Eating mushrooms could reduce the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a new study that was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease this month.
Researcher of the Department of Psychological Medicine and the Department of Biochemistry at NUS Yong The Loo Lin School of Medicine in Singapore spent six years (from 201
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They found that those who ate more than two standard servings were equivalent to two standard portions of half a plate, the researchers said – one week "could reduce the rate by 50 percent" MCI.
According to a statement from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, MCI "is the stage between the cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline in dementia."
Seniors suffering with MCI often show some form of memory loss or forgetfulness and also show a deficit in other cognitive functions such as language, attention, and visual-spatial abilities. However, the changes may be minor as they do not affect the cognitive deficits that interfere with everyday life, which are typical of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, "he explains.
Although the study referred to six types of fungi – golden, oysters, shiitake, white mushrooms, dried mushrooms, and preserved mushrooms – the researchers found that other types of mushrooms could have similar benefits.
One particular compound found in the investigated fungal species – ergothionein (ET) – may be related to "the reduced spread of MCI in fungal eaters," they said.
"ET is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that humans can not synthesize themselves, but it can be sourced from food sources, with fungi as one of the most important," said Irwin Cheah, a senior research associate at NUS Biochemistry.
Feng Lei, the lead author of the study, called the discovery "surprising" and encouraging. "
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" It seems that a widely available single component can have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline, "Lei added. In addition, the brain function should also be improved. Berries, nuts and seeds, whole grains, avocados and eggs, among others, affect both brain health in the short and long term, reports Medical News Today.