MUSHROOM ANTIOXIDANTS FIGHT AGING AND NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES
The mushrooms contribute to the flavor or can be at the heart of many recipes. The large variety of mushrooms present in the world makes it one of the basic elements of many traditional cooking recipes.
From Europe to Asia, mushrooms accompany meat, fish, or are eaten in salads or soups. No culinary barrier for the mushroom. Available both in commerce and wild mushroom picking , it is the undisputed star of autumn alongside cucurbits ( pumpkins ).
In addition to the taste qualities that abound each variety, the benefits of fungiare important because they are packed with antioxidants that can have anti-aging potential and fight the damage caused by oxidative stress . Fungi can contain abnormally high amounts of two antioxidants that some scientists believe could help fight aging and boost health.
THE BENEFITS OF FUNGI ON HEALTH THANKS TO ANTIOXIDANTS
In a study published on October 15, 2017 in the journal Food Chemistry , researchers found that fungi contained high levels of ergothionein and glutathione, two important antioxidants, said Robert Beelman , professor emeritus of food science and director of Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health . He added that the researchers also found that the amounts of both compounds varied greatly among mushroom species.
What the researchers have found is that, no doubt, fungi are the highest food source for the combination of these two antioxidants, and some types of fungi contain a significant amount.
When the body uses food to produce energy, it also causes oxidative stress because some free radicals are produced. Free radicals are oxygen atoms with unpaired electrons that cause damage to cells, proteins and even DNA because these highly reactive atoms travel through the body and seek to associate with others. electrons.
EATING MUSHROOMS REGULARLY REPLENISHES THE BODY WITH ANTIOXIDANTS AND PROTECTS AGAINST OXIDATIVE STRESS
For a long time the theory of free radicals of aging has been known. She says that when we oxidize our food to produce energy, there are a number of free radicals that are produced from this action and many of these are very toxic. The body has mechanisms to control most of them, but ultimately not always enough to control certain damage, such as those associated with many aging diseases, such as cancer , coronary heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease . Fungi containing large amounts of ergothionein and glutathionecan significantly help the body to defend against this oxidative damage.
According to the researchers, the amounts of ergothionein and glutathione contained in mushrooms vary by species. Those containing the largest quantity of the two compounds among the 13 tested species are porcini mushrooms, a wild variety of mushrooms very common in European forests and in the recipes of traditional kitchens in Europe. The researchers found that ceps have by far the largest amount of this combination of antioxidants. Moreover, this species is very popular in Italy where research has almost become a national pastime.
The most common types of mushrooms, such as Paris mushrooms or white mushrooms ( Agaricus bisporus ), had fewer antioxidants, but had higher amounts than most other foods.
It should be noted that the amount of ergothionein and glutathione also appears to be correlated with fungi, according to the researchers. Glutathione-rich fungi are also rich in ergothionein, for example.
COOKING MUSHROOMS DOES NOT SEEM TO SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THEIR COMPOUNDS
When cooking some foods lose some of their powers. But the researchers want to reassure us. Ergothioneine and glutathione are very stable to heat.
Finally, future research could examine in greater depth the role that ergothionein and glutathione have in reducing the likelihood of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the results are a preliminary, the researchers indicate that we can see that countries that have more ergothionein in their diets, such as France and Italy, also have fewer neurodegenerative diseases, than in countries like France. United States, where ergothionine levels are low. They have a higher probability of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The researchers conclude by explaining that, ” now, whether it’s just a correlation or a real cause, we do not know, but it’s something to look at, especially because the difference between countries with low rates of neurodegenerative disease is about 3 milligrams a day mushrooms each day. “