Tremella mushroom (Tremella fuciformis), also known as white jelly mushroom, or snow fungus, has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Wild tremella mainly grows on the trunk of camphor, pine and maple trees and other dry wood, with light yellow or light brown skin, this translucent white fungus contains a wealth of active compounds that offer tremendous health benefits. known as the “king of fungus.” With its long history of use in ancient Chinese medicine, tremella mushroom has been shown by modern research to positively impact immunity, cholesterol, blood sugar, skin health and cognition. In this article, we’ll explore the evidence-based ways that tremella mushroom extract can improve your well-being.
Health benefits of tremella mushroom extract
Tremella mushroom extract is made using hot water to help protect the beneficial compounds like polysaccharides, sterols and triterpenes.
Boosts Immune Health
One of the most researched aspects of tremella mushrooms is their ability to enhance immune function. Multiple studies have shown tremella’s polysaccharides can increase antibody production and raise levels of immune cells. A review in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy found strong immunomodulating effects, especially relating to diseases like the flu. Tremella makes immune cells more vigilant against threats. Tremella contains unique polysaccharides that stimulate white blood cell activity. White blood cells like lymphocytes and macrophages are integral to recognizing and clearing foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.
The immunostimulatory capacity also helps combat the formation of cancer cells. Research indicates that polysaccharides can hamper tumor growth by ramping up the activity of immune system soldiers like T-cells and natural killer cells.
Anti-Aging Effects on Skin
With potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, tremella mushroom extract helps reduce signs of aging when applied topically on the skin. The triterpenoids and polysaccharides found in tremella mushrooms suppress enzymes that break down collagen. This allows collagen production to outpace its degradation, increasing firmness and elasticity.
The moisturizing properties also prevent moisture loss. Compounds like mannitol create a smooth, hydrated complexion by forming a protective film on the skin. Regular application of tremella extract improves suppleness and gives skin a more youthful glow.
Tremella also lightens pigmentation and inhibits tyrosinase activity. Tyrosinase is an enzyme involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that causes skin discoloration and dark spots. By hindering tyrosinase, tremella evens out skin tone.
A handful of studies have found that using tremella mushroom extract can lower cholesterol levels, especially LDL or “bad” cholesterol. This effect is likely due to the presence of sterols in tremella that inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut.
In one 30-day trial published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, participants who took a tremella extract supplement saw significant reductions in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to placebo. The researchers attributed this cholesterol-lowering effect to a sterol called ergosterol.
With cholesterol playing a major role in heart health, incorporating tremella extract could be a smart way to support cardiovascular function. Just 500mg per day may be enough to see a difference in cholesterol markers.
Helps Manage Blood Sugar
Emerging research shows that the polysaccharides in tremella mushroom extract can positively impact blood sugar regulation. The unique polysaccharides have been found to increase insulin sensitivity and prevent spikes in blood glucose.
A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at the effects of tremella extract supplementation in diabetic rats. After 4 weeks, fasting blood glucose and glycosylated serum protein were substantially lower in the rats receiving the extract compared to diabetic control rats.
The anti-diabetic activity makes tremella extract useful as an adjunct therapy for managing type 2 diabetes. The hypoglycemic effects may also protect pancreatic beta cells against oxidative damage.
Supports Cognition and Brain Function
Some early animal research indicates that tremella mushrooms contain nootropic compounds that enhance cognitive function. Studies have found tremella extract can improve memory and learning in mouse models. The neuroprotective effects make tremella mushrooms a promising functional food for supporting brain health.
One study published in Biomedical Reports showed giving aging mice tremella extract for 4 weeks significantly improved their performance on object recognition and spatial memory tests compared to controls. The researchers noted increased antioxidant activity in the brain as one potential mechanism. More research is still needed, but the initial results on learning, memory and antioxidant status are encouraging.
How to Add Tremella Extract to Your Routine
With such a stellar nutritional profile, tremella mushroom extract is definitely a superfood worth trying. Available in capsule and powder form, adding tremella mushroom extract to your health and beauty regimen is an easy way to leverage these medicinal mushrooms’ effects. Tremella extract powders can also be stirred into smoothies, oatmeals and desserts. For skin rejuvenation, use a topical serum with tremella extract applied daily to notice improvements in hydration and signs of aging. Aim for 500-2000mg per day in capsules or powders along with topical creams to experience the anti-aging, antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits. If you are looking for the nootropic benefits, it can be obtained from doses as low as 500mg per day. For immune support, higher doses around 1000-2000mg are commonly used.