Nutritional value of ganoderma extract and assessment of its genotoxicity and antigenotoxicity using comet assays of mouse lymphocytes

Food Chem Toxicol. 2000 Feb-Mar;38(2-3):173-8. doi: 10.1016/s0278-6915(99)00146-5.


The nutritive composition of a hot aqueous extract of wild Ganoderma fruit bodies was determined. This extract was assessed for cytotoxicity and in vivo genotoxicity by both acute and subchronic exposure of mice (given by mouth at a dose equivalent to extract of 220g fresh Ganoderma fruit body/kg body weight). To test any alleged protection against mutagens by Ganoderma treatments, the mice were injected intraperitoneally with the radiomimetic mutagen ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), and after 24hr of treatment their lymphocytes were examined using the comet assay. Ganoderma extract consisted of Folin-positive material (68.9% of dry weight), but protein comprised only 7.3% of dry weight. Glucose accounted for 11. 1% and metals 10.2% of dry weight (K, Mg and Ca being the major components with Ge (often touted as being of value in sales literature for Ganoderma preparations) having the fifth highest metal concentration at 489 microg/g). In comparison to rodent chow, Ganoderma extract was a modest dietary supplement. No evidence was found for genotoxic chromosomal breakage nor cytotoxic effects by Ganoderma extract in the mouse, nor did it protect against the effects of ethyl methanesulfonate. We found no support in this study for the extract having any value in protecting against the test mutagen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Chemoprevention
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / toxicity*
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate / pharmacology
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens / pharmacology
  • Nutritive Value
  • Reishi / chemistry*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Mutagens
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate