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Nutritional Compositions of Lignosus rhinocerotis Tiger Milk Mushroom (TMM)

What is Tiger Milk Mushroom?

Lignosus rhinocerotis, or tiger milk mushroom (TMM) can be found locally and in other parts of South East Asia. It’s name came from a folklore where this rare mushroom grew on the spot where a tigress’ milk accidentally dribbled while feeding its young. It is sought after by local indigenous communities to relieve cough and asthma, provide stamina & stave of hunger. 

 

Traditionally, the sclerotium part of TMM is pounded, and the extract is then water-infused to be consumed as a tonic. The sclerotium is also consumed raw with betel leaves to relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.

 

Nutritional Composition:

The sclerotium part of this mushroom is a good source of dietary fibre & is rich in beta-glucans & essential amino acids. Beta-glucans from mushroom exhibit immune boosting effect. A total of 8 essential amino acids that must be obtained from diet are found in TMM. Amino acids are important to aid various protein synthesis in the body. 

 

i) Source of most essential amino acids

• A local study conducted in 2013 on the protein and amino acid composition of the local L. rhinocerotis from different developmental stages (e.g., the fruit body, sclerotium, mycelium) collected in the wild reported moderate protein levels with all essential amino acids (e.g., phenylalanine, valine, threonine, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, histidine) were present in the tiger milk mushroom except tryptophan.

 

• Tiger milk mushroom contains eight out of the nine essential amino acids that are required by the body through daily diets. Also known as indispensable amino acids, these nine amino acids cannot be synthesised by humans or other vertebrates from metabolic intermediates. Among the major functions of essential amino acids are its crucial role in building protein blocks, acting as precursors or substrates for neurotransmitters, vitamins and hormones’ production as well as other cellular processes.

 

ii) Source of beta-glucans and minerals

• From the nutritional aspect, the sclerotium of L. rhinocerotis is considered to be a good source of dietary fibre rich in beta-glucans.2 

 

• According to Zekovic et al., mushrooms’ beta-glucans have been reported to exhibit different effects (e.g., immune-booster, anti-tumour) when compared with beta-glucan from oats and barley (e.g., lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels).3

 

• Findings from another local study in 2013 reported the major constituents of L. rhinocerotis sclerotia were carbohydrates (monosaccharides and disaccharides) while the fat content was significantly low i.e., less than 1%.

 

• As published by Lau et al., the beta-glucans represented the dominant glucans in the aqueous extracts of L. rhinocerotis, which was 82–93% of total glucan (w/w). 

 

• The minerals (calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium) were also higher in the cultivated strain. In general, investigation revealed that the nutrient composition of the sclerotium of cultivated strain of tiger milk mushroom was higher in comparison to that of the wild strain.

 

Evidence-based Data on the Health Benefits of Lignosus rhinocerotis Tiger Milk Mushroom (TMM)

i) Anti-asthmatic activity
ii) Anti-inflammatory activity
iii) Immunomodulatory actions
iv) Antioxidant properties
References

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