LMU 124 – Enhancing Memory Health: Unveiling the Power of Mushrooms
Source: Journal of Alzheimer’s disease (March 2019)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (March 29, 2019)
As the tapestry of time weaves through the chapters of our lives, the quest to preserve our precious memories becomes an ever-more important endeavor. Published studies unveil a captivating truth: we hold the reins to our memory health, with proactive measures that can shield our brain from the ravages of time. From nurturing heart health to fostering cognitive resilience, a roadmap to memory preservation emerges, featuring a repertoire of lifestyle choices and nutritional allies. Among these allies, a surprising star steps into the limelight: mushrooms.
Nurturing Memory Health: A Shortlist of Essentials
In our pursuit to stave off memory loss across the spectrum of life, a trove of strategies beckon. The journey begins with familiar echoes: maintaining optimal blood cholesterol, taming blood pressure, exercising regularly, embracing a healthy weight, and steering clear of alcohol and tobacco. These well-trodden paths are joined by less conventional travelers—engaging in lifelong learning, cultivating robust social connections, and ensuring a generous supply of vitamin D. Amidst these revelations, an intriguing contender emerges: the consumption of green tea, and the biochemical magic of Omega-3 Fats.
The Biochemical Symphony of Aging and Memory Loss
Delving into the biochemical symphony of memory health, an enigmatic revelation beckons—a revelation that hinges on the intricate dance of choline and the memory chemical “acetylcholine.” As the curtain falls on age 55, a subtle transformation unfolds within the brain. The once-adept transport system, responsible for ferrying choline from blood to brain, becomes sluggish. As a result, the brain grapples to access adequate choline to maintain optimal acetylcholine levels. The consequences are profound: the first step towards memory loss—decline in acetylcholine synthesis—takes center stage.
A ray of hope emerges on this biochemical horizon. The brain’s choline quandary finds resolution in the embrace of a simple supplement. Post-age 55, a daily dose of choline-enriched supplement enters the scene, offering a pathway to bolster brain access to this crucial nutrient. This supplement isn’t alone in this quest. It forms a synergy with fellow nutrients: CDP-choline, Phosphatidylserine, Huperzine A, and Bacopa monnieri, all working in harmony to boost acetylcholine levels. The chorus grows richer with the inclusion of B-vitamins, antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E), and the melodic strains of melatonin.
Mushrooms: A Culinary Elixir for Cognitive Health
Amidst the cacophony of nutrients, mushrooms rise as a compelling chorus. A study unveiled in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, March 2019, ushers mushrooms to the forefront of memory health. A symphony of evidence unfolds as researchers share findings from the Diet and Healthy Aging study in Singapore. This study, spanning six years and involving 663 participants aged 60 and above, renders a profound insight: mushroom consumption emerges as a powerful shield against mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—the precursor to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.
The revelation is striking not just in its potency but also in its independence. Mushroom’s impact on cognitive health transcends the boundaries of age, gender, lifestyle, and health conditions. The researchers affirm, “Our cross-sectional data support the potential role of mushrooms and their bioactive compounds in delaying neurodegeneration.” The connection between mushroom intake and reduced risk of MCI becomes a compelling anthem, resonating across the vast spectrum of memory preservation.
A Dive into the Mushroom Bounty
The realm of mushrooms is rich, a treasure trove of diverse varieties, each bearing its unique gifts. From golden and oyster to shiitake and white button, the plethora of mushrooms showcased in the study lends depth to their potential. Not only do these mushrooms carry culinary charm, but they also reveal medicinal prowess. A profound revelation unfolds—medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, reishi, and cordyceps, harbor ingredients that not only fortify the immune system but also nurture the brain.
The repertoire of brain-loving compounds within these mushrooms is staggering. From the emerging star Ergothioneine (ET) to hericenones, erinacines, scabronines, and dictyophorines, a symphony of support for cognitive health resonates. These compounds extend their hands not just to memory preservation but also to the daunting task of combating the hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease—the beta-amyloid plaque.
Cultivating Cognitive Resilience: The Mushroom Pathway
As the curtain falls on our exploration, the path forward becomes clear. The revelations of research pave the way for a simple yet profound action: infusing our diets with the richness of mushrooms. With just three servings per week of these culinary wonders, we embark on a journey to preserve memory health and fend off the encroachment of Alzheimer’s disease. This vibrant dietary choice aligns seamlessly with a life steeped in wellness—a life where memory and vitality endure.
In our journey to discover the path to memory health, mushrooms emerge as a potent ally. As science unravels the intricate connections between nutrition and cognitive resilience, it becomes increasingly evident that the humble mushroom holds the promise of fostering memory preservation and brain vitality. Through a blend of culinary delight and medicinal wonder, mushrooms offer a route to a brighter, more vibrant future—one where the tapestry of memory remains vibrant and enduring.
Lei Feng, Irwin Kee-Mun Cheah, Maisie Mei-Xi Ng, Jialiang Li, Sue Mei Chan, Su Lin Lim, Rathi Mahendran, Ee-Heok Kua, Barry Halliwell. The Association between Mushroom Consumption and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study in Singapore. *Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease*, 2019.
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.