Nutrition News About Mushrooms

Penn State Study Explores Potential Relationship Between Mushroom Consumption and Lower Cancer Risk

Mushrooms are in the news again, this time for their possible association with a lower risk of cancer, according to a new Penn State study, published in Advances in Nutrition.

The systematic review and meta-analysis examined 17 cancer studies published from 1966 to 2020. Analyzing data from more than 19,500 cancer patients, researchers looked at the potential relationship between mushroom consumption and lower risk of cancer. According to the findings, individuals who ate 18 grams of mushrooms daily had a 45% lower risk of cancer compared to those who did not eat mushrooms. The findings from this study show further research is necessary including epidemiological studies about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms and health. Future clinical studies for site-specific cancers are also warranted.

When specific cancers were examined, the researchers noted the strongest associations for breast cancer as individuals who regularly ate mushrooms had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. Researchers noted that this could be because most of the studies did not include other forms of cancer. Moving forward, this research could be helpful in further exploring the protective effects that mushrooms may have and helping to establish healthier diets that lower the risk of cancer. Researchers stated that future studies are needed to better pinpoint the mechanisms involved and specific cancers that may be impacted.
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Phase 2 Trial of Mushrooms for Prostate Cancer Opens

City of Hope (Duarte, Calif.) is now recruiting patients for a Phase 2 clinical trial to investigate whether freeze-dried mushroom powder tablets could regulate the immune system, affecting prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels to either remain stable or decline. Heightened levels of PSA in men may indicate the existence of prostate tumors.

Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., the Lester M. and Irene C. Finkelstein Chair in Biology, has been investigating the potential beneficial effects of white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) at City of Hope for about 20 years. His translational preclinical and clinical research has identified white button mushrooms, commonly found at the supermarket, may help prevent or slow the spread of prostate and breast cancers.

This National Cancer Institute-funded study will seek to recruit 132 male participants who have recurrent prostate cancer following local therapy or who are undergoing active surveillance and have not yet received any therapy. Results from the previous Phase 1 white button mushroom trial1 (which included 36 male participants) indicated that freeze-dried mushroom powder tablets are safe and potentially effective against prostate cancer. About 36% of study participants had some decline in PSA levels after three months of white button mushroom tablet intake, and no dose-limiting toxicities were observed. There were no negative side effects.
White button mushroom consumption seemed to stimulate the immune system into action and limited the growth of prostate cancer cells. Upon further research in the laboratory, City of Hope scientists found that white button mushrooms contain compounds that can block the activity of the androgen receptor in animal models, indicating this common fungus could help reduce PSA levels. This research was recently published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry2. While Phase 1 brought promising results around the safety of freeze-dried mushroom powder tablets, further research, including the Phase 2 trial, is needed to examine its effectiveness on PSA reduction.

The objective of the Phase 2 trial is to assess if recurrent prostate cancer patients experience any PSA reduction at three months. The study is based on 14 g of the freeze-dried powder tablets – which at 90% water would translate to 140 g fresh mushrooms – or slightly less than two 85 g servings. Those in the control group (observation only) will be able to receive the mushroom tablet after three months.

In addition, for 12 months, the scientists will assess the relative change in PSA levels in men under active surveillance who have not received any localized prostate cancer treatment. Furthermore, scientists will look at biopsy material to identify what molecular changes are linked to intake of white button mushrooms.

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Mushroom Spotlight: Lion’s Mane

It may look more like a Muppet than a mushroom, but Hericium Erinaceus (Latin for hedgehog) or lion’s mane, as it’s more commonly known, is gaining in popularity as the overall demand for all mushroom varieties continues to grow.
The Mushroom Council has long touted the benefits,3 of The Blend™, blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat, both in nutrition and flavor. But instead of a “beefy” umami flavor, lion’s mane mushrooms have more flavor and texture similarities to crab or lobster. In fact, you can prepare them in similar ways. One way is to dry sauté them in a hot skillet until the water releases and the edges brown. Next, add a pat of butter and seasonings and serve. Once cooked, lion’s mane mushrooms are slightly chewy, very tender and juicy.

Nutrition Information:

4 medium lion’s mane mushrooms (100 g)
  • 35 calories
  • 0 g of fat
  • 0 g of sodium
  • 17 mcg/57% RDV of Biotin (vitamin B7)

Mushroom Council Partners with Food Network for Blended Burger Contest

This year, the Mushroom Council is calling all home cooks and professionals to get creative in the kitchen and take the iconic burger to the next level. One home cook will win $10,000 and one professional will win $10,000.

A professional is anyone who has been employed to develop, cook or commercialize recipes in any manner, including chefs, food preparation professionals, cookbook authors and food product developers.

This is the third year of the Blended Burger Contest, and the first with a professionals-only competition. Here’s how it works:
  1. Develop your own blended burger recipe made with at least 25% chopped cultivated mushrooms. Eligible mushroom varieties include store-bought white button, crimini, portabella, shiitake, oyster, enoki, beech, maitake, trumpet and lion’s mane. Creativity and out of the box ideas are totally welcome here.
  2. Enter your recipe and a recipe photo using the official entry form at
  3. Optional: Post your burger photo on Instagram using #BlendedBurgerContest and share more about your burger.
The entry deadline is June 25, 2021. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges and narrowed down to two winning recipes, one home cook winner and one professional winner, which will be featured in the November issue of Food Network Magazine.

Enter the Contest Now at

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1. Twardowski, P., Kanaya, N.; Frankel, P., Synold, T., Ruel, C., Pal, S.K., Junqueira,M., Prajapati, M., Moore, T., Tryon, P. and Chen, S. (2015), A phase I trial of mushroom powder in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer: Roles of cytokines and myeloid-derived suppressor cells for Agaricus bisporus–induced prostate-specific antigen responses. Cancer.

2. Wang, X., Ha, D., Mori, H. and Chen, S. (2021) White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) disrupts androgen receptor signaling in human prostate cancer cells and patient-derived xenograft. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry,

3. Myrdal Miller, A., Mills, K., Wong, T., Drescher, G., Lee, S.M., Sirimuangmoon, C., Schaefer, S., Langstaff, S., Minor, B. and Guinard, J.-X. (2014), Flavor-Enhancing Properties of Mushrooms in Meat-Based Dishes in Which Sodium Has Been Reduced and Meat Has Been Partially Substituted with Mushrooms. Journal of Food Science. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12549
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