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How mushrooms could help improve glucose regulation, research finds

A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods suggests that Consuming white button mushrooms daily could act as prebiotic by improving a gut microbial community. This could then improve the glucose regulation in the liver.

In the study, the scientists gave the white button mushroom feed to mice. They found that it changed the composition of their gut microbes, microbiota, to produce more short chain fatty acids, main propionate from succinate.

Also, previous research has revealed that succinate and propionate can alter the expression of genes required to manage glucose production.

Generally, people get glucose from the food they eat. Insulin transfers glucose out of the blood and into the cells. Diabetes occurs due to insufficient insulin production or the insulin that is made is not effective, resulting in high levels of blood glucose.

Diabetes and pre-diabetes lead to severe life-threatening diseases like stroke and heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 100 million Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes in 2017.

Observations of the study

The researchers of the study used two types of mice in the study. One group of mice had microbiota while the other group did not have microbiota. The mice in the second group were germ-free.

The researchers of the study found big differences in the kinds of metabolites. They found that metabolites present in the gastrointestinal tract, serum, and liver, of the animals, fed mushrooms had microbiota than the ones that didn’t.

They fed the mice about a daily serving size of the mushrooms. This daily serving size for humans would be about 3 ounces.

According to the researchers, mushroom consumption can set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria, expanding the population of Prevotella.

It is a bacteria which produces propionate and succinate. These acids can alter the expression of genes which are key to the pathway between the brain and the gut that helps manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis.

According to the study, the mushrooms serve as a prebiotic in this case. As it is a substance that feeds beneficial bacteria which are already present in the gut. But probiotics are live useful bacteria which are introduced into the digestive system.

This study also provides more evidence that there is a tight link between microbiota and diet. Therefore, if you change your diet, microbiota also changes.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Diabetics should add mushrooms to their diet. Here are the few benefits of mushrooms;

  • Disorders like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are associated with increased inflammation in the body. These conditions can be regulated by mushrooms which possess anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Mushrooms have the low glycaemic index. Therefore, they make a great snack for diabetics as they contain a very low amount of carbs. This shows that they do not increase blood sugar levels as significantly as high-carb foods.
  • Fresh mushrooms are a great choice for weight management, which is a key factor in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Its calorie content is very low having high water content and some fiber which keeps you fuller for longer.
  • Fresh mushrooms have both soluble and insoluble fiber, of which soluble fiber is shown to keep blood sugar levels in check. Hence, fresh mushrooms are a delicious way to eat healthy food.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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