Shiitake Mushroom 10:1 Extract – 500mg Per Capsule
60 Vegetarian Capsules
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 .
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.
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 .
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.
- Boost immunity
- May support heart health
- May improve oral health
- May support cancer treatment
- Have antimicrobial effects
- Not well researched in humans
- May cause skin irritation
- May interact with immunosuppressants
- Supplements have unknown potency and purity
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 .
Spores (mycelia) of shiitake mushrooms are rich in anti-inflammatory molecules that protect the liver .
Shiitake Mushrooms Nutrition & Calories
Shiitakes are a low-calorie food rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Four dried mushrooms (15 g) contain :
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].
Shiitake mushrooms contain zinc, vitamin D, and all essential amino acids, which makes them a great food choice for vegans and vegetarians.
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
In a study of 52 volunteers, consuming 5 or 10g of shiitake (L. edodes) :
- Enhanced the activity of white blood cells
- Improved gut immunity
- Reduced inflammation (CRP levels)
2) Heart Health
As a side benefit, these mushrooms are high in dietary fiber and low in sodium and fat .
- Reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure
- Improve weight control
- Protect the blood vessels from atherosclerosis
3) Oral Health
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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.
When added to standard treatment, the extract of shiitake mycelia improved the quality of life and immune function in 47 patients with breast cancer .
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 :
- 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 .
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].
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.
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].
It’s important to note that antimicrobial effects in test tubes often don’t translate to living organisms.
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 :
- Influenza B (in humans) 
- Hepatitis C (in humans) 
- Human Papillomavirus (in humans and mice) 
- Influenza A (H1N1) (in mice) [61, 62]
- Avian influenza virus (H5N1, in mice) 
- West Nile encephalitis (in mice) 
Another shiitake extract (Lentinus edodes mycelia or LEM) reduced the growth of the influenza A virus and increased survival rates in infected mice .
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].
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
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].
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 .
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.
For the same reason, people with autoimmune conditions shouldn’t use it before consulting their doctor.
These statements have not been not