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Wisdom in mushrooms

Thursday January 28, 2010

Jason Horton

Woodburn Independent - For Dr. Marvin Hausman, surgically saving lives has been his life’s calling — until now.

The long-time urologist and transplant surgeon and research doctor may have found the key to an effective treatment, if not cure, to a devastating disease that has had doctors puzzled for decades.

Recently, through extensive research with collaborators at the University of Texas and Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and through his own work, Hausman may have found an effective treatment, even prevention, for Alzheimer’s disease.

“I believe that we have discovered a way to slow down the development of Alzheimer’s disease … possibly even Parkinson’s disease,” he said. “Is it a cure? We don’t know for sure right now, but the research is compelling.”

The key in all this is natural, organic, edible specialty mushrooms. More specifically, the Agaricus blazei.

‘Mushroom Doctor’

Hausman has been dubbed the “Mushroom Doctor” for his research and he has put together a team of investors and formed Total Nutraceutical Solutions, Inc. (TNS).

TNS has started putting out a line of dietary supplement mushroom formulations for humans and horses.

The supplements consist of a refined proprietary blend of mushroom powders, including the key component, Agaricus blazei, and have proven over a course of a few weeks to help with inflammatory gum disease, to enhance energy levels within humans, stabilize blood-sugar levels and support and enhance the immune system.

“I found the relationship between inflammation and disease and have clinical data revealing the ability of nutritional mushroom supplements to correct cellular imbalances and control the inflammatory response,” Hausman said.

Hausman then decided to take his research one step further. Professor Robert Beelman and colleagues at Penn State exposed mushrooms to pulsed ultraviolet light for just a few seconds and the mushrooms began to exponentially produce natural vitamin D. Hausman contacted Professor Krishna Bhat, a molecular geneticist at the University of Texas, who suggested testing these extracts against oxidative stress and Alzheimer’s disease in the common fruit fly.

Fruit fly research

Fruit flies have recently emerged as one of the most important models for medical research and drug discovery.

Bhat would feed different groups of Alzheimer’s disease mutant flies with unenriched and vitamin D-enriched mushrooms. Experiments conducted at Model Biosystems, Inc., a California-based biotech company, revealed that about 70 percent of the Alzheimer’s disease flies fed with vitamin D-enriched mushrooms lived compared to only 40 percent in the unenriched group over the test period.

“This is pretty good evidence that vitamin D, inside a mushroom, has protected these flies against Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Bhat. “This is the best survival to date that I have seen in Alzheimer’s disease model studies.”

Hausman said: “Most of the world is deficient in vitamin D and I think we have been misled in the past by governmental and scientific advice on needed levels of vitamin D for healthy nutrition.”

He said the U.S. government has been “under-dosing the population with its recommended levels of vitamin D” and the American Academy of Pediatrics has agreed.

“It is a possibility that even viral flu occurrences could be related to deficiency in vitamin D and same with the swine flu.

“Recent published scientific articles throughout the world have suggested that mushrooms have the potential to help with symptoms related to arthritis, immune function, energy levels and perhaps even memory.”

Mark Wolf, a developer throughout the northwest, including Woodburn, and Asia, is one of the investors in TNS and said the research is compelling.

“This is an incredible discovery,” he said.

“The initial analysis says if you take a unique combination of mushrooms, you can, for fruit flies, prolong life. If you could prolong your life by 20 to 30 percent and all you had to do was take a mushroom, why wouldn’t you do that?”

While testing has not begun on humans yet, Bhat said that the studies done in fruit flies are an important scientific milestone.

“This model is well accepted in medicine today,” he said. “A fruit fly goes from an embryo to adult in nine days and once an adult it lives 60 to 85 days. It has about 14,000 genes, and nearly all human genes have equivalent homologous genes in the fruit fly.

“You can make mutations at will and create models of human diseases which mimic pretty much the same symptoms that we see in humans.”

This process has been used to recreate a number of human diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Scientists working on Alzheimer’s disease have found that the human body produces amyloid precursor protein and in individuals with Alzheimer’s this protein is broken down to a form called beta-amyloid that kills brain nerve cells.

“We do not know for sure but perhaps we prevented the formation of this toxic protein in the fly brains; this study is being organized,” Hausman said.

“Given the significant survival rate of Alzheimer’s flies fed with vitamin D-enriched mushrooms compared to unenriched, we can state that we may have an effective tool against this disease.”

Hausman and TNS have filed a U.S Patent for this discovery and it is currently pending.
“A similar study on oxidative stress or inflammatory distress in fruit flies produced similarly strong results,” Beelman said.

“Flies fed vitamin D-enriched mushrooms had a 30 percent greater survival rate. Feeding flies with pure vitamin D at the same level found in the mushrooms did not improve survival rates.

“These findings are extremely intriguing because they support the importance of whole foods in maintaining human health; nutrients work best when present in a whole food complex, such as the vitamin D-enriched mushrooms used in this study.”

Mushroom supplements

This research led Hausman to begin his line of nutritional supplements: ImmuSANO, GlucoSANO and EquiSANO.

ImmuSANO is a nutritional blend of six medicinal mushrooms, each of which has different concentrations of bioactive enzymes and nutrients. It is a holistic and natural approach to health care that nutritionally assists people in balancing cellular function and promoting a stronger immune system.

GlucoSANO is a holistic and natural approach to health care that nutritionally assists people in maintaining more normal cellular metabolism and stabilizing blood-sugar levels.

EquiSANO is a specially formulated natural whole food product for horses composed of a proprietary blend of five types of certified organic medicinal mushrooms. Each of the mushrooms plays an important nutritional role in supplying bioactive nutrients that assist an animal in responding to daily stressors including physical, chemical and biological agents. EquiSANO is a holistic and natural approach to health care that nutritionally assists the horse in balancing cellular function and promoting a stronger immune system.

A stronger immune system is associated with increased resistance to infections.

Hausman said mushroom supplements have the nutritional potential to provide multiple health benefits for humans, including promoting healthy joints, reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, increasing stamina and reducing stress and anxiety.

Mushrooms, according to Hausman, have evolved over millions of years and have developed a perfectly balanced bioactive physiologic system that contains numerous enzymes, nutrients and bioactive substances that can assist humans to adapt to everyday stresses.

Mushrooms also contain some of the most powerful anti-oxidative properties known in any food product. They have strong anti-viral properties, excellent anti-inflammatory active ingredients and other natural healing elements.

More information on his brand of nutritional supplements can be found on the Web site www.totalnutraceutical.com.

Hausman is enthusiastic about his discovery.

“By just shining ultraviolet light on the mushrooms, vitamin D was produced exponentially. … That is amazing,” Hausman said.

“I can put in one capsule your daily dose of vitamin D. It’s unheard of. This is all new stuff. The body needs vitamin D and you should be sitting in the sun for 30 minutes a day … just the opposite of what dermatologists say.

“I am really excited.”

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