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The Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms

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      Abstract

      This review describes pharmacologically active compounds from mushrooms. Compounds and complex substances with antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor, antiallergic, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective and central activities are covered, focusing on the review of recent literature. The production of mushrooms or mushroom compounds is discussed briefly.

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      Most cited references 159

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      Inhibition of mouse sarcoma 180 by polysaccharides from Lentinus edodes (Berk.) sing.

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        Medicinal Properties of Substances Occurring in Higher Basidiomycetes Mushrooms: Current Perspectives (Review)

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          Biologically active compounds from Aphyllophorales (polypore) fungi.

          This review describes biologically active natural products isolated from Aphyllophorales, many of which are known as polypores. Polypores are a large group of terrestrial fungi of the phylum Basdiomycota (basidiomycetes), and they along with certain Ascomycota are a major source of pharmacologically active substances. There are about 25 000 species of basidiomycetes, of which about 500 are members of the Aphyllophorales, a polyphyletic group that contains the polypores. Many of these fungi have circumboreal distributions in North America, Europe, and Asia and broad distributions on all inhabited continents and Africa; only a small number of the most common species with the most obvious fruiting bodies (basidiocarps) have been evaluated for biological activity. An estimated 75% of polypore fungi that have been tested show strong antimicrobial activity, and these may constitute a good source for developing new antibiotics. Numerous compounds from these fungi also display antiviral, cytotoxic, and/or antineoplastic activities. Additional important components of this vast arsenal of compounds are polysaccharides derived from the fungal cell walls. These compounds have attracted significant attention in recent years because of their immunomodulatory activities, resulting in antitumor effects. These high molecular weight compounds, often called biological response modifiers (BRM), or immunopotentiators, prevent carcinogenesis, show direct anticancer effects, and prevent tumor metastasis. Some of the protein-bound polysaccharides from polypores and other basidiomycetes have found their way to the market in Japan as anticancer drugs. Finally, numerous compounds with cardiovascular, phytotoxic, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, antioxidant, insecticidal, and nematocidal activities, isolated from polypores, are also presented. In fact many of the fungi mentioned in this paper have long been used in herbal medicine, including polypores such as Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling Zhi), Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken-of-the-Woods), Trametes versicolor (Yun Zhi), Grifola umbellata (Zhu Lin), Inonotus obliquus (Chaga), and Wolfiporia cocos (Hoelen).
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Institute of Pharmacy, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-UniversityFriedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Strasse 17, 17487 Greifswald, Germany
            Author notes
            *For reprints and all correspondence: Ulrike Lindequist, Institute of Pharmacy, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University, Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Strasse 17, 17487 Greifswald, Germany. Tel: +49-3834-864868; Fax: +49-3834-864885; E-mail: lindequi@123456uni-greifswald.de
            Journal
            Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
            Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
            Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
            Oxford University Press
            1741-427X
            1741-4288
            September 2005
            : 2
            : 3
            : 285-299
            1193547
            10.1093/ecam/neh107
            16136207
            © The Author (2005). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

            The online version of this article has been published under an open access model. Users are entitled to use, reproduce, disseminate, or display the open access version of this article for non-commercial purposes provided that: the original authorship is properly and fully attributed; the Journal and Oxford University Press are attributed as the original place of publication with the correct citation details given; if an article is subsequently reproduced or disseminated not in its entirety but only in part or as a derivative work this must be clearly indicated. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@123456oupjournals.org

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