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Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and Mycelia and their bioactive compounds

item Friedman, Mendel

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2015
Publication Date: 8/5/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Friedman, M. 2015. Chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and Mycelia and their bioactive compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 63(32):7108-7123. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914.

Interpretive Summary: This comprehensive, multidisciplinary review covers an area of food and medical science of current importance to mushroom growers, consumers, and food and biomedical scientists. It includes information from our published collaborative studies with a Korean university on antibiotic and tumor-growth-inhibiting properties in mice. Although the described results of the extensive, worldwide studies on health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus mushroom fruiting bodies, mycelia, and bioactive compounds in cells and in rodents, and to some extent in humans, need to be further confirmed in human nutritional, clinical, and epidemiological studies, a number of suggested research needs on the chemistry and health-promoting aspects have been mentioned in the text. Because this culinary-medicinal mushroom species, widely consumed in Asian countries but apparently not in the United States, seems to lack toxicity in rodents and humans, mushroom growers, nutritionists, and physicians should consider recommending these mushrooms to their clients and patients. The apparent exceptional beneficial properties will, hopefully, induce mushroom growers in the United States to produce Hericium erinaceus mushrooms for marketing in stores and restaurants. Because a large number of other Hericium species exist in nature, it would also be of interest to compare the described results on the composition, nutrition, and health benefits of Hericium erinaceus to phylogenetically related species. The suggested studies might lead to the discovery of new Hericium species with high health-promoting potential. We anticipate that these efforts will contribute to the improvement of human nutrition and health.

Technical Abstract: The culinary–medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus is widely consumed in Asian countries, but apparently not in the United States, for its nutritional and health benefits. To stimulate broader interest in the reported beneficial properties, this overview surveys and consolidates the widely scattered literature on the chemistry (isolation and structural characterization of polysaccharides and secondary metabolites such as erinacines, hericerins, hericenones, resorcenols, steroids, and mono- and di-terpenes), the nutritional composition and the exceptional nutritional and health-promoting aspects of Hericium erinaceus. The reported health-promoting properties of the mushroom fruit bodies, mycelia, and bioactive pure compounds include antibiotic, anticarcinogenic,antidiabetic,anti-fatigue,antihypertensive, antihyperlipodemic, antisenescence, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, neuroprotective, and improvement of anxiety, cognitive function, and depression, as well as anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and immunostimulating properties in cells, animals, and humans. The collated information and suggestion for further research might facilitate and guide further studies to optimize the use of the whole mushrooms and bioactive compounds to help prevent or treat animal and human diseases.