Mushrooms have been part of the human diet for thousands of years,
involving a large number of edible species. In maximum countries, there is a
well-established consumer acceptance for cultivated mushrooms, probably due to
their incomparable flavour and texture. Nevertheless, the consumption of edible
mushrooms has been increased, although mushrooms do not constitute a significant
portion of the human diet (Valentao et al., 2005). In many Asian countries edible mushrooms are traditionally
used as food and medicine (Manzi et al., 1999; Sanmee et al., 2003).
Recently, mushrooms have become an attractive functional food mainly
because of their chemical composition (Elmastas et al., 2007), and this can be explained by the antioxidant capacity of mushrooms
to scavenge free radicals, which are responsible for oxidative damage of lipids,
proteins and nucleic acids. Oxidation is essential to many living organisms for
the production of energy to fuel biological processes. Free radicals are
produced in normal and/or pathological cell metabolism (Elmastas et al., 2007). However, the uncontrolled
production of oxygen-derived free radicals is involved in the onset of many diseases
such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cirrhosis and arterioscleorosis as well
as in degenerative processes associated with ageing (Visioli et al., 2000; Chan et
Almost all organisms are well protected against free radical
damage by oxidative enzymes such as glutathione peroxidise, superoxide
dismutase and catalase (Tadhani et al., 2007), or chemical compounds such
as ascorbic acid, a-tocopherol, polyphenol compounds, carotenoids (Niki et al., 1994).
Although almost all organisms
possess antioxidant defence and repair systems that have evolved to protect
them against oxidative damage, these systems are insufficient to prevent the
damage entirely (Simic, 1988). However, antioxidant supplements, or foods containing
antioxidants, may be used to help the human body reduce oxidative damage (Yanga, Linb, & Maub, 2002).
Mushrooms accumulate a variety
of secondary metabolites, including phenolic compounds, polyketides, terpenes
and steroids (Cheung et al., 2003). The antioxidants present in mushrooms are of great
interest as protective agents to help the human body reduces oxidative damage
without any interference. They are recognized as functional foods and as a
source of physiologically beneficial components (Wasser and Weis, 1999).
This work highlighted the antioxidant and
antdiabetic activities of compounds extracted from the fruiting bodies of Hiratake (Pleurotus ostreatus), Maitake (Grifola frondosa),
edodes, Enokidake (Flammulina
velutipes) and Kikurage (Auricularia auricula-judae).
Extracts of mushroom fruiting bodies were obtained using Methnol and Water
solvents. These solvents were used in order to extract the main compound of the
five mushrooms and establish their functionality profile. Polysaccharide,
proteins and polysaccharide-protein complexes are the major components of
mushrooms which have been widely and comprehensively studied for their
effective nutritional and pharmacological used. Therefore, the other valuable
components of mushrooms such as lipids must also be evaluated. The total
phenolic contents, DPPH radical scavenging activity, and antidiabetic property
were studied. The functional activities of molecular species of these compounds
are currently under investigation.