Shiitake Mushroom 10:1 extract – 500mg Per Capsule

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Description

Shiitake Mushroom 10:1 Extract – 500mg Per Capsule

60 Vegetarian Capsules

Dosage:

Take up to two capsules, once a day.  One bottle should last about 30 days with daily use.

What are Shiitake Mushrooms?

Synonyms: sawtooth oak mushroom, black forest mushroom, oakwood mushroom, golden oak mushroom.

Asia’s Tasty Superfood

Chinese and Japanese people have praised this tasty “superfood” for ages, both as a culinary ingredient and a traditional remedy. They still have the biggest share in worldwide production, but more and more growers in the US produce shiitake [1].

Shiitake is the second most popular edible mushroom in the world, available in various forms as a food or supplement.

Did you know? The US authorities didn’t allow the cultivation of shiitake mushrooms before the 80s. Supposedly, they feared that the mushrooms would “escape” into wild forests and harm the trees.

Shiitake is an edible mushroom from East Asia, praised for its nutritional and healing properties. Today, people around the globe harvest shiitake and use it as a tasty food or supplement.

Traditional & Modern Uses

Shiitake is one of the pearls of traditional Chinese medicine. Other eastern countries, such as Japan, Korea, and Russa, have also used it as a natural remedy for ages. Folks mostly take it to boost immunity, longevity, circulation, and liver health [2].

This mushroom is popular in modern medicine, alike. Scientists are researching its potential to combat HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cancer, chronic infections, and more. People also use it as a mouth rinse to maintain oral health [3, 4].

What does the available evidence say about the traditional & modern uses of shiitake? How should we take it, and is it safe for everyone? Let’s find out.

PROPONENTS:

  • Boost immunity
  • May support heart health
  • May improve oral health
  • May support cancer treatment
  • Have antimicrobial effects

SKEPTICS:

  • Not well researched in humans
  • May cause skin irritation
  • May interact with immunosuppressants
  • Supplements have unknown potency and purity

Active Compounds

Shiitake mushrooms are rich in bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, sterols, and terpenoids. They stimulate the immune response, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and more. The amount of these compounds depends on the growth and storage conditions [2].

Lentinan is a type of beta-glucan with immune-boosting, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial properties. Ergothioneine, a sulfurous amino acid, combats inflammation and oxidative stress [5, 6, 7, 8].

Spores (mycelia) of shiitake mushrooms are rich in anti-inflammatory molecules that protect the liver [9].

Shiitake Mushrooms Nutrition & Calories

Shiitakes are a low-calorie food rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Four dried mushrooms (15 g) contain [10]:

Macronutrients and Calories

  • Calories: 44
  • Carbs: 11 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Riboflavin (B2): 0.19 mg (15% DV)
  • Niacin (B3): 2.12 mg (13% DV)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 3.12 mg (66% DV)
  • Copper (Cu): 0.77 mg (86% DV)
  • Selenium (Se): 6.9 mcg (13% DV)
  • Zinc (Zn): 1.15 mg (10% DV)
  • Vitamin D: variable

They’re an excellent source of fiber, copper, selenium, and vitamin B5, among others.

Mushrooms are the only plant-based source of vitamin D, but its content depends on UV/sunlight exposure during growth. UV-enhanced shiitake provides a decent amount of vitamin D, which is crucial for immunity, bone health, and more [11, 12].

That said, mushrooms contain vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), which our bodies can’t use as well as vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) [13, 14].

Shiitake mushrooms contain zinc, vitamin D, and all essential amino acids, which makes them a great food choice for vegans and vegetarians.

Shiitake mushrooms are a low-calorie food rich in fiber, copper, selenium, and different vitamins. UV exposure during growth boosts their vitamin D content.

Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms

Insufficient Evidence for:

The following potential benefits are only supported by low-quality clinical studies and preclinical research. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of shiitake for any of the below-listed conditions. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.

1) Immune System Support

For ages, people have used medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake, to boost their immunity. Shiitake contains lentinan and other beta-glucans that support our defense mechanisms [5, 15].

In a study of 52 volunteers, consuming 5 or 10g of shiitake (L. edodes) [16]:

  • Enhanced the activity of white blood cells
  • Improved gut immunity
  • Reduced inflammation (CRP levels)

Research on mice has confirmed the potential of shiitake mushrooms to support gut health and reverse age-related decline in the immune response [17, 18].

Besides beta-glucans, they are rich in other types of fiber that act as prebiotics and nurture our gut microbiome [19, 20].

Shiitake provides zinc and copper, the two minerals crucial for robust immunity [21, 22].

Shiitake mushrooms are high in different immune-stimulating compounds, but their therapeutic value lacks stronger clinical evidence.

2) Heart Health

Shiitake has a range of heart-friendly components, including sterols, beta-glucans, and eritadenine. They can protect blood vessels from inflammation and lower cholesterol levels [23, 24, 25, 26].

As a side benefit, these mushrooms are high in dietary fiber and low in sodium and fat [10].

In multiple studies on rats and mice, supplementation with shiitake and its components was able to [27, 28, 29, 30]:

  • Reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure
  • Improve weight control
  • Protect the blood vessels from atherosclerosis
Shiitake mushrooms contain heart-friendly ingredients and reduce cholesterol and protect the blood vessels. Studies are yet to explore their medicinal effects on heart disease.

3) Oral Health

Gum Inflammation

Gum inflammation or gingivitis occurs due to the buildup of bacteria on the gums. If untreated, it can lead to a more severe condition known as periodontitis [31].

In two lab models, shiitake mushroom extract prevented the growth of harmful bacteria that cause gum inflammation. Unlike a popular mouthwash ingredient, chlorhexidine, it didn’t harm the beneficial bacteria [32, 33].

Tooth Plaque and Decay

Tooth plaque or caries is the first step toward tooth decay. It forms as a consequence of bacterial infections (Streptococcus mutans) that impair the pH value and other protective factors [34].

According to a review of preclinical studies, shiitake may prevent tooth plaque formation by protecting the enamel surface and inhibiting harmful microbes such as S. mutans [35].

In a study of 65 volunteers, a mouthwash with shiitake extract suppressed the harmful bacteria but was inferior to a standard mouth rinse in reducing tooth plaque [36].

4) Cancer Treatment Support

The findings discussed below stem from preliminary clinical and preclinical research. They should guide further investigation but shouldn’t be interpreted as supportive of the anti-cancer effects until more research is done. Shiitake mushroom extracts are not proven to prevent or treat cancer.

Lentinan and other polysaccharides from shiitake mushrooms can stimulate the immune response and suppress the growth of cancer cells [37, 38, 39, 40].

When added to standard treatment, the extract of shiitake mycelia improved the quality of life and immune function in 47 patients with breast cancer [41].

Two smaller studies without placebo controls observed the same results in cancer patients receiving hormonal and immunotherapy [42, 43].

A review of clinical and animal studies confirmed that shiitake extract could boost the effectiveness of standard treatment, immune response, and quality of life in surgically treated cancer patients. That said, the authors emphasized significant limitations such as [44]:

  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Inadequate sample size
  • Poor study quality

In 61 patients with prostate cancer, shiitake mushroom extract wasn’t able to prevent disease progression, as measured by PSA levels [45].

Doctors in China and Japan use lentinan from shiitake to enhance standard cancer treatment and reduce the side effects. Different clinical trials have documented its ability to improve immune function, survival, and quality of life in patients with advanced cancer [46, 47, 48, 49, 50].

Thanks to lentinan and other polysaccharides, shiitake mushrooms may improve standard cancer treatment. However, the available evidence is far from conclusive.

Animal and Cell Research (Lacking Evidence)

No clinical evidence supports the use of shiitake for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts but should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.

Antimicrobial Activity

Bacteria and Yeasts

In test tubes, the extract of shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) was able to inhibit up to 85% of tested bacteria and 50% of yeasts and molds. It was particularly effective against gram-positive bacteria and food contaminants [51, 52, 53, 54].

Two studies found it equally potent as antibiotics (ciprofloxacin) and standard antifungal agents [52, 53].

HIV

Two shiitake components, lentin and lentinan, inhibited HIV growth and replication, and increased the effectiveness of an antiviral drug Zidovudine (AZT) [55, 56].

It’s important to note that antimicrobial effects in test tubes often don’t translate to living organisms.

Can Shiitake Help With Coronavirus?

The current coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing event, and details may change as new information comes to light. No effective or FDA-approved products are yet available to treat or prevent COVID-19 infection.

Scientists haven’t yet tested shiitake mushrooms against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19). A standardized mixture of polysaccharides from shiitake mushroom (AHCC) activated immune cells in humans and animals with viral infections such as [57]:

  • Influenza B (in humans) [58]
  • Hepatitis C (in humans) [59]
  • Human Papillomavirus (in humans and mice) [60]
  • Influenza A (H1N1) (in mice) [61, 62]
  • Avian influenza virus (H5N1, in mice) [62]
  • West Nile encephalitis (in mice) [63]

Another shiitake extract (Lentinus edodes mycelia or LEM) reduced the growth of the influenza A virus and increased survival rates in infected mice [64].

Influenza viruses cause flu, which can have similar respiratory complications as COVID-19 infection. However, the effects observed on these strains don’t imply the therapeutic potential of shiitake against the new coronavirus [65, 66].

Shiitake mushrooms may inhibit some respiratory viruses such as influenza, but there’s no evidence of their action against the new coronavirus.

Limitations and Caveats

Despite the promising health effects of shiitake, it’s important to note that most of them lack solid clinical evidence. Additionally, studies often use extracts and purified components in the doses that people can’t achieve by eating mushrooms or taking supplements.

More research is needed to uncover the therapeutic potentials of shiitake mushrooms.

Shiitake Mushrooms Side Effects & Safety

Side Effects

The most common side effect that usually occurs from consuming raw or undercooked shiitake is “shiitake dermatitis” — a characteristic skin irritation sometimes followed by fever and digestive issues [67, 68, 69].

The first signs appear 24 hours upon consumption and may be worsened by sun exposure. In most cases, cooking removes its potential to cause reactions [70, 71, 72].

According to rare clinical reports, shiitake mushrooms may cause or worsen a blood disorder called eosinophilia. People with this condition should talk to their doctor before consuming shiitake [68].

In the amounts present in food, shiitake mushrooms are likely safe for all populations. Children and pregnant women should avoid taking supplements due to the lack of safety data.

Shiitake mushrooms may cause skin irritation known as shiitake dermatitis and, in rare cases, eosinophilia. Children and pregnant women should avoid taking supplements.

Drug Interactions

Components from shiitake mushrooms have immune-boosting effects and may thus reduce the effectiveness of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants [5, 15].

For the same reason, people with autoimmune conditions shouldn’t use it before consulting their doctor.

 

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the TGA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Additional information

Weight 0.1 kg

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