[Biologically active compounds of edible mushrooms and their beneficial impact on health].Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2004; 58:352-7.PH
Edible mushrooms are valuable a source of biologically active compounds. Some are used in the prophylaxis and therapy of such diseases as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Their antitumor mechanism is complex. The biologically active substances in mushrooms decrease DNA damage, reduce carcinogen concentrations and their activation, inhibit the growth of cancer cells by scavenging free radicals, stimulate the immune system, and induce tumor cell apoptosis. The stimulation of the immune system by the biologically active compounds in edible mushrooms protects against cold, flu, infections, well as AIDS by inhibition of viral replication. Mushrooms contain effective substances which decrease the LDL fraction of cholesterol in blood. They also prevent the accumulation of serum triaclyglycerols, thus decreasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The therapeutic properties of mushrooms result from the specific polysaccharides, such as beta-glucans and chitosans, that are present in the fructification of fungi.