As sources of soluble and insoluble fibre mushrooms and mushroom polysaccharides have been investigated for their potential in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. In one in vivo study whole white button mushroom exhibited a protective effect at 2% of feed while in another beta-glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus given at 10%of feed was effective in reducing mucosal damage and myeloperoxidase activity in healthy sections1,2.
Polysaccharide extracts from other mushrooms, including Ganoderma lucidum, Lentinula edodes and Grifola frondosa also show protective action in animal models of IBD and an Agaricus subrufescens based extract has been reported to produce positive changes in cytokine profiles in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease at 60ml/day3-6. A triterpene extract from G. lucidum has also been shown to prevent colitis-associated carcinogenesis in mice7.
Inonotus obliquus has traditionally been used to treat bowel disorders and an aqueous extract alleviated inflammation in a murine colitis model while an ethanolic extract reduced DNA damage in lymphocytes from patients with IBD8,9.
Many of the conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis that fall within the umbrella of IBD are autoimmune in character and hence offer promising targets for the immune modulating action of mushroom polysaccharides (1-3g/day).
1. The effects of whole mushrooms during inflammation. Yu S, Weaver V, Martin K, Cantorna MT. BMC Immunol. 2009;10:12.
2. Effects of pleuran (beta-glucan isolated from Pleurotus ostreatus) on experimental colitis in rats. Nosál’ová V, Bobek P, Cerná S, Galbavý S, Stvrtina S. Physiol Res. 2001;50(6):575–581.
3. Grifola frondosa water extract alleviates intestinal inflammation by suppressing TNF-alpha production and its signaling. Lee JS, Park SY, Thapa D, Choi MK, Chung IM, Park YJ, Yong CS, Choi HG, Kim JA. Exp Mol Med. 2010;42(2):143–154.
4. The water-soluble extract from cultured medium of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) mycelia (Designated as MAK) ameliorates murine colitis induced by trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid. Hanaoka R, Ueno Y, Tanaka S, Nagai K, Onitake T, Yoshioka K, Chayama K. Scand J Immunol. 2011;74(5):454–462.
5. Intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of lentinan: influence on IL-8 and TNFR1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells. Nishitani Y, Zhang L, Yoshida M, Azuma T, Kanazawa K, Hashimoto T, Mizuno M. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e62441.
6. Effect of an extract based on the medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill on expression of cytokines and calprotectin in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Førland DT, Johnson E, Saetre L, Lyberg T, Lygren I, Hetland G. Scand J Immunol. 2011;73(1):66–75.
7. Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum prevents colitis-associated carcinogenesis in mice. Sliva D, Loganathan J, Jiang J, Jedinak A, Lamb JG, Terry C, Baldridge LA, Adamec J, Sandusky GE, Dudhgaonkar S. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47873.
8. Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. Mishra SK, Kang JH, Kim DK, Oh SH, Kim MK. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;143(2):524–532.
9. Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in lymphocytes of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Najafzadeh M, Reynolds .D, Baumgartner A, Jerwood D, Anderson D. Biofactors. 2007;31(3-4):191–200.