Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Mushrooms have been found to benefit mental health in a new US study. Penn State College of Medicine reveals that fungi may help reduce the risk of developing depression.
Studies on the links between mushrooms and mental health are limited, but researchers hope it can springboard further research
For the study, data was collected from the diets of 24,699 adults in the US over the course of a decade.
Those who ate mushrooms had lower odds of having depression, the researchers found. This is because mushrooms contain ergothioneine, which is an antioxidant that may protect against tissue damage in the body.
According to ScienceDaily, studies show that antioxidants such as this help prevent several mental illnesses. They include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Having high levels of ergothioneine may lower the risk of oxidative stress, which could also reduce the symptoms of depression.
One limitation of the study, however, is that specific varieties of mushrooms were not recorded. Many contain different properties.
The study is one of few delving into the links between mushroom consumption and decreased chances of having depression.
Researchers behind it say it highlights the public health importance of mushroom intake and its capabilities of preventing diseases.
Penn State Cancer Institute researchers says the study adds to the growing list of possible health benefits of eating mushrooms.
The release of the study comes ahead of the virtual Fantastic Fungi Global Summit on October 15 to 17.
It was set up to advocate for the wealth of benefits mushrooms offer, from improved mental health and wellbeing to easing pain.