Mushrooms on My Mind, Ergothionine , Erinacines, Hericenones, etc

Has anyone here done a deep dive into the area of mushrooms and nutritional benefits? Any thoughts on how strong this research is? Have you changed your eating habits at all based on the science? Are there any good human clinical studies you are aware of?

I’ve increased my use of shiitake mushrooms (easily available and reasonably priced at the local Costco) but beyond that I have not really dug into it.

Mike Lustgarten’s videos on the topic:

Here are some resources on this topic:

Ergothioneine – a diet-derived antioxidant with therapeutic potential

Other Compounds besides Ergothionine:

Hericium erinaceus Improves Recognition Memory and Induces Hippocampal and Cerebellar Neurogenesis in Frail Mice during Aging

We developed an integrated frailty index based on both phenotypic and recognition memory performances. Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus ) is a medicinal mushroom that improves recognition memory in mice. By using HPLC-UV-ESI/MS analyses we obtained standardized amounts of erinacine A and hericenones C and D in H. erinaceus extracts, that were tested in our animal model of physiological aging. Two-month oral supplementation with H. erinaceus reversed the age-decline of recognition memory. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and doublecortin (DCX) immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus and cerebellum in treated mice supported a positive effect of an H. erinaceus on neurogenesis in frail mice.

j.foodchem.2017.04.109.pdf (947.8 KB)


By far, my favourite vegetable, and bonafide superfood…highest combined levels of Ergothionine and Glutathione. I regularly buy a mix of some exotic mushrooms, make a medley.

I take Lions Mane supplement, but if you want to hit a home run, eat porcini (you’ll never find them fresh here, just dried…they cannot be commercially cultivated). When in season in Europe…sublime.

Looks like still a very high level even in dried porcini.

Ergothioneine is associated with reduced mortality and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease

My wife has one of the dried jars of porcini, widely available, will regularly use them in dishes.

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So it turns out the dried stuff in the pantry looks good re mushroom species. Wife said she bought at local Costco. Oyster and Porcini…I can tell from the smell. I put some to hydrate, need to decide how to use in a meal. The water turns a very dark brown, that cannot be thrown away, must be consumed…some of the many of the good nutrients may have absorbed in the water. Red wine reduction low heat? Classically I would infuse into a risotto, but I’m keto :upside_down_face:

I do the same for greens I cook/wilt…say spinach wilted, when I let drain, I save that water and drink it. Or if I boil rapini, I save the water and drink it.

I noticed Amazon carries a sku too, but when you look at the species, they are lesser quality.

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I am a strong believer that mushrooms have a play in longevity. I try to make sure I get a fair few on my dinner plate. I also take L-Ergothioneine supplement 5mg everyday, made by Realmushrooms. Also Reishi mushroom supplement by the same manufacturer. Reishi has been studied a lot, and just like Astaxanthin all studies comes out positive, so basically you can’t refute the benefits. ITP should start mouse studies on longevity I think, that would be interesting.


Looks like a great option - would be a good addition to sautéed vegetables, or perhaps wild rice (for your non-keto deviations).

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I love mushrooms. Simply deep fry them and smother them in butter and then dip in a heavy ranch dressing in typical American fashion… Not! :rofl:

I just slice them and bake them with some black pepper on top although they go well with many types of meat and can be easily stir-fried.

As an aside, I have found that broccoli is a lot more palatable when dipped in a low-calorie curry sauce. The spice brings it to life!


Thank you for putting this ergothionine information together. We have been taking mushroom extract powders from Real Mushrooms for 2 years. This includes Lions Mane, Reishi, and Turkey Tail plus there ergothionine product. They don’t seem to have Shitake so we get that from Bulk Supplements.
Real Mushrooms has only fruiting bodies in their products.

So I sautéed the hydrated mushrooms (and liquid) with some spices, and rendered down to a thick sauce with a teaspoon of starch. Put some grass fed beef over top, drizzled some high oleocanthal EVOO. Side of whole head roasted cauliflower with yogurt, pistacchio, and goji berries. Plain wilted spinach not shown.


This has nothing to do with mushrooms but there are two studies showing that lkm512 yogurt/probiotic makes mice live >=85% longer, exceeding rapamycin. There’s a video with references to the paper at Doubling human lifespan LKM512 spermidine - YouTube



The video link is over 10 years old.

The “lkm512” strain is BB12 rebranded/renamed by another supplier.

BB12 is the “The world’s most documented Bifidobacterium


Attached is document about BB12.

The-science-behind-BB-12.pdf (764.0 KB)

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Well that was certainly a soft porn sell. :sweat_smile:

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Which supplements have this? Can anyone link to an Amazon or iHerb product? I have been looking for a good probiotic.

More related research:

“Searching for a Longevity Food, We Bump into Hericium erinaceus Primordium Rich in Ergothioneine: The ‘Longevity Vitamin’ Improves Locomotor Performances during Aging”

Particularly, H. erinaceus primordium (He2) extract contains a high amount of Ergothioneine (ERGO), the longevity vitamin. Herein, we revealed the preventive effect of ERGO-rich He2 extract in a preclinical model, focusing on locomotor decline during ageing monitored through spontaneous behavioral test. This effect was accompanied by a significant decrease in some oxidative stress markers (NOS2, COX2) paralleled by an increase in P53, showed in cerebellar cortex cells and fibres by immunohistochemistry. In summary, we demonstrated the neuro-protective and preventive effects of He2 extract during aging, probably due to its peculiarly high ERGO content.

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Another commonly used mushroom in East Asian countries is Hericium erinaceus. It is an edible mushroom with medicinal value, which is also known as Lion’s Mane Mushroom or Hou Tou Gu in Chinese or Yamabushitake in Japanese.

Polysaccharides extract of H. erinaceus has significant anticancer and immunomodulation activities. It enhanced T cells and macrophages secretion and enhanced the expression of cytokines

It has the ability to prevent the impairments of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory induced by β-amyloid peptide in animals [99]. Daily oral administration of H. erinaceus could promote nerve regeneration after injury in rats


Article has a table of ergothioneine content of mushrooms. Highest is in oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus cornucopiae) , not porcini (boletus edulis).

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Sources for the information presented in the above video:

I have been down this rabbit hole before. One of the main constituents of Lion Mane Mushroom is Ergothioneine. " However, recent studies have suggested that its low bioavailability in the brain following oral administration, limits its usage and in long term, leads to liver damage." That is why it is not in my supplement stack.


I downloaded the full article, and searched for the phrase “liver damage”, and below is what is written:

“The phenolic compound, curcumin is known for its anti-ageing properties
(Lee et al., 2010). However, recent studies have suggested that its low
bioavailability in the brain following oral administration, limits its
usage and in long term, leads to liver damage (Qiu et al., 2016).
Currently, EGT is gaining more attention for its anti-ageing properties.
Past studies have shown that despite possessing hydrophilic properties,
EGT is highly distributed in the brain due to the presence of a specific
transporter that enables it to cross the BBB (Ishimoto and Kato, 2022). A
pharmacokinetic analysis reveals that after oral administration of EGT,
it is distributed to the gastrointestinal tract, followed by the liver and
that hepatic blood flow is responsible for the ubiquitous distribution of
EGT to other organs which express OCTN1, including the brain (Kato
et al., 2010). To the best of our knowledge, EGT is highly retained in
body tissues and excreted out from the body at a slow rate (Cheah et al.,
2017) implying a more sustained function unlike other polyphenols
(suggested as an antioxidant) which are rapidly metabolized and
excreted out from the body.”

Page 2, bottom left column , to page 2 top right.

The citation points to Qiu, and the entry says

Qiu, P., Man, S., Li, J., Liu, J., Zhang, L., Yu, P., Gao, W., 2016. Overdose intake of
curcumin initiates the unbalanced state of bodies. J. Agric. Food Chem. 64 (13),
Reddy, H.P., Reddy, P.T., 2011.

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I did the search out of the abundance of caution, because I take three grams of powdered oyster mushrooms daily.

These studies are reassuring:

“L-egt with or without metformin reduced liver hypertrophy, liver injury, triglycerides, oxidative stress, and inflammation.”

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Ergothioneine (ET) is a natural antioxidant.

L-ergothioneine is a form of ergothioneine that is synthesized in the lab and used as a dietary supplement. It is a more stable form of ergothioneine

Lion’s mane mushrooms do not contain the L-ergothioneine form of ergothioneine.

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