Eating mushrooms might reduce prostate cancer risk


In the first study of its kind, Japanese re
searchers have found an association be
tween eating mushrooms and a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Although the size of the effect is relatively small, the findings are likely to inspire further investigation.
New research suggests that regularly eating mushrooms may reduce a person’s risk of prostate cancer.
The National Cancer Institute predict that there will be 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2019.
Although treatment for this type of cancer is continually improving, there is neither a cure nor any way to prevent it.
However, evidence suggests that eating healthfully might reduce the risk.
If scientists can identify simple dietary interventions that can reduce this risk, even by a small amount, it could make a substantial difference globally.
Researchers have recently carried out a study on mushrooms, publishing their findings in the International Journal of Cancer.
Why mushrooms?
Mushrooms are a relatively inexpensive and widely consumed food throughout the world. In recent years, studies have begun to identify their potential disease fighting capabilities.
A 2012 review claims that certain compounds in mushrooms have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties, among others.
More specifically, studies in both cultured cells and animal models have found that extracts from some mushroom species can slow tumor growth.
According to the authors of the recent paper, only one previous human trial has investigated mushrooms and prostate cancer. The earlier study tested powdered white button mushrooms in men with recurrent prostate cancer.
The team found that for some of the participants, the mushroom extract reduced levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) — the primary biomarker for prostate cancer — and boosted the body’s immune response to cancer.
The most recent study is the first to look at the relationship between mushroom consumption and the incidence of prostate cancer within a population.
To investigate, the researchers took data from the Miyagi Cohort Study and the Ohsaki Cohort Study. In total, they had access to data from 36,499 Japanese men between the ages of 40 and 79 years. They followed these individuals for a median of 13.2 years.
The scientists used questionnaires to capture information about diet, medical history, levels of physical activity, smoking status, drinking habits, levels of education, and more.