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Aug 17, 2019

Let's talk a bit more about medicinal mushroom Shiitake.

Primary chemical constituents of Shiitake mushroom include Polysaccharide (lentinan), eritadenin, proteins, largely unsaturated fatty acids, minerals and vitamins D, B-2, B-12.

Lentinan, the highly purified polysaccharide fraction extracted from Shiitake mushroom, is an approved drug in Japan and has been used as an agent to prolong survival of patients in conventional cancer therapy as well as in AIDS research. Lentinan is commercially available for clinical use. In Japan, mushroom extracts have become the leading prescription treatment for cancer.

Lentinan is not only effective for cancer treatment, but may also prevent the increase of chromosomal damage induced by anti-cancer drugs with no known side effects. In the scientific articles Chihara stipulates: "The leading principles of the function of lentinan resides in the fact that it can cure patients by restoring their homeostasis and through enhancement of their intrinsic resistance against diseases."

There are also documented cases of greatly reduced side effects from radiation and chemotherapy in patients who took medicinal mushrooms at the same time.

In the clinical cases when lentinan was given as part of treatment to patients with gastric cancer, reticular fibres developed in tumour sites. Reticular cells, which are spread throughout the body in various tissues, are immune cells that have the ability to ingest (phagocytes) bacteria. When lentinan was administered, not only was there a proliferation of reticular cells in gastric tumour sites, but also many T- lymphocytes (another type of immune defender) were drawn to these cancer sites with the result that the cancer cell nests were fragmented and destroyed.

This highly prized mushroom is recommended for any disease involving depressed immune function such as cancer, AIDS, environmental allergies, yeast infections, frequent flu and colds.

The antiviral effects demonstrated by Shiitake mushroom are caused by its ability to stimulate the production of interferon.

Researchers have reported that consumption of Shiitake mushrooms lowers blood cholesterol levels by as much as 45 percent. The most dramatic results occurred when high-cholesterol foods were eaten simultaneously with Shiitake mushroom.

The ability of Shiitake mushroom to accelerate the metabolism and excretion of cholesterol was first reported in 1966 by Kaneda and Tokuda. The active principle is an amino acid named eritadenine that lowers all lipid components of serum lipoproteins. It exhibits very low toxicity and is effective when administered orally. One hundred twenty-four derivatives of eritadenine have been synthesized and tested; numerous patents have been issued for consumable products capitalizing on Shiitake's ability to reduce the cholesterol level. Lowering plasma lipids by a method as simple as consuming a natural product is very appealing to any health conscious person.

Shiitake mushroom proves to be a truly heart-smart food for the future.

Nutritional Components
Amino acids (Arginine, Leucine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Valine)
Minerals (Fe, Zn, Mn, K, P, N etc.)
Vitamins B, B12, D
Guanosine 5'-monophosphate
Adenine derivative

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