There will be an estimated 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2019 in the US.
Eating this might prevent some of them.
What is it? Mushrooms.
Japanese researchers found an associated link between eating mushrooms and lowering your chances of prostate cancer.
It’s not a strong link, nor does it promise to protect everyone, but if it does reduce the risk of developing it by only a few percentage points, that’s thousands of men who won’t have to go through the pain of this disease.
Right now, there are more treatment options than ever for prostate cancer, but there isn’t a cure nor way to prevent it.
Since mushrooms are cheap and taste good to most people, throwing them in your salad or meals is inexpensive insurance.
Mushrooms have been shown to be effective to help fight other cancers.
When scientists grow cancer cells in Petri dishes, they find that certain compounds in mushrooms seem to slow down tumor growth.
What type of mushrooms seem to be best? The standard powdered white button types.
Participants in the study had their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels checked. These went down as mushroom use increased.
Eating mushrooms one or two times a week decreased relative risk by 8%. Three or more times a week had a 17% drop in their relative risk.
The study did control for smoking, family history, and coffee intake.
The study did not find that being a vegetarian helped.
Now let’s look at this in terms of real numbers. If you don’t eat mushrooms, your chances of developing prostate cancer at 3.42 out of 100 people. If you eat mushrooms several times a week, that drops to 3.11.
But when you think of the thousands of men who get this every year, you can start to see the benefit.
There were some limitations to the study.
The number of mushrooms consumed was self-reported, the participants were not placed in a dietary lab where they were followed every day to make sure they ate their mushrooms.
And they only asked what they ate in the last week. Our diets can fluctuate widely over a decade.
So, this is only a limited observational study, not a double-blind study. But it might be a good reason to throw in some mushrooms in with your regular diet.
While there is no prescription for eating a certain number of mushrooms with each meal, there isn’t anything specific you can do at the moment.
But as research continues into mushrooms and cancer this is an area where you may want to start adding mushrooms into your meals.
As of now, there is no downside risk. Mushrooms are low in calories and tend to magnify the flavor of the foods they are cooked with.
You can eat a whole cup of mushrooms and only consume 15 calories, 6% of your potassium and fewer than 2 grams of carbohydrates.
To find out more about this study go to: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.32591