International Journal of ISSN: 2381-1803IJCAM

Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Volume 3 Issue 6 - 2016
Dietary Supplements that Works - Verify then trust
Daniel Sliva*
Purdue Research Park, USA
Received:June 01, 2016| Published: June 06, 2016
*Corresponding author: Daniel Sliva, DSTest Laboratories, Purdue Research Park, 5225 Exploration Drive Indianapolis, IN 46241 USA, Tel: 317-379-3702; Email:

Citation: Sliva D (2016) Dietary Supplements that Works - Verify then trust. Int J Complement Alt Med 3(6): 00099. DOI: 10.15406/ijcam.2016.03.00099


“The Halifax Project” international group recently summarized a comprehensive approach to cancer prevention and treatment by targeting many specific, high priority anti-cancer mechanisms and pathways [1]. Although targeted therapies are principally effective, they are also highly toxic, expensive, and prone to relapses. Therefore, combinational therapies with several natural compounds and dietary supplements targeting specific signaling pathways are viable alternatives for both cancer prevention and treatment. Several medicinal and edible mushrooms and mushroom-based dietary supplements have demonstrated chemo preventative and anticancer activities in cell culture and animal studies [2]. The most recognized and appraised among these mushrooms is the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum, which was used for more than two millennia in traditional Chinese medicine [3]. Not surprisingly G. lucidum was evaluated in clinical trials. The majority of these clinical trials with G. lucidumwas performed for the treatment of different cancers and for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors [4,5]. However, the majority of clinical studies did not meet the proper clinical protocols.

Unfortunately, properly performed clinical trials did not demonstrate the expected effects of Ganoderma lucidum in cancer patients and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, and demonstrated only slightly improved immune responses in cancer patients. Although these trials were performed according to the standard procedures for randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials, the major obstacle in these trials was the use of non-standardized preparations of G. lucidumincluding polysaccharide extracts, different Ganoderma liquids, tablets, or the whole G. lucidumpowder.

We have previously demonstrated through scientific analysis that different G. lucidumextracts have different biological activity. More specifically, that some extracts were active, demonstrating anti-cancer activity and the suppression of the major inflammatory molecule NF-kB, whereas other did not show any biological activity [6]. The amount and composition of biologically active compounds in G. lucidumextracts depend on the specific strain, growing conditions, processing and extraction procedures. Therefore, it is practically impossible to know if the G. lucidumextracts, tablets, liquid or the other isolates used in the clinical trials were active. Two major groups of biologically active compounds isolated from G. lucidumare triterpenoids (ganoderic acids, ganoderic alcohols, and their derivatives) and polysaccharides (mainly glucans and glycoproteins). G. lucidumpolysaccharide extracts could have immunomodulatory or “opposite” anti-inflammatory activities, depending on the branching of these polysaccharides. The same applies to the activity of G. lucidumtriterpenes: some of them have specific activities whereas others are inactive [7]. We have recently evaluated the triterpene extract from G. lucidumcontaining 20% of triterpenes, and this extract did not possess any biological activity (unpublished). Therefore, all G. lucidumextracts or purified fractions need to be evaluated for the expected activities, e.g. anticancer, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-aging and other activities in the specific cell culture experiments, before their further evaluation in pre-clinical studies and clinical trials.

Generally, all nutraceuticals and dietary supplements are facing the same problem. The literature is describing the certain efficacy of isolated compounds or extracts but the products on the market are ineffective. On the other hand, one batch can be certified for the efficacy but the new batch of the same product is ineffective because the producer used a supplier with untested compounds and the new batch was not properly tested.


In conclusion, high quality, efficient dietary supplements must be produced from scientifically tested compounds and the final dietary supplement product needs to be verified not for just the chemical compositions but also for the real efficacy in a cell based biological assay.

In other words - verify then trust!


  1. Block KI, Gyllenhaal C, Lowe L, Amedei A, Amin AR, et al. (2015) Designing a broad-spectrum integrative approach for cancer prevention and treatment. Semin Cancer Biol 35 Suppl: S276-304.
  2. Jiang WG, Sanders AJ, Katoh M, Ungefroren H, Gieseler F, et al. (2015) Tissue invasion and metastasis: Molecular, biological and clinical perspectives. Semin Cancer Biol 35 Suppl: S244-S275.
  3. Sliva D (2009) Medicinal potential of Ganoderma lucidum. In: M Rai, PD Bridge (Eds.), Applied Mycology. CAB International, pp. 173-196.
  4. Jin X, Ruiz Beguerie J, Sze DMY, Chan GCF (2016) Ganoderma lucidum (Reishimushroom) for cancer treatment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (6): CD007731.
  5. Klupp NL, Chang D, Hawke F, Kiat H, Cao H, et al. (2015) Ganoderma lucidum mushroom for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD007259.
  6. Sliva D, Sedlak M, Slivova V, Valachovicova T, Lloyd FP, et al. (2003) Biologic activity of spores and dried powder from Ganoderma lucidum for the inhibition of highly invasive breast and prostate cancer cells. J Altern Complement Med 9(4): 491-497.
  7. Cheng S, Sliva D (2015) Ganoderma lucidum for cancer treatment - We are close but still not there. Integr Cancer Ther 14(3): 249-257 .
© 2014-2018 MedCrave Group, All rights reserved. No part of this content may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means as per the standard guidelines of fair use.
Creative Commons License Open Access by MedCrave Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at
Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version | Opera |Privacy Policy