Because September is Healthy Aging Month, I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to an amino acid that is being touted as a longevity supplement.
Its name is ergothioneine and it was discovered over 100 years ago. But it’s just now being researched for its anti-aging benefits.
The body does not make ergothioneine. The highest amounts are found in mushrooms, oat bran, red and black beans. Lower amounts are in king crab, beef, pork, lamb, and chicken.
Protecting the cells against oxidative stress, ergothioneine is a powerful antioxidant. And some research is reporting that it’s just as important, if not stronger, than glutathione, which was coined the mother of all antioxidants a few years back (click here to read my article).
Inflammation occurs when cells are exposed to oxidative stress. Ergothioneine has the ability to go straight for those damaged cells, thereby preventing or alleviating chronic diseases of aging.
Here are some of the things ergothioneine aids in:
- Joint pain
- Heart disease
- Liver and kidney damage
- Immune and brain health
- Mitochondrial function
Due to difficulty in getting enough in one’s diet, supplementation is suggested. But more research is still needed for dosing amounts. On the plus side, there are no known side-effects.
If this is something you want to take, you can find it as a stand-alone supplement online or your local vitamin shop. You’ll want to look for l-ergothioneine – start slow and see how you feel.
Have a great weekend.
Mother of All Antioxidant article
Beelman, RB., Et. al. Is ergothioneine a ‘longevity vitamin’ limited in the American diet? J Nutr Sci. 2020.
Borodina I., Et. al. The biology of ergothioneine, an antioxidant nutraceutical. Nutr Res Rev. 2020.
Halliwell B., Et. al. Ergothioneine – a diet-derived antioxidant with therapeutic potential. FEBS Lett. 2018.
Snyder, Paul B. The unusual amino acid L-ergothioneine is a physiologic cytoprotectant. Cell Death & Differentiation. 2009.