Lentinus edodes(shiitake) has been consumed for more than 2000 years because of its nutritional value and health benefits. It has a low lipid content, high fiber content, and a considerable amount of proteins; it also contains B vitamins and minerals in addition to a wide range of functional metabolites including polysaccharides, polysaccharopeptides, lectins, and secondary metabolites with bioactivity, e.g., lentinan, a β-(1-3)-glucan with immunomodulatory activity, among others. Extracts and pure compounds of shiitake exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, cytostatic, antioxidant, anticancer, and immunomodulatory activity. [1] Some of the compounds shown to be created by Lentinus edodes are truly amazing.  AHCC is an α-glucan-based standardized Lentinula edodes mycelium extract that has been extensively investigated as an immunostimulant both in animals and/or in humans affected by West Nile virus, influenza virus, avian influenza virus, hepatitis C virus, papillomavirus, herpes virus, hepatitis B virus and HIV by promoting a regulated and protective immune response. Although the efficacy of AHCC has not yet been specifically evaluated with respect to SARS-CoV-2 disease, its action in promoting a protective response to a wide range of viral infections, and the current absence of effective vaccines, could support its use in the prevention of diseases provoked by human pathogenic coronavirus, including COVID-19. [2]Lentinan, a polysaccharide derived from L. edodes has been widely studied in terms of enhancing immune function. Lentinan is mainly composed of β-glucan with a 1,3 linkage. [3] The immunomodulatory activity and mechanisms of action of lentinan are well known. Lentinan triggers signaling pathways, such as MAPK-NF-κB and Syk-PKC, via binding pattern recognition receptors (TLR2, 4, 6, 9, Dectin-1) and the complement receptor, CD11b. Activation of these pathways stimulates the activity in immunocytes such as NK, macrophages and T cells. [4] Lentinan, Lentinula edodes-derived β-1→3,1→6-glucan, showed anti-inflammatory activity on an in vitro gut inflammation model. Furthermore, Lentinan significantly ameliorated DSS-induced colitis, indicating the potential application in treatment of gut inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease [5]

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



Mushroom research:

[1] Gaitán-Hernández, R., López-Peña, D., Esqueda, M., & Gutiérrez, A. (n.d.). Review of Bioactive Molecules Production, Biomass, and Basidiomata of Shiitake Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms, Lentinus edodes (Agaricomycetes). Retrieved from,11caa79135e177b5,042f94684dee8813.html

[2] Francesco DI PIERRO, Alexander BERTUCCIOLI, Ilaria CAVECCHIA,( 2020 Mar 12), Possible therapeutic role of a highly standardized mixture of active compounds derived from cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia (AHCC) in patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus, Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA, DOI: 10.23736/S1121-421X.20.02697-5

[3] Chen, S., Liu, C., Huang, X., Hu, L., Huang, Y., Chen, H., … Nie, S. (2020, January 24). Comparison of immunomodulatory effects of three polysaccharide fractions from Lentinula edodes water extracts. Retrieved from

[4] M. Zhang, Y.R. Zhang, L.J. Zhang, Q. TianMushroom polysaccharide lentinan for treating different types of cancers: A review of 12 years clinical studies in China, Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, 163 (2019), pp. 297-328

[5] Xu, X., & Zhang, X. (2015, January 21). Lentinula edodes-derived polysaccharide alters the spatial structure of gut microbiota in mice. Retrieved from