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Higher consumption of edible mushrooms – of any variety – is associated with a lower risk of both total cancer and breast cancer, according to a new meta-analysis published in the journal Advances in Nutrition. The researchers, from Penn State University, reviewed 17 cancer studies dating from 1966 to 2020, and found that people who ate 18 grams (0.63 ounce) of mushrooms per day had a 45% lower cancer risk than those who did not consume mushrooms.
They suggested that the biological mechanisms underlying this association may stem from the antioxidant activity of the amino acid ergothioneine and the tripeptide glutathione, both of which are found in mushrooms. Concentrations of ergothioneine, thought to have an important role in mushrooms’ cancer-protective abilities, vary among mushroom types, with shiitake, oyster, maitake, and king oyster mushrooms having greater amounts than white button, cremini, and portabello mushrooms.
Edible mushrooms are also rich in a variety of other health-promoting bioactive compounds, including phytochemicals, vitamins, selenium, and polysaccharides – such as β-glucans, which have demonstrated antitumor and immune-modulating properties.
Sources: Higher mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of cancer. Penn State News, July 8, 2021. news.psu.edu/story/655156/2021/04/21/research/higher-mushroom-consumption-associated-lower-risk-cancer.
Ba DM, Ssentongo P, Beelman RB, et al. Higher mushroom consumption is associated with lower risk of cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Advances in Nutrition, 2021; DOI: 10.1093/advances/nmab015.
Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Summer 2021 | Volume 45, Number 2
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