Eat Your Mushrooms!

Today’s search of the published medical literature reveals over 1035 studies on mushrooms and cancer. The various mushrooms and their extracts are shown to inhibit the spread of cancer, inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, induces the death of cancer cells, and strengthen the immune system. But perhaps the most fascinating study is one performed on over 2000 women who already had breast cancer once. It showed that the consumption of 4 grams of dried mushrooms, or 10 grams of fresh mushrooms per day lowered the risk of cancer recurrence by up to 64% (the inverse of the OR of 0.36 below). When combined with green tea consumption, the risk of cancer recurrence was reduced by up to 89%. This is shown in women who already had cancer once, and therefore were more susceptible to its recurrence. It is expected that these protective benefits apply to the general population as well. The message is simple: for some serious cancer prevention, eat your mushrooms.

Here is the link to the study, followed by the abstract:

Int J Cancer. 2009 Mar 15;124(6):1404-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24047.
Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women.
Zhang M, Huang J, Xie X, Holman CD.
School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia. [email protected]
To investigate effects of dietary mushrooms and joint effects of mushrooms and green tea on breast cancer, a case-control study was conducted in southeast China in 2004-2005. The incident cases were 1,009 female patients aged 20-87 years with histologically confirmed breast cancer. The 1,009 age-matched controls were healthy women randomly recruited from outpatient breast clinics. Information on frequency and quantity of dietary intake of mushrooms and tea consumption, usual diet, and lifestyle were collected by face-to-face interview using a validated and reliable questionnaire. Compared with nonconsumers, the Odds ratios (Ors) were 0.36 (95% CI = 0.25-0.51) and 0.53 (0.38-0.73) for daily intake of >or=10 g fresh mushrooms and >or=4 g dried mushrooms, based on multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusting for established and potential confounders. There were dose-response relationships with significant tests for trend (p < 0.001). The inverse association was found in both pre- and postmenopausal women. Compared with those who consumed neither mushrooms nor green tea, the ORs were 0.11 (0.06-0.20) and 0.18 (0.11-0.29) for daily high intake of fresh and dried mushrooms combined with consuming beverages made from >or=1.05 g dried green tea leaves per day. The corresponding linear trends were statistically significant for joint effect (p < 0.001). We conclude that higher dietary intake of mushrooms decreased breast cancer risk in pre- and postmenopausal Chinese women and an additional decreased risk of breast cancer from joint effect of mushrooms and green tea was observed. More research is warranted to examine the effects of dietary mushrooms and mechanism of joint effects of phytochemicals on breast cancer.

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