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Notes on Nutritional Properties of Culinary Mushrooms

Notes on Nutritional Properties of Culinary Mushrooms

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nutricional properties of mushrooms and funghi
nutricional properties of mushrooms and funghi

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International
 Journal
of Medicinal
Mushrooms,
Vol. 7, pp. 103-110 (2005)
Notes on Nutritional Properties
of
Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms
Paul Stamets
Fungi Perfecti Research Laboratories, Kamilche Point, Washington, USA
Address all correspondence to Paul Stamets, Fungi Perfecti Research Laboratories,
50
S.E. Nelson Rd., Kamilche
Point,
WA
98584 USA; Stametsl@aol.com
ABSTRACT:
Increasingly, mushrooms are being investigated
for
their role as nutritional foods. How-ever,
few
studies have been published
on
their nutritional profiles. The author grew
and
submitted
20
species for thorough nutritional profiling. In addition, the effect of sunlight on the production of vitaminD of indoor-grown mushroom while drying was explored with
Lentinus
eddoes
(Berk.) Singer (shiitakemushroom),
Ganoderma lucidum
(W.
Curt.:Fr.) Lloyd (reishi), and
Grifola
rondosa
(Dicks.:Fr.)
S.F.
Gray(maitake).
Six to
eight hours
of
sunlight exposure stimulated
the
production
of
vitamin
D
from
low
levels
of
134,66, and 469 IU, respectively,
to
46,000,2760, and 31,900
IU
vitamin D, respectively. Themost vitamin
D
was produced
in
Lentinus edodes,
whose spore-producing lamellae were exposed
to the
sun. Dried mushrooms also elicited vitamin
D
production subsequent to sunlight exposure. Vitamin
D
is proven
as
essential
for
immune function
and has
now been identified as
a
major mitigating factor
in
many diseases, so
the
sunlight-activated biosynthesis of vitamin
D
from ergosterols within mushroomshas substantial implications
for
the mushroom industry
in the
context of worldwide health.
KEYWORDS:
medicinal mushrooms,
nutrition.
Food and Drug Administration, vitamin D, ergosterol,ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol.
INTRODUCTION
Healthy nutrition and diet are gaining importance,not only in the everyday life of human beings, butalso in the treatment of chronic diseases. Doctorsworldwide are recognizing that mushrooms are me-dicinal foods rich in nutrition. The Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) has officially designatedmushrooms as "healthy foods." The National Insti-tutes of Health (NIH) is actively testing the effectsof medicinal mushrooms—funding clinical studiesusing mushrooms in adjunct therapies and/or fortreatments of patients afflicted with HIV, cancer.obesity, and neurological diseases. Few studies onthe nutritional properties of diverse mushrooms havebeen published since Crisan and Sands (1978) (seeDidukh et al., 2004).Because most fresh mushrooms are 90% water,nutritional analyses based on their dry weightsare more useful when comparing them to otherfoods. Mushrooms are rich in protein, very lowin simple carbohydrates, rich in high-molecular-weight polysaccharides, high in antioxidants, andvery low in fat. They lack cholesterol, vitamin A,or vitamin C. They are a good source of vitamin Bcomplex—riboflavin (B2), niacin
(B3),
pantothenic
ABBREVIATIONS
FDA:
The
Food and Drug Administration;
HPLC:
high-pressure liquid chromatography; IU: an International Unit formeasuring vitamins;
NIH:
The National Institutes
of
Health;
RDA:
recommended daily allowance; UV: ultraviolet1521-9437/05 $35.00©
2005
by Begell House, Inc.
103
 
p.
STAMETS
acid (B5)—ergosterols (provitamin
D2),
and mineralssuch as potassium, copper, and selenium. High indietary
 fiber,
 edible varieties range from 20% of drymass for
Agaricus
species such as
A.
bisporus
(but-ton mushroom) to up to 50% in
Pleurotus
speciessuch as the phoenix oyster (Beelman et al.,
2003;
Didukh et
al., 2004).
Mushrooms are good sourcesof essential minerals, especially selenium, copper, andpotassium—elements important for immune func-tion and for producing antioxidants that reduce freeradicals. Mushrooms
also
contain numerous medici-nal compounds such as triterpenoids, glycoproteins,natural antibiotics,
enzymes,
and enzyme inhibitorsthat fortify health.The protein content of mushrooms ranges from
3%
for
the
tough, inedible
Fomitopsis
offidnalis
(ViU.:Fr.) Bond, et Singer to 33,34, and
35%
for
Lentinuseddoes,
Pholiota nameko
(T.
Ito)
S.
Ito et Imai in Imai,and
Agaricus
bisporus,
respectively. Mushrooms arerich in complex carbohydrates—heavy molecularweight polysaccharides. Our analyses show thatP-glucans range from 8.9% in
Agaricus brasiliensis
S. Wasser et al., to 14.5% in
Grifola frondosa,
andto
41%
in
Ganoderma
lucidum.
Fat content rangesfrom 0.3 to
4%,
with polyunsaturated fats makingup 10-30% of the total dry weight.A
20
g
(dry)
or
200
g (wet) serving of fresh
Grifola
frondosa,
dried in the sun, provides approximately 75calories and 5 g of protein. This serving has 0.8 g offat, made up of about
70%
linoleic acid, an essentialomega-6 fatty acid, and up to
15%
ergosterol. Sucha serving provides the following percentages of thereference daily intakes or RDIs: 17% selenium, atleast
30%
vitamin D,
8%
pantothenic acid,
87%
nia-cin,
4%
thiamine, and
464%
potassium.This
2-hand-
ful serving provides 10% of the protein needed bya 140-pouad person or 8% needed by a 180-poundperson. (See www.fda.gov/fdac/special/foodlabel/rdichrt.html and http://lstholistic.com/Nutrition/hol_nutr-SONA.htm.)The FDA states that if
20%
of our daily nutri-tional needs are met by consuming
a
single serving ofcertain food, then that food is rated "excellent"; thatfood
is
"good" if
a
single serving supplies
10%
of your
needs.
Given the FDA's definition of "healthy
foods,"
mushrooms rank "good" to "excellent" in several cat-egories of essential nutrients. Since mushrooms areso versatile—they can be baked, boiled, broiled, orsauteed—they can incorporated into
a wide
array ofrecipes palatable to the public.Mushrooms producing enzymes and enzymeinhibitors are useful to medical practitioners andnutritionists composing menus customized fortheir patients. Suites of enzymes are secreted bythe mycelium as extracellular metabolites. Theseenzymes—laccases, cellulases, lignin peroxidases,and manganese superoxide dismutases—are weUknown for their power in decomposing plant fibersand environmental toxins (Sasek et
al., 2001).
Mush-rooms also produce enzyme inhibitors. Chen et al.(1997) tested many foods for aromatase inhibitorsand found several mushrooms with an especially highconcentration of these substances, which interruptthe conversion of androgens to estrogens, signifi-cant for postmenopausal women at risk for breastcancer. Similarly, some mushrooms inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone todihydro testosterone, which stimulates growth of theprostate. Increases in
5
alpha-reductase are associatedwith the growth of prostate cancer. To
AdXe.,Agaricusbisporus
inhibits aromatase the most of about
a
dozenspecies tested (Grube et
al.,
2001;
Chen, 2004).Western medical practitioners are starting torecommend mushrooms as preventive or adjuncttherapies for fortifying health and dealing wdthseveral medical conditions. Mushrooms are ap-propriate in diets for treating obesity, adult-onset(non-insulin-dependent) type II diabetes, and im-mune disorders. Mushrooms are also some of thebest sources of ergosterols, which are thought toinhibit angiogenesis, the proliferation of blood ves-sels supporting tumors. The biochemical pathwayfor creating ergosterol may
have
precursors that alsolimit carcinogenesis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The mushrooms featured in this study were grovimby the author according to the methods outlined inStamets (2000).The mushrooms
were
grown indoorswdth minimum natural light exposure (~100
lux)
dif-fused through polycarbonate skylights. Mushrooms,upon harvesting,
were
either dried indoors in dark-
104
International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
 
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES OF CULINARY-MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS
ness or, as indicated, exposed to sunlight from 10
AM
to 4 PM between June and September at FungiPerfecti Research Laboratories, coordinates N.47.14970 & W. 123.03905. Once exposed to sun-light, fruiting bodies were harvested and dried in-doors
by
commercial dyers or outside under summersun.
The
products were then subjected to standard-ized HPLC analysis in conformity with the OfficialMethods of Analysis of AOAC International (2000)17th Ed., AOAC International, Gaithersburg,MD,USA, Official Metliod 982.29 (Modified) at WarrenAnalytical Laboratories, Greeley, Colorado.
Influences of Habitat on MushroomNutritional Content
Even within
a
single mushroom
species,
nutrient andmineral levels can vary greatly, influenced by habitatand growing medium. For instance, specimens of aparticular strain
o£Pleurotus
species
grown on sawdustare
32%
protein and have 89 mg/100 g of niacin; thesame
Pleurotus
species grown on straw are 27% pro-tein and 54 mg/100 g of niacin. Some mushroomsconcentrate minerals more than others, dependingon where they are cultivated. Beelman
(2003),
oftheNutrition Research Advisory Panel ofthe AmericanMushroom Institute, found that the region in which
Agaricus
bisporus
are
cultivated
causes
selenium contentto vary. Crops originating from
Texas
and Oklahomahave significantly higher concentrations of seleniumthan samples from Florida and Pennsylvania. Thissubject is covered in much more extensive detail in aforthcoming publication (Stamets, 2005).
RESULTS
In order to find out the precise nutritional value ofmushrooms grown on difFerent substrates, we sent aset of samples of our certified organic mushrooms toWarren Laboratories (http://www.warrenlab.coni/associates.htm). The scope of our analyses exceedsthe current FDA's food labeling requirements,since we identify some ingredients significant tothe unique nutritional profiles of mushrooms thatdo not appear on the FDA's list of nutrients. Notethat some nutrients and active medicinal compoundsdegrade
v^dth
time. Some mushroom samples wereup to 1 year in age before testing, stored at roomtemperature
(20
°C),
in a dark location.According to the USDA, 84 g of fresh, or about8 g of dried,
Agaricus bisporus
constitutes a singleserving. To simplify the math for the hungry my-cophile, I rounded the daily serving to 100 g fresh.The following tables were created from the analysesof
100
g samples of (^nV^ mushrooms. Each nutrientis listed as a percentage of total
mass.
To examinethe nutrients in a single daily dietary serving, simplydivide each percentage by
10
to
see
how much nutri-tion a consumer would get from eating a serving ofthe listed species (Table 1).
Influence of Light Exposure on Vitamin DContent of Mushrooms
Most gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, unlikebutton mushrooms, require light. Light exposureinfluences vitamin content in mushrooms, particu-larly the conversion of ergosterol to provitamin D2.In the human body, UV light transforms calciferol,but not ergosterol, into vitamin D.We conducted a series of experiments growdng astrain of shiitake on the same substrate under dif-ferent light conditions and achieved some surprisingresults in vitamin D production. The mushroomswere then subjected to standardized HPLC analysisin conformity with the Official Methods of Analysisof AOAC International (2000) 17th Ed., AOACInternational, Gaithersburg, MD, USA, OfficialMethod 982.29 (Modified).
Lentinus edodes
that
were
grown and dried indoorshad only 110 IU vitamin D. (IU is an InternationalUnit for measuring vitamins; 1 IU of vitamin D isequal to 40 ng of vitamin
D).
Freshly picked indoor-
grovvTi
shiitake mushrooms, when placed outdoors todry in the sun, produced an astonishing 21,400 IUof vitamin D per 100
g.
Mushrooms from the samestrain, when
grovm
outdoors in sunlight and driedin the
dark,
produced only 1620 IU. When
L.
edodes
were dried,
gUls
facing the sun,
the
vitamin D soaredto the highest levels tested, 46,000 IU compared to10,900 IU with gills down. Even more surprising
Volume 7, Issues 1&2, 2005
105

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