White Button Mushrooms Could Help Improve Glucose Regulation
Node Smith, ND
Mushrooms are a great food to be eating regularly. There are tons of different varieties, they are incredibly versatile in recipes, and they are extremely healthy.
Recent research study looked at how eating white button mushrooms can create shifts in the bacterial flora of the gut
A recent research study looked at how eating white button mushrooms – the cheapest mushrooms you can buy at the store – can create shifts in the bacterial flora of the gut, which in turn could help improve glucose regulation in the liver. The study was conducted in mice, but the researchers suspect that similar effects are produced in humans, and that mushrooms may be a good place to look for new diabetes prevention strategies.
Feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut bacteria to produce more short chain fatty acids
The study showed that feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut bacteria to produce more short chain fatty acids – specifically propionate from succinate. This is important because previous research has shown that succinate and propionate help change gene expression needed to regulate glucose production in the liver.
Managing glucose better is a principle strategy for the prevention of diabetes and metabolic disease
Since managing glucose better is a principle strategy for the prevention of diabetes and metabolic disease, this is good news. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 100 million Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes in 2017.
The researchers fed the mice about a daily serving size of the mushrooms. For humans, a daily serving size would be about 3 ounces.
Consuming the mushrooms can set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria
According to the researchers, consuming the mushrooms can set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria, expanding the population of Prevotella, a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate. These acids can change the expression of genes that are key to the pathway between the brain and the gut that helps manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis.
Mushrooms thought to be acting as a prebiotic feeding beneficial bacteria
The mushrooms are thought to be acting as a prebiotic that feeds beneficial bacteria that are already present in the gut. This is different from probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that are directly introduced to the gut.
Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.