Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
Are store-bought belly button mushrooms also insulin enhancers?
Yesterday we wrote a blog post about the amazing properties of dried Agaricus bisporus belly button mushroom powder. 8 teaspoons of that powder improved the glucose metabolism of type-2 diabetics and also seemed to reduce their fat mass. Could the same effect be achieved by eating belly buttons mushrooms from the greengrocer?
The reason for our uncertainty is that drying mushrooms generally increases the bioavailability of active substances and at the same time toxic compounds are broken down. But the authors of the study we relied on yesterday think that beta-glucans are the active substances in mushrooms. They are present in both dried and fresh mushrooms.
You need roughly 10 grams of mushrooms to make 1 gram of dried mushroom powder. The authors of the trials we wrote about yesterday gave their test subjects 16 grams of powder daily. That would amount to 160 grams of belly button fresh mushrooms.
It is better to fry or boil mushrooms before eating them. Fresh mushrooms contain toxic substances, but they decompose through both drying and heating. The cooking process has little influence on the concentration of beta-glucans in foods.
The Germans found about 10 grams of beta-glucans in 100 grams of Agaricus bisporus. In shiitake mushrooms [Lentinula edodes] and oyster mushrooms [Pleurotus ostreatus], the Germans found twice as many beta-glucans as in Agaricus bisporus.
If you take dried powder from shiitake or oyster mushrooms, you need about 8 grams per day to improve your insulin balance. If you take fresh mushrooms, then we are talking about 80 grams per day.
Click on the tables below for a larger version.
An even better source than oyster mushroom and shiitake is Turkey tail or Trametes versicolor. This mushroom contains 6 times more beta-glucans than Agaricus bisporus.
A downside of Trametes versicolor is its taste. With a little culinary experience and enthusiasm, you can easily incorporate Agaricus bisporus, shiitake and oyster mushroom into good-tasting recipes. But if you want to make great tasting meals with Trametes versicolor, you have to be a very, very good cook.
Fortunately, there are supplements.