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Biology - Mushrooms - Essay Example

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Mushroom Introduction Mushrooms are one of the most delightful food items in the world. It is liked and used by many people while preparing different recipes. Mushrooms are fungi and not plants (Triefeldt 42). For their nutritional needs, mushrooms rely on decay of dead plants as they lack chlorophyll (Triefeldt 42)…
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Biology Essay - Mushrooms
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"Biology - Mushrooms"

Download file to see previous pages More than 2000 species of mushrooms are known to exist (Pageaux and Larrey 827). However, as approximately 50 species of mushrooms are known to be poisonous for human beings, not all of them are safe to eat (Pageaux and Larrey 827). Hence, it is extremely necessary to distinguish between the mushrooms that are healthy to eat and mushrooms that are lethal for human life. Healthy Mushrooms Human beings can obtain protein and vitamin B from mushrooms (Kemp 173). Benefits like boosting immune system and protection against cancer can be obtained from mushrooms (Kemp 173). However, these benefits can be availed only from those mushrooms that are not poisonous for health. The common varieties among the healthy mushrooms are the ‘button’ and ‘Portobello’ mushrooms (Kemp 173). Also, some of the other varieties of nonpoisonous mushrooms are ‘shitak,’ ‘common mycena,’ ‘parasol,’ ‘shaggy mane,’ ‘Mary russula,’ ‘edible boletus,’ ‘Aspen scaber stalk,’ ‘table mushrooms’ and ‘field mushrooms’ (Triefeldt 42). These are nonpoisonous mushrooms and hence, are not dangerous to health of human beings. However, there are other species of mushrooms which have the potential of not only affecting the human health negatively but also to cause death. Those species are discussed below. Lethal Mushrooms In Western countries, one of the common emergencies in medical field is the mushroom poisoning (Pageaux and Larrey 827). The species of mushroom, known as ‘Amanita’ are the major cause behind most of the cases of mushroom poisoning in human beings (Pageaux and Larrey 827). The fatal phalloidian syndrome is also caused by mushroom species called ‘lepiota’ (Pageaux and Larrey 827). Health hazards like “abdominal pain, vomiting, weakness, hallucination or even death” can be caused to human beings if they eat mushrooms that contain chemical toxins (Triefeldt 42). The names of some of the kinds of poisonous mushrooms that are found are ‘destroying angel,’ ‘fly amanita,’ ‘Fly agarik,’ ‘Green-spored mushroom,’ ‘Emetic russula,’ ‘Fettid russula,’ and ‘Jack-o-lantern’ (Triefeldt 42). Some other species of poisonous mushrooms are discussed below. Hepatotoxic Species Amatotoxins and other cyclopetides are found in mushrooms (Tomalak 100). Different toxins are found in different mushrooms. For example, Amanita phalloids are found in species of ‘death cap,’ A.Verna and A.virosa in species called ‘destroying angel,’ Galerina autumnales in species called ‘deadly galerina etc (Tomalak 100). Health problems like sudden nausea, vomiting and diarrhea begin to after 6-12 hours of ingestion of mushrooms of this species (Tomalak 100). After 2-4 days of ingestion, the symptoms of acute hepatitis appear after an apparent recovery (Tomalak 100). According to the study of Giannini et al. (2007), despite intensive medical treatment, the mortality rate in people suffering from poisoning from this mushroom species is very high (Tomalak 100). Nephrotoxic Species Cortinarius orenallus, C.speciosissimus and C. gentiles are the well known mushrooms under this species and they contain orellanine (Tomalak 100). The flu-like symptoms and then acute renal failure of kidney occurs after 36 hours to 11 days of ingestion (Tomalak 100). Naurotoxic species Mushroom species like Conocybe cyanopus, C. smithii, Gymnopilus aeruginosa, Panaeolus campanulatus, Psilocybe ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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