Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lentinan: Food Chemical with Anti-Cancer ability in a Shiitake mushroom Diet

The Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia that has long been considered a delicacy as well as a medicinal mushroom. It is an edible fungus which is regarded as the second most commonly edible mushroom in the world. Extracts of Shiitake mushroom have been used in herbal remedies. As one of the healthy things to eat, the Shiitake mushroom offers so many non anti-cancer health benefits. It is a good source of protein. It contains selenium, a powerful anti-oxidant which helps prevent cell damage. The Shiitake mushroom is also rich in copper, a vital component in red blood cell production. It is a proven fact that Shiitake mushroom in our diet enhances immune effectiveness, cholesterol-lowering and possesses both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Some research works also say that eating Shiitake mushroom fights the development and progression of cancer and AIDS by boosting the body’s immune system.

Shiitake mushroom has been added to our list of anti-cancer diet because it possesses certain food chemicals that have anti-cancer activities against different kinds of cancer. Japanese researchers have given food chemicals extracted from shiitake mushroom, along with chemotherapy, to treat patients with lung, nose, throat, and stomach cancer. There are two important food chemicals with anti-cancer properties in shiitake mushroom. They are:
1.       Lentinan
2.       Eritadenine

Lentinan is an anti-tumor polysaccharide isolated from the body of Shiitake mushroom. Lentinan, as a food chemical has been approved as an adjuvant for stomach cancer in Japan since 1985. It is believed that Lentinan extract is more effective in fighting cancer than eating the Shiitake mushroom itself. This food chemical is seen as one of the host-mediated anti-cancer drug which has shown to affect host defense immune system.

One randomized clinical trial of this food chemical, found the Shiitake mushroom, shows that Lentinan prolonged the life of patients with advanced and recurrent stomach and colorectal cancer, who were also given chemotherapy. This highlighted the potency of administering Lentinan with chemotherapy. The reasons why Lentinan in Shiitake mushroom is both a healthy thing to eat in our anti-cancer diet is because of it role in both fighting and preventing cancer. Here are some of the anti-cancer activities of the food chemical in Shiitake mushroom.

Results from laboratory studies have shown that this food chemical slows down the growth of tumors in lab mice. The anti-cancer activity responsible for this is the ability of this food chemical to boost or stimulate the immune system. By doing this, Lentinan has shown to be able to activate, macrophages, T-cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells that have cancer-fighting abilities. For example, one research study show a significant regression in colon tumor formation in laboratory animals that are fed with extracts of Lentinan. The research highlighted the presence of cancer-fighting lymphocytes produced by the presence of Lentinan, as the main anti-cancer activity.

2.       Apoptosis of cancer cells

Lentinan extracts have been shown to reduce the proliferation and/or induce apoptosis of human bladder, colorectal, head, neck, kidney, leukemia, liver, stomach, lungs, prostate, and ovarian cancer cells. A study published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) opined that the combined therapy of Lentinan and S-1, an oral anti-neoplastic agent that induces apoptosis in various types of cancer, remarkably exerted anti-tumor effects on Human Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) xenografts and significantly induced apoptosis of cells in tumor rats.



  1. I would like to thank for creating this interesting blog and i think most of the peoples are getting good knowledge from here get more about anticancer .Anticancer Manufacturer in India

  2. This is really very useful information. God has cure of everything, we just need to explore it in things that God have created. Thanks for sharing it with us


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