Potential for mushroom polysaccharides in DM management

Indeed, formulas derived from natural ingredients for functional foods or nutraceuticals represent a convenient and effective method to manage non-transmissible chronic diseases, such as DM, as an alternative to traditional therapies, scientists from Guangdong Ocean University, China wrote in Frontiers inNutrition​.

Mushroom polysaccharides are known to improve oxidative stress, beta-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance associated with DM, through antioxidant activity, they explained.

“Interdisciplinary studies focusing on mushrooms have documented much of the knowledge on mushroom polysaccharides and increasingly demonstrate valuable pharmaceutical properties of mushroom polysaccharides.”

However, this mechanistic activity could be enhanced when combined with other active substances such as minerals and trace elements, they said.

“Mushroom polysaccharides combined with other active components aiming at synergistic effects would provide a potentially powerful approach to preventing and treating DM and its complications.”

Mushroom benefits

There is high and increasing global prevalence of DM, which is characterised by hyperglycaemia and implicated in the pathogenesis of other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

Pharmacological interventions can provoke both weight gain and hypoglycaemia while natural ingredients and herbal medicine are considered safe and economical, the authors wrote.

Polysaccharides from plants, grains, fruit, vegetables, and edible mushrooms have a range of bioactivities (hypoglycaemia, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, prebiotic effects) associated with anti-diabetes.

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