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White button mushrooms regulate glucose levels


Fresh white button mushrooms on a wooden background

Credit:123RF

Managing glucose levels is imperative for patients with diabetes. Normally glucose is derived from the food you eat. Insulin — a hormone produced by the pancreas — works on lowering glucose levels in the blood and moving it into the cells. But when insulin is not enough or if the insulin produced is not effective, then blood glucose levels can increase and diabetes occurs. People with diabetes and pre-diabetes are susceptible to other life-threatening diseases, including heart disease and stroke, so any research into glucose management is valuable. Now it seems that white button mushrooms may have what it takes to manage glucose production.

According to the researchers, eating mushrooms caused a chain reaction in the gut microbiota to expand a population of Prevotella— a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate.

New research from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences found that feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut microbiota, which produced more short chain fatty acids, specifically propionate and succinate. Previous research has shown that succinate and propionate can change the expression of genes needed to manage glucose production.

The researchers used two types of mice in this study. One group of mice had microbiota and the other group of mice were germ-free and had no microbiota. The researchers fed the mice a daily serving of white button mushrooms. For humans, a daily serving size amounts to approximately 3 ounces (85 grams).

The researchers found that feeding white button mushrooms resulted in changes in the composition of microbiota in mice that had microbiota. According to the researchers, eating mushrooms caused a chain reaction in the gut microbiota to expand a population of Prevotella— a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate. Microbial propionate and succinate can change the expression of genes that are important to the pathway between the brain and the gut, which manages the production of glucose or intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGN).

The researchers also found reduced hepatic glucose production in mice that were fed white button mushrooms (with microbiota). In mice with no microbiota or with disruptions in the ability to sense microbiota there was no white button mushroom mediated effect. According to the scientists, in this case of mice with microbiota, the white button mushrooms act as a prebiotic, which is a substance that feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Eating white button mushrooms creates a change in the gut microbial population, which could improve the regulation of glucose in the liver. Although this study was done on lean mice, the findings are positive for researchers to pave the way for new diabetes treatments and prevention strategies.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods



 

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!