• Daniela Fonseca

Precious health benefit of black truffle: the anti-fatigue effect

Considered the black diamond of the kitchen, the black truffle is a very fine food full of benefits. Recent research suggested that its polysaccharides can protect mice against exercise-induced fatigue by regulating gut microbiota.

People are exercising more than ever. With an increased knowledge over the benefits of regular physical activity, concerns surrounding excessive exercise are also arising. On one hand, regular exercise can modulate gut microbiota, thereby protecting human health. However, on the other hand, excessive exercise can lead to the emerge of fatigue by increasing the accumulation of harmful metabolites. Additionally, evidence has confirmed that fatigue can induce gut barrier injury and that gut barrier injury and gut microbiota may be responsible for post-exercise malaise experienced by patients. As such, the connection between gut microbiota in the onset and development of fatigue gained shape.


Black truffle (Tuber indicum (T.indicum)), the hypogenous macrofungus appreciated for ages in the culinary domain, is gaining elevated status as a functional food. It is recognized as great source of bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides and phenolics. Among these, T.indicum polysaccharide (TIP) acts as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory as previously shown for in vitro studies using human colon carcinoma cells. Furthermore, TIP can modulate microflora by inhibiting pathogenic microorganisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa,

Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus.


As such, to understand and explore the role of black truffle in relieving fatigue by regulating gut microbiota, a mouse model of fatigue induced by swimming was monitored and the effect of TIP administration was evaluated.


The effect of TIP administration on relieving exhaustive swimming was confirmed in a dose-dependent manner, enhancing the exercise endurance of mice. Additionally, TIP treatment promoted energy storage and activated energy metabolism.


In exhaustive swimming, anaerobic metabolism of mice decomposes glucose into an excess of lactic acid which affects the skeletal muscle system. In this case, TIP administration promoted lactate metabolism and lowered the metabolic rate of proteins. Also, the activity of energy metabolism-related enzymes was increased as well as the scavenging of harmful metabolites, which is reflected in the remission of fatigue.


These finding were consistent with the evaluation of gut microbiota. In this study, exhaustive swimming altered gut microbiota of mice. Feeding the animals with TIP decreased the abundance of Proteobacteria, increased the abundance of beneficial microbiota (Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes). Furthermore, TIP enhanced the defense of the intestinal mucosa to potential pathogens.


In general, TIP has shown great evidence in remodeling gut microbiota composition and therefore, have potential to relieve excessive exercise-induced fatigue.


These results reinforce the value of black truffle and enables it to expand its wonders beyond the “haute couisine”, entering in the realm of functional foods.

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