Did you know that there are different types of antioxidants?
This contribution introduces one such antioxidant, ergothioneine.
Structural formula of ergothioneine.
Ergothioneine is a natural ingredient classified as a rare amino acid derivative.
They are produced by micro-organisms such as some mushrooms, yeast and actinomycetes and cannot be synthesised in the human body, so they can only be taken into the body by eating these foods.
Ergothioneine is known to exhibit very strong antioxidant activity. Compared to glutathione, the most abundant antioxidant in the human body, it is said to have up to 30 times higher reactive oxygen species scavenging capacity.
Ergothioneine has attracted a lot of attention in recent years as a health ingredient.
In fact, it has been shown that human cells have a transporter that specifically works to take up ergothioneine, and that human cells accumulate high concentrations of ergothioneine.
It came as a great surprise to learn that people so actively utilise ergothioneine, which cannot originally be made by the human body, and further research has since revealed many more surprising things.
Ergothioneine is the only direct scavenger of hydroxyl radicals, which are called lipid peroxides and are responsible for the development of malignant substances.
It has also been shown to inhibit a range of systemic diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), depression, skin ageing and cataracts.
Ergothioneine is thus very beneficial to the body, but it is also known that its accumulation in cells decreases with age, and eating and consuming it can help control various age-related diseases.
With potent activity that sets it apart from other antioxidants, ergothioneine could be the key ingredient in the future of anti-ageing!