Toxins in Foods

Molecules. 2016 Jul 20;21(7). pii: E938. doi: 10.3390/molecules21070938.

Bioactivities and Health Benefits of Mushrooms Mainly from China.

Zhang JJ1, Li Y2, Zhou T3, Xu DP4, Zhang P5, Li S6, Li HB7,8.

Author information

Abstract

Many mushrooms have been used as foods and medicines for a long time. Mushrooms contain polyphenols, polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals. Studies show that mushrooms possess various bioactivities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and antidiabetic properties, therefore, mushrooms have attracted increasing attention in recent years, and could be developed into functional food or medicines for prevention and treatment of several chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and neurodegenerative diseases. The present review summarizes the bioactivities and health benefits of mushrooms, and could be useful for full utilization of mushrooms.

KEYWORDS:

anti-inflammation; anticancer; antioxidant; bioactivity; mushroom

PMID: 27447602 PMCID: PMC6274515 DOI: 10.3390/molecules21070938

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27447602

Harmful, harmless, or helpful? Raw mushrooms. I got an email from someone last year saying that Dr. Joel Fuhrman told his patients to stop eating raw mushrooms, out of fear of a natural toxin in regular white mushrooms called agaritine, which is essentially destroyed by cooking.

Now, I get crazy emails all the time about doctors spouting all sorts of nonsense, but I have tremendous respect for Dr. Fuhrman, so I took it seriously enough to research the topic. And what do you think I found? Raw mushrooms: harmful, harmless, or helpful?

Has Furhman just drank one too many of his blended salads, or is he really onto something? He’s right. Mushrooms have all sorts of amazing health benefits, but eat them cooked.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Schulzová V, Hajslová J, Peroutka R, Gry J, Andersson HC. Influence of storage and household processing on the agaritine content of the cultivated Agaricus mushroom. Food Addit Contam. 2002 Sep;19(9):853-62.

Any other natural toxins to consider? Well, potatoes produce these natural insecticide compounds called glycoalkaloids to keep potato beetles from nibbling on them—they’re not stupid. So, bad for beetles though—but what about us?

Well, a number of dietary risk assessments have been published lately, and although these glycoalkaloids are thought to be the most highly consumed natural toxin in North America, people have been growing potatoes for 7,000 years—currently the fourth largest food crop in the world.

Major review just published; what do you think? Now, this is for a baked potato—not fried, no butter, no cheese, no sour cream, no salt. Just a plain baked potato. Bad? Neither? Or good?

Well, we already know they’re not good, from before. But true safety, or false sense of security? Asking the question of “vital importance,” are potato glycoalkaloids dangerous to humans? This discussion suggests they are indeed toxic, and this problem should no longer be ignored. Okay, then.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

What about sweet potatoes? Bad, eh, or good? They’re not good; they’re great! Ranked as one of the top ten healthiest foods on the planet by Mayo Clinic.

So, sweet potatoes good; white potatoes bad. If you insist on continuing to eat white potatoes, peel them, as that removes about three-quarters of the toxins.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Top 10 Healthy Foods – Why They Are Good For You. 1 August 2006. Mayo Clinic News.

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What about white rice? Came free with the broccoli in garlic sauce you just ordered. Better than nothing? And the answer is no. Put some brown rice in your rice cooker, and it will be done by the time the delivery person arrives.

If brown rice is so good for you, and white rice is pretty much a waste of calories, why not just eat rice bran, which is part of what is taken away from brown rice to make white rice? Bad idea? Doesn’t matter either way? Or, great idea—you get all the good stuff concentrated together?

Unfortunately, you also get the bad stuff concentrated together as well. Plants grown in waterlogged soil can absorb arsenic found naturally in the environment, and it concentrates in the bran.

Does that mean we shouldn’t eat brown rice? No. But if you eat a lot of rice, I would encourage you to buy U.S.-grown rice, as it tends to have lower arsenic levels than Asian- or European-grown rice.

Arsenic is bad stuff—no argument. But most of the arsenic in the American diet comes not from rice; more than three quarters comes from animal products: beef, milk, pork, hot dogs, eggs, and…chicken.

Perdue is the most contaminated. One bucket of American fast food chicken may exceed the EPA safety limit for arsenic in a glass of drinking water by 2,000%.

How did it get there? The poultry industry fed it to them. Two million pounds of arsenic compounds are fed to chickens every year in the United States, and about 85 tons fed to pigs. Here’s the list of arsenic-containing feed additives approved by the FDA.

But why would the poultry industry do that? Why do we feed millions of pounds of arsenic compounds to chickens every year? Here’s one of the chemical company ads: “Livestock and profits growing healthy together.” It’s approved by the FDA to increase the rate of weight gain. When you cram tens of thousands of birds into filthy football field-sized sheds to lie beak-to-beak in their own waste, they become so heavily infested with internal parasites that adding arsenic to the feed to poison the bugs can result in a dramatic increase in growth rates. It’s also approved for use to “improve pigmentation.” Arsenic can give the carcass a pinkish tinge, which consumers prefer.

So, the industry gets more profit; the consumers get the pink—what’s the downside? Landmark review in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences last year, out of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. What are the public health consequences of extra dietary arsenic? Extra cancer risk, heart disease, diabetes, neuropathy, and neurocognitive deficits in children—not something to crow about.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

DOCTOR’S NOTE

To learn more about this issue, check out:

How Many Cancers Have Been Caused by Arsenic-Laced Chicken?

Also check out my other videos on chicken.

For more context, see my associated blog posts: Dr. Oz, apple juice, and arsenic: chicken may have ten times moreAdding FDA-Approved Viruses to MeatHow Much Arsenic In Rice Came From Chickens? and When a Scraped Knee May Once Again Kill.

Update: I did a deep-dive into the arsenic issue in summer 2017. Here are the 13 videos in that series:

Speaking of toxic metallic elements, there continues to be growing concern about aluminum exposure and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. But how are we exposed to aluminum?

This is how much we get cooking acidic foods like tomato sauce in an aluminum pot for an hour. Aluminum is also added to childhood vaccines as an immune irritant to improve efficacy. But it’s come under fire from some parenting groups. This is how much you get smoking a pack of cigarettes, and this is how much you get if you use aluminum-containing antiperspirants. But researchers just found a food item that blows these other sources away.

What do you think it is? Is it Brussels sprouts? Many of you wish it were Brussels sprouts! Cheese, chicken, eggs, fish, or shellfish?

The highest natural levels of aluminum are found in shellfish, but the highest level overall is in cheese. Why? Just like the poultry industry adds arsenic to chicken, the dairy industry adds aluminum to cheese, the #1 source of aluminum in the diet.

Why would they do that? The aluminum salts produce a “smooth, uniform film around each fat droplet” to prevent something called fat “bleeding,” and to give the cheese a softer texture, and “desirable slicing properties.”

So if you’re a parent worrying about the aluminum in vaccines, every grilled cheese sandwich you give your kids is like injecting them with a dozen aluminum-containing vaccines.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

DOCTOR’S NOTE

For more videos on the health risks associated with toxic metals, see:

Cadmium and Cancer: Plant vs. Animal Foods

Get the Lead Out

Amla and Triphala Tested for Metals

Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse Than Lead Paint Exposure

And check out my other videos on cheese.

For more context, see my associated blog post: Should We Avoid Titanium Dioxide?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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