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Mushrooms May Help Improve Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels

A recent study suggests that consuming powdered Pleurotus ostreatus (American oyster mushroom) and Pleurotus cystidiosus (abalone mushroom) may help healthy people lower blood sugar levels after eating and also have a positive effect on insulin levels in diabetics.


Participants in the study included 88 healthy volunteers who took part in one of four interventions over the course of two weeks:




    • 50 mg/kg/body weight of P. ostreatus;

    • 50 mg/kg/body weight of P. cystidiosus;

    • two control groups.


The researchers also recruited 14 type-diabetics who consumed 50 mg/kg/body weight of both mushroom types daily.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 6.1% decrease in fasting glucose levels in the healthy P. ostreatus group and a 16.4% decrease in postprandial glucose levels in the same group. In the P. cystidiosus group, they noted decreases of 6.4% and 12.1%, respectively.


In the diabetic participants, the researchers noted improvements in fasting and postprandial glucose levels as well as increases in insulin levels. Additionally, both mushrooms were associated with increases in glucokinase secretion and decreases in glycogen synthase kinase. Glycogen synthase kinase promotes the formation of glycogen in the liver from glucose, and thereby lowers glucose levels.


Researchers from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka conducted the study. It was published in the February 2015 issue of Phytotherapy Research.


Pleurotus ostreatus has been used for years in traditional Chinese medicine. Previous studies suggest that it may help lower cholesterol, boost immunity, and aid people suffering from constipation.


Pleurotus cystidiosus is rich in dietary fiber, carbohydrate, concentrated protein, antioxidants, and B vitamins. Previous studies suggest that it may help lower cholesterol and help relieve symptoms of depression.


While both mushrooms can be used in cooking, this study used a powdered, concentrated form.

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