Mushrooms are a great food to eat regularly. There are tons of different varieties, they are incredibly versatile in recipes, and they are extremely healthy.
Recent research study looked at how eating white button mushrooms creates shifts in the bacterial flora of the gut
A recent research study looked at how eating white button mushrooms – the cheapest mushrooms you can buy at the store – can create shifts in the bacterial flora of the gut, which in turn could help improve glucose regulation in the liver. The study was conducted in mice, but the researchers suspect that similar effects are produced in humans, and that mushrooms may be a good place to look for new diabetes prevention strategies.
Could consuming white button mushrooms change gut bacteria to produce more short chain fatty acids?
The study showed that feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut bacteria to produce more short chain fatty acids – specifically propionate from succinate. This is important because previous research has shown that succinate and propionate help change gene expression needed to regulate glucose production in the liver.
This is good news for preventing diabetes and metabolic disease
Since managing glucose better is a principle strategy for the prevention of diabetes and metabolic disease, this is good news. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 100 million Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes in 2017.
The researchers fed the mice about a daily serving size of the mushrooms. For humans, a daily serving size would be about 3 ounces.
These acids help manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis
According to the researchers, consuming the mushrooms can set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria, expanding the population of Prevotella, a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate. These acids can change the expression of genes that are key to the pathway between the brain and the gut that helps manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis.
Mushrooms thought to be acting as a prebiotic
The mushrooms are thought to be acting as a prebiotic that feeds beneficial bacteria that are already present in the gut. This is different from probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that are directly introduced to the gut.
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.