Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 12:52 pm

(Info provided by SAMFA – South African Mushroom Farmer’s Association)

Mushrooms contain phytochemicals that are found to specifically suppress BREAST & PROSTATE CANCER…

Mushrooms contain a fatty acid namely conjugated linoleic acid that has the ability to inhibit two enzymes called AROMATASE & 5-ALPHA-REDUCTASE that are involved in these cancers.

Many mammary tumours are hormone sensitive. The hormone, oestrogen, is a major factor in the development of breast cancer, especially in post-menopausal women. One of the reasons is that although the ovaries stop producing oestrogen, other cells (fat & breast cancer cells) continue to do so.

The enzyme α-Aromatase is responsible for the production of oestrogen. It converts androgen to oestrogen which in turn promotes the development of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

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However mushrooms contain conjugated linoleic acid that inhibits aromatase and thus inhibits cancer. Aromatase has been linked to breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancers .

The same applies to the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone that plays a role in the development of prostate cancer.  As in the case of aromatase, conjugated linoleic acid is inhibiting this enzyme thus preventing or controlling prostate cancer.

Tamoxifen is a widely used prescribed drug that works by competing with the oestrogen on the same receptor on the tumour cell and obstructs the active oestrogen. It is effective, but has unpleasant side effects, and especially in remission it cannot be taken forever. That’s where mushrooms can act as a natural substitute for controlling the production of oestrogen.

Research behind the protective role of mushrooms:

It was found that the occurrence of breast cancer in China was 5 times lower than in developed Western countries. Whilst also bearing other factors in mind, it is a fact that China is a world authority when it comes to mushroom consumption. It was the huge mushroom consumption per capita that sparked the research.

Baby Button Mushroom & Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe by SAMFA


Mushrooms  are rich in anti-oxidants which are good for the immune system and they also contain selenium in quantities much higher than any other plant food. Selenium has been found have an anti-cancer affect on prostate cancer particularly. These elements work together to protect the body against cancer by getting rid of free radicals and defending the body against invading organisms.

Mushrooms are also a low energy dense food that can help lower calorie intake to help prevent obesity which is a risk for breast cancer.

The leading groups researching the cancer fighting potential of mushrooms are:

  • The Beckman Institute at the City of Hope Cancer Centre in California under leadership of Prof Chen
  • The University of Australia in Sydney in collaboration with the medical faculty at the Zhejiang University in China


Baby Button Mushroom & Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe by SAMFA

Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 12:52 pmIngredients: 500g baby button mushrooms, sliced in half 2 Tbsp sesame oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger 1-2 fresh chillies, sliced 1 large head of cauliflower 1 cup […]

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.