Tremella fuciformis, also known as White Wood Ear, belongs to the Tremellales order and Tremellaceae family. It is a type of health-promoting fungus, widely cultivated, and traditionally used in Chinese medicine.
What is Tremella fuciformis?
Tremella fuciformis belongs to the Tremellales order and Tremellaceae family. Also known as White Wood Ear, it is a health-promoting mushroom widely cultivated and utilized in traditional Chinese medicine. Numerous studies have indicated that Tremella polysaccharides exhibit significant biological activities, contributing to various health benefits, including anti-tumor, immune modulation, antioxidant, anti-aging, cognitive enhancement, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulation, and cholesterol reduction .
First discovered in Brazil, Tremella fuciformis has gradually become one of the most popular cultivated fungal species in Asian countries and is widely used as an herbal supplement  . The fruiting body of Tremella is gelatinous, white or pale yellow, and composed of numerous flattened or wavy small lobes, clustered together or forming a brain-like structure . Tremella natural polysaccharides are considered ideal components for health foods and some pharmaceuticals. These polysaccharides have large, complex tertiary and quaternary structures, and their activity and effects are still the subject of ongoing research by scholars .
Nutritional Content and Calories of Tremella (White Wood Ear)
Tremella is rich in protein, polysaccharides, and dietary fiber. It also contains various minerals (such as calcium, iron, potassium) and vitamins (vitamin A, B vitamins)  . When polysaccharides are further analyzed, they can be broken down into smaller molecules, such as mannose, fucose, and mannitol, but the main biologically active and health-beneficial component is polysaccharides, often referred to as Tremella polysaccharides . According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taiwan, on average, every 100 grams of Tremella contains 5.1 grams of dietary fiber, 147 milligrams of potassium, and about 12-22 kilocalories .
5 Health Benefits of Tremella (White Wood Ear)
Boosting Immune Function
Research suggests that Tremella polysaccharides extracted from Tremella can enhance immune regulation, significantly increase the production of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and induce cell apoptosis, providing immunomodulatory and anti-cancer effects . Animal studies show that high-dose Tremella polysaccharides supplementation in experimental animals induced colitis, leading to increased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, reduced production of immunoglobulin A (IgA), modulation of the immune response, and significant changes in the gut microbiota diversity. This has a protective effect on colitis, thus aiding in improving intestinal diseases . Another cell study indicates that Tremella polysaccharides can scavenge superoxide anions and free radicals, and as the concentration of Tremella polysaccharides increases, their anti-tumor activity also increases. This suggests that Tremella polysaccharides can be used in the treatment of free radical damage and related cancers .
Skin Health Benefits
Many studies have found that Tremella polysaccharides can help with skin aging and improve skin quality. In an animal experiment where animals were exposed to UV radiation for 30 consecutive days and then supplemented with Tremella polysaccharides, the results showed a relief of UV-induced skin structural changes, reduced collagen degradation, and decreased skin moisture loss, providing skin protection and preventing photoaging . Numerous experiments show that Tremella polysaccharides are highly effective in moisturizing, anti-wrinkle effects, improving skin texture, reducing roughness, and increasing skin elasticity . The results of a cell study indicate that skin fibroblasts cultured with Tremella polysaccharides had significantly reduced levels of free radicals and increased total antioxidant activity. Furthermore, Tremella polysaccharides increased the levels of type I collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid in skin fibroblasts. These findings effectively alleviate skin damage caused by UVA radiation and contribute to skin health .
Improving Cholesterol Levels
Research shows that Tremella polysaccharides can help improve high blood lipid levels. Studies administering Tremella polysaccharides to experimental animals for four weeks resulted in significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, along with improved intestinal physiology . In an experimental study, animals with elevated cholesterol levels were given Tremella polysaccharides, and after four weeks, total cholesterol levels decreased significantly by 19%, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased by 31% .
Stabilizing Blood Sugar
Tremella polysaccharides are believed to assist in blood sugar regulation, with a positive correlation between higher consumption of Tremella and improved blood glucose regulation . An experiment with obese animals receiving Tremella polysaccharides for 52 days found that their blood glucose levels significantly decreased by approximately 52%. Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) revealed significant improvements in glucose metabolism. Tremella polysaccharides exhibited a remarkable hypoglycemic effect and improved insulin sensitivity . In an experiment with diabetic animals, feeding them different concentrations of Tremella polysaccharides for 28 days led to significant decreases in blood glucose levels by 15.4% .
Numerous studies indicate that consuming Tremella is beneficial for gastrointestinal health. Tremella polysaccharides have a protective effect against ulcerative colitis, improving gut diseases and maintaining gastrointestinal physiological functions  . In animal studies, Tremella polysaccharides have been explored for their efficacy in ulcerative colitis, with significant reductions in colitis symptoms, such as improved body weight, increased colon length, decreased colon thickness, and reduced intestinal permeability. Tremella polysaccharides were also found to reduce inflammatory cell infiltration, restore colonic epithelial barrier integrity, and significantly alleviate ulcerative colitis . Another study found that giving high doses of Tremella polysaccharides to animals not only improved gut inflammation and reduced colon tissue damage but also significantly increased gut microbiota diversity. This helped restore gut microbial composition and metabolites, leading to improved gut diseases .
Are There Dietary Restrictions or Side Effects of Tremella (White Wood Ear)?
The Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taiwan currently classifies Tremella as a food of medicine and food origin but has not set a recommended daily intake . According to existing research, there have been no reports of adverse events with daily supplementation of Tremella at doses of 600-1200 milligrams . If you have concerns about consumption, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider or a nutritionist before making a decision.