Thirteen-Week Oral Toxicity Evaluation of Erinacine AEnriched Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), Mycelia in Sprague-Dawley Rats

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2019;21(4):401-411. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2019030320.


Recently, erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus (EAHE) mycelia have demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in animal models of neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. Despite promising results from animal models, there have been no reports on its toxicity after long-term consumption. Hence, the present study was designed to evaluate the safety of EAHE mycelia through a 13-week subchronic rodent feeding study. Following 13 weeks of EAHE mycelia feeding at dosages of 0, 875, 1750, and 2625 mg/kg body weight in both male and female Sprague-Dawley rats, findings revealed neither any mortalities nor noticeable toxicological effects in all the rats during the investigation period. Physiological parameters including body weight and feed consumption patterns were unaffected by EAHE mycelia administration. The hematological and biochemical parameters as well as histopathological studies revealed no significant differences between the treatment and control groups. Conclusively, the obtained results suggested that EAHE mycelia could be relatively unharmful when used over an extended period, supporting its safe use in food preparation.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Basidiomycota / chemistry*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diterpenes / metabolism*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mycelium / chemistry
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy*
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Diterpenes
  • erinacine A