White jelly mushroom: Health benefits and Side effects

 

Know in one minute about White jelly mushroom benefits

White jelly mushrooms are used in Chinese medicine. It is gelatinous in shape with white or light color. Some of the white jelly mushroom benefits are 

  1. Lowers cholesterol: Lowers the cholesterol level. Thus reduce the risk of heart disease.
  2. Reduce fatigue: Relief the muscle fatigues. Have proteins and antioxidant acts as an energizer for the body.
  3. Lose weight: Protein and polysaccharides act as an anti-obese compound.
  4. Treats Alzheimer’s: As is rich in antioxidants.
  5. Manage diabetes: It reduces plasma glucose levels up to 52%.

Other health benefits are anti-inflammatory, radioprotective, antitumor, and provide glowing skin.

Side effects

Always consume fresh mushrooms as they are very prone to mold contamination.

 

Introduction

White jelly mushroom (Tremella fuciformis Berk of family Tremellaceae) is an edible mushroom. This mushroom is most popular, the nutritious mushroom also used as a tonic in China and Southeast Asia. Other common names of white jelly mushroom are snow fungus, white wood ear, silver ear mushroom, jamur kuping putih, snow ear, and white auricularia. This mushroom was originated in Brazil. 

White jelly mushroom is used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries due to its nutritious and enticing flavors.  This mushroom grows widely on dead branches of broadleaf trees in the tropical areas. It formed shapeless, gelatinous fruit bodies with white and light yellow color (1)

Nutritional value of White jelly mushroom

White jelly mushroom is also known for its health and medicinal value especially high content of protein polysaccharides, carbohydrates, glycoproteins, ergosterol, fatty acids, and dietary fiber. 

It also contains a variety of minerals, trace elements, and vitamins with a lower amount of energy and lipid (2).

Health benefits of White jelly mushroom

White jelly mushroom exhibits various biological functions, including anti-tumor, immunomodulatory, antioxidation, anti-aging, repairing brain memory impairment, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects (2).

1. White jelly mushrooms help in lowering the cholesterol level

White jelly mushroom contains 6.2% soluble dietary fiber and 57.3% insoluble dietary fiber which decreases blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides. It also increases the fecal neutral steroids, total bile acids excretion, and short-chain fatty acid production. 

Therefore, intake of snow ear mushrooms may be beneficial in reducing the cholesterol levels on the hypocholesterolemic patient and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (3).

2. Eating white jelly mushrooms energize the body by treating fatigue

Fatigue is a symptom of tiredness caused by stress (physical and/or psychological). Polysaccharides and other antioxidants found in snow ear mushrooms can help to prolong the time for skeletal muscles to become fatigued. It promotes protein and RNA synthesis, which helps to maintain the normal function of the liver and avoid fatigue. Therefore consumption of white jelly mushroom improves muscle function and treats fatigue (4).

3. Anti-inflammatory properties of white jelly mushrooms

Presence of polysaccharides and other bioactive compounds such as gentisic acid, protocatechuic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and coumaric acid in the white jelly mushroom act as potent anti-inflammatory agents (5,6).

4. Anti-obesity properties of white jelly mushroom

Polysaccharide obtained from the white jelly mushroom has a high nutritious value which prevents excessive body weight gain and variation in adipocytes (7).

5. Manage diabetes

White jelly mushroom polysaccharide (glucuronoxylomannan) helps in reducing plasma glucose levels (52%). Increase glucose disposal, improving glucose tolerance, and systemic insulin sensitivity without affecting body weight. 

Thus, snow fungus acts as potential oral hypoglycemic agents or functional foods for the management of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (8).

6. Antioxidant properties of white jelly mushroom

White jelly mushroom contains polysaccharides, phenolic acids (benzoic acid, gentisic acid coumaric acid), and flavonoid which posses the strongest antioxidant activity. It degrades free radicals and protects the body from various chronic diseases (9,10).

7. White jelly mushrooms are radioprotective in nature

White jelly mushroom is a good source of polysaccharide known as WTF-B. It restores hemoglobin, WBC, and RBC counts and showed 50% survival post-irradiation. Thus polysaccharide from snow fungus possesses the desirable properties of an ideal radioprotector from harmful radiation (gamma irradiation) (11).

8. Healthy glowing skin by eating white jelly mushrooms

Polysaccharide has excellent antioxidative and cell-protective properties.  It reduces skin fibroblast injury by increasing the synthesis of type I procollagen (12)

It also protects against wrinkles hence white jelly mushroom can improve the skin texture, lower skin harshness, and can be used as a cosmetic candidate for skin whitening and treating skin injury upon aging (13).

9. Preserve the tenderness of the meat

White jelly mushroom addition in pork patties preserves the moisture and fat content. Therefore, the oil holding capacity of mushrooms has a positive effect on the cooking yield of the patty as well as sensory affection (14).

10. Treat Alzheimer’s disease

White jelly mushroom has polysaccharide which prevents and treats neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. As it enhances neurite outgrowth, which was induced by the nerve growth factor, reduced the neurotoxic effect, and inhibit reactive oxygen species accumulation (15).

11. Antitumor and immunomodulatory properties of white jelly mushrooms

White jelly mushroom exerts anti-tumor activity by promoting the host’s natural immune defenses. It can stabilize WBC levels during the treatment of tumors, increased natural killer cell activity, and can enable patients to rebuild their own immune system improving their cancer resistance (16).

12. Repair impaired cognitive

Intake of white jelly mushroom (100 or 400 mg/kg) is beneficial to improve the function of impaired cognitive processes by increasing the central cholinergic activity (17).

Side effects of White jelly mushroom

White jelly mushroom is infected by white mold (mycoparasite) and 10% of the mushrooms were affected not fit for consumption due to contamination. Therefore, before the intake of white jelly mushroom precaution should be needed (18).

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