Ganoderma lucidum extract protects DNA from strand breakage caused by hydroxyl radical and UV irradiation

Int J Mol Med. 1999 Sep;4(3):273-7.


The fruit bodies of Ganoderma lucidum have been used for the prevention and treatment of various diseases in the Orient. Its antitumor and immune enhancing properties, along with no cytotoxicity, raise the possibility that it could be effective in preventing oxidative damage and resulting disease. Using agarose gel electrophoresis, we have evaluated the potential of Ganoderma lucidum extract as a radioprotector and antioxidant defense against oxygen radical-mediated damage. Although the evidence presented here is based on in vitro using isolated DNA, the results clearly demonstrate that the hot-water extract of Ganoderma lucidum shows good radioprotective ability, as well as protection against DNA damage induced by metal-catalyzed Fenton reactions and UV irradiation. We also found that the water-soluble polysaccharide isolated from the fruit body of Ganoderma lucidum was as effective as the hot-water extract in protecting against hydroxyl radical-induced DNA strand breaks, indicating that the polysaccharide compound is associated with the protective properties. Our data suggest that Ganoderma mushroom merits investigation as a potential preventive agent in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid
  • DNA / drug effects
  • DNA / radiation effects
  • DNA Damage*
  • Dithiothreitol
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Gamma Rays
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Hydroxyl Radical / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Reishi
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Polysaccharides
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • DNA
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Dithiothreitol