A. cinnamomea product in the USA. According to the preliminary results from Greenyn Biotechnology, the product could significantly increase the levels of B, T, and NK cells and enhance the secretion of IgG and IgM in mice. It suggests that Antromax® has potential to boost immune responses.
Improvement of liver function and detoxification
Apart from immune enhancement, Antromax® was also able to ameliorate liver function in subjects with chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection as evidenced by the latest clinical results accomplished by China Medical University Hospital (Taiwan). This study was designed with a double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled approach in a 48-week intervention (Antromax® with Entecavir (HBV drug) group and Antromax® with placebo group). Antromax® alone reduced the levels of GOT and GPT by 32% and 45%, respectively, after the study. On the other hand, Antromax® with Entecavir improved the levels of GOT and GPT by corresponding 58% and 76% and inhibited 99% of HBV activity. There were no adverse effects and abnormal biochemical indication in kidney function and blood system in this research. Moreover, based on the results of the early animal study, Antromax® might also raise the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities by 34% and 32%, respectively, as well as increase the amounts of GSH-Px by 20% in liver tissue in CCl4-induced mice. SOD and GSH-Px consist of the internal detoxification system and play vital roles in antioxidant defense against oxidative stress in our body.
In short, Greenyn A. cinnamomea mycelia is the first USFDA-acknowledged A. cinnamomea product in the USA, and it is beneficial for improving liver function indexes and antioxidant capacity and immune modulation. To know more, please contact us: email@example.com (Wayne Wei)
(1) Ganesan N. et al. Antrodia cinnamomea—An updated minireview of its bioactive components and biological activity. J. Food Biochem. 43, e12936, 2019.