Kuala Lumpur: Eating mushrooms may help delay or prevent the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's, researchers including one of Indian origin have claimed.
Certain edible and medicinal mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that may enhance nerve growth in the brain and protect against neurotoxic stimuli such as inflammation that contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, researchers said.
Researchers, including Vikineswary Sabaratnam from the University of Malaya in Malaysia, analysed the health benefits of edible and culinary mushrooms.
The evidence supports a potential role of mushrooms as functional foods to reduce or delay development of age-related neurodegeneration, they said.
The researchers focused on the activity of bioactive components of mushrooms that may offer neuroprotective and cognitive benefits.
"In contrast to the body of literature on food ingredients that may benefit cardiometabolic diseases and cancer, very few studies have focused on food that may benefit neurodegenerative diseases," said Sampath Parthasarathy, from the University of Central Florida in the US.
"The current study might stimulate the identification of more food materials that are neuroprotective," said Parthasarathy, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Medicinal Food which published the study.