Several polysaccharide extracts have shown benefit in treatment of hepatitis B. Concentrated polysaccharide extracts from Polyporus umbellatus (92% polysaccharide) are used in China to treat patients with chronic HBV (40mg/day) with significant beneficial effect on clearing serum HBsAg and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA69,70, while a small study with A. brasiliensis polysaccharide extract (1500mg/day) reported reduction in AST from 246 to 61.3 and ALT from 151 to 46.1 in patients with hepatitis B over 12 months1.

A study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract (5.4g/day) showed a 41% reduction in serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) values in hepatitis B patients with AST values <100 and of 65% in patients with AST values >100 while ganoderic acid showed significant inhibition of HBV replication, as well as hepatoprotective properties2,3. By the end of 6 months 33% of patients had normal AST readings and 13% had cleared hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) from serum whereas none of the controls had normal ALT values or had lost HBsAg.

A number of small Chinese clinical studies also report beneficial effects from supplementation with Cordyceps sinensis in patients with HBV, including increased clearance of HBsAg, hyaluronic acid(HC) and precollagen type III(PC III), as well as significantly raising the CD4 and CD4/CD8 ratio4-6.

1. The mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill extract normalizes liver function in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Hsu C.H, Hwang K.C, Chiang Y.H, Chou P. J Altern Complement Med. 2008;14(3):299-301.
2. A phase I/II study of a Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.: Fr.) P. Karst. (Ling Zhi, Reishi Mushroom) extract in patients with chronic Hepatitis В. Gao Y, Zhou S, Chen G, Dai X, Ye J, Gao H. Int J Med Mush. 2002
3. Anti-hepatitis B activities of ganoderic acid from Ganoderma lucidum. Li Y.Q, Wang S.F. Biotechnol Lett. 2006;28(11):837-41.
4. Short-term curative effect of cultured Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. Mycelia in chronic hepatitis B. Zhou L, Yang W, Xu Y, Zhu Q, Ma Z, Zhu T, Ge X, Gao J. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1990;15(1):53-5, 65.
5. Effects of Cordyceps polysaccharides in patients with chronic hepatitis C. X Ma, D.K Qiu, J Xu, M.D Zeng. Huaren Xiaohua Zazhi 1998;6:582-584 6
6. Effects of cordyceps sinensis on T lymphocyte subsets and hepatofibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Gong H.Y, Wang K.Q, Tang S.G. Hunan Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2000;25(3):248-50.

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