It appears that mushrooms may help moderate glucose levels in the blood—especially in women. "This alone," says Peter Horvath, "may benefit individuals attempting to lose weight and who want to exercise for a longer time." (Credit: Marie Coleman/Flickr)

Mushrooms: The new go-to food for women who work out?

Eating mushrooms might make it easier to lose weight and exercise longer by controlling blood sugar, especially for women, a new study shows.

Although mushroom intake previously has been reported to have beneficial effects on weight management, immune function, and quality of life, this is the first to examine its effect on glucose response.

(Credit: Étienne Ljóni Poisson/Flickr)
(Credit: Étienne Ljóni Poisson/Flickr)

“Our results indicate that consumption of mushrooms could be useful in regulating glucose levels,” says study co-author Peter Horvath, associate professor in the exercise and nutrition sciences department at the University at Buffalo. “This alone may benefit individuals attempting to lose weight and who want to exercise for a longer time.”

The study details

The subjects were eight men and 10 women 19 to 29 years of age (average age 23 years). Their body fat measured 19.7 percent, ±7.7 percent; their fasting glucose levels were 88.8, ±6.2 milligrams per deciliter.

In this crossover study, each subject completed three modified oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) over a two-week period. The OGTTs were evaluated in subjects who consumed one of three drinks, each equally sweet:

  • 75 g glucose drink (G)
  • 75 g glucose drink with 9.5 g Portabella powder (MG)
  • 9.5 g Portabella powder with Stevia/flavored water (M)

Fasting and 30-minute blood samples were collected for two hours. Results showed that glucose levels were elevated after consumption of G and MG, with levels after MG consumption higher in men at 30 minutes (p<0.02) and women at 60 (p<0.005) and 120 min (p<0.01).

Insulin levels were higher after G and MG consumption than after M consumption, but after MG consumption, levels showed a more gradual decline in women. There was no difference in insulin levels between G and MG groups detected in men.

Mushroom powder reduced rebound hypoglycemia and rapid insulin decrease in women compared to glucose alone. Men did not show a reduction in rebound hypoglycemia with consumption of MG.

The results, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, suggest that mushrooms may moderate postprandial glucose-related responses. This mushroom-effect seems to be exaggerated in a young, healthy female population.

The University at Buffalo funded the study.

Source: University at Buffalo

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