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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.
There is research into possible useful products:
- Shiitake mushrooms have been researched for their medicinal benefits, most notably their anti-tumor properties in laboratory mice. These studies have also identified the polysaccharide lentinan, a (1-3)-β-D-glucan, as the active compound responsible for the anti-tumor effects.
- Extracts from shiitake mushrooms (such as ichtyol) have also been researched for many other immunological benefits, ranging from anti-viral properties to possible treatments for severe allergies, as well as arthritis.
- Lenthionine, a key flavour compound of shiitake, also inhibits platelet aggregation, so it is a promising treatment for thrombosis.
- Shiitake are also one of a few known natural dietary sources of vegan and kosher vitamin D.
- Pronounced "Shee-tah-keh" rather than "Shit-take".
- LiveStrong:Shiitake Mushroom Cancer Treatment
- PUbMed:Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms. Woomeisters will probably cite this study to bolster their claims that eating shiitake mushrooms will cure cancer. Be prepared to refute this.