Mushrooms: Rich sources of pharmacologically active compounds | Mushroom And Pharma | Medicinal Value Of Mushroom

Mushrooms: Rich sources of pharmacologically active compounds | Mushroom And Pharma | Medicinal Value Of Mushroom

Mushrooms: Rich sources of pharmacologically active compounds

Polysaccharides (beta-glucans, proteoglycans and related compounds)

  • Water-soluble polysaccharides and related compounds form the major class of immunologically active molecule in mushrooms and other fungi and their action on the immune system has been extensively reviewed and it has been suggested that this effect may also contribute to their diverse health benefits.
  • As well as forming part of protein-bound polysaccharides, several mushroom proteins, including Ling Zhi-8 (LZ-8) from Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) and Fve, EA-6 and Flammulin from Flammulina velutipes (Enokitake), have demonstrated biological activity in their own right 18-20 , including: 
  • Immune modulation - mushroom proteins have been shown to act directly on monocytes and to effect T-cell activation 
  • Ribosome inactivation - several exhibit ribosome inactivating activity 
  • Anti-viral - Velutin from F. velutipes inhibits HIV reverse transcriptase Anti-fungal - some have direct anti-fungal action 
  • Nuclease activity - a large number of proteins and peptides from mushrooms show nuclease activity 
  • Lectins have been isolated from many mushroom species, including F. velutipes, Grifola frondosa and G. lucidum 
  • Proteins from F. velutipes have also been shown to have antiallergic properties and to increase immune response to vaccination

  • High levels of phenolic components are found in certain mushrooms, especially Inonotus obliquus.
  • Polyphenols are known to be powerful antioxidants

Mushrooms produce a number of sterols, principally ergosterol, with H. erinaceus fruiting bodies containing 381mg/100g ergosterol.


First isolated from species of the fungus Aspergillus, lovastatin is also produced by many mushrooms because of the competitive advantage they derive from its strong anti-fungal properties.

Mushrooms : Rich Of Pharmacological Active Compound
Mushrooms : Rich Of Pharmacological Active Compound

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