More, some of the 13 species they tested contained vastly higher levels than others. Common white button mushrooms, for instance, had low levels of the two antioxidants compared to some other mushrooms but still higher levels than your average non-mushroom food. Antioxidants in the mushrooms appear heat-stable and unaffected when people cook them.
There’s solid research indicating that antioxidants help us fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress arises when our bodies turn food into fuel to produce the energy they need, but they can’t avoid also creating some free radicals in the process. Countries like France and Italy have more ergothioneine in their diets lower incidences of neurodegenerative diseases. Robert Beelman, professor emeritus of food science and director of the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health said that future research may look at any role that ergothioneine and glutathione have in decreasing the likelihood of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Beelman worked with Michael D. Kalaras, postdoctoral assistant in food sciences. John P. Richie, professor of public health sciences and pharmacology and Ana Calcagnotto, research assistant in public health sciences.