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Regular Mushroom Consumption Linked to Lower Prostate Cancer Rates
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Regular Mushroom Consumption Linked to Lower Prostate Cancer Rates

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
June 17, 2024
2 min

According to a recent study conducted in Japan, mushrooms could play a crucial role in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. The study followed tens of thousands of men and found that those who ate mushrooms regularly had a significantly lower incidence of the disease.

Researchers analyzed data from two large cohort studies consisting of over 36,000 men aged 40 to 79 years old. Participants reported how often they ate mushrooms: less than once a week, 1-2 times a week, or 3 or more times a week. Then, over the next 13 years, the researchers tracked who developed prostate cancer by using health records from cancer registries. To ensure that the findings were specifically related to mushroom intake, they adjusted their data analysis to include other factors like age, diet, smoking, and exercise.

Overall, they found that men who ate mushrooms more frequently had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Those who ate mushrooms one to two times a week had a slightly reduced risk (8%), while those who ate mushrooms three or more times a week had a significantly reduced risk (17%). Furthermore, the protective effect of mushrooms appeared to be stronger in men over 50 years old (1).

Although the study did not specifically pinpoint which types of mushrooms were most effective at preventing prostate cancer, it suggested that the antioxidants found in mushrooms, like L-ergothioneine and glutathione, could play a role in reducing cancer risk. Previous studies have found these compounds to combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which are linked to cancer development (2).

While the results of this study are promising, they have many limitations that should be addressed before determining conclusive results. Since the study is population-specific and only based on findings from Japanese men, it could limit generalized ability to other populations with different diets and lifestyles. Furthermore, mushroom consumption was only assessed at baseline and did not account for changes over time, and the single assessment could have altered the accuracy of the overall results. More research will be needed to confirm these findings and understand the mechanisms involved in the potential cancer-preventative benefits of mushrooms.


References

  1. Zhang, Shu, Yumi Sugawara, Shiuan Chen, Robert B. Beelman, Tsuyoshi Tsuduki, Yasutake Tomata, Sanae Matsuyama, and Ichiro Tsuji. 2019. “Mushroom Consumption and Incident Risk of Prostate Cancer in Japan: A Pooled Analysis of the Miyagi Cohort Study and the Ohsaki Cohort Study.” International Journal of Cancer, September. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32591.
  2. Ba, Djibril M, Paddy Ssentongo, Robert B Beelman, Joshua Muscat, Xiang Gao, and John P Richie. 2021. “Higher Mushroom Consumption Is Associated with Lower Risk of Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies.” Advances in Nutrition 12 (5): 1691–1704. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmab015.

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science
Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

Content Editor

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