Ergothioneine: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information


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Ergothioneine is a naturally occurring amino acid that has recently attracted scientific attention due to its health benefits. The growing study on its antioxidant qualities and their effects on human health are consistent and progressive. This article provides an in-depth discussion of ergothioneine’s nature, prospective health advantages, ideal dosage, potential side effects, drug interactions, and responsible use of this dietary supplement.

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Ergothioneine: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information is an original (NootropicsPlanet) article.

Nature of Ergothioneine

Ergothioneine is scientifically known as 2-mercaptohistidine trimethylbetaine, and is an amino acid produced from histidine that contains sulfur. Ergothioneine is not a component utilized in protein synthesis like other amino acids, so it stays free in the body. Ergothioneine’s distinctive property is its particular transporter protein, the organic cation transporter new type 1 (OCTN1). With large concentrations in tissues vulnerable to oxidative stress and inflammation, such as the liver, kidney, and eyes, this transporter ensures its selective absorption and accumulation in different bodily tissues.

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Mushrooms are one of the greatest sources of ergothioneine and are the main dietary supply of this amino acid. King crab, chicken liver, and several other legumes are other sources.

Health Benefits of Ergothioneine

Due to its ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS), ergothioneine is most well-known for its antioxidant properties, which help to reduce oxidative stress. Ergothioneine prevents oxidative damage from occuring to cellular components including DNA, proteins, and lipids by neutralizing ROS. This maintains cellular integrity and function.

According to research, ergothioneine can prevent neurodegenerative illnesses.  In diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, its buildup in the brain and antioxidant properties make it a  therapeutic agent. It is believed that ergothioneine can shield neurons from the oxidative stress linked to these illnesses, delaying the onset of any other illness.

Additionally, ergothioneine canboost the immune system. Ergothioneine manages inflammatory diseases and enhances overall immune function by modifying inflammatory and immunological responses.

 Alzheimer's disease.

Chemistry of Ergothioneine

Ergothioneine is an amino acid that naturally occurs and contains sulfur. [1]  It is a strong antioxidant because it contains a thiol group (sulfur and hydrogen). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are easily neutralized by the thiol group by donating hydrogen atoms. Ergothioneine differs from other antioxidants because it  maintains its chemical stability even after oxidation, which allows  it to function continually without deteriorating.

Physiological Properties  of Ergothioneine

Ergothioneine’s powerful antioxidant properties are the primary source of its physiological effects. These effects are due to the neutralization of ROS, unstable chemicals that can harm cellular structures. “Hydrogen donation” is a process that turns the unstable ROS into a stable molecule. This results in the Ergothioneine molecule neutralization the ROS.

Ergothioneine has anti-inflammatory properties in addition to antioxidant properties. Although the precise processes are still being researched, it is evident that ergothioneine inhibits inflammation by modifying the activity of certain proteins implicated in inflammatory pathways.

Notably, its specific transporter protein, OCTN1, facilitates the effects of ergothioneine. Ergothioneine may be selectively taken up and accumulated in cells becasue of this transporter, particularly in parts of the body that experience oxidative stress and inflammation. This selectivity points to ergothioneine’s potential as a medicinal agent and proposes a protective role for it.

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Inflammation problem.

Optimal Dosage of Ergothioneine

The best amount of ergothioneine intake depends on your age, general health, and the particular health issue you are treating. Although there is no official recommended dosage for ergothioneine, a daily intake of 5–10 mg is advised for maintaining general health. The correct dosage is determined based on your specific health requirements. Before beginning this supplement, first, check with your healthcare practitioner.   

Side Effects of Ergothioneine

Ergothioneine is safe to consume and has no known toxicity because it is a naturally occurring substance.  This means that the body has a specific mechanism for absorbing it. According to research, supplementing with ergothioneine at the acceptable doses has not been linked to any serious side effects.

Individual reactions, however, can vary as with any dietary supplement, and you might  experience gastrointestinal pain or other side effects. After using ergothioneine, if you have any worries or strange symptoms, contact your healthcare professional.

Gastrointestinal pain.

Potential Substance Interactions with Ergothioneine

Ergothioneine does not have any notable drug or substance interactions.. However, ergothioneine can interact with drugs that alter the oxidative stress and inflammation since it can affect these conditions. This possible interaction highlights the importance of consulting your healthcare practitioner before beginning ergothioneine supplementation, especially if you are using long-term medicines.

Best Responsible Use

Ergothioneine has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its chemical makeup and physiological traits. Its promise as a dietary supplement for enhancing our health and  reducing disorders associated with oxidative stress and inflammation is highlighted by its selective absorption into cells where it is needed most. Ergothioneine should be used carefully, taking into account your specific health situation and under the direction of your healthcare practitioner, as with any supplement. To completely understand the health advantages and therapeutic properties of ergothioneine, further study is required.



When used carefully and under direct instruction from your doctor, ergothioneine can be a beneficial supplement to your daily routine. This supplement is best for you if you are looking for a natural substance to aid in antioxidant, inflammatory, and immune health, and it is also highly beneficial for helping to restore and prevent any issues linked to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. If these apply to you, ergothioneine may be a supplement you can benefit from. If you have a weakened immune system, this substance can also enhance your physical well-being because it has immunological properties that modify inflammatory and immunological responses in your body.

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  1. There has been a recent surge of interest in the unique low molecular weight dietary thiol/thione, ergothioneine. link:
  2. Ergothioneine as a Natural Antioxidant Against Oxidative Stress-Related Diseases,link:
  3. 91 l-Ergothioneine, which is a sulfur-containing amino acid with an antioxidative property, reduces MMP-1 and TNF-α of UVA-exposed

Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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