Shiitake Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Lentinus edodes (Agaricomycetes), Supplementation Alters Gut Microbiome and Corrects Dyslipidemia in Rats

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2019;21(1):79-88. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018029348.


Recent interest in diet-induced modulation of the gut microbiome has led to research on the impact that dietary fibers can have on host health. Lentinus edodes mushroom-derived fibers may act as an appropriate substrate for gut microbe digestion and metabolism. The metabolites that gut microbes excrete can modulate host energy balance, gut absorption, appetite, and lipid metabolism. In the present study, we explored the dynamics of the gut microbiome of hypercholesterolemic rats supplemented with L. edodes. Wistar rats were offered a chow maintenance diet (CMD; CON group) or the same CMD ration with cholesterol (1.5% w/w) and cholic acid (0.5% w/w) added to induce hypercholesterolemia (day 1 to day 24). Hypercholesterolemic rats were subsequently offered either the same cholesterol-cholic acid diet (HC-CON group) or were supplemented with L. edodes (5% w/w; LE group) for 42 days (day 25 to day 66). At the end of the experiment, serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations were determined. Colon digesta were subjected to DNA extraction and subsequent 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Raw sequences were quality filtered and statistically analyzed using QIIME and LEfSe tools. Triglyceride concentrations were lower (P = 0.002) in the LE group than in the CON and HC-CON groups. Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations were slightly decreased, whereas HDL cholesterol concentrations were increased by L. edodes supplementation compared with the HC-CON group. The gut microbiome of the LE group had higher species richness characterized by increased abundance of Clostridium and Bacteroides spp. Linear discriminant analysis identified bacterial clades that were statistically different among treatment groups. In conclusion, manipulation of gut microbiota through the administration of L. edodes could manage dyslipidemia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dyslipidemias / diet therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Shiitake Mushrooms*