Mushrooms may reduce the risk of memory problems

The National University of Singapore has concluded a six-year research project into the effects that mushrooms had on memory problems. The researchers discovered that eating mushrooms two or more times a week lowered the chances of mild cognitive impairment.

The research involved the study of 663 Chinese adults, aged over 60, whose lifestyle and diet was monitored between 2011 and 2017. The results concluded that eating mushrooms lowered the chances of mild cognitive impairment, which occurs in approximately six percent of people in their 60s.

Participants were asked how many times a week they ate six specific types of mushrooms: oyster, shiitake, white button, dried, golden and tinned. The research found that approximately nine out of 100 people who ate more than two portions a week were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, compared with 19 out of 100 among those who ate fewer than one portion.

Mushrooms are one of the most abundant dietary sources of ergothioneine in our diets. Ergothioneine is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory that the human body is unable to make on its own. Ergothioneine is found to have a protective effect on the brain, inhibiting or slowing damage to brain activity.