Mushrooms and Health - The Microbiome is also a Mycobiome
With each passing year we learn more and more about the health benefits of including mushrooms in our diet. In the past many of the obvious benefits were defined by what mushrooms didn’t contain -- low in calories, almost no fat, very low in sodium. Now we know more about what mushrooms do contain, and how these elements contribute to our health. Some of the compounds that have been identified are selenium, ergothionene, beta glucans, chitin, and B-vitamins. Some of these substances, like ergothionene and beta glucans, are unique to the fungal kingdom. Mushrooms are richer sources of these compounds than animal or vegetable sources.
In research by PCK Cheung (citation below), scientists found that “Bioactive secondary metabolites found in mushrooms include phenolic compounds, sterols and triterpenes. In vitro and in vivo studies with mushrooms and isolated bioactive constituents have purported many pharmacological effects such as anti-tumour, antioxidant, antiviral, hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycaemic effects. Consumption of mushrooms or mushroom products in our daily diet may provide health benefits.”
Including mushrooms in the diet as functional foods has the potential to improve health by fighting obesity and its associated diabetes, by reducing cholesterol, by acting as an anti-inflammatory, by supporting a healthy immune response and possibly by reducing the incidence of tumor formation. Mushrooms in the diet also can reduce sodium intake, since the naturally occurring umami in mushrooms brings out the flavor in food without the need to over salt.
A note here on the widely publicized conception that mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D. This is true of cultivated mushrooms only when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. Mushrooms have the capacity, as humans do, to make Vitamin D when exposed to UV. In animals cholesterol in the skin is synthesized to D3. Mushrooms synthesize ergosterol into Vitamin D2. Both of these D vitamins promote bone health and may be associated with improved immune system functioning. Wild mushrooms, like chanterelles, can be good sources of Vitamin D because they receive natural UV from sunlight, but not all mushrooms are good sources of Vitamin D. In the supermarket, look for packages marked “good source of Vitamin D.” These have been exposed to pulsed UV.
Recent interest in the microbiome has led to research on the contribution that mushrooms can make to maintaining a healthy and balanced gut flora. There are also indications that imbalances in the fungal mycobiome in the gut can promote inflammation. Initial research suggests that some mushrooms, including white button mushrooms and shiitake, have a pronounced positive effect on the microbiome, while other popular mushrooms, like oyster mushrooms, have little or no effect. At Gourmet Mushrooms we have long believed that including a variety of different mushrooms in the diet or as dietary supplements is the best way to take advantage of the diversity of benefits available from different species.
Chefs appreciate the range of flavors and textures offered by mushrooms. Likewise your body will appreciate the range of bioactive compounds found in mushrooms as functional foods. If you are ready to dig deeper into the current research, here is an assortment of papers and peer-reviewed resources.
Mushrooms and Nutrition:
- Bisen PS, Baghel RK, Sanodiya BS, Thakur GS, Prasad GB. Lentinus edodes: a macrofungus with pharmacological activities. Curr Med Chem 2010;17:2419-2430.
- Cheung PCK. The nutritional and health benefits of mushrooms. Nutr Bull 2010;35:292-299.
- Chen JT, et al. Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) extract induces ovulation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: a possible monotherapy and a combination therapy after failure with first-line clomiphene citrate. J Altern Complem Med 2010;16:1295-9.
- Guillamon E, et al. Edible mushrooms: role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Fitoterapia 2010;81:715-23.
- Jeong SC, et al. White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels in diabetic and hypercholesterolemic rats. Nutr Res 2010;30:49-56.
- Martin KR. The bioactive agent ergothioneine, a key component of dietary mushrooms, inhibits monocyte binding to endothelial cells characteristic of early cardiovascular disease. J Med Food 2010;13: 1340-1346.
- Preuss HG, Echard B, Bagchi D, Perricone NV. Maitake mushroom extracts ameliorate progressive hypertension and other chronic metabolic perturbations in againg female rats. Int J Med Sci 2010;7:169-180.
- Bradley P, et al. Blood lipid responses to consumption of two different very low carbohydrate diets versus a lower fat diet. Experimental Biology, San Francisco, CA. Abstract #109.4. 2006
- Petrisko Y, et al. Postprandial serum triglyceride responses following four weeks of consuming two different very low carbohydrate diets versus a lower fat diet. Experimental Biology, San Francisco, CA. Abstract #109.5 2006
- Chang ST, Buswell JS. Medicinal mushrooms – a prominent source of nutriceuticals for the 21st Century. Curr Top Nutrac Res 2003;1:257-80.
- Mattila P, Suonpaa M, Piironen V. Functional properties of edible mushrooms. Nutr 2000;16:694-6.
- Chang R. Functional properties of edible mushrooms. Nutr Rev 1996;54:S91-S93. - See more at: http://mushroominfo.com/research/#sthash.colaoDnG.dpuf
- Chung MJ, Chung CK, Jeong Y, Ham SS. Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells. Nutr Res Pract 2010;4:177-182.
- Jedinak A, et al. Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits colitis-related colon carcinogenesis in mice. Int J Mol Med 2010;26:643-50.
- Jiang J, Sliva D. Novel medicinal mushroom blend suppresses growth and invasiveness of human breast cancer cells. Int J Oncol 2010;37:1529-1536.
- Kodama N, Mizuno S, Nanba H, Saito N. Potential antitumor activity of a low-molecular-weight protein fraction from Grifola frondosa through enhancement of cytokine production. J Med Food 2010;13:20-30.
- Lin H, et al. Maitake beta-glucan promotes recovery of leukocytes and myeloid cell function in peripheral blood from paclitaxel hematotoxicity. Cancer Immunol Immunother 2010;59:885-897.
- Louie B, Rajamahanty S, Won J, Choudhury M, Konno S. Synergistic potentiation of interferon activity with maitake mushroom d-fraction on bladder cancer cells. BJU Int 2010;105:1011-1015.
- Martin KR, Brophy SK. Commonly consumed and specialty dietary mushrooms reduce cellular proliferation in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Exp Biol Med 2010;235:1306-14.
- Shin A, et al. Dietary mushroom intake and the risk of breast cancer based on hormone receptor status. Nutr Cancer 2010;62:476-83.
- Vaz JA, Heleno SA, Martins A, Almeida GM, Vasconcelos MH, Ferreira IC. Wild mushrooms Clitocybe alexandri and Lepista inversa: in vitro antioxidant activity and growth inhibition of human tumour cell lines. Food Chem Toxicol 2010;48:2881-4.
- Shen J, et al. Effect of the culture extract of Lentinus edodes mycelia on splenic sympathetic activity and cancer cell proliferation. Auton Neurosci 2009;145:50-4.
- Zhang M, Huang J, Xie X, Holman CD. Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. Int J Cancer 2009;124:1404-8.
- Martin KR, Brophy S. Dietary mushrooms reduce mitogenesis and induce apoptosis and cytotoxicity in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. 2009. Experimental Biology, New Orleans, LA.
- Hong SA, Kim K, Nam SJ, Kong G, Kim, MK. A case-control study on the dietary intake of mushrooms and breast cancer risk among Korean women. Int J Cancer 2008;122:919-23.
- Adams LS, Phung S, Wu X, Ki L, Chen S. White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) exhibits antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties and inhibits prostate tumor growth in athymic mice. Nutr Cancer 2008;60:744-56.
- Jedinak A, Sliva D. Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits proliferation of human breast and colon cancer cells through p53-dependent as well as p53-independent pathway. Int J Oncology 2008;33:1307-13.
- Di Rado, A. “Researchers study mushrooms’ cancer-fighting potential.” Hope News 3 (16 June 2008). City of Hope. http://www.cityofhope.org/about/publications/hope-news/2008-vol-3-num-19-june-16/Pages/researchers-study-mushrooms-cancerfighting-potential.aspx.
- Chen S, et al. Anti-aromatase activity of phytochemicals in white button mushrooms. Cancer Res 2006;66:12026-34.
- Chen S, et al.Chemopreventive properties of mushrooms against breast cancer and prostate cancer. Int J Med Mushr 2005;7:342-3.
- Stanley G, et al. Ganoderma lucidum suppresses angiogenesis through the inhibition of secretion of VEGF and TGF-ß1 from prostate cancer cells. Biochem Biophys Res Comm 2005;330:46-52.
- Hara M, et al. Cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, and gastrointestinal cancer risks in a multicenter, hospital-based case-control study in Japan. Nutr Cancer 2003;46:138-47.
- Smith JE, et al. Medicinal mushrooms: Their therapeutic properties and current medical usage with special emphasis on cancer treatments. Cancer Res UK 2002.
- Kodama N, et al. Can maitake MD-fraction aid cancer patients? Altern Med Rev 2002;7:236-9.
- Wasser SP. Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides. Appl Microbiol Biot 2002;60:258-74.
- Grube BJ, et al. White button mushroom phytochemicals inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation. J Nutr 2001;131:3288-93.
- Kidd PM, et al. The use of mushroom glucans and proteoglycans in cancer treatment. Altern Med Rev 2000;5:4-27.
- Jeong SC, et al. Macrophage immunomodulating and antitumor activities of polysaccharides isolated from Agaricus bisporus white button mushrooms. J Med Food. 2012 Jan; 15(1):58-65
- Martin KR. Both common and specialty mushrooms inhibit adhesion molecule expression and in vitro binding of monocytes to human aortic endothelial cells in a pro-inflammatory environment. Nutr J 2010;16:29.
- Shao S, Hernandez M, Kramer JK, Rinker DL, Tsao R. Ergosterol profiles, fatty acid composition, and antioxidant activities of button mushrooms as affected by tissue part and developmental stage. J Agric Food Chem 2010;24:11616-25.
- Turlo J, Gutkowska B, Herold F. Effect of selenium enrichment on antioxidant activities and chemical composition of Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegl. mycelial extracts. Food Chem Toxicol 2010;48:1085-91.
- Weigand AJ, et al. Bioavailability of ergothioneine from mushrooms in adult men. Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting, Chicago, IL. 2010
- Savoie JM, Minvielle N, Largeteau ML. Radical-scavenging properties of extracts from the white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. J Sci Food Agr 2008;88:970-975.
- Elmastas M, et al. Determination of antioxidant activity and antioxidant compounds in wild edible mushrooms. J Food Compos Anal 2007;20:337-45.
- Dubost NJ, et al. Quantification of polyphenols and ergothioneine in cultivated mushrooms and correlation to total antioxidant capacity. Food Chem 2007;105:727-735.
- Dubost NJ, et al. Identification and quantification of ergothioneine in cultivated mushrooms by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy.Int J Med Mushr 2006;8:215-22.
- Lakshmi B, et al. Evaluation of antioxidant activity of selected Indian mushrooms. Pharm Biol 2004;42:179-85.
- Pellegrini N, et al. Total antioxidant capacity of plant foods, beverages and oils consumed in Italy assessed by three different in vitro assays. J Nutr 2003;133:2812-9.
- Miller HE, et al. Antioxidant content of whole grain breakfast cereals, fruits and vegetables. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:312S-95S.
- Weigand-Heller AJ, Kris-Etherton PM, Beelman RB. The bioavailability of ergothioneine from mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) and the acute effects on antioxidant capacity and biomarkers of inflammation. Prev Med. 2011 Dec. 31.
- Chandra L, et al. White button and shiitake mushrooms reduce the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in dilute brown non-agouti mice. J Nutr 2011;141:131-6.
- Bobovčák M, Kuniaková R, Gabriž J, Majtán J. Effect of Pleuran (β-glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus) supplementation on cellular immune response after intensive exercise in elite athletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2010;35:755-762.
- Chang HH, Hsieh KY, Yeh CH, Tu YP, Sheu F. Oral administration of an Enoki mushroom protein FVE activates innate and adaptive immunity and induces anti-tumor activity against murine hepatocellular carcinoma. Int Immunopharmacol 2010;10:239-246.
- Jeong JW, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of cordycepin via suppression of inflammatory mediators in BV2 microglial cells. Int Immunopharmacol 2010;10:1580-1586.
- Kuvibidila S, Korlagunta K. Extracts from culinary-medicinal mushrooms increase intracellular α-Defensins 1-3 concentration in HL60 cells. Int J Med Mushr 2010;12:33-42.
- Lee SH, et al. In vitro effects of plant and mushroom extracts on immunological function of chicken lymphocytes and macrophages. Br Poult Sci 2010;51:213-221.
- Martin KR. Both common and specialty mushrooms inhibit adhesion molecule expression and in vitro binding of monocytes to human aortic endothelial cells in a pro-inflammatory environment. Nutr J 2010;9:29.
- Thompson IJ, Oyston PC, Williamson DE. Potential of the beta-glucans to enhance innate resistance to biological agents. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2010;8:339-352.
- Volman JJ, et al. Effects of mushroom-derived beta-glucan-rich polysaccharide extracts on nitric oxide production by bone marrow-derived macrophages and nuclear factor-kappaB transactivation in Caco-2 reporter cells: can effects be explained by structure? Mol Nutr Food Res 2010;54:268-276.
- Sanhong Y, Weaver V, Martin K, Cantorna MT. The effects of whole mushrooms during inflammation. BMC Immunol 2009;10.
- Traore D, Peterson S, Alexander H, Sharp D, Clarke S, Lucas E, Smith BJ, Kuvibidila S. The effects of Portabella mushrooms on bone mineral density and body composition in mice without and with collagen induced arthritis. Experimental Biology, New Orleans, LA. 2009
- Kuvibidila S, Alexander H, Lim YF, Christopher L, Lucas E, Clarke SL, Smith BJ. White button, Shiitake, and Portabella mushrooms modulate the development of collagen-induced arthritis in mice. FASEB J 2009;23.
- Ren Z, Guo Z, Meydani SN, Wu D. White button mushroom enhances maturation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells and their antigen presenting function in miceJ Nutr 2008;138:544-550.
- Wu D, Pae M, Ren Z, Guo Z, et al. Dietary Supplementation with White Button Mushroom Enhances Natural Killer Cell ActivityJ Nutr 2007;137:1472-1477.