Mushrooms have been part of the human diet for thousands of years,involving a large number of edible species. In maximum countries, there is awell-established consumer acceptance for cultivated mushrooms, probably due totheir incomparable flavour and texture. Nevertheless, the consumption of ediblemushrooms has been increased, although mushrooms do not constitute a significantportion of the human diet (Valentao et al.
, 2005). In many Asian countries edible mushrooms are traditionallyused as food and medicine (Manzi et al., 1999; Sanmee et al., 2003). Recently, mushrooms have become an attractive functional food mainlybecause of their chemical composition (Elmastas et al., 2007), and this can be explained by the antioxidant capacity of mushroomsto scavenge free radicals, which are responsible for oxidative damage of lipids,proteins and nucleic acids. Oxidation is essential to many living organisms forthe production of energy to fuel biological processes.
Free radicals areproduced in normal and/or pathological cell metabolism (Elmastas et al., 2007). However, the uncontrolledproduction of oxygen-derived free radicals is involved in the onset of many diseasessuch as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cirrhosis and arterioscleorosis as wellas in degenerative processes associated with ageing (Visioli et al.
, 2000; Chan etal., 1997). Almost all organisms are well protected against free radicaldamage by oxidative enzymes such as glutathione peroxidise, superoxidedismutase and catalase (Tadhani et al., 2007), or chemical compounds suchas ascorbic acid, a-tocopherol, polyphenol compounds, carotenoids (Niki et al., 1994).
Although almost all organismspossess antioxidant defence and repair systems that have evolved to protectthem against oxidative damage, these systems are insufficient to prevent thedamage entirely (Simic, 1988). However, antioxidant supplements, or foods containingantioxidants, may be used to help the human body reduce oxidative damage (Yanga, Linb, & Maub, 2002). Mushrooms accumulate a varietyof secondary metabolites, including phenolic compounds, polyketides, terpenesand steroids (Cheung et al., 2003). The antioxidants present in mushrooms are of greatinterest as protective agents to help the human body reduces oxidative damagewithout any interference. They are recognized as functional foods and as asource of physiologically beneficial components (Wasser and Weis, 1999). This work highlighted the antioxidant andantdiabetic activities of compounds extracted from the fruiting bodies of Hiratake (Pleurotus ostreatus), Maitake (Grifola frondosa),Shiitake (Lentinulaedodes, Enokidake (Flammulinavelutipes) and Kikurage (Auricularia auricula-judae).
Extracts of mushroom fruiting bodies were obtained using Methnol and Watersolvents. These solvents were used in order to extract the main compound of thefive mushrooms and establish their functionality profile. Polysaccharide,proteins and polysaccharide-protein complexes are the major components ofmushrooms which have been widely and comprehensively studied for theireffective nutritional and pharmacological used. Therefore, the other valuablecomponents of mushrooms such as lipids must also be evaluated. The totalphenolic contents, DPPH radical scavenging activity, and antidiabetic propertywere studied. The functional activities of molecular species of these compoundsare currently under investigation.