Mushroom Extract May Slow Weight Gain
A mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine may help to slow weight gain by altering gut bacteria, suggests a new study by researchers in Taiwan.
In research on mice, scientists created an extract from the mushroom known as "lingzhi" and fed it to the animals, along with a high-fat diet. After two months, the mice that were given extract gained less weight than those mice who were not fed the extract.
Researchers believe that the mushroom works by altering the bacteria communities in the gut. After the test was conducted, the guts of mice who were given the extract were much more similar to those of lean mice, even though they were fed a high-fat diet. After taking gut bacteria from the feces of mice who were fed the extract, and transplanting them into obese mice, researchers also found it altered gut bacteria in a positive way.
While altering gut communities to a healthier state may help fight obesity, scientists note that this does not mean such extracts can become a magic pill when it comes to weight loss. The research, published in_ Nature Communications_, has not yet been done with humans, so it's not known if it would have the same effect.