Knowledge: White Fungus (Tremella fuciformis)

White Fungus (Tremella fuciformis)

White fungus is an edible mushroom that belongs to the Tremellaceae family. White fungus has a white to pale yellow colour, a soft, jelly-like texture that’s almost translucent, and a shape that resembles underwater coral. White fungus is native to subtropical and tropical regions around the world including Brazil, Taiwan, China, Japan, and other Asian countries. China began cultivating the fungus around 1914 and new techniques began in 1968, leading to the mass production of the variety and the ability to export the mushroom in dried form worldwide. Up until this time, white fungus was for the exclusive use of royalty and the very wealthy. These mushrooms can be found fresh or dried at local markets around the world.

One of the mushrooms included in the “Shen Nong Ben Cao” (circa 200 AD) was white fungus, which has a long history of being used for medicine. Its traditional indications include clearing heat and dry skin, boosting the brain and enhancing beauty. Over the past 2,000 years, white fungus has been used as a beauty product by women in China and Japan, and it is claimed that if eaten, the mushrooms will contribute to a long and unblemished life.

White fungus has been hitting the headlines for its ability to boost skin hydration due to its high amounts of polysaccharides. White fungus acts as a “humectant” by holding over 500 times its weight in water, which is not quite as powerful as hyaluronic acid, however, an extra advantage of white fungus is that its particles are smaller than those of hyaluronic. In other words, white fungus delivers more hydration to the skin due to the smaller particle size compared to hyaluronic acid. The Snow Mushroom has the ability to create a flexible hydration film that can help restore dry skin to its optimal hydrated state. This helps to restore elasticity, and has anti- inflammatory and antioxidant properties. White fungus can help with wound healing, collagen production for plumper skin, and overall skin health.

The white fungus gelatinous structure is similar to the brain and is protected by regular consumption. White fungus offers neuro-protective and neurotrophic protection, which help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The white fungus also promotes nerve growth factor. Nerve tissues are part of what is produced and repaired by nerve growth factor. Proper movement and response to stimuli can be achieved with a healthy nervous system. The immune-stimulating properties of the fungus are similar to those of most medicinal mushrooms. The macrophage activity has been shown to be stimulated by the special proteins contained in it. The macrophage is a type of white blood cell that use to eliminates bacteria and destroys harmful damaged tissue. The body can detect potential infections and harmful bacteria sooner with its improved immune sensitivity and polysaccharides content.

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HEALTH BENEFITS

Enhance cognition in individuals with subjective cognitive impairment

In vivo study of effect of white fungus on cognitive impairment
Subject Individuals with subjective cognitive impairment (n=76)
Duration 8 weeks
Dosage White fungus supplement (600 mg/day, n = 30 or 1200 mg/day, n = 30) or placebo (n = 15)
Group
  • Control group: placebo
  • Test group: white fungus supplement
Parameters analyzed Memory complaint questionnaire, performance on short-term memory and executive function
Outcomes Visible benefits

The individuals in the white fungus group showed greater improvements in the total scores on the subjective memory complaint questionnaire compared with those in the placebo group. There were also significantly greater improvements in short-term memory and executive functions in the white fungus group relative to the placebo group.

Functions The current findings suggest that white fungus could be safely administered to relieve subjective memory complaints and enhance cognition in individuals with subjective cognitive impairment.

Manage non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

In vivo study of effect of white fungus on hypoglycemic effects
Subject Mice
Duration 52 days
Dosage Once daily
Group
  • Control group: received 0.9% NaCl solution; the
  • Diabetic groups: treated with exopolysaccharides from white fungus and Phellinus baumii at the level of 200 mg/kg body weight using an oral zoned daily for 52 days.
Parameters analyzed Plasma glucose levels, oral glucose tolerance test, blood triglyceride levels
Outcomes Visible benefits

The plasma glucose levels in the exopolysaccharides-fed mice were substantially reduced by about 52% as compared to control mice. The results of oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) revealed that both EPS-fed groups significantly increased the glucose disposal after 52 days of exopolysaccharides treatments. Furthermore, higher food efficiency ratios and reduced blood triglyceride levels were observed in the EPS-treated groups.

Functions This indicate white fungus might be developed as potential oral hypoglycemic agents or functional foods for the management of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

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