Dietary Sources of the “Longevity Vitamin” Ergothioneine

What are the benefits of ergothioneine for longevity? It may be even more important to include mushrooms (or tempeh) in our diet as we age.

Note that unlike oyster mushrooms, white, crimini, portobello, shiitake, and morel mushrooms should not be eaten raw. I have a video coming out about this but wanted to give everyone a heads up.

For more on the mushroom-cancer connection, see Medicinal Mushrooms for Cancer Survival ( ).

I mentioned I may add mushrooms to my Daily Dozen checklist. You can learn all about the original checklist in my book How Not to Die ( ) or the Daily Dozen page ( ).

For more on how to live your longest, healthiest life, preorder my new book How Not to Age ( ). (As always, all proceeds I receive from all of my books ( ) are donated to charity.)

New subscribers to our e-newsletter always receive a free gift. Get yours here: .

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at . You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Dave McKinnon

  • eric2885 says:

    Yessss over a million subscribers!!!

  • A H says:

    I’ve found some dehydrated mushroom crisps from Rythm that are delicious!

  • Xero Punt says:

    Thank you, I was ignorant of this.👍

  • stephanie says:

    But how do we improve ergothioneine transporter function?

    • David says:

      Eat a bit more ergothionene/mushrooms (or eat them more regularly) to compensate for decreased transporter function.

  • M G says:

    Great video, but annoyed by the fact that the mushrooms with the highest concentrations are the very expensive. 😠
    Thank you. Regards.

  • Mike N says:

    I am glad that I buy a pound of shiitake every week and figure out ways to incorporate them into recipes. Thanks for this technical video.

  • Eelke Aptroot says:

    I got some oyster mushrooms ready to eat, but growing my own again is definitely a good idea!

  • andrew pawley says:

    I love this channel!

  • James Zivai says:

    What are some good recipes with mushrooms?

  • msjanicen says:

    Don’t forget to cook them. There’s a nutritionfacts video from 14 July ‘21 about the need to cook mushrooms.

    • Brad Hansen says:

      That cooking recommendation only applies to Agaricus bisporus, which is sold under several names: button mushrooms, cremini, and portobello (sometimes portobella). And even there it was only found to be mildly carcinogenic to rats. There’s no evidence it’s carcinogenic to humans. But better safe than sorry.

  • Jason P says:

    Surprised he doesn’t mention how it also increases TMAO.

    • KY LE says:

      really? isn’t that bad!

    • Jason P says:

      @KY LE Yes really. And I think it is thought to be bad, but sometimes controversial. (Fish contains high amounts of TMA, but is not linked to increased stroke like high TMAO from supplements is.)

    • Winter K says:

      ​@Jason PI could not find any research saying that ergothioneine or mushrooms increase TMAO

      TMAO is another marker for the development of heart disease and inflammation.

      Mushrooms are not linked to heart disease nor inflammation

    • Brad Hansen says:

      TMAO is mainly formed from nutritional substrates from the metabolism of phosphatidylcholine/choline, carnitine, betaine, dimethylglycine, and ergothioneine by intestinal microflora in the colon.

      So excessive supplementation with any of those will increase TMA production (converted to TMAO in the liver). But normal dietary consumption will mostly be absorbed in the small intestine leaving very little to reach our intestinal bacteria in the colon.

  • Ronald Krzesniak says:

    Add them to the list!

  • Dawn Klinter says:

    What about mushroom “coffees”?

  • Jeanna McGregor says:

    Dr. Bruce Ames lives two doors away from us. He’s in his 90’s so maybe he takes his own biochemical advice about ergothioneine.

  • scot am says:

    Quality content as always

  • Diyoza says:

    Hello Dr. Greger, is it possible to do a video about addiction to unhealthy, sugary foods and effective strategies to combat it? I already know a lot about the nutrition information you provided. But it’s not that effective for me because of the addiction I have had for many many years.

  • Trevor Regay says:

    hmmmmm……..I try to eat mushrooms 2 to 3 times a week………I might consider upping my mushroom game and have them everyday………perhaps I’ll try eating some dried mushrooms as a mini-snack……they aren’t the greatest tasting but with a little water and with something else it won’t be so unpleasant………

  • CatC says:

    LMAO, like I need a reason to eat mushrooms…mine is “cus they’re delicious!”…but I do think I’ll try one of those kits you mention.

  • nick seccombe says:

    Do you agree with Dr Thomas Seyfried that cancer is a metabolic disease caused by broken mitochondria? Prevented through diet and lifestyle? Fixed by removing cancers 2 x fuel sources? Please have someone look into this and do a podcast on it. Sounds ground breaking yet so clear and simple.

  • Abdul Sherief says:

    Superbly good! Thanks!

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