At Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola explains the benefits of mushrooms as a “powerhouse for longevity.” For a daily mushroom supplement, I count on Stonehenge’s Dynamic Mushrooms (not a paid advertisement, just my experience). On the benefits of mushrooms, Mercola writes:
In the Nutrition Facts video above, Dr. Michael Greger reviews the scientific literature showing that ergothioneine, a sulfur-containing amino acid found in mushrooms, is a real powerhouse when it comes to promoting longevity.
For example, he cites a 2020 study1 published in the journal Heart, which found that out of 112 measured plasma metabolites:
“Ergothioneine was the metabolite most significantly associated with lower morbidity and mortality, being associated with a lower risk of CAD [coronary artery disease], stroke, death of all causes, and death of cardiovascular causes.”
The authors concluded that “higher ergothioneine was an independent marker of lower risk of cardiometabolic disease and mortality, which potentially can be induced by a specific healthy dietary intake.”
Mushrooms that contain ergothioneine include pine mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, shiitake, king boletes, porcinis, chanterelles, lion’s mane and Enokitake,2 just to name a few.
Porcini, shiitake, oyster, maitake and king oyster typically contain the highest amounts. White button mushrooms also contain it, but in far lower amounts. Greger presents some comparative data on these mushrooms in his video.
We Were Made to Eat Mushrooms
As noted by Greger, ergothioneine was largely ignored until 2005, when scientists discovered that most human tissues have a highly specific carnitine-based3 transporter for ergothioneine.4
This transporter is even chronobiologically upregulated before mealtimes. These facts strongly indicate that mankind was designed to eat and reap specific benefits from mushrooms. But what are those benefits, exactly?
One of the mechanisms of action that make ergothioneine so beneficial for health is its antioxidant properties,5,6 which are similar to that of glutathione.7 As an antioxidant, it reduces cellular damage by gobbling up harmful free radicals.
It has an extra edge over many other antioxidants, however, because it accumulates in tissues and organs after ingestion,8 and can help prevent oxidative damage in those tissues over a long period of time.9
What’s more, the tissues in which it tends to accumulate the most are tissues that also tend to be more prone to free radical damage, such as the lenses of your eyes and liver, as well as tissues that are more sensitive to damage in general, such as bone marrow, seminal fluid and blood.
Read more here.
P.S. Read more about how to help your health naturally with food in Over the Counter Natural Cures by Shane Ellison (again, not a paid advertisement, just years of my own experience).
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