Scientists are now saying that eating mushrooms on a regular basis could lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
Findings are based on a recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer. The study looked at 36,499 Japanese men between ages 40 and 79 over 13 years. The men completed questionnaires based on their habits, which included diets.
According to the results, the men who ate mushrooms three or more times per week were 17% less likely to get prostate cancer. This was in comparison to the men who consumed mushrooms only once a week. Those who ate mushrooms twice a week were 8% less likely to get the disease.
The connection between mushroom consumption and disease risk was more obvious in participants who were 50 years and older. The results did not vary based on the amount of other food types the participants ate, such as vegetables, fruits, meat, or dairy products.
Why might mushroom consumption reduce cancer risk?
The scientists don’t know for sure, but they think it’s because certain types of mushrooms have high levels of antioxidants. These types include shiitake, oyster, maitake, and king oysters. There have also been studies in the past that show mushrooms having anti-cancer effects.
Although the study had substantial findings, researchers have emphasized that there is no clear way to prevent prostate cancer. All we know for sure is that the risk of developing many cancers can be reduced by eating a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables.
They also admit that the study did have some limitations. For instance, the amount of mushroom consumption was only reported in the beginning of the study. Questionnaire-based studies are also prone to have many errors, as forms can be misread or inaccurately filled out.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. One in nine will be diagnosed with the disease. It’s understandable that people want to do all they can to prevent cancer, but scientists want readers to know that there is no one “miracle” food or drug that can promise prevention. Your best chances to prevent cancer are in consuming a variety of foods known to prevent disease, which include antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Studies have also suggested that people limit their intake of red meat, sugar, and processed foods.
More research is needed to look into the link between mushroom consumption and prostate cancer, but it certainly can’t hurt men to up their intake of mushrooms as well as other vegetables and fruits.