Additional Medicinal Mushrooms

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Tremella (Tremella fuciformis, Tremella mesenterica, Tremella aurantia). Tremella species have shown hypoglycemic and immune-modulating activity. Oral supplementation with a polysaccharide extract from T. aurantia showed significantly lowered levels of insulin, total-cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoperoxide levels in genetically non-insulin-dependent diabetic mice.61 Oral supplementation with T. aurantia has also been shown to suppress plasma testosterone levels in normal rats.62 Additionally, constituents isolated from T. fuciformis have been shown to induce human monocytes to produce interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in vitro.63

Hericium (Hericium erinaceus, Hericium laciniatum). Hericium species have shown anti-tumor, immune-modulating, and lipid-lowering action. One study analyzed polysaccharides from both H. erinaceus and H. laciniatum. The results revealed that both polysaccharides had significant antiartificial pulmonary metastatic tumor effects in mice with the polysaccharide from H. erinaceus showing more effectiveness than that from H. laciniatum. Both of the polysaccharide extracts did demonstrate a significant increase in CD4 T cells and macrophages compared to controls.64 A study with oral supplementation of H. erinaceus showed dramatic lipid-modulating activity in hyperlipidemic rats. The results showed a 32.9% decrease in the plasma total cholesterol, a 45.4% decrease in LDL cholesterol, a 34.3% decrease in triglycerides, an 18.9% decrease in phospholipid, 58.7% decreased atherogenic index, 20.2% decreased hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity, and a 31.1% increase in the plasma HDL cholesterol level compared to the controls.65

Auricularia (Auricularia auricular). Auricularia has been shown to exhibit hypoglycemic, anticoagulant, and antioxidant activity. A study with diabetic mice showed that supplementation with a constituent from Auricularia had a significantly lowered plasma glucose, insulin, urinary glucose, and food intake and increased the tolerance to intraperitoneal glucose loading.66 A polysaccharide extracted from Auricularia has also demonstrated anticoagulant activity and inhibited platelet aggregation in rats.67 Additional research has shown antioxidant action by Auricularia showing significant inhibition of lipid peroxidation, potent hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, and significantly increased nitric oxide production.68

Flammulina (Flammulina velutipes). Flammulina has been shown to have antimicrobial,69 anti-tumor, and immune-modulating activity.70 Constituents have been shown to inhibit cancer cell proliferation, and can activate T-cells increasing the production and secretion of INF-gamma.71

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