Mini review https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtb.2017.09.024
Anti-hyperglycemic property of Hericium erinaceus –A mini review
Chaiyavat Chaiyasut, Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi
Innovation Center for Holistic Health, Nutraceuticals, and Cosmeceuticals, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University,
Received 6 Sep 2017
Received in revised form 10 Sep 2017
Available online 6 Oct 2017
Fermented Hericium erinaceus
Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus) is one of the widely used edible mushrooms around
the world, primarily in Asian countries. H. erinaceus is used in traditional medicines, and
mushroom based foods. The fruiting body and mycelia of H. erinaceus are extracted
using the solvents, and several bioactive compounds were identiﬁed. Several studies have
reported that those bioactive compounds exhibit many health beneﬁts such as hemag-
glutinating, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, antitumor, antioxidant, and anti-aging
activities, etc. This manuscript consciously updated the information about the composi-
tion of H. erinaceus,H. erinaceus based foods, and anti-hyperglycemic property of
Edible mushrooms are one of the acceptable functional foods
for human and are being used for several hundred years.
Mushrooms are known for its texture, ﬂavor, and health-
. Especially, mushrooms are a rich
source of all essential amino acids that are required by the
human beings. They are considered as a healthy food because
of its enriched protein and dietary ﬁber content with low
calories and fat
. Thus far, more than two thousand
mushrooms species have been reported
mushrooms have been screened and studied for several
medicinal properties like anticancer, and antimicrobial
activities. Moreover, mushrooms were used as alternative food
Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus) is one of the well-studied
edible and medicinal mushrooms that belongs to family Her-
iciaceae, order Russulales, and class Agaricomycetes.
H. erinaceus has a prominent place in Chinese traditional
medicine, and information about H. erinaceus is available in
European and South American literature
. The fruiting
body and mycelia of H. erinaceus have been reported for
its several pharmacological actions, such as hemagglutinating,
antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, antitumor, antioxidant, and
This manuscript summarizes the nutritional composition of
H. erinaceus and recent developments on H. erinaceus based
functional foods and scientiﬁc reports about the hypoglycemic
property of H. erinaceus.
2. Composition of H. erinaceus
The chemical composition and bioactive compounds of fruit
bodies and mycelia of H. erinaceus have been reported by
several researchers. H. erinaceus contains structurally diverse
compounds, and about seventy different secondary metabolites
were estimated. Hericerins [aromatic compounds such as her-
icerin A, isohericenone J, isoericerin, hericerin, N-dephenylethyl
isohericerin, hericenone J, 4-(3
formyl-3-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzylalcohol, erinacene D, resor-
cinols, erinacerins, and hericenols], erinacines (erinacine A, and
diterpenoids), erinacerins-isoindolin-1-ones (erinacerins C-L),
erinaceolactones, glycoprotein (H. erinaceus polysaccharide-
protein-5), polysaccharides (
-D-glucans), sterols (ergosterol,
*Corresponding author: Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi, Innovation Center
for Holistic Health, Nutraceuticals, and Cosmeceuticals, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang
Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand.
Tel: +66 53944341
Fax: +66 53894163
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (B.S. Sivamaruthi).
Peer review under responsibility of Hainan Medical University. The journal
implements double-blind peer review practiced by specially invited international
editorial board members.
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Asian Paciﬁc Journal of Tropical Biomedicine
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/apjtb
Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2017; 7(11): 1036–10401036
2221-1691/Copyright © 2017 Hainan Medical University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://
creativecom mons.org/li censes/by-nc -nd/4.0/).
and erinarols G-J), vitamin B12 lactone (c-lactone), and volatile
compounds (2-methyl-3-furanthiol, 2-ethylpyrazine, and 2,6-
diethylpyrazine) have been reported to be present in the
H. erinaceus. The health promoting ability of H. erinaceus is
attributed to these chemical substances (Table 1).
3. H. erinaceus based functional foods
It is known that the dried powder of H. erinaceus fruiting
body conﬁned with protein (20%), carbohydrate (61%), fat
(5%), ash (7%), amino acids (14.3 mg/g dry weight), and water
(6%) content, whereas mycelia consists of protein (42%), car-
bohydrate (42%), fat (6%), ash (4%), amino acids (30.6 mg/g
dry weight), and water (4%) content. The fungal body also
contains unsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, and other
elements. Some potential bioactive compounds such as
nobutyric acid (GABA), ergothioneine, and lovastatin were also
found to be reported in H. erinaceus
. Thus, mushroom
H. erinaceus has been used to develop several functional
foods and used to improve quality of the foods. The
mushrooms are consumed as the main dish in dining or as a
supporting food. Currently, mushroom based fermented non-
alcoholic beverages are trending in the Asian countries.
The probiotic bacteria mediated fermented mushroom bev-
erages are effective functional foods. We have reported the
-glutamic acid (GA), and GABA rich fermented
H. erinaceus juice using Lactobacillus brevis HP2 and
Lactobacillus fermentum HP3 strains as a starter culture.
Moreover, the factors (K
, pH, and temperature) inﬂu-
encing the production of GA and GABA was also reported
Woraharn et al.
reported the development of
-glutamic acid rich fermented H. erinaceus beverage
using Enterococcus faecalis (G414/1) mediated fermentation.
Probiotic mediated fermented H. erinaceus beverages are the
best health promoting supplements with added probiotic
beneﬁts. Li et al.
described the use of H. erinaceus as a
substrate for the production of vinegar and wine, and the
product was found to be accepted by the human volunteers.
A dry powder of H. erinaceus mycelia has been used in
preparing bread. Addition of 5% of H. erinaceus mycelia
powder acted as additives in the preparation of bread, which also
enhances the nutritional value of the bread. The presence of
GABA and ergothioneine helps to improve the brain and heart
4. Antihyperglycemic activities
Due to the high antioxidant potential and bioactive com-
pounds, H. erinaceus has been used for the management of
metabolic disorders, especially for diabetic treatments.
Wang et al.
demonstrated the anti-hyperglycemic prop-
erty of methanol extract of H. erinaceus in streptozotocin
induced diabetes Wistar rats. The supplementation of 20–100
mg of H. erinaceus extract per kg of body weight showed the
reduction in blood glucose, serum triglyceride, and total
cholesterol levels. The protective effect of methanol extract of
H. erinaceus was found to be in a dose-dependent manner.
About 100 mg of extract (per kg of body weight) supplemen-
tation showed a signiﬁcant level of improvement in host health.
The hypoglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of
aqueous extract of H. erinaceus have been reported using
experimental rat model. The supplementation of H. erinaceus
extract (100–200 mg/kg body weight) improved the serum in-
sulin level and reduced the glucose level in streptozotocin
induced diabetic rats. The researcher also reported that the
supplementation of H. erinaceus aqueous extract exhibited
antihyperlipidemic activities, and improved the free radical
Yi et al.
reported that the ethanolic extract of
H. erinaceus exhibited the anti-neuropathic pain activity in
Composition and bioactivities of H. erinaceus.
S. No. Compounds Bioactivities Refs
Hericerin A, Isohericenone J, Isoericerin, Hericerin, N-dephenylethyl
isohericerin, Hericenone J, 4-(3
hydroxy-5-methoxybenzylalcohol, Erinacene D, Resorcinols, Erinacerins,
4 Erinaceolactones Plant growth
H. erinaceus polysaccharide-protein
Inhibit gastric carcinoma.
8 Vitamin B12 Lactone
9 Volatile Compounds
2-methyl-3-furanthiol, 2-ethylpyrazine, 2,6-diethylpyrazine
Chaiyavat Chaiyasut, Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi/Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2017; 7(11): 1036–1040 1037
alloxan induced diabetic neuropathic Wistar rat model. About
40 mg of an ethanolic extract of H. erinaceus (per kg of body
weight) supplementation reduced the neuropathic pain,
increased the inhibition of lipid peroxidation and improved the
activities of antioxidant enzymes such as lactate dehydrogenase,
glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, catalase,
ATPase, and glutathione S transferase in the experimental
rats. The report claimed that the enhancement of antioxidant
system of the host by H. erinaceus extract could be responsible
for the amended diabetic neuropathy.
Wu and Xu
reported the in vitro antidiabetic nature of
H. erinaceus and revealed that inhibition of
aldose reductase activity was in a dose-dependent way. Xue
explained the reduction of blood glucose, and
improvement of sugar tolerance level in alloxan-induced dia-
betic mice supplemented with polysaccharides of H. erinaceus.
The fermented H. erinaceus juice supplementation enhanced
the health of streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. The body mass
and serum insulin level were increased, and the fasting plasma
glucose was reduced in the diabetes rats of the supplemented
group. The level of inﬂammatory markers was reduced, which
conﬁrms that the fermented H. erinaceus juice prevents the
diabetes rat from inﬂammatory damages (Unpublished data)
5. Other health beneﬁts
Apart from antihyperglycemic activity, H. erinaceus has
been reported for exhibiting several health beneﬁts. For
example, agglutinin of H. erinaceus exhibited antiproliferative
activity against hepatoma, and HIV-1 reverse transcriptase
. The polysaccharides of H. erinaceus
could regulate the pro-inﬂammatory cytokines, induce the
macrophage mediated immune response, and induce the den-
dritic cells maturation
.H. erinaceus nulliﬁes the gastric
mucosal injury, and gastric ulcer
. The free radical
scavenging, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, neurode-
generative, hypolipidemic, anti-fatigue, and anti-aging activ-
ities of H. erinaceus polysaccharides have also been reported
.H. erinaceus polysaccharides were found to be active
against Helicobacter pylori
The mushroom H. erinaceus is composed of many bioactive
compounds with proven health promoting properties. Several
patents were ﬁled for the pharmacological applications and
formulations made using the bioactive compounds of
H. erinaceus, especially polysaccharides
. Still, a gap remains
in transferring the information to the needy people. H. erinaceus
is an affordable natural, healthy food. The improvement of
existing foods and development of new H. erinaceus based
functional foods are necessary to explore the medicinal
property of the mushroom for the betterment of human life,
primarily to treat and manage the diabetic condition. Further,
scientiﬁc information is required concerning the inﬂuence of
H. erinaceus supplementation on the hyperglycemic status of
humans, the prescribed dose for the management of the
diabetic condition, and affordable form of supplementation
(like fermented H. erinaceus juice, or H. erinaceus extract,
etc.), which help to advance the alternative medications for
Conﬂict of interest statement
All authors declare that they have no conﬂict of interest.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Faculty of Pharmacy
and Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand. BSS wish to
acknowledge the CMU Post-Doctoral Fellowship [Ref: No.
6592(11)/01501, dated 24 February 2017], Chiang Mai Uni-
versity, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Reported antihyperglycemic activities of H. erinaceus.
S. No. Experimental model Supplementation Outcome Refs
Polysaccharides of H. erinaceus
(6–25 mg/kg b.wt)
Reduced blood glucose level.
Enhanced the sugar tolerance
2 Streptozotocin induced
diabetes Wistar rat
Methanol extract of H. erinaceus
(20–100 mg/kg b.wt)
Reduced blood glucose, serum
triglyceride and total cholesterol
3 Streptozotocin mediated
diabetes induced Wistar
Aqueous extract of H. erinaceus
(100–200 mg/kg b.wt)
Reduced serum glucose level.
Improved serum insulin level.
Improved antioxidant enzyme
Reduced lipid related disorders.
4 Alloxan induced diabetic
neuropathic Wistar rat
Ethanol extracts of H. erinaceus
(40 mg/kg b.wt)
Reduced serum and urine
Improved the enzyme activities
(lactate dehydrogenase, glutathione
peroxidase, glutathione reductase,
glutathione S transferase) and
inhibition of lipid peroxidation.
Attenuation of diabetic neuropathy.
5 Streptozotocin induced
diabetes Wistar rat.
Probiotic mediated fermented
H. erinaceus Juice
Reduced blood sugar level, slightly
increased the serum insulin level.
Improved the health status of
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