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Dietary Consumption of Edible Mushrooms for Disease Prevention: A Literature Overview
* 1 , 2
1  Department of Public Health, AUSL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia (Italy)
2  Cardiology Unit, Parma University Hospital, Parma (Italy)


Edible mushrooms have played a significant role in dietary habits, culinary traditions, folk medicine, myths and culture since ancient times. This study aims to understand if regular consumption of edible mushrooms as a part of a balanced diet can have some specific beneficial effects on health, especially in preventive medicine. PubMed and Google Scholar were screened for relevant literature reviews, and five articles were included in this work. Overall, mushroom dietary intake was associated with reduced neoplasm incidence, particularly breast cancer, improved glucose, lipid, and vitamin D levels. However, changes in cholesterol levels were not detected in all studies, and no significant effect was shown for modifications in blood pressure and body weight. In conclusion, the evidence available suggests that a balanced diet including a serving of edible mushrooms at least two-to-three times a week may decrease cancer and metabolic risk in the long run, thus contributing to reducing all-cause mortality risk. The quality of mushrooms and their nutritional characteristics is fundamental to ensure consumer product safety. Further studies should investigate in more depth the effects on health of different mushroom species consumed regularly and the exact minimum amount associated with significant benefits.

Keywords: Nutrition; Diet; Mushrooms; Preventive Medicine; Public Health; Review