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Shiitake 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. These mushrooms are then touted by some quacks and alternative health gurus as being a cure for cancer, some citing the aforementioned study to bolster their claims.
- Pronounced "Shee-tah-keh" rather than "Shit-ache".
- Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms.
- Shiitake Mushroom Cancer Treatment by Henry Pitot (Feb 18, 2015) Livestrong.com (archived from March 4, 2015).