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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9648496, 16 pages
Review Article

Antifatigue Functions and Mechanisms of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms

1Department of Applied Biology & Chemical Technology, State Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology in Shenzhen, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2School of Food Science & Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jian-Yong Wu

Received 26 May 2017; Accepted 16 July 2017; Published 14 August 2017

Academic Editor: Yan Li

Copyright © 2017 Ping Geng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fatigue is the symptom of tiredness caused by physical and/or psychological stresses. As fatigue is becoming a serious problem in the modern society affecting human health, work efficiency, and quality of life, effective antifatigue remedies other than pharmacological drugs or therapies are highly needed. Mushrooms have been widely used as health foods, because of their various bioactive constituents such as polysaccharides, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. This paper reviews the major findings from previous studies on the antifatigue effects, the active components of mushrooms, and the possible mechanisms. Many studies have demonstrated the antifatigue effects of edible and medicinal mushrooms. These mushrooms probably mitigate human fatigue through effects on the functional systems, including the muscular, cardiovascular, hormone, and immune system. The bioactive constituents that contribute to the antifatigue effects of mushrooms may include polysaccharides, peptides, nucleosides, phenolic compounds, and triterpenoids. Further research is still needed to identify the active ingredients and to investigate their mechanism of action on the antifatigue effects. Since most previous studies have been carried out in animal models, more human trials should be performed to verify the antifatigue function of edible and medicinal mushrooms.