According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, twelve people were hospitalized for severe weakness and muscle loss after eating the mushrooms, and three of them died, wrote Dr. Regis Bedry of the poison center of University Hospital Pellegrin in Bordeaux, France.Bedry said he confirmed the mushroom's toxicity by feeding extracts to mice and measuring creatine kinase, an enzyme produced during muscle breakdown, in the blood.
The study "raises as many questions as answers, at least in my mind," said Dr. Denis Benjamin, chair of the North American Mycological Association's toxicology committee. There are other mushrooms which have delayed effects, or cumulative toxicity -- and it's rare to find more than one meal's worth of T. equestre, he said.
AdvertisementIf the study's conclusions are confirmed, T. equestre apparently would be the first mushroom to cause muscle loss, "It's one of those intriguing reports one will watch and see if it can be confirmed in the future," he said.
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