“Longevity Vitamin” L Ergothioneine: Not Only For Lifespan

l Ergothioneine powder

What Is L-Ergothioneine?

Ergothioneine (ERGO) is a special antioxidant amino acid discovered last century. It has been shown to accumulate and store in various human body cells and tissues at high concentrations (100 μM to 2 mM). But the human body cannot synthesize ERGO, so it must be obtained from the diet. Edible mushrooms are the primary dietary source of L-ergothioneine.

In recent years, ERGO has received considerable attention from the scientific community because of its unique properties and biological functions, including some world-renowned researchers – Dr. Bruce Ames, Dr. Solomon Snyder, and Dr. Barry Halliwell.

Why Is L-Ergothioneine So Unique?

A major 2005 study found that L-ergothioneine in mammals is taken up by a specific ERGO transporter (ETT) OCTN1 (encoded by the SLC22A4 gene). OCTN1 exists in almost all tissues of the human body. The presence of a specific transporter of ERGO makes it highly bioavailable and retained. It suggests that humans can benefit from ERGO remaining within tissues.

Non-nutritive bioactive compounds like ERGO are very rare. Polyphenols are then rapidly metabolized and excreted from the body. However, ERGO is very stable under physiological conditions, so it is not as prone to autoxidation (creating free radicals) as other thiol antioxidants, such as glutathione.

Ergothioneine Is A Powerful Antioxidant.

ERGO has been playing an important role as an antioxidant. Early in vitro studies have shown that it can clear reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species, such as hydroxyl radicals, hypochlorous acid, singlet oxygen, and peroxynitrite. In recent years, more evidence shows that ERGO is an important physiological antioxidant and cell protection agent.

The distribution of ERGO in vivo shows that the compound accumulates preferentially in organs and cells with high levels of oxidative stress, such as the liver, kidney, and red blood cells. It is also present in mitochondria in very high concentrations. L-Ergothioneine deficiency leads to oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA and a higher risk of death in human cells.

Health Benefits Of L-Ergothioneine Powder

Based on a series of studies, including in vitro and in vivo, ERGO has the following benefits.

  1. It can regulate chronic inflammation.
  2. It prevents acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  3. It prevents endothelial dysfunction.
  4. It protects against ischemia and reperfusion injury.
  5. It prevents neuronal damage and counteracts iron imbalance.
  6. It slows lung and liver fibrosis.
  7. It alleviates damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and testes.

In a study conducted in Sweden involving more than 3200 adult men and women, 112 plasma metabolites were measured. After 21.4 years of long-term follow-up monitoring, ERGO has largely reduced the risk of CVD and reduced mortality.

Recently, Dr. Halliwell proposed L-Ergothioneine as a potential application value in treating COVID-19. It can be used as a treatment to reduce COVID-19’s severity and mortality, especially for the elderly and those with underlying health problems.

The Role Of L Ergothioneine As A Longevity Vitamin

Dr. Bruce Ames recently suggested that ERGO could be involved in CVD prevention based on its presence in human tissues and the importance of its transport system. Because of its unique antioxidant properties and cytoprotective activity, ERGO is considered a “longevity vitamin.”

The per capita consumption of ERGO in the United States (1. 1mg/day) is estimated to be lower than that of four European countries, including Finland, France, Ireland, and Italy. Among them, Italy is as high as 4.6mg/day.

Lower ERGO intake is consistent with aging, chronic neurological disease, and life expectancy. Recent studies have found that low plasma ERGO levels are related to neurodegeneration and cerebrovascular disease in patients with dementia (Alzheimer’s).

Ergothioneine Is A Functional Ingredient In Skincare

Studies have shown that ergothioneine can protect the skin from damage caused by UV exposure. Scientific data also shows several benefits for skin cells.

  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-oxidation
  • light protection
  • antibacterial
  • anti-tyrosinase
  • anti-elastase
  • Anti-collagenase and other activities

This ingredient is also important in the fight against inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis. It provides photoprotection to the skin and reduces hyperpigmentation. As a result, pure ergothioneine powder is considered one of the top ingredients used in anti-aging skin care products today. It is also used as a “secret ingredient” by many high-end cosmetic brands.

Is L-Ergothioneine Safe?

L Ergothioneine is produced by fermentation using non-genetically modified yeast. Has passed the US GRAS. Many high-quality studies have shown that the demand for ergothioneine in the human body far exceeds the level that can be supplemented by daily food. The European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) has determined that it is safe as a food raw material for infants, pregnant women, and lactating women.

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