Malaysian scientists have found that mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that may promote nerve growth in the brain, therefore reducing or delaying the development of neurodegeneration.
Latest reports state that the prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's is expected to rise steadily and reach 42 million cases worldwide by 2020. In Malaysia, there were 50,000 cases of Alzheimer's in 2006 and is expected to project until 590,000 by 2050. It is currently the 8th leading cause of death in the country. The findings create a possible area of study to prevent the risk of such chronic diseases.
An alternative approach to current treatmentsProfessor Vikineswary Sabaratnam of the University of Malaya, one of the authors of the paper said that current treatments for neuro-degenerative diseases have many side effects and only provide a short-term delay in progression. He suggested an alternative approach to mitigating such diseases is by using complementary health approaches such as food.
"Mushrooms might have the potential to be functional foods with
They found that "a number of edible mushrooms" boosted the brain's gray matter by elevating the production of the nerve growth factor (NGF) and consequently protected neurons from chemical substances that cause cell death.
Food as medicine: A new area of studyOne mushroom, H.
"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,"
"The current study might stimulate the identification of more food materials that are neuroprotective." MIMS
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