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Cholesterol-lowering properties of Ganoderma lucidum in vitro, ex vivo, and in hamsters and minipigs

A Berger12*, D Rein13, E Kratky1, I Monnard1, H Hajjaj14, I Meirim1, C Piguet-Welsch1, J Hauser15, K Mace1 and P Niederberger1

Author Affiliations

1 Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne 26, 1000, Switzerland

2 Paradigm Genetics, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-4528, USA

3 BASF Plant Science Holding GmbH, Agricultural Center, BPH-Li 555, Limburgerhof, 67114, Germany

4 Univerity des Sciences et de Technologie de Lille, B.P. 179, Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, 59653, France

5 University of Lausanne, Institut de Biologie Cellulaire et de Morphologie, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2004, 3:2  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-3-2

Published: 18 February 2004



There has been renewed interest in mushroom medicinal properties. We studied cholesterol lowering properties of Ganoderma lucidum (Gl), a renowned medicinal species.


Organic fractions containing oxygenated lanosterol derivatives inhibited cholesterol synthesis in T9A4 hepatocytes. In hamsters, 5% Gl did not effect LDL; but decreased total cholesterol (TC) 9.8%, and HDL 11.2%. Gl (2.5 and 5%) had effects on several fecal neutral sterols and bile acids. Both Gl doses reduced hepatic microsomal ex-vivo HMG-CoA reductase activity. In minipigs, 2.5 Gl decreased TC, LDL- and HDL cholesterol 20, 27, and 18%, respectively (P < 0.05); increased fecal cholestanol and coprostanol; and decreased cholate.


Overall, Gl has potential to reduce LDL cholesterol in vivo through various mechanisms. Next steps are to: fully characterize bioactive components in lipid soluble/insoluble fractions; evaluate bioactivity of isolated fractions; and examine human cholesterol lowering properties. Innovative new cholesterol-lowering foods and medicines containing Gl are envisioned.

cholesterol; Ganoderma lucidum; hamsters; HDL; LDL; lipoprotein; lovastatin; minipigs; mushrooms; Reishi