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A Different Kind of Magic Mushroom - How Ergothioneine Can Protect Your Brain

By Max Cerquetti % B% d,% Y

The search for effective compounds that promise to protect the human brain from the ravages of cognitive decline, including impaired decision making, inability to concentrate, memory loss, confusion, and even full blown dementia, has never been more urgent. According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, there are 16 million people in the United States living with cognitive impairment. 5.1 million of these people have Alzheimer’s, and this number is expected to climb to a shocking 13.2 million by the year 2050.

 

Alzheimer's disease in US - quick facts

 

50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s globally and without a breakthrough, this already staggering number could exceed 152 million by 2050.

Alzheimer's disease Global Increase by 2050


Mushrooms As A Source Of Brain Protective Compounds

The use of mushrooms to affect brain function is not new by any means, so it's not surprising that researchers have turned to the fungal kingdom in the hunt for compounds that would protect the brain from disease. Indigenous peoples have employed conscious altering psilocybin "magic" mushrooms to enhance wellbeing for some 1500 years, beginning with cultures that predate the Mayans. Over the last decade, research spearheaded by Johns Hopkins has shown psilocybin’s remarkable effects in people with major depressive disorder, as well as anxiety reduction in cancer patients. 

Mushrooms such as portabellas, blue oyster and king trumpets can now be commonly found in grocery stores and farmer’s markets, and have come into their own as part of a healthy diet, adding a meaty flavour to many dishes as well as being a good source of B vitamins and minerals. But perhaps most interesting are the other compounds found in mushrooms – polyphenols, carotenoids, indoles and polysaccharides, which, although do not contribute to nutrition, have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and even anti-cancer effects. In fact, some mushrooms, such as reishi, cordyceps, chaga and others, are grown specifically for their medicinal properties

One of these mushrooms, Lion’s Mane, is fairly well known both for its culinary appeal as well as its promise as a cognitive protector. The Matsutake mushroom, less well known in North America but revered in Japan as a delicacy, is prized for its flavour, and was given as a special gift by Japan’s aristocracy as well as members of the Imperial family, symbolizing longevity, fertility and happiness. 


Ergothioneine - A Potent, Mushroom-Derived Brain Protector 

Both kinds of mushrooms contain ergothioneine (say ‘er-go-THIGH-oh-neen’) a water-soluble medicinal bioactive amino acid that is able to get into the tissues of the brain by way of a specific molecular transporter found naturally in the human body, where it has potent neuroprotective effects. Ergothioneine is synthesized exclusively in non-yeast fungi as well as some bacteria. While plants absorb ergothioneine through their roots by virtue of the production of this compound by microorganisms in the soil, humans and animals must get ergothioneine through diet. Although other foods, including liver, red and black beans and oat bran all contain ergothioneine, mushrooms remain the principal source for humans.


Facts and Health Benefits of Mushroom Nutrients
Ergothioneine works to protect your brain in several ways. It’s also important to understand that ergothioneine also works to protect other bodily tissues and systems as well as the brain, and there is much promise for its therapeutic role in a wide variety of conditions including chronic inflammatory disease, eye disorders, kidney diseases, cardiovascular disease, UV damage, nerve injury, and even cancer as well as cellular aging.

 

 Nutriop Longevity ERGO-SUPREME Health Benefits


Ergothioneine has broad anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant effects, and seems to work with other antioxidants to protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress, thereby increasing mitochondrial function. It is also a scavenging compound, protecting neurons against β-amyloid-induced cytotoxicity by neutralizing the harmful effects of cellular hydrogen peroxide. Ergothioneine also promotes the differentiation of neuronal stem cells, which is crucial in the development as well as the maintenance of the central nervous system.


Anti Inflammatory and Antioxidant Biology of L-Ergothioneine

 

Plus, the compound also impedes damage to DNA as well as proteins, decreases neuroinflammation, decreases cellular stress, increases the expression of cytoprotective proteins, and increases levels of lipoxin, which are naturally occurring anti-inflammatory molecules produced by peripheral blood cells. Ergothioneine also functions as a senolytic, meaning that it destroys old, senescent cells that accumulate in tissues with aging, and may slow down the progression of age related diseases and conditions.

 

Ergothioneine Supplementation Is the Key

So in light of these multiple protective actions, it’s not hard to predict the potent medicinal effects of both lion’s mane as well as matsutake mushrooms, given these mushrooms’ relatively high content of ergothioneine. Lion’s mane has long been known for its neuroprotective properties and is used for the prevention of age-related neurodegenerative disorders, while the Matsutake mushroom is prized for its anti-aging properties, as well as its ability to decrease blood pressure and to augment the proliferation of neural stem cells.

But to get the maximum therapeutic effect, you would have to eat as many as a dozen or more mushrooms daily! Fresh lion’s mane mushrooms, and in particular matsutake mushrooms, are often hard to find as well as expensive and there is no guarantee of the amount of ergothioneine in each mushroom, so you would have no way of knowing if you were taking in an adequate amount. Supplementation is really the only way to get a consistent, concentrated dose of ergothioneine day after day.

 

Plus, similar to many other compounds that are accessed through diet, levels of ergothioneine decline with age as well as with the onset of various diseases. Low levels of ergothioneine have been associated with mild cognitive impairment as well as dementia, with very low levels seeming to correspond to the severity of the disease.

 

Nutriop®’s Approach

Here at Nutriop® Longevity, we immediately recognized the tremendous benefits of ergothioneine, and also understood the challenges most people would have in locating a quality ergothioneine product they could trust, never mind procuring enough ergothioneine containing fresh mushrooms to fill their daily requirements. So we set out to do our own detailed research and formulate the best, most highly bioavailable ergothioneine supplement out there for our customers. 

 

Make no mistake, not all ergothioneine supplements are created equal. We use only the highest quality extracts of 99% biologically fermented matsutake mushrooms (AKA Tricholoma matsutake) and Lion's Mane mushrooms (AKA Hericium Erinaceus) as the base for our new advanced L-Ergothioneine formula, Bio Fermented Nutriop® Ergo-Supreme. We have also added all natural ferulic acid, which is extracted from rice bran that is a potent antioxidant in its own right. In addition, ferulic acid acts to decrease oxidative stress and improves mitochondrial biogenesis. This combination, in just the right proportions, increases the efficacy of our formula so it’s even more powerful.

Most other supplements contain only about 5 mg of ergothioneine, while ours contains a full 10 mg of ergothioneine plus 250 mg of ferulic acid per dose, giving you twice the neuroprotective potency at a fraction of what you would expect to pay for a full 30-day supply. We suggest taking one capsule of Ergo-Supreme one to two times daily for maximum benefit, and the formula can be taken with or without food.

 

You can find more information on our high potency naturally fermented ergothioneine supplement here. Ergothioneine supplementation with Bio Fermented Nutriop® Ergo-Supreme will help you to easily take advantage of this powerful formula’s neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and mitochondrial enhancing effects. 

 

How magic is that?!!

 

 

References:

 

1. Lam-Sidun D, Peters KM, Borradaile NM. Mushroom-Derived Medicine? Preclinical Studies Suggest Potential Benefits of Ergothioneine for Cardiometabolic Health. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 23;22(6):3246. doi: 10.3390/ijms22063246. PMID: 33806754; PMCID: PMC8004618.

2. Cheah IK, Halliwell B. Ergothioneine, recent developments. Redox Biol. 2021 Jun;42:101868. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2021.101868. Epub 2021 Jan 26. PMID: 33558182; PMCID: PMC8113028.

3. Gloria A. Martinez-Medina, Mónica L. Chávez-González, Deepak Kumar Verma, L. Arely Prado-Barragán, Jose L. Martínez-Hernández, Adriana C. Flores-Gallegos, Mamta Thakur, Prem Prakash Srivastav, Cristóbal N. Aguilar, Bio-functional components in mushrooms, a health opportunity: Ergothionine and huitlacohe as recent trends, Journal of Functional Foods,

4. Perez-Ternero C, Werner CM, Nickel AG, Herrera MD, Motilva MJ, Böhm M, Alvarez de Sotomayor M, Laufs U. Ferulic acid, a bioactive component of rice bran, improves oxidative stress and mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics in mice and in human mononuclear cells. J Nutr Biochem. 2017 Oct;48:51-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.06.011. Epub 2017 Jun 24. PMID: 28759787.

5. Wu LY, Cheah IK, Chong JR, Chai YL, Tan JY, Hilal S, Vrooman H, Chen CP, Halliwell B, Lai MKP. Low plasma ergothioneine levels are associated with neurodegeneration and cerebrovascular disease in dementia. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Dec;177:201-211. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2021.10.019. Epub 2021 Oct 19. PMID: 34673145.

6. Paul BD, Snyder SH. The unusual amino acid L-ergothioneine is a physiologic cytoprotectant. Cell Death Differ. 2010 Jul;17(7):1134-40. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2009.163. Epub 2009 Nov 13. PMID: 19911007; PMCID: PMC2885499.

7. Smith E, Ottosson F, Hellstrand S, Ericson U, Orho-Melander M, Fernandez C, Melander O. Ergothioneine is associated with reduced mortality and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart. 2020 May;106(9):691-697. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2019-315485. Epub 2019 Oct 31. PMID: 31672783; PMCID: PMC7229907.

8. Halliwell B, Cheah IK, Drum CL. Ergothioneine, an adaptive antioxidant for the protection of injured tissues? A hypothesis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Feb 5;470(2):245-250. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.12.124. Epub 2016 Jan 6. PMID: 26772879.


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