A new study, published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer has revealed that eating just one small mushroom a day reduced the risk of breast cancer by 65% in pre-menopausal women.

The findings mark the third time in two years that a large research study has linked mushroom consumption with a much lower risk of breast cancer.

The research conducted by the Republic of Korea National Cancer Center, compared 358 women with breast cancer to a control group of 360 cancer-free women. The study highlighted that those eating the most mushrooms had the least risk of breast cancer. While the protective effect of mushrooms was highest in the pre-menopausal women, a trend towards protection for post-menopausal women was also noted.

Accredited practising dietician and healthy eating specialist Glenn Cardwell said the news was welcomed and supported previous research into the cancer-fighting qualities of mushrooms.

Mr Cardwell explained that a 2009 University of Western Australia study had shown that Chinese women eating an average of just one small mushroom lower their chance of getting breast cancer by two-thirds. In 2008 a study of Korean women showed a strong association between mushroom consumption and lower breast cancer rates in post-menopausal women.

Researchers are conducting further work to determine why the consumption of mushrooms is able to reduce the risk. The growing body of evidence clearly supports the belief that mushrooms have a positive effect on immune function and can help protect women from breast cancer.

Mr Cardwell said previous research had revealed that mushrooms have aromatase inhibitors that can stop or slow the
progression of breast cancer. Similar inhibitors are often included in drug therapy to act directly on aromatase, which is an enzyme involved in the growth of breast cancer cells.

He said there were now three studies that confirm 10 to 15g of mushrooms per day is strongly linked to a much lower risk of breast cancer.

Australians currently only eat an average one mushroom every three days.

“Based on current evidence, there is every reason to believe that Australian women from all backgrounds can gain a protective benefit from regularly eating more mushrooms as part of a balanced diet.”

For further information please contact Glenn Cardwell on (08) 9367 3556 or 0413 806 406.

Release by Chris Rowley – 0415 140 253 or (02) 8005 0329.