Mushroom consumption may 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 spanned several decades, aged between 40 and 79. These men came from the Miyagi and Ohsaki areas of Japan.
The data had also been collected thanks to questionnaires that included questions such as those relating to the consumption of mushrooms or other particular foods, as well as questions relating 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 50 years of age and older and in those men in whom 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,” says Shu Zhang, professor of epidemiology at Tohoku University and lead author of the study who 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 in the good amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants present in mushrooms, in particular L-ergothioneine. The latter regulates cell imbalance caused by unwise 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.