Xiulian Li1,2 | Yanli He1,2 | Pengjiao Zeng1 | Yong Liu1 | Meng Zhang1 | Cui Hao1 |
Hua Wang1 | Zhihua Lv2 | Lijuan Zhang1

1 Medical Systems Biology Center for Complex Diseases, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, China

2 School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China

Poria cocos is an edible medicinal fungus known as “Fuling” in Chinese and has been used as a Chinese traditional medicine for more than two thousand years. Pharma cological studies reveal that polysaccharide is the most abundant substance in Poria cocos and has a wide range of biological activities including antitumour, immunomodulation, anti-inflammation, antioxidation, anti-ageing, antihepatitis, antidiabetics and anti-haemorrhagic fever effects. As a result, “Poria cocos polysac charide oral solution” was developed and sold as an over-the-counter health supplement since 1970s. In 2015, “Polysaccharidum of Poria cocos oral solution” was approved as a drug by Chinese Food and Drug Administration for treating multiple types of cancers, hepatitis and other diseases alone or during chemo- or radiation therapy for patients with cancer. In this article, biochemical, preclinical and clinical studies of Poria cocos polysaccharide from 72 independent studies during the past 46 years (1970-2016) based on PubMed, VIP (Chongqing VIP Chinese Scientific Journals Database), CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) and Wanfang database searches are summarized. The structure, pharmacological effects, clinical efficacy, immunobalancing molecular mechanism and toxicity of Poria cocos polysaccharide are deliberated to provide a general picture of Poria cocos polysaccharide as a clinically used antitumour drug.

antitumour, clinical application, pharmacological activities, polysaccharides, Poria cocos