“Mushroom coffee” is a blend of ground coffee with powdered fungus. Fans of the drink say it can increase alertness and boost immunity and cardiovascular function. So what is the science behind the trend?

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Mushroom coffee is a combination of coffee and extract of mushroom, which claims to have ‘half the caffeine and double the effects of coffee’. When eaten, mushrooms provide a range of nutrients including potassium and selenium.

Coffee contains a number of active compounds, the best known of which is probably caffeine. Caffeine is a mild central nervous stimulant, and is associated with increased alertness1. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that a cause and effect relationship has been established between a 75mg serving of caffeine and both increased attention and alertness1. Experts suggest it may therefore be the caffeine in coffee that has an energy boosting effect, and not mushroom extract. Click here for more information on the relationship between coffee and energy.

More research is needed to identify potential health related benefits of mushrooms including boosts to the immune system and cardiovascular function. However, to date there are no approved health claims on the health benefits of mushrooms and mushroom extract in coffee.

References

  1. Feeney M.J. et al (2014) Mushroom nutraceuticals for improved nutrition and better human health: A review. Nutr Today, 49(6): 301–307.

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