New research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food has shown that the bioactive components of certain edible and medicinal mushrooms may aid in the prevention and delay of dementia. Researchers from the University of Malaya have suggested that the activity of the bioactive compounds in certain mushrooms may aid in the growth of nerves within the brain, and even help to protect it from neurotoxic stimuli like inflammation. Inflammation is known to be a contributor to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s, so the potential for mushrooms to help reduce inflammation within the brain could mean that scientists are getting closer to preventing and delaying these cognitive issues.
While there is already extensive information on how certain foods can influence diseases that affect other systems in the body, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, there has not been much research into how a person’s diet can affect and even prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medicinal Food, Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy, commented on the potential for further research in this area, stating “The current study might stimulate the identification of more foods that are neuroprotective.”
This study reveals a quality in mushrooms that naturally protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases and encourages nerve growth, opening the door for more research to be conducted on how certain foods may positively influence an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia. It also provides scientists with the opportunity to further examine these bioactive compounds found within the fungi and utilize these elements in the development of new treatments for the symptoms of cognitive degeneration that occur with age.