Prostate Cancer Risk and Eating Mushrooms

Posted On: 10-04-2019
Prostate Cancer Risk and Eating Mushrooms
A long-term study from Japan, recently published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggests that regularly consuming mushrooms can lower the risk of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men, and the risk of developing it increases with age.

The researchers, from Tohoku University, followed over 36,000 Japanese men for multiple decades. Two groups were tracked: one from Ohsaki (tracked from 1990 to 2014) and the other from Miyagi (tracked from 1995 to 2008). All of the participants were between the ages of 40 and 79 years when observation began, and each filled out a questionnaire about lifestyle, diet (including mushroom consumption), physical activity, family history, and drug or alcohol use.

After long-term follow up, the men who ate mushrooms regularly reduced their risk of prostate cancer, especially in men over the age of 50 years, regardless of other dietary choices. Among the participants, 3.3 percent developed prostate cancer during the follow-up period. Men who ate mushrooms once or twice a week had an eight percent lower risk compared to men who ate mushrooms less frequently. Men who ate mushrooms three times a week or more lowered their risk to 17 percent less.

This link between mushroom consumption and prostate cancer has not been explored before, and more research is needed (especially among other population samples) to fully establish a link. However, mushrooms are a good source of antioxidants, especially L-ergothioneine, which is believed to mitigate oxidative stress that can lead to chronic disease.

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