Bob Livingston Alerts
Researchers have discovered that eating certain mushrooms can make you only half as likely to suffer from cognitive impairment.
Why is that important, beyond simply making your brain better?
Because long before you ever end up with an Alzheimer's diagnosis, you could land in an in-between stage where your memory and brain function aren't quite normal — yet not bad enough to be classified as a kind of
This middle ground is known as cognitive impairment.
People living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can have issues with language, be forgetful, have some mild memory loss, have problems with their attention span and also fail at visuospatial tasks like reading and discriminating colors and contrasts.
The difference between MCI and dementia is that with MCI, the symptoms don't stop your life entirely, but what they do is make many daily activities annoyingly difficult and burdensome. It can have a huge impact on your everyday life.
A person with MCI may feel a little off, as if their memory has
"slipped" with age. Hence, they shrug it off... but there's a big
problem with that. People with MCI are more likely to develop full-blown
This means that putting the brakes on MCI could save you from
Alzheimer's down the road.
That's where the mushrooms come in.
A team from the Department of Psychological Medicine and Department of Biochemistry at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore had performed an earlier study that discovered that people who live with MCI have significantly lower levels of a compound known as ergothioneine in their blood.
This led them to the belief that a deficiency in ergothioneine, which is only gained from dietary sources, may be a risk factor for nerve degeneration in the brain. So, it made sense that increasing ergothioneine intake could help boost cognitive health.
Since the researchers knew that one of the best sources of ergothioneine is mushrooms, they decided to take their research a step further and determine whether eating mushrooms could reduce the risk of MCI as you age.
The team conducted a six-year study on seniors living in Singapore, and their results were so groundbreaking that they've now been published in the /Journal of Alzheimer's Disease/.
Ergothioneine is found at different levels in almost all varieties of mushrooms, so any type you buy at the grocery store is a step in the right direction. But the researchers found that four types of mushrooms appeared to deliver the biggest benefits. They were:
• White button
The reason ergothioneine is so effective at preventing MCI is the fact that it's both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. But mushrooms have another big advantage...
In addition to ergothioneine, mushrooms contain compounds that promote nerve growth factors and protect the brain from degeneration by blocking the production of the beta-amyloid and tau proteins that build up in Alzheimer's sufferers' brains. Shiitake mushrooms in particular also have DMG, another compound that promotes a youthful brain and body.
I have friends who refuse to even try mushrooms. "I'm not eating a fungus!" is a common theme. It's a shame considering there are so many ways to enjoy them. If you're like people we know who refuse to make fungi part of your diet, you can still support your cognitive health by boosting your brain's supply of phosphatidylserine
— PS for short — which is known to decrease with age. PS protects brain cells and helps them communicate, keeping your mind and memory sharp.
Additionally, did you know that mushrooms are the only common vegetable with vitamin D? If you dry mushrooms for a few hours in the sun, their vitamin D content skyrockets. They make vitamin D from sunlight just like we do. This is vital to your brain if cognitive decline has begun because a team of scientists from UCLA, Cal Riverside and the Human BioMolecular Research Institute found vitamin D stimulated the absorption of amyloid beta in macrophages in a majority of patients.
Mushrooms are also one of the more nutrient-rich vegetables in general. They promote alkalinity which reduces inflammation which, in turn, improves synaptic functions within the brain.
Yours for the truth,
Editor, /The Bob Livingston Letter^® /