Health-promoting properties of medicinal mushrooms and their bioactive compounds for the COVID-19 era - an appraisal: Do the pro-health claims measure up?

Jennifer Mary Phillips, Soo Liang Ooi, Sokcheon Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
95 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Many mushroom species are consumed as food, while significant numbers are also utilised medicinally. Mushrooms are rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds. A growing body of in vitro, in vivo, and human research has revealed their therapeutic potentials, which include such properties as anti-pathogenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, gut microbiota enhancement, and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 specificity. The uses of medicinal mushrooms (MMs) as extracts in nutraceuticals and other functional food and health products are burgeoning. COVID-19 presents an opportunity to consider how, and if, specific MM compounds might be utilised therapeutically to mitigate associated risk factors, reduce disease severity, and support recovery. As vaccines become a mainstay, MMs may have the potential as an adjunct therapy to enhance immunity. In the context of COVID-19, this review explores current research about MMs to identify the key properties claimed to confer health benefits. Considered also are barriers or limitations that may impact general recommendations on MMs as therapy. It is contended that the extraction method used to isolate bioactive compounds must be a primary consideration for efficacious targeting of physiological endpoints. Mushrooms commonly available for culinary use and obtainable as a dietary supplement for medicinal purposes are included in this review. Specific properties related to these mushrooms have been considered due to their potential protective and mediating effects on human exposure to the SARS CoV-2 virus and the ensuing COVID-19 disease processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2302
Number of pages19
JournalMolecules
Volume27
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2022

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