Agaricus blazei is well-known to contain a high level of beta glucans (the extract contains more beta glucans than any other mushroom species investigated!) in three different forms: β-(1-3)-D-glucan, β-(1-4)-D-glucan, and β-(1-6)-D-glucan, all known for stimulating immune cells like NK cells, macrophages, dendritic cells and polymorphonuclear leukocytes.
In addition to beta-glucans, Agaricus blazei's effect on the immune system is believed to be also the result of other polysaccharides such as proteoglucans.
The Agaricus blazei mushroom is also abundant in most potent antioxidant substances. What is more, cellular and animal model experiments have shown that Agaricus blazei Murill may also stimulate immune cells to enhance the production of cytokines.
Generally, known active compounds of Agaricus blazei Murill include: Beta Glucans, Ergosterol (provitamin D2) derivatives, Glucomannan, Mannogalactoglucan, Proteoglucans and Riboglucans.
The polysaccharides' phyto complex is thought to be responsible for its immunostimulant and antitumor properties, probably through an opsonizing biochemical pathway. Kawagishi was the first to separate active anticancer compounds purified from the sodium hydroxide extract of the fruit body of ABM . The author managed to detect polysaccharides with apparent antitumor activity. Currently, clinical studies bring more and more positive confirmations, however still more studies are needed for its full evaluation.