Edible mushrooms protect against depression
Edible mushrooms such as button mushrooms and oyster mushrooms contain mycochemicals that protect brain tissue. One of them is ergothioneine. You could therefore theorize that people who regularly eat mushrooms are less likely to develop depression. According to an epidemiological study published in Scientific Reports, this is indeed the case.
Between 2011 and 2012, researchers from Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine measured the consumption of mushrooms among 87,822 Koreans. The researchers then followed the study participants through 2018 and recorded which of them showed symptoms of depression during this period.
Using statistical techniques, the researchers brushed off the effect of factors such as age, gender, weight, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, smoking, partner relationship, education and caloric intake.
A serving of edible mushrooms is about 30 grams. Compared to the study participants who never or rarely ate mushrooms, the study participants who consumed mushrooms monthly or weekly had an 8-14 percent lower risk of depression.
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The study participants who ate mushrooms at all were less likely to develop depression, but the Koreans were unable to find a quantitative relationship between the number of times someone ate mushrooms and the risk of depression. More mushrooms on the menu did not mean a significantly lower risk.
The exception to that rule were women over the age of 40. In them, a higher frequency of eating mushrooms correlated with a greater reduction in the risk of depression.
Sci Rep. 2022 Dec 19;12(1):21914.
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