Scientists Report that Chinese Mushroom Extract Reduces Body Weight

Chinese Mushroom for Weight Loss

Here is the latest on a Chinese mushroom extract that scientists report reduced the body weight of mice on a high-fat diet.

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There is even more evidence now that the bacteria in your gut may be what is making you fat. Specifically, a condition referred to as “dysbiosis” - a gut bacteria type imbalance - that is associated not only with common digestive ailments such as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable or inflammatory bowel disease, cancer and colitis, but may also be associated as one of the causes of obesity.

In particular, scientists now believe that obesity in many people arises from chronic, low-grade inflammation, which research has shown is a primary contributor to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease - conditions that significantly shorten a person’s lifespan.

In fact, traditional Chinese medicines used to promote human longevity is what prompted scientists in Taiwan to take a closer look at one mushroom in particular known as Ganoderma lucidum, that previous research showed contains certain polysaccharides that have anti-diabetic, anti-fatty liver, and antioxidant properties.

However, what was unknown is whether these polysaccharides found in G. lucidum have any effect on body weight.

To test the effectiveness of G. lucidum on body weight, scientists isolated an aqueous extract of the Chinese mushroom that contained the polysaccharides and fed it to one subset of mice from a population on a high-fat diet.

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What the data showed was that when mice on a high-fat diet also consumed the mushroom extract, their weight gain was much lower (35 grams) than that of the mice that did not receive the mushroom extract (42 grams) during a 2-month-long testing period.

Furthermore, their data also revealed that the extract fed mice displayed healthier biomarker profiles and an abundance of good gut bacteria typically seen in lean mice over bad gut bacteria that are associated with obesity.

The researchers hypothesized that the specific polysaccharides in the mushroom extract are selective for nourishing and promoting good gut bacteria that can outcompete the bad gut bacteria. To test this idea a little further, the researchers performed what is referred to as a “horizontal feces transplant” where fecal matter of the extract-fed mice was transplanted into the digestive tract of non-extract, high-fat diet mice. The result of the transplant was that the high-fat diet fecal transplant recipients achieved similar anti-obesity and microbiota-modulating effects as the original extract-fed mice.

In fact, human studies have already been in the works toward finding different ways to change a person’s gut bacteria from the bad type to the good type in order to cure their obesity by using the poop of thin people.

The authors of the study concluded that their results suggest that the aqueous extracted Ganoderma lucidum mushroom with its high molecular weight polysaccharides may be used as prebiotics to reduce body weight gain, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance in obese individuals. Related to this is the use of probiotics for fighting belly fat; and, the use of appetite suppressing bacteria as a type of diet drink.

Reference: Nature CommunicationsGanoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota” Nature Communications Volume: 6, Article number: 7489; Published 23 June 2015.

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