Diabetes remains the major public health challenge to the 21st century. It is strongly related
to lifestyle changes. Most chronic complications of diabetes are macrovascular and microvascular
diseases resulting from the existing hyperglycemic status. After the failure of first-line therapy,
which is based on diet modifications and exercise, conventional treatment using antihyperglycemic
agents with different mechanisms of action will be implemented for type II diabetes in modern medicine.
Higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms are highly praised for their nutritional value and pharmacological
properties. They have long been used traditionally for the maintenance of health, prevention
and treatment of various human ailments. Reports indicate the beneficial effects of medicinal
mushrooms in diabetes treatments. However, scientific evidence are insufficient to make definitive
conclusions on the efficacy of individual medicinal mushrooms. Mushrooms belong to the genera
Phellinus such as Phellinus linteus, Phellinus ribis, Phellinus rimosus and Phellinus igniarius. They
possess a significant hypoglycemic effect in experimental diabetic models. However, well-designed
controlled clinical trials are needed to establish their safety and bioactivity.
Keywords: Antihyperglycemic agents, basidiomycetes, diabetes mellitus, Ganoderma lucidum, medicinal mushrooms, Phellinus
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