Mushroom benefits highlighted at academic conference

04/26/2013 02:36:00 PM
Andy Nelson

Mushrooms’ nutritional benefits held center stage at a recent academic conference.

Nine reports about mushrooms were presented at the annual Experimental Biology conference in Boston the week of April 15, according to a news release from the San Jose, Calif.-based Mushroom Council.

The research discussed at the conference was sponsored by the council and covered topics including weight management, vitamin D, immunity and diet quality.

The studies presented are the result of collaborations between the council and researchers from universities including Johns Hopkins, Louisiana State University, Boston University, the University of Florida and Tufts University.

Lawrence Cheskin, a researcher in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, was the principal investigator on research that studied mushrooms and weight management.

“This study was in fact a follow-up study to previous research we conducted in 2008, also supported by the Mushroom Council,” Cheskin said in the release. “With the council’s support, we were able to coordinate a one-year clinical trial that involved a detailed screening process, consistent follow-up on participant progress as well as thorough analysis of results.”

The mushroom industry is only beginning to feel the benefits of increased awareness of mushrooms’ role in immunity, weight management and vitamin D content, said Fletcher Street, the council’s vice chairman and the director of sales and marketing for Ostrom Mushroom Farms.

“In my experience, the research the council has funded has definitely impacted the consumer,” Street said in the release. “Consumers now understand that mushrooms have nutritional value. Research on vitamin D and the other nutrition benefits of mushrooms have certainly impacted on-pack messaging especially, and thus the consumer’s awareness and likelihood to purchase.”



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