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Are Mushrooms a Fountain of Youth?

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April 22nd, 2021

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Consistently including mushrooms in your dietary plan may offer unique health benefits, including helping to fight aging and prostate cancer.1 Researchers from Penn State,2 for instance, discovered that mushrooms are an abundant source of two excellent antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione.

Both antioxidants help inhibit oxidative stress and are considered important antiaging compounds. Researchers also recently identified one of the mechanisms the fungi use to interrupt and ultimately suppress the cell cycle of prostate cancer.

A mushroom is the umbrella-shaped fruiting body of a fungus that typically grows above ground. The seeds it produces are millions of microscopic spores that are carried by the wind or spread by animals. Once the spores have germinated in wood or soil, it sends out a network of rooting threads called mycelium that often persist for many years.3

The mycelium absorbs food by digesting the surrounding nutrients externally and then absorbing those nutrients. Although they are known as either mushrooms or toadstools, the term mushroom usually identifies those fungi that are edible and the term toadstool is often used to identify poisonous or inedible fungi.

Mushrooms belong to the Agaricaceae family and the most common mushroom found in your grocer’s is the white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), which was the focus of the current research. Science is only beginning to tap into the vast natural medicine warehouse that exists in these fungi.

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