Structural Features and Healthy Properties of Polysaccharides Occurring in Mushrooms
Polysaccharides from mushrooms have attracted a great deal of attention due to the many healthy benefits they have demonstrated, such as immunomodulation, anticancer activity, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, antiviral and antimicrobial effects, among others. Isolation and purification of polysaccharides commonly involve several steps, and different techniques are actually available in order to increase extraction yield and purity. Studies have demonstrated that the molecular structure and arrangement significantly influence the biological activity; therefore, there is a wide range of analytical techniques for the elucidation of chemical structures. Different polysaccharides have been isolated from mushrooms, most of them consisting of β-linked glucans, such as lentinan from Lentinus edodes , pleuran from Pleurotus species, schizophyllan from Schizophyllum commune , calocyban from Calocybe indica , or ganoderan and ganopoly from Ganoderma lucidum . This article reviews the main methods of polysaccharide isolation and structural characterization, as well as some of the most important polysaccharides isolated from mushrooms and the healthy benefits they provide.
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