Mushroom is a fungus, and is produced above soil. Mushroom is spore bearing , fleshy , fruiting body. One of such most common mushroom is Agaricus bisporus, also known as white buttom mushroom. Mushrooms are with stem or without stem, gills of it are known as lamella. Pores are on the underside of the top cap.
Mushroom has lot of properties including medicinal and they are very nutritive and are sources of vitamins, such as niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and other essential minerals like selenium , potassium, copper. They are also used as carbon source as they contain carbohydrate and the calorie content is very less and do not have vitamin c and sodium. Thus mushrooms are total source of nutrient & act as medicine in preventing and curing many diseases.
Mushroom has antiviral, antimicrobial, anti hyperglycemic, anticancer, and cardio protective properties.
Antibacterial and Antiviral activities:
Mushrooms and many other fungi produce antimicrobial and antiviral molecules within their cells. There are several such fungi and mushroom which as antimicrobial activities, many research in this field shows that these properties exists in fungi like Boletus edulis that shows antimicrobial activity against the tobacco mosaic virus , Fistulina hepatica has antibacterial activity, Agaricus subrufescens has activity against poliovirus and the western equine encephalitis virus, Hypsizygus tessellatus has antiviral activity against the Epstein-Barr virus , Lentinula edodes contains a enzyme know as proteinase inhibitor which has antifungal activities, and has shown antimicrobial action against HSV-1. Another fungus piptoporus betulimus shows antibacterial activity against one of the indicators of pathogens in laboratory known as Staphylococcus aureus and another bacteria like Bacillus subtilis, Rhodotorula rubra, fungus like Candida albicans ,and intestine pathogens like Escherichia coli etc. Also Lepista nuda has antimicrobial activity against wide range of bacteria; Pleurotus eryngii has activity against the tobacco mosaic virus. Pleurotus ostreatus has activity against hepatitis C virus. Pleurotus pulmonarius shows nematicidal activity.Polyporus umbellatus has activity against Chlamydia trachomatis, Sparassis crispa has antifungal activity. All these properties of fungus are utilized in medical field to fight against many infectious diseases.
Anticholesterol Medicines and Statins :
Zaragozic acid and many statins which are today know as top anti cholesterol drugs were first invented in fungi only. The fungus Penicillium citrinum was found to produce first know anti- cholesterol drug ie. Mevastatin. Aspergillus notatum, Aspergillys terreus today produces world famous anti cholesterol drug lovastatin which is also known as first commercial statin and is being manufactured at large scale as cardio logical drug. Also such another fungus which is a yeast commonly known as Red yeast rice from Monascus purpureus produces huge quantity of these medicines namely lovastatin , monacolin, mevastatin. Eritadenine is another anti cholesterol and is found in Lentinula edodes.
After purification of extracts from fungus and mushrooms, many modifiers of biological response are obtained which has anticancer activity. The mode of action of such extracts is under research but what has been known so far is that they change the key host response which is immune response. The modulation of these responses results in action against cancer formation. Mushrooms have unique biomolecules like polysaccharide which are being today tested all over the world and in many cases they had already passed clinical trials for their use in human beings. Many are commercially produced at large scale and act as treatment against various cancers and other forms of related illness. Study has been done and shown that mushroom consuming population are less suseptical to cancer that those who does not eat it. One such semi synthetic derivative is Irofulven which is isolated from ifiudin S of mushrooms. The another fungus Penicillium raistrickii is used for production of anticancer drug taxol also known as paclitaxel. This is usually done by method of plant cell fermentation. Therefore fungi and mushrooms are truly a gift of god for us and act as source of nutrition and also as medicine against number of life threatening diseases.
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