Mushrooms May Help Burn Fat and Boost Weight Loss

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Mushrooms May Help Burn Fat and Boost Weight Loss

Mushrooms are widely used for food and medicine because they are nutrient-rich and have medicinal properties. 


This article will detail their potential advantages in weight loss and fat burning.


According to a 2018 report that analyzed several studies, edible mushrooms may have an anti-obesity effect on the body. They contain bioactive compounds, antioxidants, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Edible mushrooms also have fiber and hold water, keeping a person satiated longer, thus reducing overeating.


According to Peter Horvath, an Associate Professor at the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Science at the University at Buffalo, regular consumption of edible mushrooms may help with blood sugar regulation. 


Fluctuations in blood sugar levels may affect hunger and stimulate appetite. These fluctuations could increase calorie intake and lead to unnecessary weight gain. By regulating blood sugar, the body can stabilize insulin.


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Mushrooms as Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory Immune Boosters

Mushrooms are known for their analgesic, antioxidant, antiviral, and immune-boosting propertiesResearch shows they could reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can lead to many health problems. Obesity also promotes chronic inflammation.


Mushrooms contain a phytonutrient called ergothioneine, a naturally occurring amino acid found in mushrooms. Ergothioneine is a powerful antioxidant that defends against tissue damage. Mushrooms also contain glutathione, another vital compound with many antioxidant properties.


Ergothioneine and glutathione contain properties that help fight free radicals that create oxidative stress in the body.

What is oxidative stress? While there are different definitions of oxidative stress, in simple terms, it occurs when the number of free radicals exceeds the number of antioxidants.

Elevated levels of oxidative stress inflict cell damage which creates a negative domino effect throughout the body.
High levels of oxidative stress/damage in the body accelerate aging. It may also increase the risks of cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.


Some factors that increase oxidative stress/damage in the body include diets low in antioxidant-rich foods, industrial vegetable oils, cigarettes, mental stress, environmental toxins, excess sugar, and excess alcohol consumption. Others include sleep deprivation, infections, sedentary lifestyles (i.e., lack of exercise or physical inactivity), and iron overload.


According to a researcher who conducted a study at the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products, one species of mushroom called Boletus edulis (porcini mushroom) has the highest concentration of both ergothioneine and glutathione. While other species have these as well, Porcini has the highest amount.

Obesity Increases Oxidative Stress in the Body

Various studies, including one published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, stated that obesity increased oxidative stress in the body. 

Researchers from the study wrote: 

“Obesity is a principal causative factor in the development of the metabolic syndrome. Here we report that increased oxidative stress in accumulated fat is an important pathogenic mechanism of obesity-associated metabolic syndrome. Fat accumulation correlated with systemic oxidative stress in humans and mice.”

Researchers from another study published in 2015 wrote:

“… obesity is also characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation with permanently increased oxidative stress (OS).”

Final Thoughts

Consuming edible mushrooms may reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the body.

Because obesity promotes chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, their consumption could be even more beneficial for those on a weight-loss journey.

The most-recommended mushrooms include the white button, Chaga, cordyceps, portobello, porcini, shiitake, maitake, reishi, oyster, lion’s mane, turkey tail, Mesima, and wood ear.

Many online resources can guide a person on choosing, storing, and cooking mushrooms. They are also available in supplement or powder form.

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Other References

Study shows benefits of mushroom consumption – Portabellas, at least, lower glycemic responses when consumed with food
By Pat Donovan; Release Date: May 19, 2014;

Mushrooms are ‘the richest source’ of two antioxidants which fight age-related diseases
by Alexandru Micu; November 10, 2017;

Can a mushroom a day keep the doctor away?; Felicity Cloake; Nov 14, 2017;

Mushrooms: The Nutrition Source;

Ergothioneine – a diet‐derived antioxidant with therapeutic potential;

Ergothioneinein Mushrooms-Nature’s Best Source of a New Human Vitamin?;

Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health;

How does oxidative stress affect the body?;

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