Culinary Mushrooms Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk
Research is now finding that eating culinary mushrooms can seriously reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second leading form of cancer. It is also among the top-five most deadly forms of cancer for men.
A number of studies have reported the anti-cancer effects of medicinal mushrooms. Many of these medicinal mushrooms are also culinary mushrooms. These include oyster mushrooms, button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms and others.
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Mushrooms reduce prostate cancer risk
A large 2019 study from Japan’s Tohoku University’s School of Medicine1 followed 36,499 men for more than 13 years. During this time 1,204 of the men developed prostate cancer.
The researchers studied the diets of the men to determine the effect that eating mushrooms had on future prostate cancer risk. This study did not focus on other foods that may reduce prostate cancer risk – only looking at the effect of mushrooms on those who ate more or less of other food categories.
In the end, the researchers found those consuming culinary mushrooms three times a week or more experienced 17 percent lower incidence of prostate cancer compared to those who dined on mushrooms fewer than once a week.
Even eating mushrooms at least once a week seriously reduced prostate cancer incidence. Those who included mushrooms in their diet at least once a week had 8 percent less prostate cancer compared to those who ate mushrooms less than once a week.
What are culinary mushrooms?
There are several tasty mushrooms that are considered culinary. But we also know that every mushroom is also medicinal. Typical culinary mushrooms include:
• Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes)
• Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)
• Button (white) mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)
• Portobello mushrooms (also Agaricus bisporus)
Several studies have shown these mushrooms are anti-cancer. A review of research from the University of Pennsylvania2 found that five common culinary mushrooms had significant effects of inhibiting cancer in laboratory and human studies. Studies have continued to confirm this finding since.
For example, a 2019 international study3 found that fractions of oyster mushrooms inhibited the growth of breast and lung cancer cells and boosted immune system cytokines.
And a 2018 review of 12 years of research on shiitake mushrooms4 found that significantly anti-cancer and boosted the effectiveness of chemotherapy during lung cancer treatment.
Much of the anti-cancer benefits of mushrooms come from their beta-glucan content.
What’s the best way to cook mushrooms?
There are different ways to cook mushrooms. These include frying, grilling, boiling and even microwaving them. Taste is often the biggest consideration.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter how they are cooked. In fact, in a 2016 study, Spanish researchers5 tested the basic ways to cook several culinary mushrooms.
The food scientists determined that frying mushrooms seriously reduced their nutritional and antioxidant activities. They also found that boiling boosted their beta-glucan levels. But boiling also reduced their antioxidant levels. Microwaving and grilling were found to maintain antioxidant and general nutrient levels of culinary mushrooms by the researchers.
Another study tested the polyphenolic content of Shiitake mushrooms.6 They found that baking the mushrooms at 121 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes increased their free polyphenolic content by nearly double (1.9 times).
This would mean that mushrooms can be baked, microwaved and boiled to help maintain and even bring out some of their anti-cancer benefits.
1. Zhang S, Sugawara Y, Chen S, Beelman RB, Tsuduki T, Tomata Y, Matsuyama S, Tsuji I. Mushroom consumption and incident risk of prostate cancer in Japan: A pooled analysis of the Miyagi Cohort Study and the Ohsaki Cohort Study. Int J Cancer. 2019 Sep 4. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32591.
3. Zhang Y, Zhang M, Jiang Y, Li X, He Y, Zeng P, Guo Z, Chang Y, Luo H, Liu Y, Hao C, Wang H, Zhang G, Zhang L. Lentinan as an immunotherapeutic for treating lung cancer: a review of 12 years clinical studies in China. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2018 Nov;144(11):2177-2186. doi: 10.1007/s00432-018-2718-1.
4. El-Deeb NM, El-Adawi HI, El-Wahab AEA, Haddad AM, El Enshasy HA, He YW, Davis KR. Modulation of NKG2D, KIR2DL and Cytokine Production by Pleurotus ostreatus Glucan Enhances Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity Toward Cancer Cells. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2019 Aug 13;7:165. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2019.00165.
5. Roncero-Ramos I, Mendiola-Lanao M, Pérez-Clavijo M, Delgado-Andrade C. Effect of different cooking methods on nutritional value and antioxidant activity of cultivated mushrooms. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 May;68(3):287-297. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1244662.
6. Choia Y, Leea SM, Chunb J, Leea HB, Lee J. Influence of heat treatment on the antioxidant activities and polyphenolic compounds of Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushroom. Food Chem. 2006, 99;2, Pages 381-387