ABSTRACT: Obesity is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation and intestinal dysbiosis. Ganoderma lucidum is a medicinal mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine with putative anti-diabetic effects. Here, we show that a water extract of Ganoderma lucidum mycelium (WEGL) reduces body weight, inflammation and insulin resistance in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Our data indicate that WEGL not only reverses HFD-induced gut dysbiosis-as indicated by the decreased Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratios and endotoxin-bearing Proteobacteria levels-but also maintains intestinal barrier integrity and reduces metabolic endotoxemia. The anti-obesity and microbiota-modulating effects are transmissible via horizontal faeces transfer from WEGL-treated mice to HFD-fed mice. We further show that high molecular weight polysaccharides (>300 kDa) isolated from the WEGL extract produce similar anti-obesity and microbiota-modulating effects. Our results indicate that G. lucidum and its high molecular weight polysaccharides may be used as prebiotic agents to prevent gut dysbiosis and obesity-related metabolic disorders in obese individuals.
Chang, C. J., Lin, C. S., Lu, C. C., Martel, J., Ko, Y. F., Ojcius, D. M., . . . Lai, H. C. (2015). Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota. Nature Communications, 6, 7489. doi:10.1038/ncomms8489