Can mushrooms help prevent prostate cancer?

January 28, 2021

Mushrooms are one of the most underrated foods, in my opinion. Mushrooms are flavorful and versatile. They can be grilled, sautéed, roasted, and eaten raw.  And on the nutritional side, they are packed with many vital nutrients.

What is the Science behind Eating Mushrooms and Prostate Cancer?

A study by the International Journal of Cancer, got much attention because of its simple message: more mushrooms equals less prostate cancer.
This study looked at 36,000 men ages 40 to 79 for a period ranging from 13 to almost 25 years. Afterward, the researchers found that men who consumed mushrooms once or twice a week—an average of about 3 ounces per serving—had a lower risk of prostate cancer compared with those who ate no mushrooms. When men ate mushrooms three or more times per week, their risk dropped to 17%.

The researchers noted that mushrooms contain high levels of an amino acid called ergothioneine, which works as a powerful antioxidant and may play a factor in fighting cancer.

Of course, the study only showed an association and not causation, yet the findings still stand out because they included such a high number of men studied for a long period of time.

Also, this is not the first study to show a connection between mushrooms and prostate cancer. Research in the September 2015 issue of Cancer found that taking white mushroom powder helped men lower their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. The mushroom powder also reduced the risk of PSA recurrence after treatment for prostate cancer.

What this means for you

So what does this mean? Mushrooms appear to play an essential role in prostate cancer prevention and co-management.

My advice is to enjoy mushrooms both in food and in quality dietary supplements whenever you can. Shiitake, white button, oyster, maitake, and king oyster mushrooms have the highest concentrations of ergothioneine, according to a Japanese study.

I frequently prescribe reishi mushrooms to my patients with prostate cancer. One meta-analysis found that people who added reishi extract to their regular anti-cancer regimen were more likely to respond to chemotherapy or radiotherapy than those who did not take the extract. The scientists believed that reishi may stimulate immune cells and help create a powerful microenvironment that is more hostile to cancer.

Another popular anti-cancer therapy in Japan for immune strengthening is the fermented mushroom extract active hexose correlated compound or AHCC.

Our XY Wellness Members take Loads of Mushroom

As you know, all mushrooms are highly ranked food in the XY Wellness Diet. Eat them often. Our members are also taking reishi mushroom in ImmunoPCTNAHCC, a blend of mixed mushrooms in our plant-based protein powder, Immunoprotein and ImmunoVGGR. So, if you are consistently taking any or a combination of these nutraceuticals, you are covered. Oh, and by the way, as you know, keeping a robust immune system is key to lowering the risk of viral infections of all kinds, including the current one causing the pandemic. Eating mushrooms combined with any of the above mentioned dietary supplements will help there too.

Yours in Good Health,
Dr. Geo, Co-founder & Medical Director