By Faye Sakellaridis
G. lucidum, a mushroom used for centuries in Chinese medicine to promote health and longevity, has been found to reduce weight gain in animals, researchers say.
Currently, studies of Ganoderma lucidum have only been conducted on mice, who were comparatively slimmer than mice who were fed the same diet sans the fungus. While it still needs further testing, this traditional Chinese medicine might eventually be used as a treatment for obesity in people.
BBC explains how the fungus alters gut bacteria to promote weight loss:
The team in Taiwan showed that adding the mushroom to the mice's meals altered the types of bacteria living in the gut.
Gut bugs are heavily involved in digestion and the release of energy, and some species are associated with slim people and others with fat people.
The scientists showed that transplanting faeces from the mushroom-fed mice to other mice - known as horizontal faeces transfer - helped the recipient keep off the pounds.
Prof Colin Hill, a microbiologist at University College Cork in Ireland, told the BBC News website: "I like the idea of some of these Chinese medicine stories coming back into science, I love the idea of revisiting traditional medicines.
"The microbiome is certainly a key player in weight gain and weight loss, it's certainly involved in extracting energy from our food.
Read the full article here.