Mushroom health benefits and side effects

mushroom health benefits and side effects


Mushrooms and humans are connected with each other from the past 5 lakh years. Initially, humans are gatherer in nature, and mushrooms are used to be a part of their staple diet. Various types of mushrooms are used for a very long time. Nowadays mushrooms are known as superfoods because of high nutrients and protein content. Mushrooms are delicious in taste, easy to cook, and also do not adds up to the harmful side effects. Mushrooms are mainly used for edible purposes, medicines, and hallucinogens. Some of the mushroom health benefits and side effects are as follows

What are the main components of mushrooms?

  • Polyphenols
  • Polysaccharides
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • High fiber
  • Low sugar and lipid content

What are the possible benefits of mushrooms?

  1. Antimicrobial: Effective against many bacteria and viruses. therefore eating mushrooms helps in keeping microbial related diseases away.
  2. Hematological: Mushrooms are good for red blood cells and white blood cells. Having mushrooms in diet thus keeps away the hematological problem.
  3. Antioxidant: Mushrooms due to rich in flavonoids are also antioxidant in nature.
  4. Anti-inflammatory
  5. Hepatoprotective: Helps in keeping the liver healthy
  6. Antitumor properties: due to flavonoids and other polyphenols, mushrooms can be effective against tumors.

Nowadays mushrooms are getting fast commercialized. Many manufacturing companies emphasizing on its medicinal properties and claims that their product has all the medicinal properties. Although mushrooms are widely used in Chinese medicines there is no scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness against human disease.

Besides this, there is another concern regarding the potent toxins and neurotrophic compounds which people should seriously consider

What are the serious side effects of mushrooms?

  1. Food allergy
  2. Inflammation of lips
  3. Flagellate erythema
  4. Liver damage
  5. Bacterial and fungal contamination of harvested mushrooms

Myths related to some commercial mushrooms:

There are lots of false marketing and propaganda related to mushrooms. Many mushrooms are sold in the name of medicinal use and as in the name of useful beverages. Some of them are as follows

1. Shiitake mushrooms

The scientific name of Shitake mushroom is Lentinula edodesis . It is an edible mushroom of East Asia that grows on decaying wood. This mushroom is mainly used as a tonic which helps in relieving pains, fatigues, rejuvenating, heart diseases, lung disease, and intestinal worms.

Fact: Although there is no proven human research done to show the real effect of the mushroom as a wholesome handful of experiments on specific chemicals extracted from mushrooms have been done.

2. Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is widely known as mushrooms of immortality.

Claims: This mushroom claims to have benefits like

  • Antiaging
  • Cancer prevention property
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increase the immune system of the body

Fact: Although there is again very little clinical evidence that supports its effectiveness. Overconsumption may causes

  • Liver damage
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Lowers blood pressure

3. Chaga Mushrooms

Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) are considered as medicinal mushrooms. In Russia and Eastern European folk, this mushroom is widely used as medicine. This mushroom is traditionally used as a beverage resembling coffee or tea.

Claims: The possible health benefits of this mushroom are

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Boost the immune system
  • Enhance liver health
  • Fight viruses
  • Prevent some types of cancers.

Fact: Only preliminary research is done but there are still no clinical trials on humans. Therefore, physician consultation is mandatory before using Chaga as self-treatment may cause a chronic condition.