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      Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life

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          Abstract

          Mushrooms have been consumed since earliest history; ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle, and the Romans perceived them as the “Food of the Gods.” For centuries, the Chinese culture has treasured mushrooms as a health food, an “elixir of life.” They have been part of the human culture for thousands of years and have considerable interest in the most important civilizations in history because of their sensory characteristics; they have been recognized for their attractive culinary attributes. Nowadays, mushrooms are popular valuable foods because they are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium: also, they are cholesterol-free. Besides, mushrooms provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, and fiber. All together with a long history as food source, mushrooms are important for their healing capacities and properties in traditional medicine. It has reported beneficial effects for health and treatment of some diseases. Many nutraceutical properties are described in mushrooms, such as prevention or treatment of Parkinson, Alzheimer, hypertension, and high risk of stroke. They are also utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis due to antitumoral attributes. Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancer and cholesterol lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds. As a result of these properties, some mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and are found as dietary supplements.

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          Most cited references 133

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          Oxidants, antioxidants, and the degenerative diseases of aging.

          Metabolism, like other aspects of life, involves tradeoffs. Oxidant by-products of normal metabolism cause extensive damage to DNA, protein, and lipid. We argue that this damage (the same as that produced by radiation) is a major contributor to aging and to degenerative diseases of aging such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune-system decline, brain dysfunction, and cataracts. Antioxidant defenses against this damage include ascorbate, tocopherol, and carotenoids. Dietary fruits and vegetables are the principal source of ascorbate and carotenoids and are one source of tocopherol. Low dietary intake of fruits and vegetables doubles the risk of most types of cancer as compared to high intake and also markedly increases the risk of heart disease and cataracts. Since only 9% of Americans eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, the opportunity for improving health by improving diet is great.
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            Phenolic compounds in plants and agri-industrial by-products: Antioxidant activity, occurrence, and potential uses

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              Ganoderma - a therapeutic fungal biofactory.

              Ganoderma is a basidiomycete white rot fungus which has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries particularly in China, Japan and Korea. A great deal of work has been carried out on Ganoderma lucidum. The common names for preparations include Lingzhi, Munnertake, Sachitake, Reishi and Youngzhi. This review collates the publications detailing activities and compounds by representative species whilst considering the most valid claims of effectiveness. The biological activities reported of preparations from Ganoderma are remarkable and given most emphasis herein as distinct from structure/activity information. The metabolites consist of mainly polysaccharides and terpenoids. Many are activities against the major diseases of our time and so the present review is of great importance. The list of effects is huge ranging from anti-cancer to relieving blockages of the bladder. However, the reports have not all been tested scientifically with the convincing evidence is reserved for assays of pure compounds. It is a prime example of an ancient remedy being of great relevance to the modern era. There does appear to be an assumption that the therapeutic effects attributed to the fungus have been proven. The next step is to produce some effective medicines which may be hampered by problems of mass production.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Microbiol
                Int J Microbiol
                IJMICRO
                International Journal of Microbiology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                1687-918X
                1687-9198
                2015
                20 January 2015
                : 2015
                Affiliations
                Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (IPN), Unidad Irapuato, Km 9.6 Libramiento Norte Carretera Irapuato-León, 36821 Irapuato, GTO, Mexico
                Author notes
                *Octavio Paredes-López: oparedes@ 123456ira.cinvestav.mx

                Academic Editor: Maurizio Sanguinetti

                Article
                10.1155/2015/376387
                4320875
                Copyright © 2015 María Elena Valverde et al.

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

                Categories
                Review Article

                Microbiology & Virology

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