Investigators analyzed data from over 650 participants (aged ≥ 60 years) from the Diet and Healthy Aging (DaHA) study in Singapore and found that those who consumed more than two portions per week of mushrooms had a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment.

Six types of mushroom that were included are golden, oyster, shiitake, white button, dried, and button mushrooms.

A “portion” was defined as three quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms, with an average weight of around 150 g.

Data supports a potential role for mushrooms and their bioactive compounds especially ergothioneine, which is a compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in delaying #neurodegeneration. Certain components in mushrooms, such as hericenones, erinacines, scabronines, and dictyophorines, may promote the synthesis of nerve growth factors.

Mushrooms also contain other #phytonutrients, such as vitamin D, selenium, B vitamins, and spermidine.
The bioactive compounds in mushrooms may also confer neuroprotection by inhibiting production of amyloid-β seen in #Alzheimer’s disease.

It should be noted however that only consuming mushrooms in the absence of #lifestyle changes that include consuming a low carbohydrate diet, exercising, reducing alcohol intake and smoking are not going to confer the required benefits.

Guest Article by Dietician Shwetha Bhatia