A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota
Programme of Food Science and Technology, Division of Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University–Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, No. 28 Jinfeng Road, Tangjiawan, Zhuhai 519085, Guangdong, China
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091934
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deciphering the Human Microbiota: Methods and Impact on Human Health)
Mushrooms have long been used for medicinal and food purposes for over a thousand years, but a complete elucidation of the health-promoting properties of mushrooms through regulating gut microbiota has not yet been fully exploited. Mushrooms comprise a vast, and yet largely untapped, source of powerful new pharmaceutical substances. Mushrooms have been used in health care for treating simple and common diseases, like skin diseases and pandemic diseases like AIDS. This review is aimed at accumulating the health-promoting benefits of edible mushrooms through gut microbiota. Mushrooms are proven to possess anti-allergic, anti-cholesterol, anti-tumor, and anti-cancer properties. Mushrooms are rich in carbohydrates, like chitin, hemicellulose, β and α-glucans, mannans, xylans, and galactans, which make them the right choice for prebiotics. Mushrooms act as a prebiotics to stimulate the growth of gut microbiota, conferring health benefits to the host. In the present review, we have summarized the beneficial activities of various mushrooms on gut microbiota via the inhibition of exogenous pathogens and, thus, improving the host health.