Shiitake Mushroom Powder
Shiitake mushrooms are fungi that grow naturally on decaying hardwood trees. They’re typically eaten like vegetables and are used in various dishes worldwide. Around 83% of shiitake mushrooms are grown in Japan, but they can also be found in the United States, Canada, Singapore, and China. This medicinal mushroom can be consumed fresh or taken in the form of powder or capsules.
Overall Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom Powder
- Improves symptoms of diabetes [1-2]
- Lowers blood pressure 
- Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease [4-5]
- Prevents cancer [6-13]
- Improves body composition and metabolic abnormalities [14-16]
- Prevents bone abnormalities and lowers risk of fractures [17-19]
- Boosts immune function [20-25]
How Shiitake Mushroom Powder Exerts its Health Benefits
Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. They contain polysaccharides, terpenoids, sterols, and lipids – all of which have anti-cancer, immune-boosting, and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Proven Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom Powder
Improves Symptoms of Diabetes
Studies show that shiitake mushrooms can help treat diabetic symptoms:
- In insulin-deficient type 2 diabetic rats, consumption of shiitake mushroom improved blood sugar metabolism by increasing insulin secretion and reducing insulin resistance. 
- In diabetic mice, treatment with shiitake mushroom showed a decrease in blood sugar levels. 
Lowers Blood Pressure
Evidence also suggests that shiitake mushroom has blood pressure-lowering effects:
- In spontaneously hypertensive rats, shiitake mushroom feeding resulted in a decrease in blood pressure. 
Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
There are also studies supporting the beneficial effects of shiitake mushroom on cardiovascular health:
- A study showed that shiitake mushroom has the ability to prevent the formation of fatty plaques within the heart arteries. 
- In mice, treatment with shiitake mushroom for 2 weeks reduced the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease. 
An overwhelming body of clinical evidence supports the anti-cancer effects of shiitake mushroom:
- A study showed that shiitake mushroom produces lentinan, a β-glucan known to suppress leukemia cell proliferation. 
- In human colon cancer cells, shiitake mushroom treatment resulted in significant regression in tumor formation. 
- In human breast cancer cells, shiitake mushroom induced programmed cell death. [8-9]
- A study reported that compounds such as polysaccharides, proteoglycans, and steroids from shiitake mushroom have potent anti-cancer activities. 
- In human cancer cell lines, shiitake mushroom induced cell cycle arrest. 
- In cancer patients, shiitake mushroom increased the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 
- A study found that shiitake mushroom can suppress the growth and reproduction of cancer cells. 
Improves Body Composition and Metabolic Abnormalities
Studies show that shiitake mushroom can help improve body composition as well as metabolic abnormalities:
- In rats fed with a high-fat diet, administration of shiitake mushroom powder for 6 weeks prevented weight gain. 
- In overweight rats, high-dose shiitake mushroom prevented obesity by increasing the accumulation of triglycerides in the liver, rather than fat tissue. 
- In rats, shiitake mushroom lowered the risk of weight gain by reducing lipid levels. 
Prevents Bone Abnormalities and Lowers Risk of Fractures
There’s also convincing evidence that supports the benefits of shiitake mushroom on bone health:
- A study showed that vitamin D2-fortified shiitake mushroom might help postmenopausal women prevent bone loss. 
- In human bone cells, shiitake mushroom induced bone formation. 
- In rats, shiitake mushroom administration prevented bone breakdown. 
Boosts Immune Function
Numerous studies also show that shiitake mushroom has immune-boosting properties:
- In healthy young adults, shiitake mushroom consumption resulted in improved immunity, as evidenced by improved cell proliferation and activation and increased immunoglobulin A (IgA) production. 
- In animal models of immune-mediated intestinal inflammation, shiitake mushroom exerted an anti-inflammatory effect. 
- A study reported that shiitake mushroom has the ability to increase the production of human macrophages, which are specialized cells involved in the destruction of bacteria and other foreign bodies. 
- A study also found that shiitake mushroom can help combat inflammatory conditions by reducing TNF-α production. 
- A study reported that shiitake mushroom selectively attenuates IL-1β secretion, which in turn reduces inflammation. 
- In mice, shiitake mushroom protected against blood infection caused by Salmonella bacteria. 
- Yang HJ, Kim MJ, Kwon DY, Kim DS, Zhang T, Ha C, Park S. Combination of Aronia, Red Ginseng, Shiitake Mushroom and Nattokinase Potentiated Insulin Secretion and Reduced Insulin Resistance with Improving Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis in Insulin Deficient Type 2 Diabetic Rats. Nutrients. 2018 Jul 23;10(7):948. doi: 10.3390/nu10070948. PMID: 30041479; PMCID: PMC6073765.
- Available from https://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.5115723.
- Kabir, Y, et al. “Effect of Shiitake (Lentinus Edodes) and Maitake (Grifola Frondosa) Mushrooms On Blood Pressure and Plasma Lipids of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, vol. 33, no. 5, 1987, pp. 341-6.
- Rahman MA, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Lentinula edodes (shiitake mushroom): An assessment of in vitro anti-atherosclerotic bio-functionality. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2018;25(8):1515-1523. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2016.01.021.
- Yang H, Hwang I, Kim S, Ahn C, Hong EJ, Jeung EB. Preventive effects of Lentinus edodes on homocysteinemia in mice. Exp Ther Med. 2013;6(2):465-468. doi:10.3892/etm.2013.1130.
- Patel S, Goyal A. Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review. 3 Biotech. 2012;2(1):1-15. doi:10.1007/s13205-011-0036-2.
- Ng ML, Yap AT. Inhibition of human colon carcinoma development by lentinan from shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes). J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Oct;8(5):581-9. doi: 10.1089/107555302320825093. PMID: 12470439.
- Fang N, Li Q, Yu S, Zhang J, He L, Ronis MJ, et al. Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms. J Altern Complement Med. 2006;12:125–32. 10.1089/acm.2006.12.125.
- Jedinak A, Sliva D. Pleorotus ostreatus inhibits proliferation of human breast cancer and colon cancer cells through p53-dependent as well as p53-independent pathway. Int J Oncol. 2008;33:1307–13.
- Xu T, Beelman RB, Lambert JD. The cancer preventive effects of edible mushrooms. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2012 Dec;12(10):1255-63. doi: 10.2174/187152012803833017. PMID: 22583406.
- Fang N, Li Q, Yu S, Zhang J, He L, Ronis MJ, Badger TM. Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Mar;12(2):125-32. doi: 10.1089/acm.2006.12.125. PMID: 16566671.
- Zhang M, Zhang Y, Zhang L, Tian Q. Mushroom polysaccharide lentinan for treating different types of cancers: A review of 12 years clinical studies in China. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2019;163:297-328. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2019.02.013. Epub 2019 Apr 4. PMID: 31030752.
- Available from https://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=jms.2005.43.46.
- Handayani D, Chen J, Meyer BJ, Huang XF. Dietary Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinus edodes) Prevents Fat Deposition and Lowers Triglyceride in Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet. J Obes. 2011;2011:258051. doi:10.1155/2011/258051.
- Handayani, Dian & Meyer, Barbara & Chen, Jiezhong & Brown, Simon & Mitchell, Todd & Huang, Xu-Feng. (2014). A High-Dose Shiitake Mushroom Increases Hepatic Accumulation of Triacylglycerol in Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet: Underlying Mechanism. Nutrients. 6. 650-62. 10.3390/nu6020650.
- Yu S, Wu X, Ferguson M, Simmen RC, Cleves MA, Simmen FA, Fang N. Diets Containing Shiitake Mushroom Reduce Serum Lipids and Serum Lipophilic Antioxidant Capacity in Rats. J Nutr. 2016 Dec;146(12):2491-2496. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.239806. Epub 2016 Oct 19. PMID: 27798348; PMCID: PMC5118771.
- Dong Jae Won, Ki Seung Seong, Cheol Ho Jang, Jin Sil Lee, Jung A Ko, Hojae Bae & Hyun Jin Park (2019) Effects of vitamin D2-fortified shiitake mushroom on bioavailability and bone structure, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 83:5, 942-951, DOI: 10.1080/09168451.2019.1576497.
- Saif A, Wende K, Lindequist U. In vitro bone inducing effects of Lentinula edodes (shiitake) water extract on human osteoblastic cell cultures. Nat Prod Bioprospect. 2013;3(6):282-287. Published 2013 Dec 3. doi:10.1007/s13659-013-0070-3.
- Mühlbauer RC, Lozano A, Reinli A, Wetli H. Various selected vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and red wine residue inhibit bone resorption in rats. J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3592-7. doi: 10.1093/jn/133.11.3592. PMID: 14608079.
- Dai, Xiaoshuang & Stanilka, Joy & Rowe, Cheryl & Esteves, Elizabethe & Nieves, Carmelo & Spaiser, Samuel & Christman, Mary & Henken, Bobbi & Percival, Susan. (2015). Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 34. 1-10. 10.1080/07315724.2014.950391.
- Shuvy M, Hershcovici T, Lull-Noguera C, Wichers H, Danay O, Levanon D, Zolotarov L, Ilan Y. Intrahepatic CD8(+) lymphocyte trapping during tolerance induction using mushroom derived formulations: a possible role for liver in tolerance induction. World J Gastroenterol. 2008;14(24):3872–8.
- Mallard B, Leach DN, Wohlmuth H, Tiralongo J. Synergistic immuno-modulatory activity in human macrophages of a medicinal mushroom formulation consisting of Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake. PLoS One. 2019;14(11):e0224740. Published 2019 Nov 7. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0224740.
- Yu S, Weaver V, Martin K, Cantorna MT. The effects of whole mushrooms during inflammation. BMC Immunol. 2009 Feb 20;10:12. doi: 10.1186/1471-2172-10-12. PMID: 19232107; PMCID: PMC2649035.
- Ahn H, Jeon E, Kim JC, et al. Lentinan from shiitake selectively attenuates AIM2 and non-canonical inflammasome activation while inducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):1314. Published 2017 May 2. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01462-4.
- Kim SP, Park SO, Lee SJ, Nam SH, Friedman M. A polysaccharide isolated from the liquid culture of Lentinus edodes (Shiitake) mushroom mycelia containing black rice bran protects mice against a Salmonella lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxemia. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Nov 20;61(46):10987-94. doi: 10.1021/jf403173k. Epub 2013 Nov 8. PMID: 24200110.