A new study reports that Ganoderma Lucidum, a type of mushroom with an antioxidant effect known to be of medical benefit, could potentially be used in dietary supplements to improve fitness and physical performance in women suffering from fibromyalgia (FM). The study, entitled “Ganoderma lucidum improves physical fitness in women with fibromyalgia” and published in Nutricion hospitalaria: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Nutricion Parenteral y Enteral, assessed the outcomes of a six-week Ganoderma Lucidum (GL) versus Ceratonia silique (CS) therapy (a natural therapy rich in antioxidants) in patients’ physical fitness.
The results, testing a total of 64 women with FM, demonstrated that GL (6 g daily) considerably enhanced their aerobic endurance, lower body flexibility and walking velocity (p<.05) over the six weeks, whereas no significant improvements were observed in any physical test among those participants given CS (6 g daily).
Ten participants, five from each group, did not complete the minimum 80% of the treatment required, reporting cases of mild to moderate of nausea, diarrhea, discomfort and nervousness — with some suggesting that these reactions may have been due to GL’s “bad taste.” The investigators noted that all the reactions were normal and restrained, but the study had some limitations. Namely, they pointed to a lack of similar research and a lack of knowledge on the effects of antioxidants in female FM patients or dosage and treatment duration.
Investigators said they could not explain how GL may improve aerobic endurance, velocity and flexibility except, grounded on previous studies, through the positive effect of its antioxidant properties. The importance of antioxidants to the physical and mental health of FM patients has been previously noted. But both GL and CS are antioxidant sources, so why did GL perform better than CS in this study? The researchers say further studies are needed to answer this question.