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Bożena Muszyńska

Topic: Edible mushrooms in the prevention and therapy of civilization diseases


Lecture in Polish only.

About the lecture:

Edible/medicinal mushrooms are probably the oldest documented natural medicinal raw materials. About three thousand species are considered edible, and about a hundred are obtained from commercial cultivation, but only a few are cultivated on an industrial scale. The aim of research conducted in recent years by scientists is to learn about the dietary, health-promoting and healing properties of edible mushrooms useful in the prevention of the so-called civilization diseases.

Mushrooms are a wholesome food product containing all the basic ingredients that are necessary for the growth and development of the human body, which makes them a functional food. They contain sugars, fats, phenolic and indole compounds, sterols, vitamins and bioelements. The folk term that forest mushrooms are “meat of the forest” is not groundless, because due to the content of wholesome protein, they can be an alternative to animal meat in the diet. In recent years, we have been observing dynamic progress in the research of this raw material, already highly appreciated in Europe, with an extraordinary therapeutic potential. Due to the presence of medicinal compounds in mushrooms, they are used in the treatment of such serious diseases as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, atherosclerosis and depression. It is worth noting that mushrooms have the ability to strengthen the immune system, which is used in the prevention and treatment of cancer, and have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and regenerating neurons. Mushrooms are also credited with strong antibacterial and antiviral properties. Fruiting bodies of edible mushrooms are a valuable source of dietary fiber, which stimulates the development of organisms naturally occurring in the intestines and has the effect of detoxifying the human body from toxins and heavy metals.

Considering the pro-health and prophylactic effect of edible mushrooms, their systematic/daily consumption is currently recommended.

About the speaker:

Bożena Muszyńska is a professor of medical sciences and health sciences at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Jagiellonian University Medical College. She is a clinical pharmacist, mycologist, and botanist. She is a member of the Polish Mycological Society and the vice-chair of the Medical Mycology Section. For the past 34 years, her main research goal has been to demonstrate the nutritional and therapeutic value of edible mushrooms (Basidiomycota, Ascomycota). Another goal of her research in the field of mushroom biotechnology is to propose fungal culture as a rich, alternative source of dietary and therapeutic ingredients. An important direction of her research in the field of micochemistry is the evaluation of the biological activity (including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidepressant, and immunostimulating) of extracts obtained from the fruiting bodies and mycelium of the studied species.

Due to the widespread use of mushroom fruiting bodies in animal feed and the need to develop a feed additive with immunostimulating, prebiotic, anti-inflammatory, and selenium-supplementing effects to reduce livestock mortality, she began collaborating with the Institute of Animal Science and the National Veterinary Research Institute in Pulawy in 2017. The result of these experiments is the production of mycelium of the Japanese reishi mushroom enriched with organic selenium compounds with immunostimulating effects (patent pending).

Her other interests also focus on the evaluation of in vitro culture mycelium in the bioremediation of natural environments from xenobiotics by selected species of fungi. She is the author of 611 works, including over 200 articles (IF=342; MNiSW points=7957) in peer-reviewed journals, 4 books, 19 book chapters, and numerous conference reports (nearly 400); 2 patents and two patent applications.

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