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A mushroom used in TCM, Poria cocos, found to improve hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and hepatic steatosis


A new study published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines examined the effect of a water-insoluble polysaccharide found in poria (Poria cocos) mushroom on the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  • Metabolic syndrome — characterized by obesity, high blood sugar, and fatty liver disease — is becoming prevalent all over the world.
  • For the study, the researchers treated obese and diabetic mice with a water-insoluble polysaccharide obtained from poria mushroom, which is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Treatment with the water-insoluble polysaccharide significantly improved glucose and lipid metabolism in obese and diabetic mice.
  • It also reduced inflammation and fatty liver by modulating the mice’s gut microbiota.
  • The water-insoluble polysaccharide increased the butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut; thereby, increasing the levels of butyrate in the gut.
  • Butyrate plays an important role in supporting gut health. It serves as the primary source of energy to the colonic mucosa and an important regulator of gene expression, inflammation, differentiation, and programmed cell death.
  • In addition, treatment with the water-insoluble polysaccharide improved gut mucosal integrity.

Taken together, the results suggested that the water-insoluble polysaccharide from poria mushroom can be used as a prebiotic for preventing and treating metabolic diseases, as well as for regulating glucose and lipid metabolism.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Visit ChineseMedicine.news to read more studies on traditional Chinese medicines like poria.

Journal Reference:

Sun SS, Wang K, Ma K, Bao L, Liu HW. AN INSOLUBLE POLYSACCHARIDE FROM THE SCLEROTIUM OF PORIA COCOS IMPROVES HYPERGLYCEMIA, HYPERLIPIDEMIA AND HEPATIC STEATOSIS IN OB/OB MICE VIA MODULATION OF GUT MICROBIOTA. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines. January 2019; 17(1): 3-14. DOI: 10.1016/S1875-5364(19)30003-2



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