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White button mushrooms.

White button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporous) are a potential chemopreventive agent against breast cancer and prostate cancer, as they suppress aromatase and steroid reductase, and inhibit the proliferation of breast and prostate cancer cells. Aromatase is the enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen. Most potent anti-aromatase mushroom chemicals are soluble in ethyl acetate (EA). The major active compounds found in the EA fraction are unsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic, linolenic and conjugated linoleic acids. Biochemical and cell culture studies have demonstrated that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is the aromatase inhibitor in mushrooms. CLA is also an inhibitor of steroid reductase that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, and therefore it has been also found to suppress the proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

Researchers demonstrated the in vivo action of mushroom chemicals using nude mice injected with breast cancer or prostate cancer cells. Studies showed that mushroom extract decreased both tumor cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Based on these preclinical findings, clinical trials have been initiated to see whether consuming mushrooms will prevent or delay the development of breast cancer and prostate cancer in humans.

Contact: Shiuan Chen, Beckman Research Institute, 1500 East Duarte Rd., Duarte, CA 91010. Phone: 626-256-4673. Email:
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Title Annotation:Executives ... FYI
Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Dec 1, 2008
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