Experts urge caution in interpreting the research

‘Eating two mushrooms a day could lower cancer risk by 45 percent’

A new study suggests that eating 18 grams of mushrooms a day could lower the risk of cancer. People who eat two medium-sized mushrooms daily are said to have a 45 percent lower risk of cancer compared to those who do not eat mushrooms. This is according to Pennsylvania State University research that has been published in Advances in Nutrition.

The Penn research examined 17 cancer studies from 1966 to 2020, analysing more than 19,500 cancer patients. The team’s findings showed that people who incorporated any variety of mushrooms into their daily diets had a lower risk of cancer, even though shiitake, oyster, maitake and king oyster mushrooms have higher amounts of the amino acid ergothioneine than white button, cremini and portobello mushrooms.

Scmp.com quoted Djibril Ba, a graduate student in epidemiology at Penn State College of Medicine, as saying; “Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of ergothioneine, which is a unique and potent antioxidant and cellular protector. Replenishing antioxidants in the body may help protect against oxidative stress and lower the risk of cancer.”

“Overall, these findings provide important evidence for the protective effects of mushrooms against cancer,” said co-author John Richie, professor of public health sciences and pharmacology at the university. “Future studies are needed to better pinpoint the mechanisms involved and specific cancers that may be impacted.”

Experts have urged caution in interpreting the research, simply calling the findings “interesting”.


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