Definitely you know and eat shiitake mushrooms when they’re added to dishes or transformed into patties for a healthy vegan diet. However, their medicinal properties have been known for around 6,000 years.
These fungi are more than flavoring to food. They may also be consumed because of their nutrition, most notably for their anti-cancer properties.
• These mushrooms contain lentinan, a type of compound that slows down the growth of tumor. In one Japanese study, lentinan is believed to extend the patients’ survival rate, especially those with colorectal or breast cancer.
• One of the ongoing large studies about shiitake mushrooms involves their benefit to preventing HIV. On the other hand, a study found in Cancer Prevention Research points out to their ability to suppress the growth of cervical cancer cells.
• In colorectal cancer, lentinan inhibits certain enzymes that stimulate pro-carcinogens. It can also prevent the reproduction and spread of leukemic cells.
• The components of the mushrooms known as mycochemicals have the ability to cause cell apoptosis (or cell death). In a healthy body, the cells do die to give way for newer and better cells. The problem with cancer cells is they don’t die but instead reproduce sometimes aggressively.
• The polysaccharides are known not only for their anti-tumor properties but also for a more enhanced immune system. It’s very important for a cancer patient to have a very strong immunity especially when he or she is undergoing conventional treatment like chemotherapy.
• Meanwhile, those who are trying to prevent cancer needs to boost their immune system to control or reduce chronic inflammation. Many studies establish the link between chronic inflammation and formation of cancer.
• They prevent the body’s severe oxidation. During the oxidative process, the body may develop more free radicals, which then destroy healthy cells.
• The mushrooms may reduce the drastic effects of chemotherapy including nausea, lack of appetite, and vomiting.
1. Although it would be great to eat the mushrooms, the best way to make the most of their nutrition is to consume them in powder form. Studies show the powder form tend to be effective in pancreatic, colorectal, and gastric cancers.
2. They are normally sold online and offline as supplements, but make sure that the ingredients do not include fillers.
3. Take shiitake mushrooms with permission from your doctor.
4. Many of these studies are still preliminary, and more trials have to be performed.