Wednesday March 20, 2019

Eating Mushrooms May Prevent Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

Other compounds contained within mushrooms may also be advantageous for decreasing the risk of cognitive decline

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Mushrooms. Pixabay

Older adults who eat mushrooms more than twice a week can halve their risk of losing memory as well as language and attention skills, a key factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease, finds a new study.

The study, led by a team from the National University of Singapore, found that even one small portion — three quarters of a cup — of mushrooms a week may still be beneficial to reduce the chances of mild cognitive impairment.

It also improved their cognitive tests and led to faster processing speed.

“This association is surprising and encouraging. It seems that a commonly available single ingredient could have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline,” said lead author Lei Feng, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

Chef Eduardo Garcia, founder of Maximo Bistrot and former migrant worker in the US, cuts mushrooms at his restaurant in Mexico City, July 13, 2017.

The reason could be a specific compound found in almost all varieties of mushrooms called ergothioneine (ET).

“ET is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to synthesise on their own. But it can be obtained from dietary sources, one of the main ones being mushrooms,” added Irwin Cheah, researcher from the varsity.

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For the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the team collected data from more than 600 men and women aged above 60.

Other compounds contained within mushrooms may also be advantageous for decreasing the risk of cognitive decline. (IANS)

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Here’s How Mushrooms can Help in the Treatment of Diabetes

Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases

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Mushrooms
How mushrooms can aid in diabetes treatment, Find out here. Pixabay

Eating white button mushrooms daily can act as a prebiotic by improving microbial community in the gut, which could then improve the regulation of glucose in the liver, a finding that could one day pave way for new diabetes treatments, say researchers.

In the study, feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut microbes — microbiota — to produce more short chain fatty acids, specifically propionate from succinate, according to Margherita T. Cantorna, Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the US.

Previous research has shown that succinate and propionate can change the expression of genes needed to manage glucose production, she said.

“Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases,” Cantorna noted.

The study, reported in the Journal of Functional Foods, used two types of mice who were fed about a daily serving size of the mushrooms. One group had microbiota, the other were germ-free.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms. Pixabay

Consuming the mushrooms set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria, expanding the population of Prevotella — a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate.

These acids can change the expression of genes that are key to the pathway between the brain and the gut that helps manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis.

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The mushrooms, in this case, serve as a prebiotic, which is a substance that feeds beneficial bacteria that are already existing in the gut. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are introduced into the digestive system.

Beyond the possible beneficial benefits of mushrooms as a prebiotic, Cantorna said that this study also shows more evidence that there is a tight connection between diet and microbiota.

“It’s pretty clear that almost any change you make to the diet, changes the microbiota,” Cantorna added. (IANS)