Black poplar mushroom: Health benefits and side effects

Edited By: Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati

15 seconds Black Poplar mushroom summary

Poplar mushroom grows on poplar trees. This mushroom is a rich source of protein and reduced fat.

Health benefits of Poplar mushroom

1.     Selenium-rich: hence good for treating aging, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and immunological disorders.

2.     Treats hyperuricemia: Very effective in preventing kidney stone and gout.

3.     Lithium-rich: Helpful for reduction of depression and mood stabilization.

Side effects of Poplar mushroom

1.     Raw or undercook cause problem

2.     Overconsumption causes liver injury and inflammation.


The black poplar mushroom scientifically known as Agrocybe aegerita or cylindracea is an edible mushroom. The common name is a pioppino mushroom, chestnut mushroom, sword-belt mushroom, velver pioppin, Yanagi-matsutake (Japan), yangshugu and chaxingu (China). It is known as poplar mushroom because it grows on deciduous wood and bark mulch, preferably stumps of poplar trees.

It is also cultivated on low-cost substrates derived from agricultural and forest wastes, barley, wheat straw, orange peel, grape stalks, rice husks and sawdust of broadleaf trees, as well as on the stumps of cottonwoods. This mushroom is very popular due to its aromatic, delicious taste and unique texture mainly found in North America, Europe and Asia except Antarctica (1).

The black poplar mushroom possesses high nutritional and therapeutic value with significant antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumor, antifungal, hypercholesterolemic, hypoglycemic and hyperlipidemic, immunomodulating and lipid peroxidation inhibitory properties (2).

Nutritional value of black poplar mushroom

Black poplar mushroom offers a good source of protein (25–30% of dry weight) and reduced fat content. It has 8 different kinds of essential amino acids and abundant vitamins and minerals like selenium, potassium and other components (3).

Health benefits of Black poplar mushroom

1. Black poplar mushroom is rich in selenium

Selenium is very important for the body as it slows down the aging. It also protects the body from neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and immunological diseases (4).

Poplar mushroom is an excellent source of selenium which can be used as an alternative to selenium-fortified yeast.

2. Treat hyperuricemia

Hyperuricemia is a condition where the blood contains high uric acid. Hyperuricemia can directly cause gout and kidney stones. Commonly prescribed drugs for hyperuricemia are allopurinol and benzbromarone have lots of side effects.

Therefore, consumption of black poplar mushroom can act as a therapeutic agent which reduces serum uric acid levels (SUA) and protect from hypouricemia (5).

3. Anti-microbial properties of poplar mushroom

Black poplar mushroom is a rich source of agrocybolacton, agrocybin and phenolic acids such as p-hydroxybenzoic and p- coumaric acids and cinnamic acid. These compounds are beneficial for protection against various bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Micrococcus flavus, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli and Enterobacter cloacae (6).

4. Antifungal properties of poplar mushroom

Agrocybin a peptide found in black poplar mushroom act as an antifungal agent. It helps in the inhibition of Mycosphaerella arachidis (pathogenic fungi). It also acts against HIV-1 reverse transcriptase which later progresses to AIDS (7).

5. Black poplar mushroom is rich in nutrients

It contains a high amount of carbohydrates, ash, proteins, sugar (trehalose) and low amount of fat and calories which makes this mushroom a good candidate for low-caloric diets.  

Moreover, it also contains several bioactive metabolites such as tocopherols (mainly γtocopherol), organic acids (malic acid, citric acid, fumaric acid, and oxalic acid) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic and stearic acids) which give a specific taste. Thus, black poplar mushroom can be a promising food for daily diet (8).

6. Anti-aging properties of poplar mushroom

A polysaccharide found in black poplar mushroom possesses high radical scavenging activity which removes free radicals from the body showed potential antioxidant, antiaging, and organic protective effects on the brain, liver, and kidney against D-gal-induced aging toxicities.

Thus, this mushroom can be used as a natural agent with potential antioxidant and anti-aging effects for preventing and postponing aging and its complications (9).

7. Manage diabetes

A research study suggested that snack made up of fiber part has a beneficial effect on the reduction in the potential glycemic response (20%). Thus, the incorporation of mushroom co-product material as a snack food may be useful for trying to manage diabetes (10).

Furthermore, polysaccharides mainly beta D glucan present in black poplar mushroom act as a natural antidiabetic agent (11).

8. Treat cancer and inflammation

Presence of protein such as lectin 25% of dry fruiting bodies possesses antitumor activity via apoptosis (12). Moreover, ceramide found in black poplar mushroom inhibits COX enzyme (cause inflammation) and the growth of stomach, breast, and colon cancer cell lines (13, 14).

9. Boost immune system

Black poplar mushroom contains polysaccharides which act as an immunomodulatory agent and promotes the recovery of immune function and enhances the anti-tumor capacity (15). 

10. Biofortification of lithium

Research study supported that an increase in dietary lithium is very useful for mood stabilization and for decreasing violence and suicidal rates. Black poplar mushroom may bioaccumulate lithium thus, can be helpful for reduction of depression (16).

11. Lower cholesterol level

Black poplar mushroom contains phenolic compounds and indole derivatives which inhibit low-density lipoprotein through radical scavenging activity. Therefore, this mushroom is a potential source of antioxidants in the prevention of atherosclerosis (17).

12. Antioxidant properties

Black poplar mushroom is a rich source of ascorbic acid and other phenolic compounds. Which acts as a protective agent and prevent oxidative stress-mediated disease through radical scavenging activity (18).

Side effects of Black poplar mushroom

1. Risk of hepatotoxicity

A research study suggested that black poplar mushroom (8.77 g/kg) can induce liver injury and inflammation. This is because of the lectin protein present in this mushroom (19).

2. Undercooked mushroom causes food poisoning

Black poplar mushroom also contains aegerolysin, a highly hemolytic protein which shows toxic effects if the mushroom is not properly cooked. Therefore, precaution should be needed before consumption like proper cooking in order to guard against food poisoning (20).




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