Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus) improves the symptoms of menopause. In this study, using ovariectomized mice as a model of menopause, we investigated the anti-obesity effect of this mushroom in menopause. Mice fed diets containing H. erinaceus powder showed significant decreases in the amounts of fat tissue, plasma levels of total cholesterol, and leptin. To determine the mechanism, groups of mice were respectively fed a diet containing H. erinaceus powder, a diet containing ethanol extract of H. erinaceus, and a diet containing a residue of the extract. As a result, H. erinaceus powder was found to increase fecal lipid levels in excreted matter. Further in vitro investigation showed that ethanol extract inhibited the activity of lipase, and four lipase-inhibitory compounds were isolated from the extract: hericenone C, hericenone D, hericenone F, and hericenone G. In short, we suggest that H. erinaceus has an anti-obesity effect during menopause because it decreases the ability to absorb lipids.
Keywords: Anti-obesity; Hericenone; Hericium erinaceus; Menopause; Pancreatic lipase inhibition.