Mushrooms For Memory
New research from Singapore suggests that consuming more than two portions of mushrooms weekly can cut the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by 52 percent, while eating one to two portions can reduce it by 43 percent. A portion was defined as 3/4 of a cup of cooked mushrooms. These findings come from a six-year study that included more than 600 Chinese seniors living in Singapore. Researchers tested each participant’s cognitive function and conducted interviews and exams to determine their medical history and dietary habits.
The mushrooms consumed included freshly cooked golden, oyster, shiitake and white button mushrooms as well as dried and canned mushrooms, but the researchers said it is likely that other types of mushrooms also would have beneficial effects. MCI is a stage between cognitive decline associated with aging and dementia. It may involve some memory loss although changes can be subtle and generally don’t affect everyday life. The researchers suggested that a compound called ergothioneine (ET) found in almost all types of mushrooms may be responsible for the apparent protection against MCI, although other compounds in mushrooms may be contributing to the benefits observed.
Lei Feng et al, “The Association between Mushroom Consumption and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study in Singapore.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, March 12, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-180959
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