This mushroom might alter gut bacteria for the better, study finds
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A #mushroom a day may keep the doctor away. The active ingredients in a Asian mushroom can change bacteria in your stomach for the better, researchers have found. By altering gut bacteria, the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) prevents and reverses symptoms of obesity in mice, including weight gain and insulin resistance.
“Mice kept on a high-fat diet gained up to 25 percent more than mice kept on the same diet with extracts from the Reishi mushroom,” said David Ojcius, a microbiologist at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco who participated in the study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. Consumption of Reishi mushroom extract with high-fat food prevented the development of fat tissue, gut inflammation and buildup of harmful bacteria in the bloodstream — all symptoms of obesity in both mice and humans.
Ojcius and colleagues from Chang Gung University and Chang Gung Biotechnology in Taiwan treated mice kept on a high-fat diet with various compounds from Reishi mushrooms, called polysaccharides, to see which ingredient played the biggest role. The ratio of two different types of gut bacteria, firmicutes and bacteroidetes, can indicate gut health, Ojcius said. In this case, a subset of the polysaccharides from the Reishi mushroom altered the bacterial ratio in favor of a healthier gut.
If the Reishi mushroom works by changing gut bacteria, then could introducing healthier bacteria into the stomach be enough to save a fat mouse?
Only the poop can tell.
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