Mushrooms are delicious and have recently become the talk of the town because of their potential health benefits. They are one of the few natural resources of Vitamin D and now, a team of researchers have found that certain types of mushrooms contain some potent antioxidants that may prevent the risk of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease.
- Certain types of mushrooms contain some potent antioxidants
- These antioxidants present may help fight the free radicals in the body
- It was found that Porcini contained the maximum amount
A team of scientists from the Penn State University in the United States have found that certain species of mushrooms contain ergothioneine and glutathione, which are both important antioxidants that could have a connection to fighting age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
For the study, the team studied 13 different kinds of mushrooms. It was found that Porcini, a wild species popular in Italy, contained the highest amount of the two compounds. The researchers also found a correlation between the amounts of ergothioneine and glutathione and also that the compounds remained stable when exposed to heat so cooking wouldn’t eliminate the benefits.
The scientists explain that when we oxidize our food to produce energy for the body, a lot of free radicals are generated and some of them can be toxic leading to inflammation and diseases. The antioxidants present in mushrooms help to counter and fight these disease causing free radicals. Many diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer's have been linked to the activity of these free radicals.
The researchers have found that countries that have more ergothioneine in their diets like France and Italy, have lower incidences of neurodegenerative diseases. The scientists are yet to find out whether that is just a correlation or causative. These findings are in their preliminary stage of research and discovery and more studies are needed to confirm these results and the effects of the antioxidants present in mushrooms on our health.