Subscribe Today & Receive 15% Off

< class="article__title title mushrooms-for-diabetes-can-they-aid-blood-sugar-control"> Mushrooms For Diabetes: Can They Aid Blood Sugar Control?>
Mushrooms For Diabetes: Can They Aid Blood Sugar Control?
Nov 11, 22
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Mushrooms For Diabetes: Can They Aid Blood Sugar Control?

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    A rising star in the holistic health field, Dr. Sony Sherpa has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Although she started writing on Nature’s Rise one year ago, her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine.

  • |
  • 10 min read

How exactly is mushroom good for diabetes? This is a question on many people's minds.

Mushrooms are thought to have anti-diabetic properties and are low in carbs and sugar. They have a low glycemic index, which does not spike sugar levels after meals. Additionally, they are non-starchy vegetables abundant in soluble fiber, which supports the body's ability to regulate blood sugar.

In several scientific studies, medicinal mushrooms like Lion's mane, Reishi, Turkey tail, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Maitake, are known to lower blood sugar levels. Furthermore, these mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties that help combat abnormal inflammation in the body, which alters the action of insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar.

Let's look at the top 6 best mushrooms for diabetes, how they are beneficial and what the research says about them. 

Top 6 Mushrooms Good For Diabetics

How are mushrooms good for diabetics? Fungal polysaccharides(1) may improve insulin resistance(2) and lower blood sugar levels, according to research on type 2 diabetic animals. Furthermore(3), eating a diet high in vegetables like mushrooms and other foods high in vitamins may help prevent gestational diabetes, which affects both the mother and the unborn child in 14% of pregnancies worldwide.

Mushroom polysaccharides may also reduce blood cholesterol levels(4), lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease associated with uncontrolled diabetes. Additionally, beta-glucans(5), the soluble polysaccharide fibers found in mushrooms, slow digestion and delays the absorption of sugars, thereby regulating your blood sugar levels after a meal.

Here is an overview of the best medicinal mushrooms renowned for their anti-diabetic properties.

Reishi mushroom

Reishi mushroom

Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi is one of the top six mushroom for diabetes, thanks to its bioactive compounds, which improve insulin levels and reduces blood sugar levels. Additionally, it aids in controlling cholesterol, which is crucial for diabetics.

The triterpenoids, proteoglycans, proteins, and polysaccharides in Reishi have been shown to have hypoglycemic effects. Polysaccharides have reportedly been shown to lower blood sugar levels in animal studies(6) by raising plasma insulin levels while lowering plasma sugar levels.

According to a study published in the  International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms(7), adults with type 2 diabetes received supplements containing the polysaccharides found in Reishi mushrooms. Here, patients either received the mushroom extract or a placebo. In the end, blood glucose levels and HbA1C, which determine long-term sugar levels, were measured. The values significantly decreased, reflecting the hypoglycemic action of Reishi.

Reishi mushroom also helps improve insulin resistance. This 2019 study(8) found that two peptidoglycans, ganoderan A and B, isolated from Ganoderma lucidum, stimulate insulin release from the cell. Researchers also discovered that the mushroom peptidoglycans permit calcium to move freely inside beta cells, ultimately reducing insulin resistance.

Lion's Mane Mushroom

Next on our list of the best mushrooms for diabetics is Hericium erinaceus or the glorious Lion's mane mushroom. Research has pointed out that Lion's mane may not only help treat diabetes but also help prevent this metabolic disorder.

The blood sugar-lowering effects of Hericium erinaceus extracts were examined in an animal study conducted in 2013(9). The effects of the mushroom on glucose and insulin were studied in diabetic rats after they received it for 28 days. Results showed that the fungus significantly raised insulin levels and lowered blood glucose levels.

One of Lion's mane(10) mushrooms diabetes benefits is achieved by preventing the alpha-glucosidase enzyme from doing its job. As a result, sugars are broken down in the small intestine and are not absorbed, avoiding sugar spikes.

An overactive immune system mistakenly targets and kills the beta cells in type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder. This causes an insulin shortage, which results in diabetes.

Because lion's mane mushrooms are known immune system modulators, they can control an overly aggressive immune response. The mushroom has been studied in rodent studies for its immunomodulatory activity(11), suggesting a potential role in the prevention of type one diabetes.

Lion's mane mushrooms are well known for their ability to reduce inflammation(12). According to studies, Hericium erinaceus can aid in reducing the chronic low-grade inflammation that underlies many metabolic diseases, including diabetes. It also suppresses several inflammatory-related factors, which might help halt the onset of diabetes.

Chaga Mushroom

Chaga Mushroom

The king of medicinal fungi, also known as Chaga or Inonotus obliquus, is also one of the best mushrooms for diabetes. Not only does it lower blood sugar and cholesterol, but it also fights inflammation, regulates the immune system, and protects the kidney against damage from high blood sugar.

A study(13) discovered that Chaga's beta-glucans, triterpenoids, and polyphenols significantly reduced blood sugar and insulin resistance. Researchers concluded that the effects of 500 mg/kg of mushroom were comparable to those of the diabetes medication metformin.

Diabetes of both types, type 1 and type 2, is associated with inflammation. Therefore, Chaga's anti-inflammatory properties, due to its high antioxidant content and the ability to inhibit the production of inflammation-causing proteins(14), could be used to treat and manage the condition.

Turkey Tail Mushroom

Another mushroom good for diabetes is Turkey tail or Trametes versicolor. The anti-hyperglycemic effects of the polysaccharopeptides obtained from Turkey tail mushrooms have been reported to increase the glucose uptake in the cells.

In this 2020 study(15), Trametes versicolor was evaluated for its ability to maintain glucose homeostasis in type 2 diabetes. Four weeks after the rats were given the mushroom extract, there were attenuated elevations in their blood sugar levels. In addition, the insulin resistance indices also improved, and so did the oral glucose tolerance test.

The mushroom also reduced oxidative stress in the rats and demonstrated anti-hyperlipidemic activities. The results showed the beneficial effects of Turkey tail in preventing the onset of diabetes-related complications.

Likewise, another study(16) explored the anti-diabetic effects of alcoholic extract of Turkey tail on mice. Compared with the animals that did not receive the mushroom, the study group showed significant reductions in blood glucose and triglyceride levels. Biopsies also showed decreased destruction of liver tissue in the group receiving the mushroom. The results showed that Turkey tail might effectively prevent diabetes and have a protective effect on the liver.

Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps mushrooms help manage sugar levels in diabetes. This anti-diabetic activity of the mushroom has been demonstrated in many scientific studies.

Diabetic rats, who were given Cordyceps extract(17), displayed a notable reduction in blood glucose levels.  The mushroom promoted glucose metabolism and exerted an anti-oxidative effect.

Similar results were also obtained in other studies(18). This implies that Cordyceps has excellent potential for diabetes treatment.

Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushroom

Maitake or Grifola frondosa helps keep blood sugar under control. The link between Maitake mushrooms and diabetes has been the subject of numerous research.

For instance, in this study(19), animals with type 2 diabetes were given the alpha glucan extracted from the Maitake fruiting body. As a result, the amount of glucose stored in the liver, blood glucose levels, and body weight all changed over time. In addition, the body weight and blood glucose levels significantly decreased after Maitake was administered. 


Which Mushroom Is Best For Diabetes?

Mushrooms like Turkey tail, Lion's mane, Chaga, Maitake, Reishi, and Cordyceps are good for people with diabetes. This is because the polysaccharides and beta gluons in the mushroom are effective in helping the body regulate blood sugar.

Are Mushrooms Okay For Diabetics?

Mushrooms are low in carbs and sugar and are thought to have anti-diabetic properties. Additionally, they have a low glycemic index,  making them suitable for a diet for people with diabetes.

Are Mushrooms High In Sugar?

Mushrooms are low in sugar. This makes them an excellent addition to a diabetic-friendly diet.

Final Thoughts

Medicinal mushrooms help lower blood sugar levels and combat inflammation and oxidative stress. Some of the best mushrooms for diabetes are Reishi, Lion's mane, turkey tail, Cordyceps, Maitake, and Chaga.

Grill them, roast them, or use a no-fuss mushroom powder. Adding them to your diet will help you get that sugar control you always wanted!

We Would Love To Hear Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Anti-Diabetic Effects and Mechanisms of Dietary Polysaccharides, (1) 
  2. Alkali-soluble polysaccharides from mushroom fruiting bodies improve insulin resistance, (2) 
  3. Inverse relation between fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, (3) 
  4. Anti-Diabetic Effects and Mechanisms of Dietary Polysaccharides, (4) 
  5. Screening of beta-glucan contents in commercially cultivated and wild growing mushrooms, (5) 
  6. Anti-diabetic effects of Ganoderma lucidum, (6) 
  7. A Phase I/II Study of Ling Zhi Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (W.Curt.:Fr.)Lloyd (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract in Patients with Type II Diabetes Mellitus, (7),0738f8d34e863c74,1629a45749954343.html 
  8. Mushrooms of the Genus Ganoderma Used to Treat Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, (8) 
  9. Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats, (9) 
  10. Antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of eight medicinal mushroom species from China, (10) 
  11. Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (11) 
  12. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion's Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages, (12) 
  13. Effect of Inonotus obliquus (Fr.) Pilat extract on the regulation of glycolipid metabolism via PI3K/Akt and AMPK/ACC pathways in mice, (13) 
  14. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Inonotus obliquus in Colitis Induced by Dextran Sodium Sulfate, (14) 
  15. Extracellular Polysaccharopeptides from Fermented Turkey Tail Medicinal Mushroom, Trametes versicolor (Agaricomycetes), Mitigate Oxidative Stress, Hyperglycemia, and Hyperlipidemia in Rats with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, (15) 
  16. Anti-diabetic effect of methanol extract of Trametes versicolor on male mice, (16) 
  17. Studies on the Antidiabetic Activities of Cordyceps militaris Extract in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague-Dawley Rats, (17) 
  18. Antidiabetic and Antinephritic Activities of Aqueous Extract of Cordyceps militaris Fruit Body in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague Dawley Rats, (18) 
  19. Anti-diabetic effect of an alpha-glucan from fruit body of maitake (Grifola frondosa) on KK-Ay mice, (19)

Let Us Know Your Comments