Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

Sanpaku t1_j5197ao wrote

I think we're within a decade or two of ergothioneine, produced only by fungi and some bacteria, being widely recognized as a conditionally essential micronutrient to prevent chronic disease.

Our bodies have a transporter that's highly specific for ergothioneine uptake (even some recognized vitamins lack an associated transporter), tissue levels are highest in organs subject to the most oxidative stress, and animals with genetic knockout of this transporter in worms, fish, and mice have higher oxidative stress and inflammation. In humans, higher plasma ergothionine levels are associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, while lower levels are associated with more rapid cognitive decline.

Which widely available cultivated mushroom has the highest levels of ergothioneine? [edit: see below Porcini and] Oyster.

Tian et al, 2023. Ergothioneine: an underrecognised dietary micronutrient required for healthy ageing?. British Journal of Nutrition, 129(1), pp.104-114.


ascandalia t1_j536lv1 wrote

Porchini aren't, and maybe can't be cultivated. Oyster will grow like a weed, though.

Source: former professional mushroom grower


Sanpaku t1_j537ubz wrote

I presumed they were cultivated because 'porcini' powder is sometimes reasonably priced ($40/lb), which implies a price for fresh mushrooms with ~90% water content of around $4/lb.

Thanks for the correction, and now I'm wondering how much adulteration is going on with the powder products, and how many consumers would know if they were getting porcini or some mix from cultivated ones.


ascandalia t1_j539ti1 wrote

As former a professional in the field, I find most mushroom products very suspect and many of the claims lacking. I felt proud to grow and sell fresh mushrooms. People should eat fresh mushrooms. They're obviously healthy.

Any kind of extract, supplement, tincture, powder, or whatever could very well be mostly sawdust. Any health claims about what a mushroom can do for you should be read with a skeptical eye and not assumed to be true very every form you may get the mushroom in

I wish people would stop trying to turn perfectly good, healthy food into a cure all


Sanpaku t1_j53j4b0 wrote

I agree here. I haven't bought any porcini powder, though I do regularly use a Taiwanese product Po Lo Ku (powdered shiitake & salt) as an umani ingredient.

I'm just miffed my local Chinese grocer has raised the price on fresh oyster mushrooms from $4/lb to $8/lb over the past 3 years. They remain my favorite for flavor. At least they still offer king oyster/trumpet (which has similar ergo levels), and which is a really interesting starting point for faux meats, at $5.

If I didn't have other plans for my life, I'd really look into growing oyster mushrooms commercially, which evidently do very well on pasteurized straw and spent coffee grounds. There was an outfit in Exeter UK which collected 30 tonnes of grounds from local cafes to upcycle to 7 tonnes of oyster mushrooms, though I think the people involved mostly do training/consultancy as GroCycle now.


ascandalia t1_j53jo2y wrote

That's a great price for king! We were pretty small but our production costs never got below $4/ lbs. With sales, marketing, packaging, $8 is the lowest we could go, interesting that's the going rate now even at grocery stores near you

Even button mushrooms don't go for much less than that near me