Mushroom consumption could be linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cancer . The researchers used data from 36,000 Japanese men who covered several decades, ranging in age from 40 to 79 years. These men came from the Miyagi and Ohsaki areas of Japan.
The data were also collected thanks to questionnaires that included questions such as those related to the consumption of mushrooms or other particular foods, as well as questions related to physical activity and personal and family medical conditions.
Researchers discovered a link between regular mushroom consumption and a reduction in prostate cancer risk in men and this link was even more significant for men aged 50 and over and in those men where the diet was mainly made from meat and dairy products with limited consumption of vegetables and fruit.
“Although our study suggests that regular consumption of mushrooms can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, we also want to emphasize that a healthy and balanced diet is much more important than filling the trolley with mushrooms,” Shu Zhang says. Zhang is a professor of epidemiology at the Tohoku University as well as lead author of the study
Zhang adds that in the past, test-tube studies and studies on living organisms had shown that fungi can potentially prevent prostate cancer.
According to the researcher, this is to be explained by the good amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants present in mushrooms, in particular L-ergotionein. The latter regulates the cellular imbalance caused by unsound dietary choices and long-term exposure to environmental toxins.
Zhang himself admits that new research is needed to understand the extent of this connection also because this study was carried out only on a limited population.