- Mushrooms & Roots
Shiitake (scientific name: Lentinula edodes) is a type of edible mushroom that is native to East Asia, particularly Japan, China, and Korea. It is highly valued for its rich, savory taste often described as umami.
Shiitake mushrooms offer multiple potential health benefits. They contain lentinan, a complex carbohydrate that may enhance the immune system by stimulating specific immune cells, bolstering the response to infections and diseases.
Moreover, shiitake mushrooms are abundant in antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids, which safeguard the body's cells against damage from harmful free radicals.
In addition, preliminary studies suggest that shiitake mushrooms may possess anticancer properties. The presence of compounds like lentinan and other bioactive substances has been investigated for their potential to hinder cancer cell growth and activate the immune system's defense against tumors. Nevertheless, further research is essential to comprehensively comprehend the anticancer effects of shiitake mushrooms.
Vetvicka, Vaclav, and Jana Vetvickova. "Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts." Annals of Translational Medicine, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014, p. 14. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2014.01.05.
Wong, Jack Ho, et al. "Mushroom extracts and compounds with suppressive action on breast cancer: evidence from studies using cultured cancer cells, tumor-bearing animals, and clinical trials." Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 104, no. 11, 2020, pp. 4675-4703. doi:10.1007/s00253-020-10476-4.