Medicinal mushroom: boon for therapeutic applications

Medicinal mushroom: boon for therapeutic applications

Medicinal mushrooms are higher fungi with additional nutraceutical attributes having low fat content and a trans-isomer of unsaturated fatty acids along with high fibre content, triterpenes, phenolic compounds, sterols, eritadenine and chitosan. They are considered as the unmatched source of healthy foods and drugs. They have outstanding attractive taste, aroma and nutritional value, so are considered as functional food, which means they are beneficial to the body not only in terms of nutrition but also for improved health. Medicinal mushrooms and their extract have a large number of bioactive components called secondary metabolites. The presence of polysaccharide β-glucans or polysaccharide–protein complexes content in mushroom extract have great therapeutic applications in human health as they possess many properties such as anti-diabetic, anti-cancerous, anti-obesity, immunomodulatory, hypocholesteremia, hepatoprotective nature along with anti-aging. The present review focuses on the comprehensive account of the medicinal properties of various medicinal mushrooms. This will further help the researchers to understand the metabolites and find other metabolites as well from the mushrooms which can be used for the potential development of the drugs to treat various life-threatening diseases.1

Medicinal potential of extracts from the chanterelle mushroom, Cantharellus cibarius (Review) and prospects for studying its strains from differs plant communities of ultracontinental regions of the Asia

1 Central Siberian Botanical Garden SB RAS, 630090 Zolotodolinskaya st., 101, Novosibirsk, Russia
2 Plant Protection Research Institute MULS, 17024, Khoroo 11, Khan-Uul district, Ulaanbaatar
3 Institute of General and Experimental Biology MAS, Peace Avenue-54b, Bayanzurkh District, Ulaanbaatar-13330, Mongolia

* Corresponding author:


The article reviews medicinal properties of Cantharellus cibarius. Fruiting bodies of this species are a promising source of extracts with vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, polysaccharides, sterols, phenolic acids, which various biological properties.

© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1 Introduction

Mushrooms are becoming more and more important in our diet for their nutritional characteristic. Basidiomycetes contain a wide range of various drugs such as polysaccharides, organic acids, lipids, steroids, tetracyclic triterpenes, which are of interest for medical applications [1,2].

One of the most frequently harvested mushrooms in forests of ultra-continental regions of the Asia is Yellow chanterelle, Ccibarius (fig. 1) is an edible mushroom with medicinal value.

Chanterelle is a beneficial nutrient for human health with high levels of vitamins B and C, contains a great number of carbohydrates and proteins and a low amount of fat, phenolic compounds and organic acids [3].

This species is appreciated because of the aroma and taste of its fruiting bodies. C. cibarius is one of the most important wild edible mushrooms, therefore, the assessment of its biological properties is of great interest to know its potential as an alternative treatment to chemopreventive strategies when it is consumed as part of a diet.

Fig. 1Fruiting bodies of Cantharellus cibarius in nature.

2 Materials and methods

An up-to-date review based on published data presents the research of main medicinal properties of extracts from fruiting bodies and mycelium of C. cibarius. Information on biological activity of C. cibarius is given in chronological order.

3 Results and Discussion

Cantharellus cibarius has been reported to display a wide variety of biological properties, including antimicrobial, cytotoxicity, antioxidant, antihypoxic, antihyperglycemic, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, iron-chelation activity.

Ethyl acetate, acetone, chloroform and ethanol extracts of Ccibarius were tested for antimicrobial activity. Antimicrobial activity against some Gram (+) and Gram (−) bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi and actinomycetes was revealed [4].

Many natural foods (including antioxidants) with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity inhibit NF-Ш. The inhibitory activities of the extracts of C. cibarius and isolated compounds were investigated in an enzyme-based ELISA NF-&B assay. Of the tested compounds, ergosterol, ergosterol peroxide and cerevisterol were noted to have the most potent inhibition of NF-кВ activation [5].

Antioxidant activity and bioactive compounds from C. cibarius was studied. High phenol and flavonoid content with promising antioxidant properties was shown. Methanolic extracts of wild mushroom C. cibarius showed significant antimicrobial activity against B. subtilis, S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa and Candida albicans [6].

Anti-inflammatory properties related to the activity of phenolic compounds originating from edible mushroom C. cibarius were tested in vitro by using LPS-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Experiments demonstrated the influence of extracts on the expression of inflammation markers, such as IL-1β and IL-6, and the production of nitric oxide (NO) [7].

Fatty acids contained in mushrooms are capable of supporting anti-inflammatory processes in humans owing to their high content of unsaturated fatty acids. Extracts of Ccibarius demonstrated the presence of fatty acids exhibiting antagonist activity toward receptors activated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor y (PPARy). PPARy agonists inhibit the development of insulin resistance, thus being an efficient anti-diabetic element, and also demonstrate a therapeutic effect in the case of diseases associated with inflammation and certain tumors [8].

Phenolic acids possess valuable biologically properties: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and others. One of the most active antioxidants found in mushrooms, caffeic acid, was found in C. cibarius. It exhibits both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities [9,10].

Water extracts of C. cibarius were studied. Comet assay was used to evaluate the antigenotoxic properties of several concentrations of aqueous extracts. As a test system human mononuclear cells exposed to methyl methanesulphonate (MMS) in vitro were used. Extracts showed a decrease in genotoxic properties of MMS [11].

C. cibarius extract is valuable source of antihypoxic activity. Extract showed protective effect against hypoxia in some models. In particular, it produced a significant and dose- dependent antihypoxic effect in the hemic and circulatory hypoxia models. Pharmacological effects attributable to the presence of polyphenols in the extract [12].

Methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of Ccibarius exhibit potency to chelate excessive iron in mice. Iron-overloaded animals treated with the extract, showed a dramatic decrease in plasma iron content when compared with the control group. The highest activity was observed in the methanolic extract [13].

The inhibitory effect of pure liquid cultures of C. cibarius was tested in vitro against 16 pathogenic Gram-positive and Gram- negative bacterial strains, and 4 strains of oval fungi of the genus Candida. Significant inhibitory effect of the culture fluids of C. cibarius against all tested microbial species was determined. MIC50 of the cultures were similar and lower than those of control broad-spectrum antibiotics thiamphenicol and gentamicin. Liquid cultures of Ccibarius can be used to produce effective antimicrobial drugs with broad spectrum activity against bacteria and fungi [14].

Various fractions of the methanolic extract including n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and water, were evaluated for antioxidant activity. The n-hexane fraction had the highest amounts of flavonoids contents, nitric oxide scavenging activity, and total phenols. However, it was the ethyl acetate fraction that showed the highest DPPH scavenging activity, although the aqueous fraction displayed higher reducing power [15].

The antioxidant, antihyperglycemic and antimicrobial effects of both ethanolic and hydromethanolic extracts of the fruiting bodies of Ccibarius were evaluated. Ethanolic extract showed high ferrous ion chelating, 15-lipoxygenase and aglucosidase inhibitory activities. Ethanolic extracts were more active against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 than the hydromethanolic ones [16].

Ccibarius was analyzed for their fatty acid compositions and antioxidant capacities. Very high metal chelating activity was found. Mushrooms have a potential to be a natural antioxidant in food industries as antioxidant agent [17].

The experimental data obtained in rats show that the extract of C. cibarius showed a significant wound healing and anti-inflammatory effect, which can become a scientific justification for the medicinal use of the golden chanterelle mushroom in the treatment of wounds [18].

Activities of cyclohexane, dichloromethane, methanol and aqueous extracts of C. cibarius were tested. Broth microdilution assay was performed against 10 bacterial, with emphasis on Helicobacter pylori. Methanol extract was the most active against H. pylori strains with minimal inhibitory concentration values between 4 and 32 ^g/mL. All extracts were active against antibiotic resistant H. pylori. Chemical analysis has shown the presence of linoleic, cis-vaccenic, and oleic acids, sterols, ß-glucans, and polyphenolic compounds [19].

The extracts of C. cibarius were used for the evaluation of their effects on cell viability of four cancer cell lines (A172 glioblastoma, U87 glioblastoma, CH157-MN meningioma and PAN-C1 pancreatic) and one NIH3T3 fibroblast cell line. Treatments with high concentrations of C. cibarius extracts resulted in significantly reduced number of viable cancer cells for all cell lines tested [20].

4 Conclusions

Medicinal properties of C. cibarius is of great interest to know its potential as an alternative treatment to chemopreventive strategies when it is consumed as part of a diet. The data on the antiviral activity of chanterelles are absent. Therefore, we plan to study the antiviral activity of extracts from fruiting bodies of C. cibarius from ultra-continental regions of the Asia (Russia and Mongolia), in which this species is a valuable food resource.

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