Regularly consuming mushrooms could reduce your risk of prostate cancer, according to a new study.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer that affects men in particular. In 2018, there were reportedly 1.2 million new cases of prostate cancer across the globe. The risk of developing the disease increases with age.
Mushrooms have been consumed for its nutritional value and used for medicinal purposes in Asia for thousands of years. "Test-tube studies and studies conducted on living organisms have shown that mushrooms have the potential to prevent prostate cancer," study author Shu Zhang, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Department of Health Informatics and Public Health at Tohoku University School of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, told a news portal. Adding, "However, the relationship between mushroom consumption and incident prostate cancer in humans has never been investigated before."
Zhang further explained:"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first cohort study indicating the prostate cancer-preventive potential of mushrooms at a population level." Adding, "Although our study suggests regular consumption of mushrooms may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, we also want to emphasize that eating a healthy and balanced diet is much more important than filling your shopping basket with mushrooms."
Researchers came to their conclusion after examining two cohorts that includes close to 36,499 men between the ages of 40 and 79 years in Miyagi and Ohsaki, Japan. The participants completed a questionnaire about their lifestyle choices like food intake, physical activity, smoking and drinking habits. They were also asked to provide information about their education and medical history.
A long-term follow-up of the participants revealed consuming mushrooms regularly helped reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Zhang told a news portal "mushrooms are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, especially L-ergothioneine", which can help tackle oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic inflammation that could lead to serious health issues like cancer.
"The results of our study suggest mushrooms may have a positive health effect on humans," Zhang told a news portal. Adding, "Based on these findings, further studies that provide more information on dietary intake of mushrooms in other populations and settings are required to confirm this relationship."
Zhang further explained: "Considering the average American consumes less than 5 grams of mushrooms per day, which is lower than that consumed by the participants in this study (7.6 g/day) one would expect that even a small increase in mushroom consumption to offer potential health benefits."
The study's findings were originally published in the International Journal of Cancer.
Picture Courtesy: Google Images