A blend of 3 mushrooms dose-dependently increases butyrate production by the gut microbiota

J Verhoeven, D Keller, S Verbruggen, K Youssef Abboud, K Venema*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The gut microbiota has been indicated to play a crucial role in health and disease. Apart from changes in composition between healthy individuals and those with a disease or disorder, it has become clear that also microbial activity is important for health. For instance, butyrate has been proven to be beneficial for health, because, amongst others, it is a substrate for the colonocytes, and modulates the host's immune system and metabolism. Here, we studied the effect of a blend of three mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum GL AM P-38, Grifola frondosa GF AM P36 and Pleurotus ostreatus PO AM-GP37)) on gut microbiota composition and activity in a validated, dynamic, computer-controlled in vitro model of the colon (TIM-2). Predigested mushroom blend at three doses (0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 g/day of ingested mushroom blend) was fed to a pooled microbiota of healthy adults for 72 h, and samples were taken every day for microbiota composition (sequencing of amplicons of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene) and activity (short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production). The butyrate producing genera Lachnospiraceae UCG-004, Lachnoclostridium, Ruminococcaceae UCG-002 and Ruminococcaceae NK4A214-group are all dose-dependently increased when the mushroom blend was fed. Entirely in line with the increase of these butyrate-producers, the cumulative amount of butyrate also dose-dependently increased, to roughly twice the amount compared to the control (medium without mushroom blend) on the high-dose mushroom blend. Butyrate proportionally made up 53.1% of the total SCFA upon feeding the high-dose mushroom blend, compared to 27% on the control medium. In conclusion, the (polysaccharides in the) mushroom blend led to substantial increase in butyrate by the gut microbiota. These results warrant future mechanistic research on the mushroom blend, as butyrate is considered to be one of the microbial metabolites that contributes to health, by increasing barrier function and modulating inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-612
Number of pages12
JournalBeneficial Microbes
Issue number6
Early online date30 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Ganoderma lucidum
  • Grifola frondosa
  • Pleurotus ostreatus
  • SCFA
  • butyrate
  • in vitro colon model

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