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Q. I've heard that mushrooms contain carcinogens. Is that true?

A. Some researchers have suggested that enzymes in the digestive system can convert agaritine, a natural substance found in several mushrooms of the Agaricus species (which includes the common “button” mushroom) into carcinogenic by-products or free radicals. However, there is no conclusive evidence showing a link. In fact, the reverse may be possible since mushrooms contain selenium, beta-glucans and other substances that may have anticarcinogenic properties. So dig in and enjoy, from portobellos to porcinis! Search for healthy mushroom recipes.

COMMENTS POSTEDsort icon

There is in fact conclusive evidence that agaritine is carcinogenic, this is not a matter of opinion. The other nutritional benefits of mushrooms do not make it worthwhile to knowingly consume agaritine. I suggest more careful analysis for anyone eating cancer causing agents. If you do eat this type of mushroom, then cut them into small pieces and cook them well. This breaks down at least 50% (perhaps 70 - 80%) of the agaritine, but not all. Always buy organic. Mushrooms are little sponges soaking up whatever is good or bad in the ground they're grown in.

Anonymous

01/30/2016 - 7:39pm

No biggy, their tastiness out shines thier cancery-ness.

Anonymous

06/30/2014 - 3:52pm

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