View Full Version : Beta Glucan and herceptin

Ellie F
11-26-2009, 03:14 AM
I have read on the board a while ago and checked with my onc about beta glucan needing to be activated for herceptin to be effective (pten pathway.)

I believe it is found in mushrooms particularly oriental ones.

Are there any other natural sources or do you need supplements to obtain sufficient amounts?


11-28-2009, 06:36 AM
Just for this reason, I took maitake mushroom supplements. I had a specific regime. I took 9 capsules per day (545mg standardized) for the week during Herceptin (3 days before, day of, 3 days after). During the rest of the time I took 4 per day. I still take 4 per day now.

Oatmeal also contains beta glucan but you just need to take enough to make a difference. The dose was my own idea. I am still here so who knows what I ended up doing right?

Ellie F
11-28-2009, 07:50 AM
Thanks becky
i think it was a post from you that brought beta glucan to my notice. I had remembered maitake mushroom supplements but have had a lot of difficulty getting it here in England. I am now hoping to import some from the states.
Is there any particular brand you think is good?
Thanks Ellie

11-28-2009, 01:08 PM
I get mine from viable herbal solutions online. They are located in Morrisville, PA.


11-30-2009, 10:30 AM
Hi ladies - I met with an integrative medicine doc who has 'prescribed' Maitake D-fraction extract. 53 drops twice per day, every day. She says the research looks promising! She strongly urged me NOT to take antioxidants when treatment is done. Evidence shows over consumption of them can proliferate cancer cells!

Ellie F
11-30-2009, 12:01 PM
Hi Leslie
Can I just clarify what you meant by antioxidents? Do you mean vitamin and mineral supplements?


11-30-2009, 12:34 PM
Hi Ellie,

Yes, any supplement that is considered antioxidant such as Vit C. She says eating foods rich in antioxidants is fine, but do not supplement in pill or liquid form and don't juice! She says we should not try to achieve moe than 100% of any nutrient and that's exactly what supplements do, is exceed the 100% RDA. I was going to start taking antioxidants as soon as my treatment is done. Now I will consult with a naturapathic doctor as well and see if I can decide who makes more sense.


11-30-2009, 12:36 PM
Oh and, the Maitake D-Fraction is not an rx so she didn't really 'prescribe' but recommended.

Ellie F
11-30-2009, 01:39 PM
Thanks Leslie
The juicing is interesting. I often do an occasional juice when I get days when I have not managed to get any fruit and veg. Guess it's people who juice all the time that may have the problem

02-15-2010, 05:57 PM
i've never heard of this - where can i find more info? i've done 7 herceptin tx but have quite a few more to go.

02-18-2010, 08:11 AM
Here are a few studies I found. One is specific to monoclonal treatments, like Herceptin and Rituxan. There are 3 listed here. All of them are very early and small studies so we must use some caution in applying results to the entire population. The results in beta-glucan / anti-cancer research are impressive, however, and more research needs to be done in this area.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14695221?dopt=Abstract[back] (http://her2support.org/vbulletin/#back1)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10529508[back] (http://her2support.org/vbulletin/#back2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17161824[back] (http://her2support.org/vbulletin/#back3)

02-19-2010, 11:26 AM
Thanks Tanya. I forwarded the studies to my naturopath. I have taken Maitake with Reishi and Shitake every day for 11 years. I also cook with shitake and the other mushrooms when I can get them. I never needed shots for my blood counts, so I think the mushrooms with beta glucan help. I read that even common white mushrooms and other common mushrooms are healthier than most people think, so I use them for cooking too.

03-30-2010, 08:19 AM
Hi: I am taking Host Defense Mushroom capsules (these are a mixture of various mushrooms) and I noticed that they contain cordyceps extract (a type of mushroom). I recently read on Herbs 2000.com website that women who have had breast cancer should not be taking cordyceps. Has anyone else heard about this?


03-30-2010, 10:01 AM
Although a great herb for boosting immune function, apparently it is not good for hormone positive breast cancer. Not sure if you have hormone negative.

03-30-2010, 10:41 AM
This is on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Herb site and mentions one animal study with possible increased progesterone production. See the summary below followed by the link.

Mechanism of Action

Cordyceps stimulates the number of T helper cells, prolongs the survival of lymphocytes, enhances TNF-alpha and interleukin 1 production, and increases the activity of natural killer cells in cultured rat Kupffer cells (3 (http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69193.cfm#References)). Enhanced proliferation of erythroid progenitor cell in the bone marrow of mice is also shown (8 (http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69193.cfm#References)). One study suggests that cordyceps can stimulate progesterone production in animal cells (5 (http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69193.cfm#References)). Another study shows that cordyceps may be effective against tumor celIs by down-regulating MHC class II antigen expression (7 (http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69193.cfm#References)). In addition, anecdotal data suggest reduction of cyclosporin and aminoglycoside-induced renal toxicity, although the mechanism of action is not known (4 (http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69193.cfm#References)).


03-30-2010, 04:03 PM
Does the integrative doc point to any study regarding antioxidant supplementation? What I can find doesn't seem to support that notion. Seems to be issues regarding certain supplements with certain treatments though.

05-21-2010, 12:41 AM
Hi Tanya
What is a natural source dorBeta Glucan.My wife is allergic to mushrooms

05-21-2010, 05:17 AM
Bakers yeast, oats and barley are also considered sources of beta-glucan. Most studies that I am aware of are based on the mushroom source. I did a quick pub-med search and did find some very positive (albeit small & animal based) studies with yeast-derived beta-glucans.

02-19-2011, 06:41 PM

I've just got BetaGlucan from my "supplement" doctor. It's in soft gel form and made from black yeast (if I remember it right. I'm in hospital for Chemo taking, will look at its package once back home). This product is from Japan.

Hope this helps

02-20-2011, 12:19 PM
I did a search on Maitake mushrooms and found alot of interesting articles that might be interesting to those who want to know more about mushrooms.

02-20-2011, 04:12 PM
found the following article on the benefits of yeast over mushroom beta glucan

Caveat--study done in mice

Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Feb;8(3):218-25. Epub 2009 Feb 3.
Therapeutic potential of various beta-glucan sources in conjunction with anti-tumor monoclonal antibody in cancer therapy.
Driscoll M, Hansen R, Ding C, Cramer DE, Yan J.

Tumor Immunobiology Program, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202 , USA.
Combined beta-glucan with anti-tumor mAb therapy has demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in murine tumor models. The current study was designed to compare the therapeutic efficacy of various sources of beta-glucans. Our studies demonstrated that yeast beta-glucan, in combination with anti-tumor mAb, resulted in significantly smaller tumor burdens and achieved enhanced long-term survival compared to mAb alone or beta-glucan extracts from mushrooms. Further studies indicated that yeast beta-glucan particle was superior to mushroom extracts in inducing cytokine secretion, particularly IL-12 production in dendritic cells (DCs). In addition, results showed that cytokine production was markedly decreased in MyD88-deficient macrophages and DCs but not in complement receptor 3 (CR3)-deficient mice. Our data suggest that yeast beta-glucan demonstrates much stronger adjuvant activity compared to mushroom beta-glucan extracts in tumor therapy. This effect of yeast beta-glucan may be in part ascribed to the cytokine secretion by DCs and macrophages and bioavailability of active beta-glucan moiety.

PMID: 19106638 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Free Article

03-02-2011, 09:59 PM
Hi Lani,

I don't mean to be ignorant, but what is yeast beta glucan? Where can I find it and how much does one take while on Herceptin without chemo?


Ellie F
03-03-2011, 06:12 AM
Thanks Lani
I started this post some time ago.
I have been taking reishi mushroom extract for 6 months. I took a yeast source initially from the States but can't remember it's name now!!
If anyone has any good suggestions for brands I would appreciate it.

03-03-2011, 10:26 AM

03-04-2011, 12:43 AM
Details below show Beta Glucan producing from yeast that I've mentioned before. Maho is its tradename. I buy it from a distributor here in my country. Please search for your local availability in case of interest.


Maho Betaglucan
Maho is a great quality supplements product from Japan, it means “Treasure”, looks like a gel, not through the process of flavors. Maho causes by cultivation of the selected black yeast strain, is dined mixed food including; Sucrose, Bran, Vitamin C and others Formula of the company mix mineral water, all ingredient from nature 100 %. When the cells grow up, it will create fiber that look like a gel to encapsulate its cells. The getting substances that have Molecular structure are 1,3-1,6 style of Beta Glucan, it is widely accepted in research community and the medical community worldwide. The process just got by high temperature sterilization process

Ma Ho Features:
1. Maho, there is mixture of dietary fiber “Beta Glucan” stimulate working of Immunology in your body
2. Maho, looks like a gel, your body can absorbed to use into the body easily and fast.
3. Comes from nature 100%, just only heated sterilization processes by humam
4. Maho, causes by natural cultivation of the selected black yeast strain in proportion of food ingredients standard
5. Everybody can have Maho

You can mixed Maho with ice water, hot water, tea, milk, fruit juice and others drink that you like.