Hericium erinaceus (HEP) is a notable medicinal fungus grown in China and other oriental countries. Polysaccharides from HEP have recently attracted considerable attention due to their numerous physiological activities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the anti-fatigue activity of HEP in a mouse model. After one week of acclimation, mice were randomly divided into four groups: a control group, a low-dose HEP-treated group, a moderate-dose HEP-treated group, and a high-dose HEP-treated group. The treated groups received HEP (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, ig), while the control group received saline solution. Following treatment for 28 days, the mice performed a forced swimming test until they were exhausted, then the exhaustive swimming time was recorded along with certain biochemical parameters related to fatigue, including blood lactic acid (BLA), serum urea nitrogen (SUN), tissue glycogen, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and malondialdehyde (MDA). These results suggested that HEP has significant anti-fatigue activity by decreasing BLA, SUN and MDA content, as well as increasing tissue glycogen content and antioxidant enzyme activity. Based on these results, this study provided theoretical support for the application of HEP in the field of sports nutrition.
Keywords: blood lactic acid; forced swimming test; glutathione peroxidase; glycogen; malondialdehyde; mice; serum urea nitrogen; superoxide dismutase.