Pharmacological effects of Ganoderma lucidum extract against high-altitude stressors and its subchronic toxicity assessment

J Food Biochem. 2019 Dec;43(12):e13081. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13081. Epub 2019 Oct 14.


Acclimatization is a major pathophysiological concern during ascent to high altitude and may cause mortality in unacclimatized individuals. Absence of target drugs, especially prophylactics, emphasizes the need for development of herbal agents. Present study revealed that animals pre-administered with aqueous extract of Ganoderma lucidum (GLAQ) dose dependently (50, 100, 200 mg/kg) delayed onset of convulsion following severe hypoxia (SH) and restored rectal temperature post-cold restraint (CR) and hypobaric hypoxia (HBH). The compromised antioxidant status (MDA, GSH, SOD, GPx), biochemical (ALT, AST, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, urea), and hematological parameters (red blood cells, white blood cells) were ameliorated with GLAQ treatment. Further, extract modulated inflammatory and thermogenic response by attenuating pro-inflammatory cytokines (NFĸB, TNFα, IL6) and restoring UCP1, SIRT1, respectively. Notably, extract did not produce any noxious effects subchronically in rats of both sexes with GLAQ administered at 100, 500, and 1,000 mg/kg in a single dose/day for 90 days, deeming it fit for therapeutic purpose. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: GLAQ exhibited better efficacy compared to internal control (gallic acid) suggest that array of bioactive compounds in extract might contribute toward efficacy. Further, antistress properties of GLAQ against multiple stressors including SH, CR, and HBH demonstrate its therapeutic potential for inducing rapid acclimatization and preventing mountain sickness. Conclusively, the present study based on Ganoderma lucidum extract intents to fill the lacunae behind development of nontoxic therapeutic agent for controlling high altitude-related maladies.

Keywords: Ganoderma lucidum; cold-restrain stress; high altitude; hypobaric hypoxia; subchronic toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Altitude
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Ganoderma
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Reishi
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


  • Antioxidants
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha