Agaricus Mushrooms for Diabetes and Cholesterol Control

Edible mushrooms contribute to human health in several aspects. Commonly consumed Agaricus mushrooms have a special impact on blood sugar and fat due to their highly nutritious content, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. While these mushrooms give high nutrients, they are low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat content. Let's examine their effects on diabetes and cholesterol.

Key takeaways:

Diabetes and high cholesterol

Diabetes and high blood cholesterol are important public health issues. These two health problems have a widespread prevalence and significant impact on people in terms of health, economy, and even social aspects. As you know, diabetes is a disease developed due to impaired blood sugar regulation caused by insulin dysfunction, and high blood sugar can harm vessel walls and cells.

Similarly, high blood cholesterol and blood fat levels increase the risk of impaired vessel function, which can lead to serious health complications, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease, which remains a major cause of death globally.

Lifestyle-related risk factors play a significant role in the development and management of diabetes and high cholesterol. Addressing these risk factors through public health initiatives can help prevent and manage these conditions, ultimately improving individuals' quality of life and reducing the strain on healthcare resources.

What is Agaricus bisporus?

Agaricus bisporus, commonly known as the white button mushroom, is a type of edible mushroom. It contains high levels of dietary fiber and antioxidants, including vitamins C, D, and B12, folates, and polyphenols.

A recent study highlighted the rich content of white button mushrooms. Like many other edible mushrooms, they contain good quality protein, high fiber, a high quantity of vitamins and minerals, and bioactive molecules such as lectins and polysaccharide complexes. These bioactive molecules can also be very beneficial antioxidant compounds, such as β-glucans and polyphenols.

Some researchers consider these mushrooms a good source of vitamins. White button mushrooms are indicated as a good source of B-group vitamins (B1, B2, B3, niacin, folates, B12), vitamin D2, and ergosterol. You may not have heard of ergosterol, as it is not very common. It is a special form of sterol that mushrooms contain in their cell walls, just like human cells containing cholesterol on their walls.

Even though the antioxidant content in edible mushrooms is present in lower quantities (2–5%), it is still enough to provide health effects.

Nutrition facts

You can see the nutritional facts of the raw white button mushroom in the table below. The % values show the contribution of 100 grams of white button mushroom to the daily recommended vitamin and mineral intake. (for vitamins and minerals)

NutrientNutritional value per 100 g% values of the daily recommended intake
Calories22 kcalN/A
Total Carbohydrates3.26 gN/A
Sugars1.98 gN/A
Dietary Fiber1 gN/A
Total Fat0.34 gN/A
Total Protein3.09 gN/A
Vitamins:
Thiamine (B1)0.081 mg7%
Riboflavin (B2)0.402 mg34%
Niacin (B3)3.607 mg24%
Pantothenic Acid (B5)1.497 mg30%
Vitamin B60.104 mg8%
Folate (B9)17 µg4%
Vitamin B120.04 µg2%
Vitamin C2.1 mg3%
Vitamin D0.2 µg1%
Minerals:
Iron0.5 mg4%
Magnesium9 mg3%
Potassium318 mg7%
Phosphorus86 mg12%
Zinc
0.52 mg0.5%

What does the research say?

As you can see, the calorie and carbohydrate amounts of Agaricus bisporus are very low, making it easily tolerable for patients with diabetes. The high fiber content also plays a role in lowering blood sugar levels.

In a study conducted with 37 participants who consumed 100 g of white button mushrooms daily for 16 weeks, researchers investigated serum diabetic risk factors, inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress markers. This intervention resulted in increased antioxidant markers, such as the ORAC score, as well as the anti-inflammatory hormone adiponectin and several oxidative stress markers in the blood. These potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects contribute to the regulation of diabetes.

As mentioned in the table above, white button mushrooms have a very low fat content, making them a preferable food choice for patients with high cholesterol. These mushrooms may have anticholesterolemic effects, helping to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. This can be beneficial for cardiovascular health and may help prevent conditions such as atherosclerosis.

The researchers conducted experiments on two groups of rats: one group was fed a high-cholesterol diet, and the other group had induced type 2 diabetes. They fed the rats a powder made from Agaricus bisporus.

In the group of rats with induced type 2 diabetes, the intake of white button mushroom powder resulted in significant reductions in blood sugar, blood fat, and cholesterol levels. The rats also exhibited decreased liver enzyme activities, specifically alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, as well as reduced liver weight. These markers indicate improved liver health.

The study suggests that the consumption of Agaricus bisporus, or white button mushrooms, has positive effects on blood sugar and cholesterol regulation. These mushrooms exhibit both hypoglycemic (blood sugar-lowering) and hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering) activities due to their rich nutrient content. In addition to their nutritious composition, white button mushrooms have very low levels of carbohydrates and fat, making them a preferred choice for those following a healthy diet. These findings indicate that white button mushrooms may have potential health benefits in managing conditions related to diabetes and cardiovascular health.



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