(Lentinula edodes)

What Is Shiitake?

A mushroom highly valued since ancient times in China and Japan, Shiitake is probably one of the first mushrooms to be cultivated nearly 2,000 years ago. Also known as Lentinula edodes, it has a delicious and exotic flavour making it the second most popular mushroom in the world to eat. The Shiitake’s medicinal qualities have been long cherished.

Powerful benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms

Heart health

Medicinal properties in Shiitake have been studied for actions on the cardiovascular system. Shiitake is a great mushroom for problems relating to the heart, smoking and high blood pressure.


Shiitake contains compounds that make it an excellent natural antibacterial agent.

Alkalizing effect

Properties in the shiitake have very effective benefits for issues of uric acid, such as gout.


Therapeutic properties can act on cholesterol, lowering ‘bad’ (LDL) and increasing ‘good’ (HDL) levels.

Shiitake's powerful nutrients
  • Eritadenine, a substance that supports the immune system and cholesterol levels.
  • Beta-glucans, known to support the immune system.  
  • Proteoglycans, a protein that supports the immune system.
  • Ergosterol, the precursor of vitamin D.
  • Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, useful for inflammation.
  • High in all essential Amino Acids.
  • Rich in minerals potassiumcalciummagnesium, iron, zinc.

1. Fukushima M, Ohashi T, Fujiwara Y, Sonoyama K, Nakano M. Cholesterol-lowering effects of maitake (Grifola frondosa) fiber, Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) fiber, and enokitake (Flammulina velutipes) fiber in rats. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2001 Sep;226(8):758-65.

2. Xu X, Yan H, Zhang X. Structure and immuno-stimulating activities of a new heteropolysaccharide from Lentinula edodes. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 21; 60(46):11560-6. Epub 2012 Nov 12.

3. Ina K, Furuta R, Kataoka T, Kayukawa S, Yoshida T, Miwa T, Yamamura Y, Takeuchi Y. Lentinan prolonged survival in patients with gastric cancer receiving S-1-based chemotherapy. World J Clin Oncol. 2011  2(10):339-43.

4. 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.

5. Kabir Y, Yamaguchi M, Kimura S. Effect of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms on blood pressure and plasma lipids of spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1987 Oct;33(5):341-6.

6. Otsuka M, Shinozuka K, Hirata G, Kunitomo M. [Influences of a shiitake (Lentinus edodes)-fructo-oligosaccharide mixture (SK-204) on experimental pulmonary thrombosis in rats]. [Article in Japanese] Yakugaku Zasshi. 1996 Feb;116(2):169-73.

7. Yagi K. Liver protective effect of Lentinula edodes mycelia (LEM). Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2012 Jul;39(7):1099-102.

8. Sun J, Wang H, Ng TB. Isolation of a laccase with HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activity from fresh fruiting bodies of the Lentinus edodes (Shiitake mushroom). Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2011 Apr;48(2):88-94.

9. Shouji N, Takada K, Fukushima K, Hirasawa M. Anticaries effect of a component from Shiitake (an edible mushroom). Caries Res. 2000 Jan-Feb;34(1):94-8.

10. Del Buono A et al. (2016) Polysaccharide from Lentinus edodes for integrative cancer treatment: immunomodulatory effects on lymphocyte population. World Cancer Research Journal 3, e652.

11. Gu J et al. (2015) Lentinan plays synergistic effects in paclitaxel-induced A549 cell apoptosis via activating ROS-TXNIP-NLRP3 signal. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 19, 1949-1955.