Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


To Benefit From Mushrooms


Mushrooms (of course, those grown in an ecologically safe area) accumulate many microelements good for human and animal health, in particular, selenium. The natural cycle of selenium was studied by a team from the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry in Moscow.

The scientific expedition worked in the eastern part of the Meshchera (at the meeting point of the Moscow, Ryazan, and Vladimir areas). Scientists found selenium in many natural objects (soil, grass, leafs, elk`s excrements, mosquito larvae, and tissues of brown frog), however, its highest levels were observed in mushrooms. A concentration reached milligrams per kilogram of the mushroom weight, i.e., exceeded the selenium contents in other objects by three orders of magnitude.

Selenium is concentrated most significantly by "tubular" mushrooms (having an umbrella-shaped cap with spore-bearing tubules on the underside), and the record-holder is edible boletus - Boletus edilus. "Platy" mushrooms (with spore-bearing thin plates on the underside) of the genus Lycoperdon, Cantharellus, Agaricus, Lactarius, and Amanita are also enriched in selenium. A certain amount of selenium volatilizes upon mushroom drying, as was indicated by a considerable decrease in its content. This may be explained by the predominance of labile forms of selenium in the fungal tissues. This assumption is confirmed by the fact that selenium is easily extracted from fungi by acid and alkali solutions and also by water. Therefore, as one cooks some mushroom soup, most part of selenium goes into broth.

To investigate how the human organism assimilates fungal selenium and benefits from it, the scientists performed an experiment. Volunteers drank half a liter of the boletus broth. For the following week, their blood and urine were analyzed daily. The selenium concentration in blood increased in several hours, but remained unchanged in urine for several days. This points to the fact that selenium coming from fungi is accumulated by the human organism. Moreover, the hemoglobin concentration and the activity of glutathione peroxidase in the blood of those volunteers increased, which is indicative of the metabolism intensification.

However, why this element having a lunar name (Greek selene, moon) is needed for the organism? It is the component of many enzymes, most of which act as antioxidants. For instance, aforementioned glutathione peroxidase is contained in erythrocytes and induces the hydrogen peroxide reduction to water. Selenium-containing enzymes are necessary for various tissues and also control the thyroid function. Selenium is the obligatory element of vital proteins, e.g., selenoflagellin forming a spermatozoid tail. Selenium is incorporated into the protein molecule as selenocysteine, an amino acid. Selenium deficiency is the forerunner of serious diseases: the degeneration of the muscular tissues of men and cattle, heart disorders, kidney sickness, and even cancer, because a lack of selenium causes an increase in the mutation frequency. The risk of these diseases grows within regions, in which the natural environment and food are impoverished in selenium. In this case, it is advisable to take selenium-containing food supplements offered by the modern pharmacology. Yet the Russian scientists believe that delicious mushrooms boletuses are a perfect natural source of this element.

Nadia Markina | alphagalileo

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>