Why you'll be sick less often if you eat 100g white button mushrooms every day
If you ask a lot of your body, physically or mentally, or youre no longer young, and you don't want to get sick, eat 100g white button mushrooms every day. This will help your body to produce more of an antibody that protects against all types of viruses and bacteria.
In 2012 Australian researchers published in Nutrition the results of a study in which they had got 12 healthy people to eat 100g white button mushrooms every day. The mushrooms had been blanched in boiling water for five minutes.
A similar control group ate no mushrooms.
The researchers took a saliva sample from the participants on four occasions and measured the concentration of the antibody secretory Immunoglobin A [sIgA]. This molecule helps the immune system to hunt down pathogens in the mucous membranes in the mouth, lungs and gut, and to deactivate them before they can spread further in the body.
The more slgA your body produces the less likely it is that a pathogen will wreak havoc with your life. However, aging [Physiol Behav. 1996 Jul;60(1):243-8.], psychological stress [Brain Behav Immun. 2006 Mar;20(2):191-7.] [Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2004 May-Aug;17(2 Suppl):49-56.], and heavy physical exertion [Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Jun;25(6):678-83.] can suppress the production of sIgA.
We have written in the past about the effects of Chlorella supplementation on slgA. You can find the posts here and here.
In the week that the participants in the mushroom group ate 100g white button mushrooms every day, the production and therefore also the concentration of slgA in their saliva increased. The effect could still be seen a week after the participants had stopped eating the mushrooms.
"In recent studies, we and other investigators have found that the Agaricus bisporus white button mushroom contains a wide range of soluble polysaccharides that have the ability to activate macrophages [J Med Food. 2012 Jan;15(1):58-65.] [Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Feb;54(2):268-76.], a key event for effective innate and adaptive immunity," the researchers wrote.
"These polysaccharides have been identified as mainly water-soluble b-D-glucans with a backbone formed by linear or branch b-(1 /4), b-(1 /3), or b-(1 /6) linked glucose, xylose, mannose, galactose, ribose, and fucose molecules."
"Our findings are consistent with these observations and suggest that the increase in the sIgA secretion rate by a dietary intake of the white button mushroom may be due to the gut immunostimulatory effect of glucans in the mushroom."
"This study has shown that a dietary intake of the Agaricus bisporus white button mushroom increases sIgA secretion in the saliva of healthy subjects," the researchers summarised. "The increase of salivary sIgA may have the potential for improving mucosal immunity."
"It is important to determine the significance of such changes induced by a dietary intake of the white button mushroom on the overall defense capacity of saliva and how this could lead to increased protection against the risk of infections such as upper respiratory illness in susceptible populations."
Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):527-31.
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