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Today, we know that there are many factors that dramatically increase the risk of dementia. Anything that damages the heart and blood vessels also increases the risk of dementia, that is, overweight, high blood sugar levels, high blood lipid levels, little exercise, smoking and alcohol. On the other hand, those who are active, do sports, cultivate fellowship with others, keep themselves mentally fit and live well, have a good chance of a "clear mind" even in old age. Healthy nutrition is one of the cornerstones. Red meat, sausages and eggs are rarely on the menu, cheeses and yoghurt and fish and poultry in small quantities. Good are, however, wholegrain cereal products, nuts and seeds and especially fruits, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms. These foods should be integrated into the diet several times a day.
Mushrooms affect the metabolism of the brain
The mushrooms seem to have a special role to play here. For initial studies suggest that they have a direct impact on the peptides amyloid beta 40 and 42. These deposit as destructive plaques in the brain. David A. Bennett and other researchers from the Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University in Chicago reported that mushroom extracts decrease the toxicity of the peptides to the nerves. They also reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important messenger in the brain. In dementia patients this substance is increasingly degraded by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. As a rule, drug treatment of patients therefore aims to inhibit this enzyme so that more messenger substances are available to the brain. The interesting question is: Can the beginning of the degradation of these messenger substances be prevented even by the regular consumption of mushrooms and mushroom extracts? There is much to suggest: The scientists Kawagishi and Zhuang, for example, already found out in 2008 that the degree of functional independence in dementia patients who received mushroom extracts increased. In experiments with demented mice, Hazekawa and others also observed in 2010 that their ability to learn and remember significantly increased after the administration of mushroom extracts.
Last but not least, fungi also seem to have an influence on the development of the nerve processes, the neurite. They influence the synthesis of the nerve growth factor and also have neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The researchers realize that they are at the very beginning of this research field. But even if it is still the very first preliminary study, the new data on the brain-protective effect of mushrooms optimistic and call for further research on the possibilities of delaying the progress of dementia diseases with the consumption of mushrooms.
Further information and recipes for edible mushrooms can be found on the website gesunde-pilze.de.