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Shiitake Mushroom Extract For Immune Health

Shiitake Mushroom extract is a powerful immune and health tonic ingredient for food and beverages. It contains lentinan, which has a general rejuvenating effect and helps reduce fatigue. It also contains beta glucans, which stimulate immunity and absorb cholesterol.  Shiitake mushroom fine powder extract is available as a fine powder extract that is water soluble for food and beverage applications.

Shiitake mushroom is highly valued for its delicious taste and meaty texture in many food dishes such as stir fried vegetables, fish, and others. Known as Xiang gu (fragrant mushroom) in traditional Chinese medicine, its health benefits in Asian countries and throughout the world include strengthening and normalizing digestion, and boosting vital energy life forces (Chi). Shiitake also is used medicinally for a host of other conditions including depressed immune function, allergies, frequent flu and colds, bronchial inflammation, exhaustion and weakness, heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, infectious diseases, poor circulation, diabetes, and liver problems.

Active compounds include the well-studied polysaccharide known as lentinan with potent immune supporting effects, the sterol eritadenine and beta glucans. The last two are both responsible for the strong cholesterol and triglyceride lowering effect. Other bioactive fractions have antibiotic, immune stimulating, and antiviral properties. Lentinan is a general rejuvenating compound for older persons and for younger active people helps to protect them from work- and exhaustion-related stress.

Beta glucans are large molecule, water soluble polysaccharides with a unique branched shape to help it confer special effects on the immune system. In the digestive system, it stimulates immune cells and some portion gets absorbed to stimulate immunity throughout the body. Beta glucans are a type of soluble fiber which can absorb cholesterol and toxins. The FDA has approved heart healthy labeling for foods that have higher amounts of beta glucan based on scientific evidence. The fiber may also help reduce risk for type 2 diabetes and help maintain better blood sugar control in diabetics.

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