Shiitake's lentinan trials against cancer

In 1969, researchers at Tokyo's National Cancer Center Research Institute isolated a polysaccharide compound from shiitake that they named lentinan. Doses of 0.5 to I mg lentinan per kilogram of body weight caused tumors in laboratory mice to regress or disappear in 80 to 100% of the subjects. Researchers have since demonstrated that lentinan works by stimulating immune system cells to rid the body of tumor cells. In clinical trials, lentinan administered with chemotherapy has increased the life span of cancer patients, improved the effectiveness of chemotherapy and kept tumors from growing. In Japan, lentinan is approved for use as a drug to prolong the lives of patients undergoing chemotherapy for stomach cancer.

Additional studies have shown that when shiitake mushrooms make up 10% of the daily diet of cancerous mice, tumor growth is inhibited by nearly 40%. When shiitake is increased to 30% of the diet, tumor growth is inhibited by nearly 78%.

Researchers have since concluded that the entire mushroom stimulates immune cells such as macrophages and T cells, as well as natural killer cells, and contains compounds that block the formation of carcinogens from nitrates that are found in many processed meats and some vegetables.

Source:immunesupport.com