The potential use of Oyster Mushrooms ( Vitamin D Source) in Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
The objective of this report to access current available evidence on the potential of Pleurotus olearius (oyster mushroom) in COVID-19 management based on the following:
- Efficacy : Focusing on reported properties of 1. antiviral; 2: modulation of immune response, and 3: role as other supportive therapy or management of disease related complication; and their respective potential mechanism(s) of actions.
- Safety of Pleurotus olearius
Electronic databases were searched using pre-determined terminologies such as’ Pleurotus olearius‘, ‘Vitamin D’, ‘antiviral’, ‘immunomodulatory’, ‘immune response’, ‘mechanism of action’ and ‘safety’. All clinical and preclinical studies (both in vitro and in vivo0 related to safety and efficacy or effectiveness or oyster mushroom in treating viral disease were included.
Result and discussion
Based on the literature search, there is no evidence on efficacy of oyster mushroom in COVID-19. However, there is some evidence indicating the possibility of vitamin D deficiency leading towards higher risk of poorer outcomes in COVID-19 patients, however, well conducted prospective studies are required to confirm this. This might be related with the importance of vitamin D homeostasis for maintaining normal physiological and immune function. However, current evidence is insufficient to support recommending vitamin D supplementation to treat or prevent worsening of COVID-19 infection in patients with adequate serum vitamin D levels. There are few ongoing clinical trials using vitamin D supplementation in addition to standard best care in COVID-19 management, none of which are completed; while evidence of direct antiviral properties is mostly preclinical only. Clinical trial although mushroom are know to contain Vitamin D, There is limited evidence to evaluate the vitamin D content of oyster mushroom for quantitative recommendation of required intake as dietary of source of vitamin D. In terms of safety, oyster mushroom is generally safe for consumption although precautions on consuming it in its ethanolic extract from should be made. Animal study reported teratogenic effects with 100% mortality of embryos at 0.001 to 0.002 g/ml P. osteratus ethanolic extract and high percentage of delayed growth and tail malformation at 0.001 g/ml since vitamin D facilitates the intestinal absorption of calcium, the risk of increased serum should be monitored as this may lead to calcium deposits in the arteries or soft tissues and cause kidney stones.
In conclusion, oyster mushroom does contain vitamin D but more studies need to be conducted to standardise vitamin D content. Challenges in standardisation include of agro-climatic factors which affects its vitamin D content. Hence, dieatry consumption of oyster mushroom is more difficult to control for optimal effects, as compared to standard oral vitamin D supplements which have been marketed for decades.