Health Care Professional Information

Brand Name

Biobran®, Lentin Plus 1000

Clinical Summary

MGN-3 is a proprietary product derived from rice bran. Promoters of MGN-3 claim that it improves immune function against cancer and AIDS. Polysaccharides are the primary ingredients and are thought to increase the levels of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma secretion, and augment natural killer (NK) cell function in vitro (3). In vitro and studies in mice have shown that MGN-3 facilitates apoptosis of human T cell leukemia cells (6), sensitizes human breast cancer cells to a chemo drug (7), and protects against cisplatin-induced weight loss (8).
Improved immunomodulatory function was observed with use of MGN-3 in a small study of cancer patients (5). In another study on patients with liver cancer, MGN-3 increased overall response and reduced adverse effects of standard therapies (1). Further research is warranted. MGN-3 did not improve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (9).
No adverse effects have been reported following consumption of MGN-3.

Food Sources

Rice, mushrooms

Purported Uses
  • Cancer treatment
  • Chemotherapy side effects
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Immunostimulation
Constituents

Main ingredients

  • Rice bran, enzymatically treated with extracts from shiitake (Lentinus edodes), kawaratake (Coriolus versicolor), and suehirotake (Schizophyllum commune) mushrooms
    Other ingredients
  • Beet root fiber
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Silica
  • Magnesium stearate
Mechanism of Action

MGN-3 is an arabinoxylan from rice bran made using enzymes from mycelia of shiitake, kawaratake and suehirotake mushrooms. MGN-3 is claimed to cause an overall increase of the immune system, such as natural killer cell activity, increase gamma interferon and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and to act synergistically with interleukin-2, which also increases natural killer cell activity (2).

Adverse Reactions

None reported

Herb-Drug Interactions

None reported

Herb Lab Interactions

MGN-3 reduces alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels in hepatocellular carcinoma patients going through standard therapies (1).

Literature Summary and Critique

Ghoneum M. Production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma from human peripheral blood lymphocytes by MGN-3, and its synergy with interleukin-2 in vitro. Cancer Detect Prev 2000;24:314.
The mechanism by which MGN-3 elevates NK cytotoxic activity was examined. The effect of MGN-3 on the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma secretions was measured, as was the expression of key cell surface receptors. Results suggest that MGN-3 is a potent TNF-alpha inducer. Treating highly purified NK cells with MGN-3 also resulted in increased levels of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma secretion in conjunction with augmentation of NK cell cytotoxic function. Furthermore, addition of MGN-3 to interleukin 2-activated NK cells resulted in a synergistic induction of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma secretion.

Dosage (Inside MSKCC Only)
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References
  1. Bang MH, Van Riep T, Thinh NT, et al. Arabinoxylan rice bran (MGN-3) enhances the effects of interventional therapies for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: a three-year randomized clinical trial. Anticancer Res. 2010 Dec;30(12):5145-51.
  2. Ghoneum MH, Maeda H. Immunopotentiator and method of manufacturing the same (Arabinoxylane Compound). U.S. Patent #5560914. Filed July 12, 1995.
  3. Ghoneum M, Jewett A. Production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma from human peripheral blood lymphocytes by MGN-3, a modified arabinoxylan from rice bran, and its synergy with interleukin-2 in vitro. Cancer Prev 2000;24:314.
  4. Ghoneum M. Anti-HIV activity in vitro of MGN-3, an activated arabinoxylane from rice bran. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1998;243:25.
  5. Ghoneum M. NK Immunomodulatory function in 27 cancer patients by MGN-3. Abstract, 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. April 20-24, 1996.
  6. Ghoneum M, Sastry G. Modified arabinoxylan rice bran (MGN-3/Biobran) sensitizes human T cell leukemia cells to death receptor (CD95)-induced apoptosis. Cancer Letters 2003;201:41-49.
  7. Gollapudi S, Ghoneum M. MGN-3/Biobran, modified arabinoxylan from rice bran, sensitizes human breast cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agent, daunorubicin. Cancer Detect Prev 2008;32(1):1-6.
  8. Endo Y, Kanbayashi H. Modified rice bran beneficial for weight loss of mice as a major and acute adverse effect of Cisplatin. Pharmacol Toxicol. 2003 Jun;92(6):300-3.
  9. McDermott C, Richards SC, Thomas PW, Montgomery J, Lewith G. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of a natural killer cell stimulant (BioBran MGN-3) in chronic fatigue syndrome. QJM. 2006 Jul;99(7):461-8.

Consumer Information

How It Works

Bottom Line: MGN-3 has not been shown to prevent cancer, HIV or any other medical condition.
MGN-3 is a complex sugar derived from rice bran treated with extracts from three mushrooms: Shiitake, Coriolus versicolor, and Suehirotake. The manufacturer claims that it stimulates several aspects of the immune system, causing an overall immune stimulation. Laboratory studies show that MGN-3 can cause cell death in some cancer cells and increase their susceptibility to chemo drugs. It may improve the response and reduce the side effects of standard therapies in liver cancer patients, but more studies are needed.

Purported Uses
  • To treat cancer
    A clinical study shows MGN-3 may improve the response of standard therapies in liver cancer patients. However, there is no evidence that it can be used as a treatment alone. More studies are needed.
  • To prevent and treat chemotherapy side effects
    A study suggests MGN-3 can reduce the side effects of standard therapies in liver cancer patients. More studies are needed.
  • To stimulate the immune system
    The manufacturers of MGN-3 claim that it stimulates immune cells in laboratory studies and in a small group of cancer patients. More research is needed.
  • To treat chronic fatigue syndrome
    A clinical study did not find MGN-3 effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome.
Side Effects
  • No side effects have been reported.
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