– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Eating plenty of mushrooms each week may dramatically cut the risk of cognitive decline in seniors, researchers claim.
Health experts have long praised the benefits of consuming mushrooms, with all types containing protein, fibre, B vitamins, and selenium, while white button mushrooms are known for their concentration of vitamin D.
Now, a team from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore has found that mature people who consume more than two standard portions of mushrooms weekly may have 50 per cent reduced odds of having mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – which is typically viewed as the stage between the cognitive decline of normal ageing and the more serious decline of dementia.
“This correlation is surprising and encouraging,” said Assistant Professor Lei Feng. “It seems that a commonly available single ingredient could have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline.”
For the six-year study, which was conducted between 2011 and 2017, the researchers collected data from more than 600 Chinese seniors over the age of 60 who were living in Singapore.
A portion was defined as three-quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms with an average weight of around 150 grams, with two portions equivalent to approximately half a plate.
While the portion sizes act as a guideline, the study authors reported that consuming even one small portion of mushrooms a week may still be beneficial to reduce the chances of MCI.
Looking to the future, Dr. Feng and his team also hope to identify other dietary factors that could be associated with healthy brain ageing and reduced risk of age-related conditions.
Full study results have been published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.