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Title: Daily supplementation with mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) improves balance and working memory in aged rats

Author
item THANGTHAENG, NOPPORN
item MILLER, MARSHALL G. - TUFTS UNIVERSITY
item GOMES, STACEY M. - UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

Submitted to: Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/21/2015
Publication Date: 12/7/2015
Citation: Thangthaeng, N., Miller, M., Gomes, S., Shukitt Hale, B. 2015. Daily supplementation with mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) improves balance and working memory in aged rats. Nutrition Research. 35:1079-1084.

Interpretive Summary: The present research investigates the anti-aging effects of dietary supplementation with freeze-dried mushroom on mobility, memory, and brain function in rats. Aged rats were placed on a rodent diet containing either 0, 0.5, 1, 2, or 5% freeze-dried white button mushroom. After 8-10 weeks, rats were tested on a variety of behavioral tasks, which included tests of balance, coordination, muscle strength, and learning and memory. Rats on the 2% or 5% mushroom-supplemented diet consumed more food than rats in the 0, 0.5% or 1% mushroom groups, without gaining body weight. Rats in the 0.5% and 1% group were able to balance longer on a narrow beam, indicating an improvement in balance. However, only rats who consumed the 0.5% mushroom diet showed improved performance in a water maze that tests learning and memory. It appears that the most effective mushroom dose in this study was 0.5%, in that animals fed this diet showed improvements in mobility and memory function; this is equivalent to 42 g or about 1.5 ounces fresh mushrooms for humans. Therefore, the inclusion of a small portion of mushroom in the daily diet may have beneficial, anti-aging effects.

Technical Abstract: Animals and humans show decrements in motor control, cognition, and brain function during normal aging, partly due to the long-term effects of oxidative stress and inflammation. Recent studies have identified a number of fruits and vegetables, whose phytochemical make-up contains potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The present research investigates the effects of dietary intervention with freeze-dried mushroom on mobility, memory, and brain function in aged Fischer 344 rats. Aged rats were placed on a rodent diet containing either 0, 0.5, 1, 2, or 5% lyophilized white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus). After 8-10 weeks, rats were tested on a battery of behavioral tasks, which included measures of balance, coordination, muscle strength, and learning and memory. Rats on the 2% or 5% mushroom supplemented diet had higher food intake than controls or rats in the 0.5% or 1% mushroom conditions, without gaining more body weight than rats in the other diet groups. Rats in the 0.5% and 1% group were able to balance longer on a narrow beam, indicating an improvement in balance; there were no changes in balance in the groups fed higher amounts of mushrooms. However, only rats who consumed the 0.5% mushroom diet showed improved performance in a working memory version of the Morris water maze. It appears that the most effective mushroom dose in this study was 0.5%, in that animals fed this diet showed improvements in motor and cognitive function; this is equivalent to 42 g or about 1.5 ounces fresh mushrooms for humans. Therefore, the inclusion of a small portion of mushroom in the daily diet may have beneficial, anti-aging effects.