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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
Fator do impacto: 1.423 FI de cinco anos: 1.525 SJR: 0.431 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Imprimir: 1521-9437
ISSN On-line: 1940-4344

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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v2.i4.90
16 pages

Medicinal Value of Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Sing. (Agaricomycetideae). A Literature Review

Christopher Hobbs
Institute for Natural Products Research, Davis, CA 95065; and Institute for Natural Products Research, 4731 East Fork Rd., Williams, OR 97544, USA


Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Sing., known historically in Japan as shiitake and in China as xiang gu, or "fragrant mushroom," is the second most commonly cultivated edible mushroom worldwide. Shiitake is an important ingredient in Chinese and Japanese cuisine, and is increasingly finding its way onto the tables of North Americans, Europeans, and other cultures. The health benefits of shiitake are not so widely known, but the number and quality of scientific studies are rapidly increasing, demonstrating its immune-modulating, antitumor, antiviral, and cholesterol-regulating effects. In North America, one out of three people will have cancer sometime in his or her life. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in technologically developed countries worldwide, and the proven protective effect and use in Japan of shiitake in combination with chemo- and radiation therapy may well increase its production and popularity over the next few years. While some excellent research has come out of Japan in the last 15 years, sparking international interest in the medicinal effects of shiitake, few controlled studies with humans exist. More randomized, double-blind, controlled studies need to be funded and carried out to clarify the benefits, dose, and therapeutic regimens for the use of shiitake in cancer and other diseases. Based on the existing literature, cooked shiitake fruiting bodies, powdered fruiting bodies and mycelium, and purified extracts seem to be extremely safe.