Higher mushroom consumption is associated with a 45% lower risk of cancer, according to a new Penn State study
Researchers from Penn State analysed data from more than 19,500 cancer patients to explore the relationship between mushroom consumption and cancer risk.
According to the findings of the study, people who ate 18 grams of mushrooms daily had a 45% lower risk of cancer compared to those who did not eat mushrooms.
Mushrooms are rich in vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants and even though shiitake, oyster, maitake and king oyster mushrooms have higher amounts of the amino acid ergothioneine than white button, cremini and portabello mushrooms, any variety can lower the risk of cancer.
“Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of ergothioneine, which is a unique and potent antioxidant and cellular protector,” said Djibril M. Ba, a graduate student in epidemiology at Penn State College of Medicine. “Replenishing antioxidants in the body may help protect against oxidative stress and lower the risk of cancer.”
The researchers noted the strongest associations for breast cancer as individuals who regularly ate mushrooms had a significantly lower risk.
“Overall, these findings provide important evidence for the protective effects of mushrooms against cancer,” said co-author John Richie, a Penn State Cancer Institute researcher and professor of public health sciences and pharmacology. “Future studies are needed to better pinpoint the mechanisms involved and specific cancers that may be impacted.”
The study has been published in Advances in Nutrition.