Robert Beelman, who is a professor emeritus of food science and director of the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health, highlights the free radical theory of aging which is based on the belief that when our food is oxidized to produce energy there are many free radicals which are produced and they can be very toxic.
Free radical damage has been found to be associated with many diseases of aging including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's. The porcini species has been found to have the highest amounts of ergothioneine and glutathione of any other mushroom species. In Italy the porcini species of mushrooms is very popular.
This study has been published in the journal Food Chemistry. Mushrooms have been found to be a rich source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione. Certain mushroom species which are high in glutathione and ergothioneine are a very good dietary source of these significant antioxidants. We therefore see that eating certain types of mushrooms may promote anti-aging while nurturing good health.