Do you pick out the mushrooms from any dish they happen to sneak their way into or do you add them to as many things as you can?
If you’re in the former group, you might want to rethink your strategy around mushrooms after reading this. After all, Super Mario did get powered by eating mushrooms.
Well, ok, maybe not really but it would make sense considering L-Ergothioneine is the secret power behind mushrooms.
L-Ergothioneine is a super antioxidant that has been shown to significantly outperform Vitamin C, CoQ10 and Glutathione and is currently being researched as a new vitamin due to our bodies having a unique transporter and storage system.
There is only one other ingredient that has been considered for this status and that is PQQ.
What makes L-Ergothioneine so different is that it has a unique storage system and a unique transporter system specifically for this ingredient in your body.
But, what exactly is L-Ergothioneine?
This ingredient is a rare amino acid antioxidant that is primarily found in mushrooms. L-Ergothioneine is considered a unique and potent antioxidant because it is a very stable antioxidant, which means that once it does its job of scavenging reactive oxygen species (also called ROS; molecules that have been oxidized and cause damage to our cells), it is quickly regenerated back into its original form to act again.
It’s important to know that this ingredient cannot be produced by humans therefore must be consumed from food like fungi (mushrooms) or as a supplement.
The only other ingredient that is like that is iron, and iron is SO critical to life.
L-Ergothioneine can be stored in our body for about one month and it seems to accumulate mostly in tissues that are more susceptible to oxidation, i.e. tissues that need more antioxidants to keep them healthy. These are tissues like the liver, red blood cells, kidneys and eyes. It’s almost as if this molecule is the perfect bodyguard, protecting us from as much harm as possible. Its ability to protect our cells is the reason it has been dubbed the ‘longevity vitamin’ by Dr. Bruce Ames, the anti-aging researcher.
It also has the ability to bind to metals in the body. the accumulation of certain metals in our tissues can cause several health issues. One is the fact that these metals bond to proteins or carbohydrates in our cells to produce ROS. L-Ergothioneine can bind to these metals, preventing ROS from being made and damaging our cells.
L-Ergothioneine is seen in very high amounts in the mitochondria (the energy powerhouses of our cells). It protects them by fighting off ROS that is produced in the mitochondria. Briefly, when we break down food into energy in our mitochondria, we produce ROS as byproducts, which can accumulate and make our mitochondria weak and inefficient at producing energy. But, L-Ergothioneine sits in the mitochondria and scavenges these damaging ROS, protecting the DNA and proteins that are so vital to our cellular functions. We also know that the health of our mitochondria is tightly linked to our longevity and healthspan and so having adequate levels L-Ergothioneine present to protect these powerhouses is a good idea.
If you’d like to incorporate more L-ergothioneine into your diet, make sure to check out “The Wonderful World of Mushrooms Guide” for information on the different types of mushrooms and their benefits. You can also get the natural (non-synthetic) vegan form by NNB as MitoPrime.