Venous Lake: Can mushrooms improve these vessel lesions?

A blood vessel disorder can put any individual at risk of endothelial lining lesion or even blood compromise. Besides these disorders mimic the clinical presentation of precancerous conditions to malignancies. One of the conditions is phlebectasis, more commonly known as venous lakes, which are dilatations of facial capillaries. Because the blood vessels affected are venous in nature, they transport deoxygenated blood, which may grossly appear as bluish to violaceous soft macule or papule, causing uneven facial features especially in the sun-exposed parts of the cranial area. 


While the exact aetiology and process for venous lake formation haven’t been finalized, several mechanisms have been looked into, especially factors that connect to the resultant vascular ectasia that is observed in phlebectasis. 

It was surmised that the outer lining of the blood vessels, known as the adventitia, can be injured due to radiation exposure and smoking, which compromises its contractility causing dilation of superficial vessel structures. Besides extrinsic causes, internal causes such as vascular thrombosis may have been contributory factors. The accumulated factors increase the inadvertent dilatation of the venous capillaries, thus resulting in the venous lakes. A variation or a precursor of phlebectasis is a capillary aneurysm, which is related to the mechanisms mentioned above. This usually happens in adults at the age of 50 and above, especially in populations who have long hours of exposure to the sun.

Treatment. Why do we need help from Mycotherapy?

As this is a harmless condition, treatment is not completely called for. While this is true, venous lakes may cause unsightly lesions in the face and thus, affected individuals may choose to treat this. A more temporary but straightforward approach is through the application of cosmetic camouflage cream thereby concealing the affected area. This is also the most commonly done management as this is non-invasive and effective in some cases, through the use of medical-grade make-up, that is resistant to moisture, and is adaptable to the skin tone of the patient.

A more definitive approach is through more invasive procedures including cryotherapy, electrocautery, and sclerotherapy, which minimizes the dilatation in the area. Some of these procedures may leave scars, which again because is located in the face, may cause aesthetic problems in the patient. 

This is where mycological treatment is warranted, as some mushroom extracts have been found to have activity for vascular health, thereby preventing such vascular conditions including venous lakes.

Treatment with Mycotherapy

Mycotherapy has been looked into to improve this condition and the overall health of the human vasculature. The following mushrooms have been discovered to contain bioactive substances and warrant further studies to be used in the clinical setting. These mushrooms are currently available now as extracts, mostly taken orally, to improve the management of venous lakes.


Cordyceps sinensis has been known to have microvascular benefits maintaining the optimal health of the blood vessels with the smallest calibre, as these are the vessels most vulnerable to obstruction and resultant dilatation, which is what we need to prevent in venous lakes. It induces lower blood pressure especially beneficial for smaller blood vessels, thus preventing clot formation or even ischemia. Cordyceps does this as its extracts were discovered to help limit the levels and concentration of serum lipid peroxidase, which in turn, lessens the activity of low-density level (LDL) oxidation.


Grifola frondosa was found to have vascular benefits, targeting multisystemic organs to decrease harmful biomolecules from being produced and deposited in the blood vessel linings. Maitake regulates the metabolism of lipids, which are known to deposit to the endothelial lining causing atherosclerotic plaques. By taking action on the root of the metabolism, the Maitake takes action in the liver to control the metabolism of lipids and prevent its accumulation in the liver and blood. This mechanism also alleviates the circulation of high blood pressure, which takes its toll to the integrity of blood vessels. 


Among the most studied one through phytochemical studies is the Ganoderma lucidum, which was found to contain a myriad of bioactive substances with microvasculature benefits. Among these is the cyclo-octasulfur, which is an alkaloid with regulatory activity on the vascular tone of the heart, which in an extension would improve the peripheral vascular function. Another one is the ganodermadiol, a triterpene which has a hypotensive activity, and lastly is the ganodermic acids, which lowers both blood pressure and cholesterol production. In addition to these, Reishi also has an effect on the platelet aggregation, which prevents thrombosis formation.


Venous lakes are benign vascular lesions that warrant attention due to their similarity in presentation with malignant conditions. While venous lakes are benign, the cases that call for treatment would have options between the general treatment, which are only temporary, versus the definitive treatments, which are highly invasive with noticeable scarring. By taking advantage of these mushroom bioactive extracts, protective mechanisms are sought to improve venous lakes and the overall microvascular health.

Dietary changes that can prevent atrial enlargement

The left atrium is just one of the crucial chambers of the heart, located in the upper half of the heart on the left side (as the name might suggest). 

Like all parts of the heart, the left atrium plays an important role in ensuring good health. This segment receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it through the aortic valve to distribute throughout the body in the circulatory system. 

Most of the time, the left atrium does its job well throughout a person’s entire life. However, when people fail to care for the heart properly, the left atrium can become enlarged. This can sometimes lead to significant health problems.

What Causes Left Atrium Enlargement

There are various factors that affect the size of the left atrium throughout a person’s life. For instance, a patient’s age will naturally have an impact on their heart’s performance, though age alone isn’t a cause of left atrium enlargement. Instead, the changes happening to the body as an individual begins to age may contribute to the changing size of the left atrium. 

Men also often have bigger left atriums than women, and like most things in heart health, the bigger someone is (weight wise) the more the size of the atrium will increase. 

Left atrium enlargement is also a common concern for people with high blood pressure. Reviews of studies taken over the last 12 years or so found that left atrial enlargement is present in around 16 to 83% of people with untreated or treated high blood pressure. 

How Dietary Changes Affect Atrial Enlargement

There are various steps that you can take to reduce the risk of heart issues, and potentially minimize the chances of left atrial enlargement. Getting more exercise (particularly cardio) into the daily routine is a good start. Reducing a patient’s exposure to stress is another step in the right direction. 

One of the easiest ways to start making a positive change, however, is to make dietary changes

Dietary changes will reduce things like high blood pressure and obesity, which strengthen the chances of heart issues. At the same time, a dietary change also makes it easier to give the heart the nutrients it needs to thrive. 

  • Cut back on Salt and Cholesterol

The first dietary change to make when you want to protect the heart, is to cut back on salt. Too much salt contributes to an increased risk of high blood pressure, which increases the risk of left atrial enlargement, among other heart conditions. Experts should encourage a reduction of salt intake. The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day – the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon of salt – and ideally, no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. On average, we consume more than 3,400 mg of sodium each day.

Another substance that patients with heart issues may need to cut down on is cholesterol. To ensure good health, individuals must control their cholesterol intake. 

  • Replace meat and dairy with fish, whole grains and plant proteins

Unfortunately, the saturated fats in animal foods like milk, meat, and cheese just aren’t great for heart health. These are the kinds of fats that are more likely to contribute to heart disease and strokes. Saturated fat needs to have a minimal place in any diet. 

A good way to switch things up is to replace saturated fats with unsaturated options. The unsaturated fats in fish, grains and plant proteins reduce the risk of heart disease, protect you from abnormal heart conditions, and more. This makes fish a valuable food choice for those protecting against left atrium enlargement. Avoid any trans-fats and trans fatty acids too, these are common problems in processed foods. 

  • Discover more heart-healthy recipes

For a healthy heart and a better weight, it’s usually a good idea to pack meals full of as many fruits and vegetables as possible. These nutrients provide large amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber for the lowest number of calories. Moreover, they are packed with antioxidants that reduce risk of developing heart disease, such as left atrium enlargement.

Aim for about five servings of fruit and vegetables a day and stay away from anything loaded with sugar and saturated or trans fat. At the same time, different methods of food preparation may be more effective for protecting the heart. Steaming veggies can maximize their flavors without covering them in fat or salt.

Using Mushrooms for Heart Health

Transforming a heart-healthy diet could even involve the use of supplements. Mushrooms, for instance, are some of the best products for reducing heart concerns. However, not all people like the taste of mushrooms, and many have a hard time getting the right quantity into their diet. 

For instance, shiitake mushrooms are extremely good for heart health. They’re proven to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) in vivo models, and they also inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the liver too. 

Shiitake mushrooms are also packed full of phytonutrients, which help to improve circulation and blood sugar. Other medicinal mushrooms like Maitake can also help to reduce cholesterol and overweight, which directly influence cardiovascualr health. Others like Reishi, Royal Sun Agaricus and Coprinus can help too in the control of blood lipids and sugars.

Accessing mushrooms in the form of concentrated supplements will boost the impact that these fungi can have on heart performance. Plus, supplements don’t cause issues for people who don’t like the taste of mushroom. 

Protecting the Heart

Protecting the heart is easier than you think.

To defend against left atrium enlargement, patients should consider not just a more mindful diet, but the use of powerful supplements to improve their nutritional approach to good health.

Integrative Oncology and medicinal mushrooms for quality of life

Integrative oncology and coadjuvant oncology are gaining more attention for the management of various forms of cancer. The complexity of cancerous ailments means that most patients respond best to a personalised treatment strategy. Precision and Personalized medicine (PPM) for cancer treatment allows clinicians to better predict the potential outcome of different therapeutic remedies for each patient. This approach to “PPM” treatment requires a more holistic view of natural options. 

Integrative oncology therapies using medicinal mushrooms have already proven to be a valuable addition to many treatment plans in the oncology landscape. Medicinal mushrooms are equipped with a variety of bioactive compounds and nutrients  which can strengthen the performance of the immune system, encourage homeostasis and improve healing

Unlike other coadjacent integrative oncology therapies, medicinal mushrooms also benefit from low potential side effects. Tolerance for most medical mushroom supplements is high, and the risk of negative interaction with other medications is low. 

Medicinal Mushrooms Can Strengthen Cancer Treatments

Medicinal mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years in traditional treatments for various ailments, including cancer. Beta-glucans in mushrooms have been approved as adjunctive therapies for cancer treatments in some parts of the world already. 

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma Lucidum) has proven to be a powerful tool in fighting against inflammatory breast cancer. When given to breast cancer patients, the Reishi mushroom actively suppressed protein synthesis and tumour growth in cancer patients. Reishi mushrooms are also well-known for their immunomodulating abilities, which assist in maintaining the performance of the immune system during cancer treatment. 

Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has been found to inhibit growth of cancerous cells in various forms of lung carcinoma, breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells, and cervical adenocarcinoma. Chaga mushrooms can further combat oxidative stress, improving the overall health and resiliency of the human body. 

Polysaccharide-K (PSK) known for stimulating the immune system, is available in high levels within the Turkey Tail (Coriolus Versicolor) mushroom. In studies in patients with gastric cancer, PSK improved the 5-year disease free rating significantly for cancer survivors. 

Medicinal mushrooms are high in nutritional benefits, and rich in bioactive compounds capable of strengthening the immune system. Many mushrooms, such as Reishi, can also have a positive impact on the balance of the gut microbiota, which is proven to be responsible for influencing the performance of the immune system. The balance of the microbiota, combined with the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidation effects of the mushroom can strengthen the performance of traditional treatments. 

Medicinal Mushrooms in Integrative Oncology

As a tool for coadjacent integrative oncology, medicinal mushrooms represent a safe way to improve the performance of most oncology treatment paths. On a basic level, medicinal mushrooms can address some of the common nutritional deficiencies during cancer treatments. The immunomodulation abilities of medicinal  mushrooms also help to reduce the risk of opportunistic infections and side effects. 

Further studies demonstrate the ability of medical mushrooms to not only enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy,  but also reduce pain and other side effects like fatigue, loss of appetite, among others . Medicinal mushrooms can slow cancer progression and reduce the risk of recurrence, but they’re also of vital importance for improving the quality of life of patients. 

In a Cochrane review (one of the most strict and high quality international scientific reviews) researchers conclude that taking Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) extract alongside traditional treatment can significantly improve the response to standard oncological treatments.  As biological response modifiers, medicinal mushrooms interrupt cancer pathways, supporting healthy cellular replication and removing dangerous cancer cells. 

By reducing inflammation and disrupted apoptosis, the medicinal mushroom can improve the quality of life for patients by minimizing stress, sleep disorders, nausea, leukopenia, low energy, skin lesions, neuropathy, and even hepatotoxicity. One study into patients with cancer found that Agaricus brasiliensis Murrill could improve emotional stability, appetite, alopecia, and general weakness. 

Safe and Effective Treatments

Supplementation of medicinal mushrooms, unlike other forms of integrative oncology treatment, provide a safe and reliable way for practitioners to support their patients with improved clinical results, and higher ratings in quality of life. A high quality blend of medicinal mushrooms can improve the nutritional status of the patient, while providing the immune support required to fight back against cancerous cells. 

Additionally, the mushrooms formulated in the correct supplemental products will not use the CYP450 metabolism pathway common among most drugs. Therefore, practitioners are recommended to look for brands that have tested safety of medicinal mushrooms at this level. In this way, mushrooms can be safely used under the supervision of medical professionals to support the body’s biological responses, maintain microenvironments on a cellular level, and enhance conventional on logical treatments. 

Mycotherapy for Bone and Joints: Which mushrooms can help with Arthrosis?

According to published studies, over 303 million people around the world have arthrosis. This does not include the many people who suffer from other kinds of arthrosis, including rheumatoid arthritis, which adds to the burden of bone and joint disease prevalence. In addition to the medical complications brought about by arthrosis, significantly decreases the quality of life of the elderly patients, who are most commonly affected. The pain can also become unbearable to some patients to the point that it limits their movement, thus discouraging them from having an active lifestyle, which should be a regular part of their daily lives.

Arthrosis involves initial damage to the chondrocytes, which can be caused by physical, biochemical, or genetic factors. This damage results in the early stages of arthritic development, an inflammatory response allows the chondrocytes to proliferate and release inflammatory mediators that aim to remodel the cartilage but also cause a secondary inflammatory process in the surrounding joint tissues. This is followed by late stage arthrosis which precipitates a cycle of chronic inflammation leading  to a degeneration of joint tissues, which eventually leaves two bones rubbing against each other with painful friction  .

The main forms of management for arthrosis involve nonpharmacologic management, which includes aerobic and strengthening exercises and weight loss, which helps in decreasing the body weight of heavy-set patients and thus alleviates the burden of the weight on those  joints affected by arthrosis. Pharmacologic management involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as capsaicin, and duloxetine, in addition to intra-articular glucocorticoids. The problem with pharmaceutical therapy is the accompanying adverse effects of the mentioned drugs, including multisystemic drugs which can cause gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and renal complications. This limits the population that can use drug treatment and may put patients at risk of the long-term complications of these drugs.

Mycotherapeutic Management for Bones and Joints

Mushroom extracts have been utilized in pre-clinical trials and have resulted in positive outcomes in terms of fatigue, joint discomfort, and inflammation.


The Cordyceps sinensis fungus is a mushroom found endemicity in the Tibetan mountains that contains the sought-after bioactive compound, known as cordycepin. This substance regulates inflammation through a seemingly different mechanism than standard anti-inflammatory treatments. It has the capacity to manage patients’ pain, and can potentially control the progression of arthrosis.

According to ongoing research studies, Cordyceps is a good candidate in addition to the conventional anti-inflammatory and steroidal drugs, which have multisystemic side effects, broadening the treatment options for these patients. From being highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine, the potential of C. sinensis and its active component, cordycepin, is  currently  being researched to understand better the potential target tissues it can affect , whether it’s the joint tissues or the nerve endings.

Besides the well studied C.sinensis, other mushrooms have been found to have active compounds that have potential therapeutic properties for ameliorating arthrosis.


The triterpenoids in Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) e.g. ganoderic acid, have been found to have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can offset the pathogenesis of arthrosis in patients. G. lucidum, , known as the mushroom of immortality  in traditional Chinese medicine, is  also known to improve energy circulation and is currently considered as a potential source of anti-inflammatory compounds.


The “King of Mushrooms” has been known for its regulation of hyperlipidemia in patients, which is an important factor in managing arthrosis.Grifola frondosa, is well known as an edible mushroom that helps in weight control and can, thus, alleviate the pressure in the weight-bearing joints affected by arthrosis.


Lentinula edodes, an edible mushroom well known in Japanese cuisine, was discovered to have an alkalizing effect, which helps in the excretion of uric acid in the body, thus preventing its  deposition in the joints. Besides its uricosuric effects, it has inherent health benefits such as an anti-inflammatory action due to its omega fatty acid content.

Royal Sun Agaricus (AbM)

Agaricus blazei Murill contains a potent cocktail of antioxidants, such as glutathione, and catalase, which protect the tissues from further cytologic deterioration, and enhance  the proper healing of tissues. While its health benefits have just been explored during the last forty years, studies have already confirmed its health-promoting compounds, including beta-glucans, coenzyme Q10, and B vitamins.


Inonotus obliquus, historically known in Siberian traditional medicine, is  regarded as the “black pearl” or the “forest diamond” in  the field of mycology. Its health benefits for arthrosis are due to the various polysaccharides it contains, that can stimulate several macrophage membrane receptors. To further support the use of  Chaga in improving arthrosis, it also has remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate the manifestations of arthrosis.


These mycotherapeutic options offer a wider range of natural solutions for osteoarthritic patients and can spare them from the complicated adverse effects of pharmacotherapy.

The traditional use of these fungi as a mycotherapeutic tool, in addition with the preceding  scientific evidence presented here, support medicinal mushroom nutraceuticals as a good choice in alleviating arthrosis.