An international research team has shown that champignon mushrooms are valuable allies in countering diabetes and other glucose-related metabolic disorders. A daily portion of 85 grams, in fact, modifies the intestinal microbiome by increasing the colonies of Prevotella bacteria, producers of fatty acids able to regulate glucose levels.

An 85 gram portion of champignon mushrooms (white variety) a day can protect us from diabetes. This was discovered by an international research team led by scholars from the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, who collaborated with colleagues from the Wuhan Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Scholars, coordinated by Professor Margherita T. Cantorna, professor of Molecular Immunology at the College of Agricultural Sciences of the American University, have shown that these mushrooms are able to modify the intestinal microbiome, favoring the growth of bacteria capable of regulating the levels of glucose in the liver. The resulting effect is so positive that it can help us fight and prevent diabetes, and also other metabolic pathologies linked to sugar absorption.

To demonstrate the beneficial effects of white champignon mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus), one of the most sold and appreciated species worldwide, Cantorna and colleagues conducted experiments with mice, feeding them with a daily portion of mushrooms equivalent to 85 grams for a human being. An analysis of the bacterial flora of the treated rodents showed a real ‘boom' in the colonies of bacteria of the genus Prevotella, known for their ability to produce short-chain fatty acids able to regulate the levels of sugar in the body. In fact, they act directly on the genes involved in glucose management (intestinal gluconeogenesis): the main creators of this process are propionate and succinate fatty acids, which in mouse models have clearly shown to improve glucose homeostasis.

"Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as for other metabolic diseases," said the lead author of the study, adding that a diet modification changes the intestinal bacterial flora and that this has obvious beneficial effects for our health. As is known, in fact, diabetes is linked to insulin deficiency, the hormone that regulates glucose levels, and this is why champignon mushrooms can be very valuable allies in defending ourselves from the disease. The details of the research have been published in the specialized scientific Journal of Functional Foods.