our mushrooms, כללי

The Shiitake Mushroom

Monograph: Shiitake Mushroom

Botanical Scientific Names: Lentinus Edodes, Lentinula Edodes

Common Names: Shiitake, Golden Oak Mushroom, Oakwood Mushroom, Black Forest Mushroom, Black Mushroom, Chinese Mushroom, Fragrant Mushroom, Donku, Pasania, Hed Hom

Chinese Names: Xiang Gu, Shiangu-Gu, Shiang Ku, Shanku, Dongo

Japanese Names: Kanji, Hiragana

 

The Shiitake mushroom is commonly found in many kitchens and is considered a delicacy due to its unique taste.  Shiitake is sold either in its dried form or fresh and it takes second place as the most popular consumed mushroom in the world.

The name SHIITAKE can be divided into two parts:  The first part, SHII, comes from the name of the tree Castanopsis Cuspidate, which supplies tree logs on which the mushrooms grow in a cultivated manner.  The second part, TAKE, means “mushroom” in Japanese.  The Latin name LENTINUS can also be divided into two parts:  The first part, LENT, means “flexible”, and INUS means “similar”.  In other words, this strain of mushroom resembles something elastic that can be easily bent.  The meaning of EDODES in Latin is “edible”.

The use of Shiitake in Eastern nations has been widespread for thousands of years as a central ingredient in the kitchen, but also as a means for healing.  According to the theories of ancient Chinese medicine, consumption of the Shiitake mushroom is recommended for everyone who wishes to live a long and healthy life.

One of the original employments of the mushroom dates back to 199 BC.  A Japanese tribe then first bestowed the mushroom to the Japanese Caesar as a gift due to its prestigious taste.

Chinese Doctor Wu Juei, who lived during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), was one of the first people to discover that the mushroom could be used for healing physical ailments and not just as food. It could help in treating upper respiratory sicknesses, poor blood flow, problems with liver function, exhaustion and weakness, as well as improvement of the Qi (life energy), and in the prevention of early aging.  Pursuant to him, other Chinese doctors began to dispense prescriptions for the mushroom to treat liver disorders, faulty nutrition, irregular women’s periods, and sexual disfunction.

Shiitake grows naturally on fallen trees or on decaying tree trunks in a warm moist climate.  Japanese scientists were the first to cultivate the mushroom as long ago as 600 years, by inserting caps which look like pencils of the mushroom’s mycelium in pinholes and dents that were created in the trunks of Oak trees.  Today the mushroom is cultivated for food in South East Asia and in many other countries in the world.

Following the traditional use of the Shiitake mushroom, and the scientific knowledge that has been gained by studying it, a medicine called Lentinan was registered in Japan in 1985.  It was based on the polysaccharide derived from the mushroom and applied as a drug for treating stomach cancer.  In studies conducted on this drug, a decrease in cancerous cell growth was observed in cell cultures.  Lentinan was also found to boost the production of white blood cells in the immune system and encouraged the production of cancer antibodies in various types of cancerous cells.  Clinical research demonstrated the effectiveness of giving Lentinan in combination with chemotherapy in treating cancer and found that patients survived longer with fewer side effects from the chemotherapy, such as neutropenia (decrease in type neutrophils white blood cell count).

Parts of the mushroom for use:

All parts of the mushroom:

  • Mycelium
  • Fruiting Body

Route of Administration:

  • Oral

TCM Characteristics:

Temperature: Neutral

Humidity: Neutral

Taste: sweet, salty, smoked

Meridians: spleen, stomach, liver

Bioactive Ingredients:

Polysaccharides:

  • β-d-Glucan
  •  Lentinan
  • Lignin-1→3 (JLS-18)
  • Mannopeptide KS-2
  • Polysaccharide-protein complex LE
  • α-(1→3)-D-glucan L-II
  • SLNT1
  • JLNT1

Monosaccharides:

  • Glucose
  • Mannose
  • Galactose
  • Xylose
  • Ribose
  • Fucose
  •  rhamnose

Disaccharides:

  • Sucrose
  •  maltose

Trisaccharides:

  • Raffinose

Heteroglycans:

  • LEM

Alkaloids:

  • Eritadenine

Terpenes – Diterpenoids:

  • copalic acid

Phenolic Compounds:

  • gallic acid
  • protocatechuic acid 
  • Catechin
  • syringic acid
  • vanillic acid
  • p-coumaric acid
  • ferulic acid
  • carvacrol

Sterols:

  • Ergosterol
  • Ergosta-7,22-dienol
  • Ergosta-7,5-dienol
  • Fungisterol

Nucleotides:

  • Adenosine
  • Guanosine

Organic Sulfuric Compounds:

  • Lenthionine 
  • Issoclinotoxin A93,B94
  • Benzopentathiepin 101

Vitamins:

  • Vitamins from the B-complex family, especially B1, B2, B12, Biotin
  • Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)

Minerals:

  • Potassium
  • Barium
  • Boron
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Sulfur
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Strontium
  • Sodium

Fatty Acids:

  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • Palmitic acid
  • Palmitoleic acid
  • Lignoceric acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Myristic acid
  • Pantadecanoic acid

Amino Acids:

  • Cysteic acid
  • Aspartic acid
  • Methionine
  • Threonine
  • Serine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Proline
  • Glycine
  • Alanine
  • Valine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Lysine
  • Histidine
  • Arginine

Unique Proteins:

  • Ergothioneine
  • Lentinacin
  • Lentysine
  • Lentiavidins
  • Lentin
  • Lanthionine
  • Lentinamycin A,B

Studied Activities:

Adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory (balances immune system), anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic, hypolipidemic, hypotensive (balances blood pressure), improving peripheral blood flow, hepatoprotective (restoring and protection of the liver), antiplatelet, cavity prevention, antiaging, and prebiotic.

Uses supported by clinical research:

Weakened immune system, cancer, aids, hyperlipidemia (excess of blood lipids), atherosclerosis, hypertension, viral and bacterial infections, candida, liver disease (hepatitis C), fatty liver, excessive blood coagulation, and cavities.

Traditional uses that have yet to be supported by clinical evidence:

Antiaging, cardiovascular diseases (heart and blood vessel diseases), and tinnitus.

Effects according to Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Strengthens and nourishes in cases of deficiency, fortifies the spleen and the liver, and regulates appetite.

External release and gentle sweating, improves the external protection from colds, boosts the protective Qi (Wei Qi) with gentle sweating, drains moisture and eliminates toxins, and gently enhances the Qi.

Nourishes and strengthens the digestive system.

Promotes and encourages the production of blood and assists in cases of anemia.

Manners of use and recommended dosage according to the literature:

Liquid extract (tincture): at a concentration of 1:3, 45% alcohol, 3-6 mg per day.

Dry extract: standardized extract 3:1 at a concentration of 30% polysaccharides, 150-600 mg per day.

Decoction: 2-5 grams per day.

As part of a formula: 30-40%

Safety, toxicity, interactions, and side effects:

The Shiitake mushroom is safe for use.

People allergic to mushrooms should avoid eating the mushroom or consuming the mushroom as a food supplement.

Due to its immunostimulant activity, transplant patients should not consume the mushroom.

Seven days before undergoing a surgical procedure, the use of the mushroom should be discontinued and may be resumed two days following the procedure.

The mushroom has been found to exhibit activity that causes antiplatelet aggregation in the sulfuric compound Lenthionine; therefore, it is recommended to be cautious when consuming a high dosage of the mushroom while taking blood thinners, such as from the Coumadin, Clexane, Xarelto, Eliquis, Pradaxa and Lixiana families.

With the exception of forbidding pregnant women who receive blood thinners such as Clexane to use the mushroom, there is lack of data to support the safety of use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Stop use if hypersensitivity/allergy occurs.

References:

  1. Ng ML, Yap AT. Inhibition of human colon carcinoma development by lentinan from shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes). J Altern Complement Med 2002;8(5):581-589.
  2. Okamoto T, Kodoi R, Nonaka Y, et al. Lentinan from shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) suppresses expression of cytochrome P450 1A subfamily in the mouse liver. Biofactors.2004;21(1-4):407-409.
  3. Ngai PH, Ng TB. Lentin, a novel and potent antifungal protein from shitake mushroom with inhibitory effects on activity of human immunodeficiency virus-1 reverse transcriptase and proliferation of leukemia cells. Life Sci. Nov 14 2003;73(26):3363-3374.
  4. Israilides C, Kletsas D, Arapoglou D, et al. In vitro cytostatic and immunomodulatory properties of the medicinal mushroom Lentinula edodes. Phytomedicine 2008.
  5. Akamatsu S, Watanabe A, Tamesada M, et al. Hepatoprotective effect of extracts from Lentinus edodes mycelia on dimethylnitrosamine-induced liver injury. Biol Pharm Bull.2004;27(12):1957-1960.
  6. de Lima PL, Delmanto RD, Sugui MM, et al. Letinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler (Shiitake) modulates genotoxic and mutagenic effects induced by alkylating agents in vivo. Mutat Res. 2001;496(1-2):23-32.
  7. Shouji N, Takada K, Fukushima K, Hirasawa M. Anticaries effect of a component from shiitake (an edible mushroom). Caries Res 2000;34(1):94-98.
  8. deVere White RW, Hackman RM, Soares SE, Beckett LA, Sun B. Effects of a mushroom mycelium extract on the treatment of prostate cancer. Urology 2002;60(4):640-644.
  9. Gordon M, Bihari B, Goosby E, et al. A placebo-controlled trial of the immune modulator, lentinan, in HIV-positive patients: a phase I/II trial. J Med 1998;29(5-6):305-330.
  10. Suzuki K, Tanaka H, Sugawara H, et al. Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis induced by Shiitake mushroom spores associated with lung cancer. Intern Med 2001;40(11):1132-1135.
  11. Hanada K, Hashimoto I. Flagellate mushroom (Shiitake) dermatitis and photosensitivity. Dermatology. 1998;197(3):255-257.
  12. Levy AM, Kita H, Phillips SF, et al. Eosinophilia and gastrointestinal symptoms after ingestion of shiitake mushrooms. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1998;101(5):613-620.
  13. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms, 3rd ed. Loveland (CO): Interweave Press; 1996.
  14. Sia GM, Candish JK. Effects of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) extract on human neutrophils and the U937 monocytic cell line. Phytother Res 1999;13(2):133-7.
  15. Isoda N, Eguchi Y, Nukaya H, et al. Clinical efficacy of superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatogastroenterology. 2009 Mar-Apr;56(90):437-41.
  16. Oba K, Kobayashi M, Matsui T, Kodera Y, Sakamoto J. Individual patient based meta-analysis of lentinan for unresectable/recurrent gastric cancer. Anticancer Res. 2009 Jul;29(7):2739-45.
  17. Hazama S, Watanabe S, Ohashi M, et al. Efficacy of orally administered superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer. Anticancer Res. 2009 Jul;29(7):2611-7.
  18. Shimizu K, Watanabe S, Watanabe S, et al. Efficacy of oral administered superfine dispersed lentinan for advanced pancreatic cancer. Hepatogastroenterology. 2009 Jan-Feb;56(89):240-4.
  19. Garg S, Cockayne SE. Shiitake dermatitis diagnosed after 16 years! Arch Dermatol. 2008 Sep;144(9):1241-2.
  20. Goikoetxea MJ, Fernández-Benítez M, Sanz ML. Food allergy to Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) manifested as oesophageal symptoms in a patient with probable eosinophilic oesophagitis. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2009 Nov-Dec;37(6):333-4.
  21. Yukawa H, Ishikawa S, Kawanishi T, Tamesada M, Tomi H. Direct cytotoxicity of Lentinula edodes mycelia extract on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. Biol Pharm Bull.2012;35(7):1014-21.
  22. Okuno K, Uno K. Efficacy of orally administered Lentinula edodes mycelia extract for advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy: a pilot study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(7):1671-4.
  23. Ampere A, Delhaes L, Soots J, Bart F, Wallaert B. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis induced by Shiitake mushroom spores. Med Mycol. 2012 Aug;50(6):654-7.
  24. Chu EY, Anand D, Dawn A, Elenitsas R, Adler DJ. Shiitake dermatitis: a report of 3 cases and review of the literature. Cutis. 2013 Jun;91(6):287-90.
  25. Adriano AR, Acosta ML, Azulay DR, et al. Shiitake dermatitis: the first case reported in Brazil. An Bras Dermatol. 2013 May-Jun;88(3):417-9.
  26. Hamer S, Rabindranathnambi R. A wide-spread flagellate dermatitis. BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Jan 3;2013.
  27. Wang AS, Barr KL, Jagdeo J. Shiitake mushroom-induced flagellate erythema: A striking case and review of the literature. Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr 15;19(4):5.
  28. Kusumoto M, Koganemaru M, Nakayama G, Iwamoto R. Dietary small bowel obstruction.BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Jan 25;2013.
  29. Chandra LC, Traoré D, French C, et al. White button, portabella, and shiitake mushroom supplementation up-regulates interleukin-23 secretion in acute dextran sodium sulfate colitis C57BL/6 mice and murine macrophage J.744.1 cell line. Nutr Res. 2013 May;33(5):388-96.
  30. Handayani D, Meyer BJ, Chen J, et al. A high-dose shiitake mushroom increases hepatic accumulation of triacylglycerol in rats fed a high-fat diet: underlying mechanism.Nutrients. 2014 Feb 12;6(2):650-62.
  31. Rincão VP, Yamamoto KA, Ricardo NM, et al. Polysaccharide and extracts from Lentinula edodes: structural features and antiviral activity. Virol J. 2012 Feb 15;9:37.
  32. Kim SP, Park SO, Lee SJ, Nam SH, Friedman M. A Polysaccharide isolated from the liquid culture of Lentinus edodes (shiitake) mushroom mycelia containing black rice bran protects mice against salmonellosis through upregulation of the Th1 immune reaction. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Mar 19;62(11):2384-91.
  33. Wang KP, Zhang QL, Liu Y, Wang J, Cheng Y, Zhang Y. Structure and inducing tumor cell apoptosis activity of polysaccharides isolated from Lentinus edodes. J Agric Food Chem.2013 Oct 16;61(41):9849-58.
  34. Isoda N, Eguchi Y, Nukaya H, et al. Clinical efficacy of superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatogastroenterology. Mar-Apr 2009;56(90):437-441.
  35. Oba K, Kobayashi M, Matsui T, et al. Individual patient based meta-analysis of lentinan for unresectable/recurrent gastric cancer. Anticancer Res. Jul 2009;29(7):2739-2745.
  36. Shimizu K, Watanabe S, Watanabe S, et al. Efficacy of oral administered superfine dispersed lentinan for advanced pancreatic cancer. Hepatogastroenterology. Jan-Feb 2009;56(89):240-244.
  37. Sunagawa M, Isogai M, Harada T, et al. Giant Krukenberg tumor from a perforated gastric cancer that was successfully removed after multidisciplinary therapy: report of a case.Surg Today. Jan 2014;44(1):171-174.
  38. Matsuhisa K, Yamane S, Okamoto T, et al. Anti-HCV effect of Lentinula edodes mycelia solid culture extracts and low-molecular-weight lignin. Biochem Biophys Res Commun.Jun 19 2015;462(1):52-57.
  39. Yang H, Hwang I, Kim S, et al. Lentinus edodes promotes fat removal in hypercholesterolemic mice. Exp Ther Med. Dec 2013;6(6):1409-1413.
  40. Wang J, Zhong M, Liu B, et al. Expression and functional analysis of novel molecule – Latcripin-13 domain from Lentinula edodes C91-3 produced in prokaryotic expression system. Gene. Jan 25 2015;555(2):469-475.
  41. Dai X, Stanilka JM, Rowe CA, et al. Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. J Am Coll Nutr. Apr 11 2015:1-10.
  42. Mendonca CN, Silva PM, Avelleira JC, et al. Shiitake dermatitis. An Bras Dermatol. Mar-Apr 2015;90(2):276-278.
  43. Boels D, Landreau A, Bruneau C, et al. Shiitake dermatitis recorded by French Poison Control Centers – new case series with clinical observations. Clin Toxicol (Phila). Jul 2014;52(6):625-628.
  44. Corazza M, Zauli S, Ricci M, et al. Shiitake dermatitis: toxic or allergic reaction? J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. Jul 2015;29(7):1449-1451.
  45. Hiernickel C, Metz S, Elsner P. Shiitake dermatitis: an impressive case report. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. May 2015;13(5):455-456.
  46. Hamer SE, Kulkarni K, Cohen SN. Shiitake dermatitis with oral ulceration and pustules. Clin Exp Dermatol. Apr 2015;40(3):332-333.
  47. Ade R, Sukut C, Wiser HJ, et al. Shiitake dermatitis demonstrating Koebner phenomenon.Int J Dermatol. May 2015;54(5):e179-181.
  48. Tanigawa K, Itoh Y, Kobayashi Y. Improvement of QOL and Immunological Function With Lentinula Edodes Mycelia in Patients Undergoing Cancer Immunotherapy: An Open Pilot Study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2016 Jul;22(4):36-42.
  49. Luber AJ, Ackerman LS. Flagellate shiitake mushroom dermatitis. Dermatol Online J. 2015 Aug 15;21(8). pii: 13030/qt7rm57553.
  50. Chihara G. (1992) Immunopharmacology of lentinan, a polysaccharide isolated from Lentinus edodes: its application as a host defense potentiator. Int J Orient Med 17: 55-77.
  51. Vetter J. (2007) Chitin content of cultivated mushrooms Agaricus bisporus, Pleurotus ostreatus and Lentinula edodes. Food Chem 102: 6-9.
  52. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/lentinula-edodes
  53. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=122