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Eating Mushrooms May Slow Mental Decline: Study

A new study conducted by National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers has revealed that eating mushrooms can slow down mental decline to a great degree.

The study was conducted on 600 participants. It was found that those who ate more than two servings of mushrooms a week – equivalent to 300g or about half a plate – were 57 percent less likely to have mild cognitive impairment compared to those who did not.

Dr Irwin Cheah, a senior research fellow, said that the 6-year-long study (from 2011-2017) revealed never-before-discovered advantages of mushrooms. He said mushrooms could slow mental decline because they had a compound named ergothioneine.

This compound acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent which protects brain cells from damage. He said different kinds of food including beans and liver were also tested but mushrooms were found to contain the highest levels of the compound.

Assistant Professor Feng Lei said that with increasing number of senior people, the risk of dementia and mental decline is expected to increase but they have found a way to control it.

“With the increasing number of seniors, we can expect to see a potential dementia tsunami in the future. The good news is that cognitive decline can be managed.”

The researchers also plan to conduct a clinical trial on the potential benefits of pure ergothioneine alone or in combination with other nutrients derived from plants in delaying cognitive decline.

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