Men's Health

Mushrooms can reduce the risk of prostate cancer

Japanese researchers have found that mushrooms can reduce the risk of prostate cancer to an extent. This finding can direct more investigation.

The National Cancer Institute has predicted the occurrence of 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer by 2019 in the United States. The treatment for this cancer is improving day by day. However, there is no way to prevent or cure it completely.

In such a situation, the guidance of scientists about dietary modifications can play an important goal. The latest finding of scientists can cause a significant effect in reducing the risk of prostate cancer worldwide.

Researchers have published their recent findings of mushrooms in the International Journal of Cancer.

One of the past reviews claimed the anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties of mushrooms. The extracts from certain mushroom species had reduced the growth of tumor in both cell-cultured and animal models.

Related: BRCA2 a Common Mutated Gene in Advanced Prostate and Breast Cancer

Anti-cancer properties of mushrooms

In the past, only one trial has investigated mushrooms and prostate cancer association in humans. The past study observed the effect of powdered white button mushrooms in men having recurrent prostate cancer.

The researchers found that in some men, the extracts of mushrooms reduced the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). It is the primary biomarker for prostate cancer. Mushroom extracts also boosted the immune system’s response against cancer.

In a recent study, the researchers investigated the association between mushroom consumption and the incidence of prostate cancer.

The researchers collected the data of 36,499 Japanese with age between 40 to 79 years from 2 cohorts. They followed them for a median of almost 13 years. The researchers gathered information about their diet, physical activity, medical history, smoking status, education, etc.

After that, they enrolled each participant in one of the five groups based upon mushroom consumption. The first two group categories included almost never and one to two times each month of mushroom consumption.

The third group included those with one or two times each week of mushroom consumption. While the last two groups included three or four times each week and almost daily categories of consumption.

During the follow up of the study, 1,204 participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Researchers controlled confounding factors. After that, they observed 8% reduced risk of prostate cancer in the second group as compared to the first group. The participants of the fourth group even found a 17% reduced risk of cancer.

They found that the difference in the incidence of cancer between the second and the fourth group was only o.31%. The effect was particularly significant in men above 50 years of age.

Research limitations

The researchers collected the self-recorded dietary information from participants which could have an error.  Moreover, they gathered dietary information at the beginning of the study. However, a person’s diet can undergo variations over a decade.

Another limitation of the research was that the team did not information about any particular mushroom species. Therefore, it is difficult to know which type of mushroom caused the effect.

Anyhow, the researchers suggested that habitual use of mushrooms can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. They believe that this preventative effect is due to the antioxidants present in mushrooms.

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