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Medicinal mushrooms: A closer look at the science behind the health claims

More research is needed to confirm the health benefits of mushrooms


Key points from article :

Medicinal mushrooms are gaining popularity, but is there any scientific evidence to support their health claims?

A study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ‌on lion’s mane found it may improve cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed.

Reishi has been shown to boost the immune system and gut health, alleviate fatigue, and improve sleep in cell cultures and animal studies.

However, human trials on reishi (BYU ScholarsArchive)‌ have been small and inconclusive.

Turkey tail has been used to treat cancer in Japan and China for decades, but a review of seven randomised controlled trials found the evidence for its effectiveness is unclear.

Chaga and cordyceps militaris are also claimed to have a range of health benefits, but there is no well-designed clinical evidence to support these claims.

The MHRA has warned retailers about making health claims for mushroom products and use of the term “medicinal mushrooms”.

The authors conclude that the vast majority of health claims made for mushrooms are unsupported by good-quality human trials.

Mentioned in this article:

Click on resource name for more details.

Brigham Young University (BYU)

Private research Mormon superschool in Provo, Utah

Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

Journal providing information on the mechanisms of Central Nervous System aging.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

Regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK

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Medicinal mushrooms: A closer look at the science behind the health claims