Lifesaving mushrooms

Included on the World Health Organisation’s “Essential Medicines” list, Statins have been responsible for reducing the prevalence of heart attacks and strokes by 50%.

This cholesterol reducing wonder drug was approved in the late eighties, and between 1992-2017 US sales reached $94.67 billion. Its success lies in its ability to lower levels of cholesterol in the blood with a reduced likelihood of side effects.

The drug was grounded in humble beginnings. The earliest statin approved for clinical use was derived from an oyster mushroom, the same variety that you might use in South East Asian cuisine. Mushrooms naturally produce statins and the first ever statin was isolated from a mould culture. Who knew that the substance associated with decay could literally be such a life saver.

The citrus that’s a statin ‘no’
Doctors recommend grapefruit should be avoided as it contains a chemical that stops the body from metabolising certain statin medications.