‘Shaggy ink cap’ mushroom and blood sugar control



‘Shaggy ink cap’ mushroom and blood sugar control

If you use or read about nutritional supplements, herbal remedies or ‘super foods’, you’re probably aware that certain mushrooms may have particular benefits for our health. Common examples you may have seen in supplements are shiitake, maitake and reishi mushroom – which are perhaps best known for their potential to support our immunity.

Research also indicates there may be many other benefits to supplementing with mushrooms – including some more unusual types. One such example is Coprinus comatus mushroom (also known as ‘shaggy ink cap’ due to its appearance!), which has shown potential to support blood sugar control.

With conditions such as obesity and diabetes on the rise, keeping our blood glucose levels in check is more important than ever. Of course, having the right diet is at the foundation – especially limiting our intake of quickly absorbed carbohydrates and sugars, as well as eating the right amount of protein, healthy fats and fibre-rich vegetables. But many people can also benefit from additional support.

Several scientific studies have shown that Coprinus comatus extracts may have hypoglycaemic (blood sugar-lowering) properties. These include a recent study carried out by Chinese researchers that found giving extracts of the mushroom to diabetic mice considerably reduced their blood glucose, and had a long-term blood sugar-lowering effect when treatment was continued.1 An earlier similar study also indicated that Coprinus comatus could lower levels of HbA1c (glycosylated haemoglobin, a long-term measure of high blood sugar) in diabetic mice, as well as improve sugar tolerance in normal (non-diabetic) mice.2

To further investigate this action of Coprinus mushroom, it would of course be valuable to see some good-quality studies on human participants. But it definitely shows promise to provide support for blood sugar control; and as Coprinus extracts are shown to be safe3, supplementing with this mushroom should be a consideration for those who need extra support in this area of their health.

To find out more about Coprinus comatus mushroom and supplements that contain it, please visit http://hifasdaterra.co.uk/.


  1. Zhou, S., Liu, Y., Yang, Y., Tang, Q., & Zhang, J. (2015). Hypoglycemic Activity of Polysaccharide from Fruiting Bodies of the Shaggy Ink Cap Medicinal Mushroom, Coprinus comatus (Higher Basidiomycetes), on Mice Induced by Alloxan and Its Potential Mechanism. International Journal Of Medicinal Mushrooms, 17(10), 957-964. http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i10.50
  2. Han, C., Yuan, J., Wang, Y., & Li, L. (2006). Hypoglycemic activity of fermented mushroom of Coprinus comatus rich in vanadium. Journal Of Trace Elements In Medicine And Biology, 20(3), 191-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2006.06.003
  3. Stilinovic, N., Škrbic, B., Živancev, J., Mrmoš, N., Pavlovic, N., & Vukmirovic, S. (2014). The level of elements and antioxidant activity of commercial dietary supplement formulations based on edible mushrooms. Food Funct., 5(12), 3170-3178. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4fo00703d


[Note: Please put every mention of ‘Coprinus’ and ‘Coprinus comatus’ in italics when formatting and publishing this article, as the normal way of formatting genus and species names.]

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