Background: The medications produced from natural products are widely used as prophylactics for sickness induced by alcohol consumption. One such prophylactic is produced from the Reishi mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum. Because of the antioxidant properties of these preparations, we expect neuroprotective prophylactic effects of Reishi-based medications in alcohol-treated animals.
Methods: The Reishi (R) suspension was produced as water extract from Altaian mushrooms. Sprague-Dawley male rats were separated into the following 3 experimental groups: Group A + R received R (6 days per week) starting 1 week before alcohol exposure, and during the next 3 weeks, they received both R and alcohol; group A received alcohol; and group C received water. At the end of experiment, we determined the metabolic profile using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1) H MRS) of the brain cortex and phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the liver. Additionally, the blood cells were collected, and the serum biochemistry and liver histology were performed after euthanasia.
Results: Partial least squares discriminant analysis processing of the brain (1) H MRS gave 2 axes, the Y1 axis positively correlated with the level of taurine and negatively correlated with the level of lactate, and the Y2 axis positively correlated with the content of GABA and glycine and negatively correlated with the sum of the excitatory neurotransmitters, glutamate and glutamine. The Y1 values reflecting the brain energetics for the A + R group exceeded the corresponding values for groups C and A. The maximal level of Y2 reflecting the prevalence of inhibitory metabolites in the brain was observed in the rats exposed to alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption did not cause significant pathological changes in the livers of the experimental animals. However, 20 days of alcohol consumption significantly increased the number of binuclear hepatocytes compared to the control. This effect was mitigated in the rats that received the Reishi extract.
Conclusions: Regular administration of the Reishi suspension improved the energy supply to the brain cortex and decreased the prevalence of inhibitory neurotransmitters that are characteristic of alcohol consumption. The alcohol-induced increase in liver proliferation was significantly suppressed by regular administration of the G. lucidum water suspension.