Hypocholesterolemic Effects of the Cauliflower Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Sparassis crispa (Higher Basidiomycetes), in Diet-Induced Hypercholesterolemic Rats

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(10):965-75. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i10.60.


The cauliflower culinary-medicinal mushroom, Sparassis crispa, possesses various biological activities that have been widely reported to have therapeutic applications. We examined the effects of S. crispa on serum cholesterol, hepatic enzymes related to cholesterol metabolism, and fecal sterol excretion in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet for 4 weeks. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (8 weeks old) were randomly divided into 5 groups (n = 6 mice per group): normal diet (normal control [NC]), cholesterol-rich diet (cholesterol control [CC]), cholesterol-rich diet plus S. crispa fruiting body (SC), cholesterol-rich diet plus S. crispa extract (SCE), and cholesterol-rich diet plus S. crispa residue (SCR). SCE supplementation significantly enhanced hepatic cholesterol catabolism through the upregulation of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression (2.55-fold compared with that in the NC group; P < 0.05) and the downregulation of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase mRNA expression (0.57-fold compared with that in the NC group; P < 0.05). Additionally, the SCE diet resulted in the highest fecal excretion of cholesterol and bile acid in hypercholesterolemic rats. In conclusion, mRNA expression of CYP7A1 and HMG-CoA reductase were significantly modulated by the absorption of SCE samples. Also, SCE samples had a significant effect on fecal bile acid and cholesterol excretion. These results suggest that SCE samples can induce hypocholesterolic effects through cholesterol metabolism and the reduction of circulating cholesterol levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticholesteremic Agents*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Eating
  • Feces
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal
  • Hypercholesterolemia / therapy*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Polyporales*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sterols / metabolism
  • Weight Gain


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Sterols
  • Cholesterol