Animal studies have suggested that mushroom intake can alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, the association between mushroom intake and NAFLD is unknown in humans. We aimed to investigate the association of mushroom intake with NAFLD among Chinese adults. This is a cross-sectional study of 24,236 adults (mean [standard deviation] age: 40.7 [11.9] years; 11,394 men [47.0%]). Mushroom intake was assessed via a validated food frequency questionnaire. Newly diagnosed NAFLD was identified based on the results of annual health examinations, including ultrasound findings and a self-reported history of the disease. Multiple logistic models were used to examine the association between mushroom intake and NAFLD. The prevalence of newly diagnosed NAFLD was 19.0%. Compared to those consuming mushrooms less frequently (≤1 time/week), the fully adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of newly diagnosed NAFLD were 0.95 (0.86, 1.05) for those consuming 2-3 times/week and 0.76 (0.63, 0.92) for those consuming ≥4 times/week, respectively (P for trend = 0.01). The inverse association was consistent in subgroups defined by age, sex, and body mass index. In conclusion, higher mushroom intake was significantly associated with lower prevalence of NAFLD among Chinese adults. Future research is required to understand the causal association between mushroom intake and NAFLD.
Keywords: mushrooms; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; prevalence; steatosis.