Can Mushrooms Cure Depression?
There are many factors that play a role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease, and many scientists have found that mushrooms have certain properties that may aid in the treatment of this neurodegenerative disorder. Mushrooms can help protect against memory loss, as well as reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. Other research has shown that they may also inhibit the production of beta-amyloid, a toxic protein that can cause cognitive dysfunction.
While researchers have studied medicinal mushrooms' effects on neurodegenerative diseases, most studies have been conducted on animal models. However, some studies have investigated the use of edible mushrooms in humans. These findings are important in determining whether or not mushrooms can help prevent cognitive decline. They also provide insights into the potential roles of various compounds in the human body.
Medicinal mushrooms have the ability to reduce acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that can lead to neuronal damage. This is a crucial process for nerve cell maintenance, and they have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, the mycelium of mushrooms can produce polysaccharides, which can protect against lipid peroxidation. Ultimately, these compounds can increase the function of the cholinergic system.
Several studies have found that a mushroom called Hericium erinaceus (Yamabushitake) is able to improve the cognitive functions of patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment. In particular, it has been shown to improve spatial short-term memory and recognition in AD mice. Besides, it has shown to stimulate regeneration and immune responses. It has been shown to inhibit neuronal death and myelin sheath production.
The study conducted by researchers at the National University of Singapore suggests that consuming mushrooms could help preserve cognitive function in late adulthood. This is especially true in people who may already be experiencing symptoms of MCI, which is a common precursor to Alzheimer's. People who consume mushrooms in small quantities have a lower risk of developing MCI, but it will take clinical evidence to prove that they can actually prevent it.
Various species of HE and GL have been found to contain bioactive components, including ergothioneine, which has shown neuroprotective effects in animal and human cells. Specifically, these mushrooms have the ability to enhance the memory capacity of AD mice. Another study has indicated that mushrooms can stimulate the growth of neurons in the brain.
Similarly, a 2021 study has revealed that the polysaccharides of lion's mane are able to enhance the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, or BDNF. These neurotrophic factors are responsible for the survival of nerve cells. Moreover, BDNF is a powerful tool for preventing cognitive decline. Taking a supplement of lion's mane in the form of a powder may be helpful for individuals who are at risk for Alzheimer's.
Lastly, a Malaysia study has shown that edible mushrooms are rich in unusual compounds that can have a positive effect on the human body. Several compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation, and others have been shown to inhibit the production of beta-amyloid. Lastly, edible mushrooms have the ability to reduce the number of phosphorylated tau proteins in the brain.