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THE UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF DIETARY MUSHROOMS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON CARDIOMETABOLIC DISEASE RISK FACTORS IN ADULTS
Mushrooms, unique edible fungi, contain several essential nutrients and bioactive compounds including L-ergothioneine, beta-glucans, and lovastatin, which may improve cardiometabolic health through their anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and antioxidant properties, respectively. Despite a long history of consumption, the chemical composition and health benefits of mushrooms are not well documented. Research included in this dissertation aims to document the unique properties of dietary mushrooms and their effects on cardiometabolic disease risk factors in middle-aged and older adults. Thematically, this research describes mushrooms from a nutrient, food, and dietary pattern perspective. Using untargeted liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS)-based metabolomics, we detected over 10,000 compounds in seven mushroom varieties, each sourced from two farms (3 replicates/farm). Over 1,300 compounds were detected in all seven mushroom varieties, supporting some level of similarity. In contrast, each variety had tens-to-hundreds of unique-to-mushroom variety compounds, ranging from 29 for crimini to 854 for lion’s mane. Amino acid analysis revealed Agaricus bisporus varieties (white button, crimini, portabella) had similar amino acid profiles, including detection of all nine essential amino acids, while other varieties (lion’s mane, maitake, oyster, shiitake) had less methionine and tryptophan. Collectively, these findings highlight not all mushrooms are chemically comparable. From a food/dietary pattern perspective, experimental evidence from a systematically searched literature review indicate greater mushroom consumption reduces blood triglycerides and hs-CRP. Evidence from observational research indicate mixed, albeit neutral to positive, associations between mushroom consumption and most cardiometabolic health outcomes. Results from our randomized controlled trial indicate adoption of a healthy dietary pattern with mushrooms improves fasting blood glucose and dense LDL III. Adoption of a healthy dietary pattern, independent of mushroom consumption, improves total cholesterol and non-LDL cholesterol. Results from the research presented in this dissertation confirm mushrooms are nutritionally unique and may improve several risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases with regular consumption.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Nutrition Science
- West Lafayette