Edible Mushrooms and Their Bioactive Constituents in Ameliorating Hypertension


Edible mushrooms have gained popularity as functional foods due to their rich nutritional and bioactive profiles, which have been shown to influence cardiovascular function.

They are commonly included in dietary approaches such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, Mediterranean diet, and fortified meal plans due to their abundance of amino acids, dietary fiber, proteins, sterols, vitamins, and minerals. However, a comprehensive understanding of the bioactive constituents present in mushrooms, their mechanisms of action on the heart, and potential allergenicity is necessary to fully comprehend the role of mushrooms as dietary interventions for hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions.

This review aims to explore the antihypertensive potential of edible mushrooms and their bioactive constituents, focusing on their mode of action, absorption kinetics, and bioavailability. The review also addresses safety concerns regarding allergens and limitations associated with consuming edible mushrooms, particularly with reference to chemical toxins and their metabolites.

The insights provided in this review aim to encourage further investigation of mushroom bioactives and allergens, thereby influencing dietary interventions for promoting heart health. Furthermore, the review emphasizes the potential of natural products derived from mushrooms as lead compounds for the development of novel medicines.

Edible mushrooms have a higher linoleic/linolenic ratio, which influences cardiac functionalities. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential fatty acids that can be converted into tissue hormones, thereby preventing arterial blood clots and hypertension (Sande et al., 2019). Important hypotensive bioactives found in selected edible mushrooms are listed in Table 4.

TABLE 4. Content of important bioactive constituents in selected edible mushrooms.

SpeciesBioactive constituentsReferences
Agaricus bisporusErgothioneine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)45.0Dubost et al. (2007)
Fatty acids (LA:LLA:OA) %67.3:1.5:6.1Öztürk et al. (2011)
β-Carotene (μg/100 g)368.01–423.48 (cap)281.94–754.30 (stalk)Agboola et al. (2023)
Lovastatin (mg/kg)565.4Chen et al. (2012)
Lentinula edodesEritadenine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)642.8Afrin et al. (2016)
GABA (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)62.2Lo et al. (2012)
Ergothioneine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)1.22Lo et al. (2012)
Fatty acids (LA:LLA:OA) %75.8:0.28:3.5Cohen et al. (2014)
Phellinus linteusEritadenine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)9.4Afrin et al. (2016)
Flammulina velutipesGABA (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)26.0Cohen et al. (2014)
Fatty acids (LA:LLA:OA) %51.2:13.0:10.7Cohen et al. (2014)
Ergothioneine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)9.9Cohen et al. (2014)
Boletus edulisGABA (mg/kg)202.1Chen et al. (2012)
Fatty acids (LA:LLA:OA) %33.8:1.7:31.1Kavishree et al. (2008)
Pleurotus ostreatusErgothioneine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)244.4Cohen et al. (2014)
GABA (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)130.5
Grifola frondosaFatty acids (LA: OA) %35.1:44.1Cohen et al. (2014)
Ergothioneine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)113Dubost et al. (2007)
Sparassis crispaFatty acids (LA:OA) %31.3:49.0Kavishree et al. (2008)
Hypsizus marmoreusGABA (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)11.4Chen et al. (2012)
Ergothioneine (mg 100 g−1 dry weight)41.0
Cantharellus cibariusFatty acids (LA:OA) %17.3:35.4Kavishree et al. (2008)

Antiplatelet therapy is an efficient method to prevent cardiovascular diseases and thrombosis. Yoon et al. (2003) isolated acidic polysaccharides from Auricularia auricula that exhibited antiplatelet aggregation properties. These polysaccharides catalyzed thrombin inhibition by antithrombin and showed inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation similar to aspirin’s antiplatelet activity when orally fed to rats.

Hericenone B, a phenolic bioactive constituent isolated from Hericinum erinaceus mushrooms, demonstrated antiplatelet activity in collagen-induced rat and human platelets at a low concentration (Mori et al., 2010). D-Mannitol, a sugar alcohol found in P. cornucopiae, exerted hypotensive action in hypertensive rats (Hagiwara et al., 2005).

Other compounds with hypotensive effects include gallic acid (Jin et al., 2017), formononetin (Nestel et al., 2007; Xing et al., 2010), chlorogenic acid (Suzuki et al., 2006; Akila et al., 2017), biochanin A (Jalaludeen et al., 2015), fomiroid A (Chiba et al., 2014), and hispidin (Kim et al., 2014).

Different types of edible mushrooms

Portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, reishi, shimeji, yellow-cap, cauliflower and enoki mushrooms are described. Edibility of mushrooms also comes across as being region-specific, as most wild mushrooms that are poisonous for one particular country may be medicinal for another region or country.

Table 2 lists selected patents pertaining to novel mushroom extraction processes for hypotensive compounds. The presence of characteristic bioactive compounds especially, high amount of selenium further adds to lower the chances of chronic diseases (Falandysz, 2008). It is loaded with vitamins (riboflavin, thiamine, cobalamin, ascorbic acid and vitamin D) and minerals (Mn, Ca, Cu, Fe, P, K, Na, Mg, and Se) (Mattila et al., 2001).

TABLE 2. Patents on selected edible mushrooms or their products and their pharmacological claims related to cardiovascular conditions.

Mushroom products/bioactive extraction processPharmacological claimReferences
Milk powder supplement obtained from Pleurotus ostreatusHypocholesterolemicMotte and Wyvekens (2015)
Novel ACE inhibitor from Lentinula edodes and Creolophus cirrhatus using proteasesHypotensive actionIto et al. (2006)
Food supplements prepared from G. frondosaP. eryngii and H. erinaceusAntihypertensive, lowers blood lipid levelsZhiqiang et al. (2008)
Method of eritadenine production in liquid phase fermentation of Lentinus edodesHypocholesterolemic agentBerglund et al. (2008)
Novel method to prepare heteroglycans from Ganoderma lucidumAnti-obesity, antihypertensiveKo et al. (2017)

Portobello mushrooms

Agaricus bisporus (or portobello mushroom) is widely consumed mushroom and has a mild taste. It contains glutathione, selenium, β-glucan, and ergothioneine known to exert hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects synergistically (Jeong et al., 2010). β-Glucan is a soluble fiber that has the ability to form gel-like substance on digestion. This gel-like substance traps cholesterol and triglycerides to prevent their absorption in GI tract that eventually lowers the blood cholesterol levels (Sima et al., 2018). Ergothioneine reduces triglyceride levels and prevents the formation of arterial plaque—one of the causative factors of heart failure (Martin, 2010).

Oyster mushrooms

Pleurotus ostreatus (or oyster mushrooms) are widely popular, possess mild anise-type flavors and are either served as raw or cooked forms. Certain bioactive peptides are obtained after digestion of P. ostreatus mushrooms inhibit ACE-I that plays a crucial role in reducing blood pressure and glucose levels (Agunloye & Oboh, 2022; Baeva et al., 2019).

Shiitake mushrooms

Lentinula edodes (or shiitake mushrooms) are a staple edible mushroom characterized as large, brown mushrooms with umami flavors. On cooking, shiitake develops a velvety texture. Bioactive compounds such as ergosterol, eritadenine and lentinan exert hypotensive effects (Agunloye & Oboh, 2022). Preclinical studies illustrated that shiitake extracts stimulate removal of excess sodium renally and reduces fluid retention. It also contains calcium and magnesium that play a key role in lowering hypertension (Khatun et al., 2007).

Maitake mushrooms

Grifola frondosa (or maitake mushrooms) are indispensable to Asian cooking. Their name is derived from Japanese language; meaning dancing mushrooms due to their characteristic ribbon-like appearance. It has deep earthy flavor that makes it an ideal choice for meals with complex flavors. In vivo studies on rat models revealed that maitake mushrooms have potency to enhance insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation and triglyceride levels especially in age-related hypertensive cases (Preuss et al., 2010).

Reishi mushrooms

Ganoderma lingzhi (or reishi mushrooms) are characterized by their deep-red colors and bitter taste. It is mostly consumed as as a supplement in powder form and is also used in cooking. Fungal bioactives found in reishi mushrooms play an important role in regulation of ACE; an enzyme responsible for cardiovascular functioning and decreased serum cholesterol levels (El Sheikha, 2022).

Shimeji/brown mushrooms

Hypsizus marmoreus (or shimeji mushrooms) occur in a variety of shapes and is bitter to taste, when consumed raw. On cooking, shimeji mushrooms elicit a nutty umami flavor. It contains angiotensin ACE inhibitors (oligopeptides) that reduces blood pressure. Several polysaccharides, flavonoids, cytokines and other phenolic content in shimeji mushrooms prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby improving blood pressure dynamics (Chien et al., 2016).

Yellow cap mushrooms

Cantharellus cibarius (or yellow cap mushrooms) are golden-yellow colored wild edible chanterelle mushrooms with unique fruity-peppery flavors. Niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin D, copper, phenols and flavanoids helps to lower blood pressure, and is safer for consumption in pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia (Kozarski et al., 2015).

Cauliflower mushrooms

As the name suggests, Sparasis crispa (or cauliflower mushrooms) resembles to cauliflower in shape and are combined with red meat, soups and noodle broths. Sparassol (methyl-2-hydroxy-4-methoxy-6-methylbenzoate) is an antimicrobial agent (Sharma et al., 2022). S. crispa was determined as an antihypertensive food and prevented stroke on experimentation in spontaneously hypertensive rats. An increase in NO production served as the main mechanism behind decreased blood pressure dynamics. It improved endothelial dysfunction by activating Akt/eNOS pathway on the cerebral cortex in hypertensive rats (Yoshitomi et al., 2011).

Enoki (Golden needle) mushrooms

Flammulina velutipes (or enoki/enokitake mushrooms) are lighter in color with log stems while the wild variety tends to be darker with shorter stems. Mycosterol is a major bioactive constituent found in enoki mushrooms that is postulated to lower blood pressure dynamics and decrease the concentration of total cholesterol levels in blood and liver (Yeh et al., 2014).

Absorption Kinetics of Mushroom Bioactive Constituents:
The bioavailability of bioactive constituents from mushrooms is an important factor in determining their potential health benefits. Several studies have investigated the absorption kinetics of these compounds using in vitro models and artificial digestive juices. Gil-Ramírez et al. (2014) found that ergosterol-enriched fractions from mushroom extracts were more effective than β-sitosterol in displacing cholesterol. Polysaccharide fractions obtained from different mushroom varieties using pressurized water extraction (PWE) technique were shown to impair cholesterol absorption (Palanisamy et al., 2014). Kała et al. (2017) demonstrated the bioavailability of serotonin and phenolic compounds from mushrooms in artificial digestive juices, highlighting their potential health benefits.

Metabolic Role of Mushroom Bioactive Constituents:
Mushroom bioactive constituents have been shown to have a metabolic role in cholesterol homeostasis and regulation. Ergosterol, present in mushroom extracts, was found to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis (Gil-Ramirez et al., 2015). Selenium-enriched mushrooms were shown to enhance the inhibitory activity of statins, further supporting their potential cholesterol-lowering effects (Kała et al., 2019). Copper, zinc, and selenium from shiitake mushrooms were also found to be bioavailable and may contribute to overall health benefits (Muszyńska et al., 2020).

Specific Actions on Genes Regulating Cholesterol Biosynthesis:
In vivo studies have provided insights into the specific actions of mushroom bioactives on genes that modulate cholesterol biosynthesis. P. ostreatus fiber extracts were shown to modulate the transcription of genes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis, leading to reduced triglyceride levels (Caz et al., 2015). Eritadenine, found in L. edodes, was found to upregulate CYP7A1 expressions in the liver, potentially exerting a hypotensive effect (Yang et al., 2013). Similar effects on cholesterol metabolism and bile excretion were observed with other mushroom extracts, such as S. crispa and A. brasiliensis (Hong et al., 2015; de Miranda et al., 2017).

Importance of Comparative Studies and Investigation of Specific Genes:
While numerous studies have investigated the effects of mushroom bioactives on cholesterol metabolism, there is a need for comparative studies assessing different mushroom varieties and their influence on specific genes regulating cholesterol homeostasis, transport, and excretion. Most studies have focused on specific mushroom extracts, such as stem or fruit cap extracts, which may not fully represent the overall efficacy of the mushrooms. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment is required to determine the bioavailability and metabolic effects of mushroom constituents, especially those with hypotensive effects, and to investigate their impact on specific genes involved in cholesterol regulation.

In conclusion, edible mushrooms are rich in bioactive constituents that have been shown to have potential hypotensive effects and positive impacts on heart function. Ergosterol, lovastatin, cordycepin, tocopherols, chitosan, ergothioneine, γ-aminobutyric acid, quercetin, and eritadenine are some of the essential bioactives identified.

These bioactives exhibit various mechanisms of action and may influence factors such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and antioxidant activity, all of which are relevant to cardiovascular health. However, further research is needed to fully understand the specific mechanisms of action, absorption kinetics, bioavailability, and safety concerns of these bioactives. Exploring the allergenicity and potential limitations of consuming edible mushrooms, including chemical toxins and their metabolites, is also crucial. This review aims to redirect toxic

reference link : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.7865


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