Do fungi protect our brain functions?
Doctors now found that regular consumption of fungi seems to prevent the onset of memory and language problems in people over the age of 60.
Researchers at the University of Singapore, in their current research, found that people over the age of 60 who eat mushrooms more than twice a week are less likely to suffer from memory and speech problems. The experts published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease".
The study had 663 subjects
The study looked at 663 Chinese adults over the age of 60 whose diet and lifestyle were monitored from 2011 to 2017. During the six-year study, the researchers found that eating fungi seemed to lower the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment. About nine out of every 100 people who have eaten more than two servings of mushrooms a week developed mild cognitive impairment compared to 19 out of 100 people who consumed less than one serving of mushrooms per week. For example, mild cognitive impairment in humans can affect memory and cause speech, attention and localization problems in spaces.
Combination of many factors reduces cognitive decline
Mushroom users performed better in brain tests and also showed a higher rate of treatment. This was especially noticeable in people who ate more than two servings of mushrooms per week (more than 300 g). It seems that even this single ingredient can have a significant effect on cognitive decline. A combination of many factors has an even more positive effect on cognitive decline. Tea, green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish are also beneficial here, researchers say.
Why does the fungus protect the brain?
The experts point out that fungi are one of the richest sources of ergothionein, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that the human body cannot produce in itself. Fungi also contain other important nutrients and minerals, such as vitamin D, selenium and spermidine, which protect neurons from damage. The unique antioxidant present in the fungi could have a protective effect on the brain. The more mushrooms the items ate, the better they did in the study of puzzles. According to the researchers, however, no direct correlation could be demonstrated between fungal consumption and improved brain function.
Lifestyle affects the risk of dementia
The study was dependent on self-reported information on fungal intake and other dietary factors that may be inaccurate. There are many factors that contribute to the development of dementia, and it is estimated that up to one-third of cases can be prevented by lifestyle changes, including diet. Further studies are needed to better understand how fungal consumption affects the risk of developing cognitive decline or dementia. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, including mushrooms, is certainly a good place to start protecting the brain. In addition, experts recommend reducing sugar and salt intake, to be physically active, to drink only small amounts of alcohol and not to smoke. (As)