May boost your immune system

May boost your immune system

Shiitake may also help strengthen your immune system.

One study gave people two dried shiitake daily. After one month, their immune markers improved and their inflammation levels dropped (10Trusted Source).

This immune effect might be partly due to one of the polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms (11Trusted Source).

While people’s immune systems tend to weaken with age, a mouse study found that a supplement derived from shiitake helped reverse some age-related decline in immune function (12Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Eating shiitake mushrooms regularly may help boost your immune system.

Contain compounds with potential anticancer activity
Polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms may also have an anticancer effect (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

For example, the polysaccharide lentinan helps fight tumors by activating your immune system (15, 16Trusted Source).

Lentinan has been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of leukemia cells (17Trusted Source).

In China and Japan, an injectable form of lentinan is used alongside chemotherapy and other major cancer treatments to improve immune function and quality of life in people with gastric cancer (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).

However, evidence is insufficient to determine whether eating shiitake mushrooms has any effect on cancer.

SUMMARY
Lentinan is a polysaccharide in shiitake mushrooms that may help fight cancer.
Other potential benefits
Shiitake mushrooms may also help fight infections and promote bone health.

Promising antibacterial and antiviral effects
Several compounds in shiitake have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects (18Trusted Source, 20).

As antibiotic resistance is growing, some scientists think it’s important to explore the antimicrobial potential of shiitake (21Trusted Source).

That said, while isolated compounds show antimicrobial activity in test tubes, eating shiitake is unlikely to have any effect on viral, bacterial, or fungal infections in people.

 

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