The free radical theory of aging
The amino acids plentiful in mushrooms, ergothioneine, and glutathione are both powerful antioxidants, which means they inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. That’s important when it comes to attempting to slow the aging process because oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals — highly reactive unpaired electrons that can cause damage to cells throughout the body.
Whenever your body processes food for energy, some free radicals are produced, causing oxidative stress and potential damage to cells, proteins, and even DNA.
"There's a theory — the free radical theory of aging — that's been around for a long time that says when we oxidize our food to produce energy there's a number of free radicals that are produced that are side products of that action, and many of these are quite toxic," said researcher Robert Beelman, PhD, director of the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health.
"The body has mechanisms to control most of them, including ergothioneine and glutathione, but eventually enough accrue to cause damage, which has been associated with many of the diseases of aging, like cancer, coronary heart disease, and Alzheimer's."
Consuming mushrooms regularly, with their abundant supply of ergothioneine and glutathione, may help your body inhibit cellular damage linked to aging by protecting against free radicals.
April 09, 2020
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA