A prebiotic used in TCM can regulate lipid and glucose metabolism, improving outcomes of metabolic disease
07/16/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Improve your metabolic health by consuming poria (Poria cocos) mushroom, which is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. Poria mushrooms contain a water-insoluble polysaccharide that can be used as a prebiotic for preventing and treating metabolic diseases, as well as for regulating blood sugar and lipid metabolism, according to a study published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines.

In the study, researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences looked at the effects of a water-insoluble polysaccharide in poria on the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders. To do this, the researchers treated obese and diabetic mice with the water-insoluble polysaccharide.

The results showed that treatment with the water-insoluble polysaccharide dramatically improved blood sugar and lipid metabolism in obese and diabetic mice. It also reduced the inflammation and fatty liver by modulating the mice’s gut microbiota. The water-insoluble polysaccharide increased the butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut, thereby increasing the levels of butyrate in the gut. Butyrate plays an important role in supporting gut health. It serves as the primary source of energy to the colonic mucosa and an important regulator of gene expression, inflammation, differentiation, and programmed cell death. In addition, treatment with the water-insoluble polysaccharide improved the gut mucosal integrity of the mice.

Other health benefits of poria mushroom

Also known as China root, poria is used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aid for many health problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, cough, diabetes, diarrhea, fatigue, high cholesterol, insomnia, stress, and tinnitus. It is also said to enhance memory, strengthen the immune system, and protect against cancer. Scientific studies have also looked at the potential benefits of this medicine, suggesting that it may protect against certain conditions. Here are some of the evidence-based benefits of Poria:


  • Boosting immunity: A report published in the journal Planta Medica has found that poria may have some immune-boosting properties. Based on available research on poria, researchers have identified that poria may help strengthen immune response and help fight inflammation due to its polysaccharides. Poria may also be used in treating joint pain, swelling, and redness in rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.  (Related: Ever heard of poria? This little-known mushroom is a powerful superfood that offers a wide range of immune actions.)
  • Helping to fight Alzheimer’s disease: Poria may also help fight Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the German journal Die Pharmazie. In the study, researchers have tested poria on rat cells and found that poria may prevent the development of Alzheimer’s by reducing oxidative stress. In addition, they discovered that poria may help protect the brain from the toxic effects of beta-amyloid, which is a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's.
  • Protecting against diabetes: Poria contains antioxidants called triterpenes. A study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine has revealed that these antioxidants may help fight diabetes. Researchers of the study treated diabetic mice with poria triterpenes and found that poria treatment helped improve the animals’ blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
  • Warding off cancer: Poria has also shown potential in protecting against some forms of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer and breast cancer, according to several studies on human cells. However, more research is needed to confirm that taking poria can inhibit the development of cancer.

You can read more articles about other Chinese medicine like poria at ChineseMedicine.news.

Sources include:




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