Nutritional Supplements Library
Shiitake Mushroom
 

What is shiitake mushroom?

The shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia. It is generally known in the English-speaking world by its Japanese name, shiitake. This mushroom is native to China, and has been cultivated for over 1000 years. The first written record of shiitake cultivation can be traced to Wu Sang Kwuang, born during the Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.).Shiitake is now one of the most popular sources of protein in Japan, and a major staple in China, and other parts of the Pacific Rim. As a food source, it has the combined attributes of being appetizing, nourishing, dietetic and healthful.It contains complex carbohydrates, proteins, fats, soluble fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals.

Commercial preparations employ the powdered mycelium which is extracted from the shiitake mushroom before the cap and stem grow. When shiitake is prepared in this manner it is called lentinus edodes mycelium extract (LEM). LEM is rich in polysaccharides and lignans.


What is the effective dosage of shiitake mushroom?

The effective dosage of shiitake is 6-16 grams per day of pure shiitake mushroom compounds. It can be taken as a soup by boiling it for 10-20 minutes in water, cooled and strained, or as a decoction. You can also take1-3 grams of LEM (commercial form) two to three times a day will also provide the desired effect.


What are the benefits of shiitake supplementation?

  • Shiitake mushroom has anti-tumor properties; because it has polysaccharide which is known as Lentinan, a (1-3) ?-D-glucan, as the active compound responsible for the anti-tumor effects.
  • It also helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • It is believed to build resistance against viruses and stimulate the production of interferon, a protein compound that slows the course of viral infection.
  • It has also shown the capacity to lower high blood pressure in laboratory animals.
  • It is also useful in treating people with liver diseases like hepatitis-B and AIDS (in Japan).
  • It is said to heighten the production of interleukin, a hormone that stimulates the immune system to produce B-cells that create antibodies and help T-cells that coordinate the immune response against infectious microbes and cells.

What are the side effects of shiitake mushroom supplementation?

Shiitake mushroom has an excellent record of safety but has been known to induce temporary diarrhea and abdominal bloating when used in high amounts (above 16-20 grams per day).The mushrooms may cause allergic reaction but it is rare.

Cautions-

  • Consult your doctor before taking any medicine because certain medicine may interact with shiitake mushroom.
  • It is also important to consult doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding because its safety during pregnancy and breast feeding has not yet been established.


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