Inflammation is a well-known contributing factor to many age-related chronic diseases. One of the possible strategies to suppress inflammation is the employment of functional foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Edible mushrooms are attracting more and more attention as functional foods since they are rich in bioactive compounds, but their anti-inflammatory properties and the effect of food processing steps on this activity has not been systematically investigated. In the present study, White Button and Honey Brown (both Agaricus bisporus), Shiitake (Lentinus edodes), Enoki (Flammulina velutipes) and Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) preparations were tested for their anti-inflammatory activity in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) activated murine RAW 264.7 macrophages. Potent anti-inflammatory activity (IC₅₀<0.1 mg/ml), measured as inhibition of NO production, could be detected in all raw mushroom preparations, but only raw Oyster (IC₅₀=0.035 mg/ml), Shiitake (IC₅₀=0.047 mg/ml) and Enoki mushrooms (IC₅₀=0.099 mg/ml) showed also potent inhibition of TNF-α production. When the anti-inflammatory activity was followed through two food-processing steps, which involved ultrasonication and heating, a significant portion of the anti-inflammatory activity was lost suggesting that the anti-inflammatory compounds might be susceptible to heating or prone to evaporation.
Keywords: Inflammation; Mushrooms; Nitric oxide; Thermal processing; Tumor necrosis factor-α.
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