Biological activities and potential health benefits of polysaccharides from Poria cocos and their derivatives

Int J Biol Macromol. 2014 Jul;68:131-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2014.04.010. Epub 2014 Apr 18.


Poria cocos has a long history of medicinal use in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea and Thailand. It is a kind of edible and pharmaceutical mushroom. The chemical compositions of Poria cocos mainly include triterpenes, polysaccharides, steroids, amino acids, choline, histidine, etc. Great advances have been made in chemical and bioactive studies on Poria cocos polysaccharides (PCP) and their derivatives in recent decades. These PCP and their derivatives exhibit many beneficial biological activities including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral activities. Therefore, PCP and their derivatives have great potential for further development as therapy or adjuvant therapy for cancer, immune-modulatory and antiviral drugs. This paper presents an overview of biological activities and potential health benefits of PCP and their derivatives.

Keywords: Biological activities; Polysaccharides; Poria cocos.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Poria / chemistry*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Polysaccharides