Mushrooms help stave off dementia in seniors

March 15, 2019

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is likely to develop in ageing, with symptoms such as forgetfulness and a gradual decline in cognitive functions including language, attention span and perceiving objects. Seniors who eat a more generous serving of mushrooms however, may not be as likely to develop MCI.

A study was conducted in Singapore on 600 Chinese seniors over 60, and involved six commonly consumed types of mushrooms: golden, oyster, shiitake, white button, dried and canned mushrooms. Extensive interviews and tests were carried out to determine these seniors’ demographic information, medical history, psychological state, dietary habits and physical abilities.

Lead study author from the Department of Psychological Medicine in the National University of Singapore (NUS) Asst. Prof. Feng Lei has said that people with MCI are still able to carry out their normal daily activities, so the distinction was whether these seniors had poorer performance on standard neuropsychologist tests compared to others of the same age and education background. 

Feng has remarked on the positive outcome of a commonly available ingredient on cognitive decline – ergothioneine in mushrooms is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound which humans are unable to synthesise on their own.

The NUS thus recommends an intake of two servings or half a plate daily– one serving is defined as three quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms with an average weight of around 150g.


Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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