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Mushrooms have long been consumed as an exquisite ingredient in gourmet recipes. However, they have gained increasing popularity as medicinal, due to their therapeutic effects in the treatment of many diseases as well as its ability to increase immunity.
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), Cordyceps spp, Trametes versicolor (Turkey tail), Inonotus obliquus (Chaga), Agaricus blazei (God’s mushroom), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Lentinulaedodes (Shiitake), Hericiumerinaceus (Lion’s mane): Top-rated mushrooms.
The fungi kingdom is comprised of a wide variety of unique species. Not all are edible and most likely not all promote human health. Thus, different bioactive components extracted from different edible species will exert differential effects on human health.
B-GLUCANS: BEST KNOWN AND IMPORTANT BIOACTIVE COMPONENTS FUNGI.
Mushrooms are rich in carbohydrates like chitin, glucans and mannans, acting as a prebiotic stimulating the proliferation of gut commensals and promoting a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
Reishi, Maitake, Agaricus, Shiitake among others stimulate and modulate the immune response, having potent antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, promoting a healthy immune system.
Chaga and Cordyceps possess potent antioxidant properties, neutralizing free radicals which cause cell damage and contribute to degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or cancer.
Lion’s mane stimulate NGF, responsible for nerve development and repair, stimulating memory and cognitive functions and delaying the onset of diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Cordyceps increases ATP production and improves endurance during training. It has also been proved useful to treat lung disorders such as COPD or lung fibrosis.
Mushrooms have increasingly been used for their ability to stimulate the immune system, and for their potent prophylactic and therapeutic effects in many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular or neurodegenerative diseases. Other functions remain to be unraveled.
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Bulam et al. (2018) β-Glucans: An Important Bioactive Molecule of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms. Conference paper: International Technology sciences and design symposium: 1242-1258
Chia-Wei et al. (2017) Edible and medicinal mushrooms: Emerging brain food for the mitigation of neurodegenerative diseases. J Med Food 20(1): 1-10
Lindequist et al. (2005) The Pharmacological potential of Mushrooms. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2: 285-299
Valverde et al. (2015) Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human health and promoting quality life. Int J Microbiol doi: 10.1155/2015/376387
Villares et al. (2012) Structural features and healthy properties of polysaccharides occurring in mushrooms. Agriculture 2(4): 452-471