Association of mushroom consumption with all-cause and cause-specific mortality among American adults: prospective cohort study findings from NHANES III

Nutr J. 2021 Apr 22;20(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s12937-021-00691-8.


Background: Whether mushroom consumption, which is rich in several bioactive compounds, including the crucial antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione, is inversely associated with low all-cause and cause-specific mortality remains uncertain. This study aimed to prospectively investigate the association between mushroom consumption and all-cause and cause-specific mortality risk.

Methods: Longitudinal analyses of participants from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) extant data (1988-1994). Mushroom intake was assessed by a single 24-h dietary recall using the US Department of Agriculture food codes for recipe foods. All-cause and cause-specific mortality were assessed in all participants linked to the National Death Index mortality data (1988-2015). We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to calculate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

Results: Among 15,546 participants included in the current analysis, the mean (SE) age was 44.3 (0.5) years. During a mean (SD) follow-up duration of 19.5 (7.4) years , a total of 5826 deaths were documented. Participants who reported consuming mushrooms had lower risk of all-cause mortality compared with those without mushroom intake (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 0.84; 95% CI: 0.73-0.98) after adjusting for demographic, major lifestyle factors, overall diet quality, and other dietary factors including total energy. When cause-specific mortality was examined, we did not observe any statistically significant associations with mushroom consumption. Consuming 1-serving of mushrooms per day instead of 1-serving of processed or red meats was associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted HR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.50-0.84). We also observed a dose-response relationship between higher mushroom consumption and lower risk of all-cause mortality (P-trend = 0.03).

Conclusion: Mushroom consumption was associated with a lower risk of total mortality in this nationally representative sample of US adults.

Keywords: Diet; Mortality risk; Mushroom; NHANES III; Prospective study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agaricales*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases*
  • Cause of Death
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology