“New” Data on Button Mushrooms and Immunity
|August 2, 2010||Posted by Philip under Info|
I seem to recall reading some years ago about research indicating that eating raw button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) caused increased incidence of stomach cancer in laboratory animals. Since then, I have not eaten a raw one. I probably ought to look into updating my information on that.
On the other hand, evidence that button mushrooms are actually pretty good for you has been on the rise for some time and a recent recent flurry of news activity has made a point of it. A typical report is Researchers Say Eating White Button Mushrooms Boost Immunity by Linda Young:
Go ahead and add mushrooms to salads and other dishes. Not only are they low in calories and loaded with vitamins and minerals, but researchers say that eating mushrooms can help boost your immune system.
A recent study found white button mushrooms helped to improve the maturity of cells critical to sustaining healthy immune systems in the body to fight viruses.
ScienceDaily also covered it with Researchers Study Benefits of White Button Mushrooms:
The study was conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University by center director Simin Meydani, colleague Dayong Wu, and others.
The results suggest that white button mushrooms may promote immune function by increasing production of antiviral and other proteins that are released by cells while seeking to protect and repair tissue.
[BTW, when you plug the text from article written for many of what I call "news aggregation and rewriting sites" into a plagiarism checker, you get some interesting results. :-)]
Now, I have looked at the abstract for the paper on which this news is based and the researchers used “extracts” in their experiments, so it is unclear to me (without reading the whole paper, which costs an unreasonable amount of money to do) whether this has any bearing on the “cooked versus uncooked” mushroom issue.
The news writers jumped on this because of a recent article, Boost Immunity With Food and Sun, published by the Agricultural Research Service. What I find a little odd is the the reference research is from a paper published in The journal of Nutrition in 2008, so it is not exactly new information. The original paper is White button mushrooms have been shown to enhance immune response, which contributes to their antitumor property:
White button mushrooms(Agaricus bisporus) (WBM) constitute 90% of the total mushrooms consumed in the United States; however, the health benefit of this strain in general is not well studied. Furthermore, little is known about WBM’s immunologic effects. Dendritic cells (DC) are the most potent antigen presenting cells and play a pivotal role in immune response by linking innate and adaptive immune responses. In this study, we investigated the effect of in vitro supplementation with WBM on maturation of bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) of C57BL mice. BMDC were differentiated in the presence of whole mushroom concentrate at 50, 100, or 200 mg/L. Results showed that mushroom supplementation dose dependently increased the expression of maturation markers CD40, CD80, CD86, and major histocompatibility complex-II. Consistent with the changes in the phenotypic markers, functional assay for DC maturation showed that mushroom supplementation decreased DC endocytosis and increased intracellular interleukin (IL)-12 levels. Furthermore, using a syngeneic T cell activation model, we found that WBM-supplemented DC from BALB/c mice presented ovalbumin antigen to T cells from DO11.10 mice more efficiently as demonstrated by increased T cell proliferation and IL-2 production. In conclusion, WBM promote DC maturation and enhance their antigen-presenting function. This effect may have potential in enhancing both innate and T cell-mediated immunity leading to a more efficient surveillance and defense mechanism against microbial invasion and tumor development.
I have requested a reprint of the paper to study it further and I also asked the main author, Dayong Wu, for any updated information on the relationship between eating raw button mushrooms and stomach cancer. I’ll keep you posted.