Author: J. Vetter 1
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  • 1 University of Veterinary Sciences, H-1077 Budapest, Rottenbiller u. 50, Hungary
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Cultivated mushrooms are not only valuable foods of our age (functional foods) but contain certain beneficial chemical components (high level of K and P, very low content of Na, considerable quantities of some microelements, high and valuable protein but low fat contents). Some cultivated mushrooms have anti-carcinogenic effects caused first of all by polysaccharides (Lentinan: Lentinula edodes) and by triterpenoids (ganoderic acids: Ganoderma lucidum or unsaturated fatty acids: linoleic, linolenic acids); antidiabetic effects, which can improve the sugar metabolism of patients (Coprinus comatus, Ganoderma lucidum, Agaricus bisporus); anti-microbial effects, caused partly by smaller triterpenoids or by higher molecules, i.e. by direct or indirect effects: via stimulation of the immune system. Certain mushrooms have antioxidant effects, provided mostly by higher radical scavenging activity of phenolic (flavonoid) components. The chemical composition and its biological effects form together the biological values of the cultivated mushrooms.

The following review would like to summarize the most important facts of this topic.

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