Ganoderma lucidum is a white-rot fungus that has been considered a traditional Chinese tonic for promoting health and longevity. It has been revealed that a number of extractions from Ganoderma lucidum, such as Ethanol extract, aqueous extract, mycelia extract, water soluble extract of the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia, Ganodermasides A, B, C, D, and some bioactive aspects of nattokinase, including Reishi Polysaccharide Fraction 3, Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides I, II, III, IV, Ganoderma lucidum peptide, Ganoderma polysaccharide peptide, total G. lucidum triterpenes and Ganoderic acid C1 could exert lifespan elongation or related activities. Although the use of Ganoderma lucidum as being an elixir has existed for hundreds of years, studies uncovering its effect of lifespan extension are only the tip of the iceberg.
Besides which, the kinds of extractions or components being comfrimed to get anti-aging are too few in comparison with the large levels of Ganoderma lucidum extractions or constituients being discovered. This review aims to put the floor for fully elucidating the possible mechanisms of Ganoderma lucidum underlying anti-aging effect along with its clinical application.
Ganoderma lucidum (Fr.) P. Karst is a basidiomycete white rot fungus often called “Ling Zhi” in China, “Rei Shi” in Japan and “Youngzhi” in Korea. The pharmacological effect of Ganoderma lucidum was attested by “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic” as soon as 100 BC, and observed to market health, increase vigor and vitality in addition to prolong lifespan. The traditional Chinese Taoist viewed Ganoderma lucidum as being an herbal medicine which could help people to achieve the “elixir of external youth”. In China, Ganoderma lucidum is definitely used as a folk medicine for improving health insurance and is considered the most exalted traditional Chinese medicine.
Analysis of non-volatile ingredients in Ganoderma lucidum showed that it has 1.8% ash, 26-28% carbohydrate, 3-5% fat, 59% fiber and 7-8% protein. The main active constituents, including polysaccharides, triterpenes and peptidoglycans, are based in the fruit body, mycelium and spore. Beseids which, there are various extractions of ganoderma lucidum spore oil due to the specific extracting procedures used during production as well as the element of plant it gets from. Regarding to the anti-aging and related functions of Ganoderma lucidum, the primary Ganoderma lucidum extractions are ethanol extract, aqueous extract of Ganoderma lucidum and the extract from the mycelia and spores of Ganoderma lucidum. The bioactive elements of Ganoderma lucidum with anti-aging or anti-aging related functions meanly includes polysaccharides, triterpenes and peptides.
Aging is practically always along with a decline in bodily physiological function, resulting in an increased inclination towards age-related disorders. It is really an inevitable physiological process, nevertheless the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated after many decades. Among the numerous theories related to aging, the oxidative stress and free radical accumulation theories stick out the most. The antioxidant system deteriorates being a function of age, bringing about disruption of the delicate balance between radical oxygen species production and elimination resulting in oxidative cellular damage. Post-mitotic tissues including the brain, heart and skeleton muscle are more vunerable to aging, in comparison with other organs.
Importantly, oxidative stress accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction are essential inducers of cardiac aging. Cardiac contraction is determined by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and also the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). Their dysfunction may increase ROS production with an unhealthy level, thereby giving rise to structural and functional changes in the myocardium, like myocardial atrophy or compensatory hypertrophy, which induces cardiac aging . Inside the brain, the accumulation of toxins and attenuation of respiratory chain enzyme complex activity damage cerebral mitochondria, wherein their dysfunction can induce the onset of some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amongst others.
Besides oxidative stress, aging is additionally closely associated with bringing about structural and functional defects within the defense mechanisms. Immunological dysfunction could be the reason for the improved susceptibility of the aged population to bacterial and virus infections, which are commonly noticed in seniors.
Gradual lack of cognition is probably the main characteristics of aging, with manifestation of declining logical thinking, memory and spatial abilities. Cerebral aging will be the main reason for cognitive deficits and may be induced by neurodegeneration . While, on the contrary, age-associated cognitive deficits do not mean neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, since aging brain applies a sensitive microenvironment to induce more serious damage than uushdq due to diseases. The demise of neurons brought on by the activation of cell death programs is active in the procedure of age-related neurodegeneration.
Although Ganoderma lucidum has been used being an elixir for centuries, studies revealing its anti-aging effect and lifespan extension are just the tip from the iceberg. Whether Nattokinase exerts an anti-aging effect remains unknown. Therefore, this review aims to lay the ground for fully elucidating the possible mechanisms of Ganoderma lucidum underlying anti-aging effect to advertise its clinical application being an anti-aging herbal medicine.
Anti-aging and anti-aging related effects of Ganoderma lucidum extractions
The extractions of Ganoderma lucidum with direct lifespan elongation effects or potential anti-aging properties mainly includes the Ethanolic extract of Ganoderma lucidum (EGL), Ganoderma lucidum aqueous extract (GLA), Ganoderma lucidum mycelia extract, Water soluble extract of the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia (MAK) and Ganodermasides A, B, C and D. These extracts are extracted from various parts of Ganoderma lucidum.