An Antioxidant Mushroom

An Antioxidant Mushroom

Author: Melania Tesio

Tremella fuciformis is an edible white jelly mushroom endowed with important anticancer properties. Although mushrooms generally contain various antioxidants such as phenolics, it remains to be determined whether these compounds are also present in Tremella fuciformis.

Chan Lee and co-workers, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea, analyzed various subfractions of methanol extracts from Tremella fuciformis and demonstrated that the largest total amount of phenolics was contained in the chloroform subfraction. Consequently, this fraction exhibited the highest antioxidant properties and radical-scavenging activities. The chloroform subfraction, moreover, showed the strongest anti-inflammatory ability, as it potently inhibited the synthesis of nitric oxide that occurs in immune cells following the exposure to inflammatory stimuli. This phenomenon is due to the fact that the chloroform subfraction is rich in 4-coumaric acid and gentisic acid, two phenolic acids having anti-inflammatory properties.

Thus, owing to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, Tremella fuciformis may constitute an important source of antioxidants for the food industry.

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