Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota

Nat Commun. 2015 Jun 23:6:7489. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8489.


Obesity is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation and intestinal dysbiosis. Ganoderma lucidum is a medicinal mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine with putative anti-diabetic effects. Here, we show that a water extract of Ganoderma lucidum mycelium (WEGL) reduces body weight, inflammation and insulin resistance in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Our data indicate that WEGL not only reverses HFD-induced gut dysbiosis-as indicated by the decreased Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratios and endotoxin-bearing Proteobacteria levels-but also maintains intestinal barrier integrity and reduces metabolic endotoxemia. The anti-obesity and microbiota-modulating effects are transmissible via horizontal faeces transfer from WEGL-treated mice to HFD-fed mice. We further show that high molecular weight polysaccharides (>300 kDa) isolated from the WEGL extract produce similar anti-obesity and microbiota-modulating effects. Our results indicate that G. lucidum and its high molecular weight polysaccharides may be used as prebiotic agents to prevent gut dysbiosis and obesity-related metabolic disorders in obese individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteroides / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Dysbiosis / metabolism
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Endotoxemia
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Firmicutes / drug effects
  • Fungal Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / microbiology*
  • Permeability / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Proteobacteria / drug effects
  • Reishi*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Fungal Polysaccharides
  • Plant Extracts

Associated data

  • SRA/SRP057860