Ganoderma lucidum has traditionally been used in the treatment of hypertension1 and ACE inhibitory activity has been demonstrated for the triterpene Ganoderic acid K2. It has also been suggested that the CNS inhibiting action of triterpenes from G. lucidum may play a part in its anti-hypertensive action3.
In the light of recent data, which suggests that subsets of T lymphocytes play critical roles in the development of angiotensin II, deoxycorticosterone salt-sensitive and Dahl salt-sensitive hypertension, and in the progression of vascular remodelling, it is possible that mushrooms may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure by virtue of their immune regulating properties4. However, beneficial effects for other mushrooms have only been demonstrated at unrealistic dietary levels of between 5-20%5-7 or, in the case of Agaricus subrufescens, with a GABA-enriched extract8.
Triterpene-rich G. lucidum extracts (1-3g/day).
1. Dietary effect of Ganoderma lucidum mushroom on blood pressure and lipid levels in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Kabir Y, Kimura S, Tamura T. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 1988;34(4):433–438.
2. Effect of Ganoderma lucidum on the quality and functionality of Korean traditional rice wine, yakju. Kim JH, Lee DH, Lee SH, Choi SY, Lee JS. J Biosci Bioeng. 2004;97(1):24–28.
3. Cardiovascular effects of mycelium extract of Ganoderma lucidum: inhibition of sympathetic outflow as a mechanism of its hypotensive action. Lee SY, Rhee HM. Chem Pharm Bull. 1990;38(5):1359–1364.
4. T lymphocytes: a role in hypertension? Schiffrin EL. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2010;19(2):181–186.
5. Effect of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms on blood pressure and plasma lipids of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Kabir Y, Yamaguchi M, Kimura S. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 1987;33(5):341–346.
6. Antihypertensive and metabolic effects of whole Maitake mushroom powder and its fractions in two rat strains. Talpur NA, Echard BW, Fan AY, Jaffari O, Bagchi D, Preuss HG. Mol Cell Biochem. 2002;237(1-2):129–136.
7. Dietary mushrooms reduce blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Kabir Y, Kimura S. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 1989;35(1):91–94.
8. Antihypertensive effect of γ-aminobutyric acid-enriched Agaricus blazei on mild hypertensive human subjects. Watanabe T, Kawashita A, Ishi S, Mazumder TK, Nagai S, Tsuji K, Dan T. Nippon Shokuhin Kagaku Kogaku Kaishi. 2003;50(4):167–173.