Several polysaccharide extracts have shown benefit in treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV). Concentrated polysaccharide extracts from Polyporus umbellatus (92% polysaccharide) are used in China to treat patients with chronic HBV (40mg/day) with significant effect on clearing serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV DNA1,2, while a small study with Agaricus subrufescens polysaccharide extract (1500mg/day) in patients with HBV reported reductions in AST from 246 to 61.3 and ALT from 151 to 46.1 over 12 months3.
A study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract (5.4g/day) showed a 41% reduction in AST values in HBV patients with AST values <100 and a 65% reduction in patients with AST values >1004. 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. Inhibition of HBV replication as well as hepatoprotective properties have also been demonstrated for ganoderic acid5.
A number of small Chinese clinical studies report beneficial effects from supplementation with Ophiocordyceps sinensis in patients with HBV at a dose of 24 capsules a day6-9.
Beneficial results are also reported for O. sinensis mycelial biomass in cases of hepatitis C (2-3g/day).
1. Clinical and experimental research on Polyporus umbellatus polysaccharide in the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis. Yan SC, Cao WF, Zhang YH, Li LF, Yu CY, Zhu ZS, Hu JS, Wu JX, Wu SM, Zhuo HC, Wu GL, Cong YH, Yang MY, Gao LZ, Zhu HJ. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Zazhi. 1988;8(3):141–143.
2. Chinese medicinal herbs for chronic hepatitis B: a systematic review. Liu J, McIntosh H, Lin H. Liver. 2001;21(4):280–286.
3. The mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill extract normalizes liver function in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Hsu CH, Hwang KC, Chiang YH, Chou P. J Altern Complement Med. 2008;14(3):299–301.
4. 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 YH, Zhou SF, Chen GL, Dai XH, Ye JX, Gao H. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2002;4(4):321–328.
5. Anti-hepatitis B activities of ganoderic acid from Ganoderma lucidum. Li YQ, Wang SF. Biotechnol Lett. 2006;28(11): 837–841.
6. Short-term curative effect of cultured Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. Mycelia in chronic hepatitis B. Zhou LM, Yang YZ, Xu YM, Zhu QY, Ma ZL, Zhu TR, Ge XY, Gao JD. Zhongguo Zhongyao Zazhi. 1990;15(1):53–55, 65.
7. Effects of Cordyceps polysaccharides in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Ma X, Qiu DK, J Xu, Zeng MD. Shijie Huaren Xiaohua Zazhi. 1998;6(7):582–584.
8. Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on T lymphocyte subsets and hepato-fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Gong HY, Wang KQ, Tang SG. Hunan Yike Daxue Xue Bao. 2000;25(3):248–250.
9. Clinical research of xinganbao capsule on the treatment of chronic hepatitis B liver fibrosis. Wang XB, Jiang YY, Zhao CY, Wang XJ, Liu Fang, Wang YD, Cheng J. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Zazhi. 2012;32(3):325–328.