Ganoderma lucidum Supplement Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects


Ganoderma lucidum, also known as lingzhi or reishi mushroom, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is believed to offer various health benefits. Here are some of the potential benefits supported by scientific research:

Immune System Boosting

Ganoderma lucidum contains bioactive compounds like polysaccharides and triterpenoids that may enhance immune function by increasing the activity and number of certain white blood cells like lymphocytes[1][2]. This could help the body fight infections and cancer more effectively.

Anticancer Properties

Several studies have shown that extracts from Ganoderma lucidum can induce apoptosis (cell death) in various types of cancer cells, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer[1][2]. However, more research is needed to confirm its efficacy in cancer treatment.

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Ganoderma lucidum is a rich source of antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, which can help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress[2]. Some studies also suggest it may have anti-inflammatory properties by modulating inflammatory pathways[4].

Blood Sugar Control

Certain compounds in Ganoderma lucidum, such as ganoderans A and B, have been found to have hypoglycemic effects and may help regulate blood sugar levels in animal and human studies[3].

Potential Cardiovascular Benefits

Some research indicates that Ganoderma lucidum may improve cholesterol levels by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing triglycerides, although more studies are needed to confirm these effects[4].

It's important to note that while Ganoderma lucidum shows promising potential benefits, more large-scale clinical trials are necessary to establish its safety and efficacy for various health conditions. Additionally, it should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical treatments without consulting a healthcare professional[1][2][3][4].

Recommended Dosages for Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) supplements

The recommended dosage of Ganoderma lucidum supplements varies depending on the form and preparation:

  • General Extracts: For extracts containing both polysaccharides and triterpenoids, the typical dose is between 1.44g and 5.2g per day, often divided into 3 doses. The most common dose is 5.2g per day (1.8g three times daily)[1][2].
  • Ethanolic Extracts: Rich in triterpenoids like ganoderic acids, the standard dose is around 6mg per day[2].
  • Water-Soluble Extracts: Mainly containing polysaccharides like beta-glucans, the dosage is similar to the general extract, around 1.44g - 5.2g per day[2].
  • Chinese Pharmacopoeia Guidelines: Recommends 6-12g daily for serious illnesses[4].

It's important to note that while doses up to 5.4g per day of Ganoderma lucidum extract have been used safely for up to 12 weeks in clinical trials[1][4], higher doses or long-term use may potentially cause liver toxicity[3]. Powdered whole reishi mushroom is considered possibly safe for up to 16 weeks[5].

Consulting a healthcare professional is advisable to determine the appropriate dosage based on individual health conditions and the specific supplement formulation[1][3][5].

Potential Side Effects of Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma Lucidum)

Common Side Effects

  • Dry mouth, throat, and nasal passages due to an allergic reaction[3].
  • Nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach[4].
  • Skin rashes or itchiness[3][4].
  • Nosebleeds and bloody stools[4].
  • Insomnia and chronic diarrhea[4].
  • Liver toxicity, which can be dangerous and potentially fatal, especially with long-term use of powdered reishi mushroom for over 1 month[4][3].

Other Potential Risks

  • Increased risk of bleeding, especially when combined with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs[3][4].
  • May lower blood pressure, which could be problematic for those with low blood pressure or taking blood pressure medications[3][4].
  • May interact with immunosuppressant drugs and reduce their effectiveness[4].
  • Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to lack of safety data[3][4].

It's important to note that the quality and composition of reishi supplements can vary widely, making it difficult to establish standardized dosages and assess safety accurately[3]. Consulting a healthcare professional before taking reishi supplements is advisable, especially for those with pre-existing conditions or taking medications[3][4].