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Shiitake mushroom

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Cultivated Shiitake mushrooms
Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
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Clinically unproven

Shiitake[1] mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are common in oriental cuisine and popular among gourmet food aficionados, and they make a pretty tasty soup. They are easily found at your local supermarket or from a quality grocer. Shiitake are also one of a few known natural dietary sources of vegan and kosher vitamin D.

Shiitake mushrooms have some chemical compound, such as itchtyol, worth researching for benefits ranging from anti-viral properties to possible treatments for severe allergies, as well as arthritis. Lenthionine, a key flavour compound of shiitake, inhibits platelet aggregation, so it is a promising treatment for thrombosis.

Compounds in shiitake mushrooms additionally demonstrate their anti-tumor properties in laboratory mice. These studies have identified the polysaccharide lentinan, a (1-3)-β-D-glucan, as the active compound responsible for the anti-tumor effects.[2] These mushrooms are then touted by some quacks and alternative health gurus as being a cure for cancer,[3] some citing the aforementioned study to bolster their claims.


  1. Pronounced "Shee-tah-keh" rather than "Shit-ache".
  2. Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms.
  3. Shiitake Mushroom Cancer Treatment by Henry Pitot (Feb 18, 2015) Livestrong.com (archived from March 4, 2015).