You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Scientists exploring medicinal mushrooms, Chinese herbs to treat Covid

Mushrooms were chosen because of their long history of use and recent evidence of immune-enhancing and antiviral effects

Topics
China | Mushrooms | United States

IANS  |  New York 

Mushroom

A team of US researchers are conducting studies to understand whether botanical therapies like medicinal and Chinese herbs provide therapeutic benefit in treating acute Covid-19 cases.

According to principal investigator Gordon Saxe, director of research at the Center for Integrative Health in University of California-San Diego, were chosen because of their long history of use and recent evidence of immune-enhancing and antiviral effects.

MACH-19 (and Chinese Herbs for Covid-19) is a multi-centre study led by UC San Diego's School of Medicine and UC-Los Angeles, in collaboration with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology.

In a preclinical study published in 2019, mushroom agarikon was found to inhibit viruses, including influenza (H1N1), influenza A (H5N1) and herpes. Saxe said he believes medicinal mushrooms inhibit the viruses' replication, a theory he plans to test against SARS-CoV-2 in a Phase II trial.

"Mushrooms have the advantage that they co-evolved with us. So bacteria, viruses and other fungi prey on mushrooms just like they prey on humans. And mushrooms have developed exquisite defenses against those pests, and we believe they can confer those to us when we eat them," Saxe said.

MACH-19's third ongoing trial measures whether the same medicinal mushrooms, given in capsules at the time of initial Covid vaccination, can increase antibodies and other measures of immune response.

A fourth trial, yet to be launched, will look at whether medicinal mushrooms could provide a similar lift to Covid-19 booster shots as an adjuvant, a substance which enhances immune response.

"Vaccines lead to the production of antibodies that can destroy the virus in the blood," Saxe said.

"Mushrooms may not only increase the number of these antibodies, but also enhance T-cell immunity against virally infected cells. Further, because mushrooms bind to receptors on human immune cells, they can modulate our immunity -- boosting it in some ways and calming it down in And this property of mushrooms may also reduce vaccine-related side effects.

Natural therapeutics have been used for centuries to treat infectious diseases, according to Saxe, who noted that herbs helped Chinese doctors manage 300 recorded epidemics, while the Greek pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides prescribed agarikon to treat pulmonary infections 2,300 years ago.

The three trials, under MACH-19 of which two are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, are currently recruiting for between 66 and 80 patients who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who are quarantined at home with mild to moderate symptoms.AInitial safety data from the trials are expected by the end of this year, with efficacy data ready within a year.

--IANS

rvt/arm

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, November 13 2021. 19:58 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.