Where do wild morel mushrooms normally grow?
Morel Mushrooms: 5 Health Benefits Plus Hunting For Them!
Antioxidants are powerful compounds that work against free radical damage and protect cells from oxidative stress. Some research even shows that the benefits of antioxidants go beyond the cellular level, reporting that increasing your antioxidant intake can also help prevent chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.
In vitro research in Pharmaceutical Biology found that morel mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants that can scavenge free radicals and prevent lipid peroxidation. According to the study: "The results suggest the possible therapeutic use of morel mushroom, M. esculenta mycelia, as an effective antioxidant."
Interestingly, several promising in vitro studies show that morel mushrooms can protect against harmful pathogens in order to fight infections caused by bacteria and yeasts.
For example, a 2017 study from India showed that certain compounds in morel mushrooms were effective in blocking the growth of Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria that can cause intestinal problems. These compounds also decreased the activity of Aspergillus fumigatus, a species of fungus known to infect people with compromised immune systems.
Studies show that thanks to their powerful antioxidant properties, morel mushrooms can protect and maintain liver health. An animal study conducted by the Amala Cancer Research Center in Kerala, India found that administration of morel mushroom extract had hepatoprotective activities and reduced several markers used to measure liver disease.
Although more human studies are needed, preliminary research suggests that certain compounds in morels can revitalize immune function and reduce inflammation in the body.
For example, an in vitro study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology showed that a polysaccharide extract from morel mushroom can improve the activity and anti-inflammatory properties of immune cells. Another study had similar results, showing that polysaccharides found in the mushrooms can act as immunomodulating agents in vitro.
Morel mushrooms can not only boost immunity and deliver a hefty dose of disease-causing antioxidants, but they can also have a powerful impact on cancer development. An in vitro study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that compounds extracted from morel mushrooms inhibit the growth and spread of colon cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner.
Note, however, that additional studies are needed to determine whether consumption of morel mushrooms exhibits the same anti-cancer properties in humans.
See Also: Top 12 Cancer Fighting Foods
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