Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults


Journal of the American College of Nutrition Volume 34, 2015 - Issue 6



Eating L. edodes for 4 weeks resulted in increased ex vivo proliferation of γδ-T (60% more, p < 0.0001) and NK-T (2-fold more, p < 0.0001) cells. Both cell types also demonstrated a greater ability to express activation receptors, suggesting that consuming mushrooms improved cell effector function. The increase in sIgA implied improved gut immunity. The reduction in CRP suggested lower inflammation. The pattern of cytokines secreted before and after mushroom consumption was significantly different; consumption resulted in increased interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-1α levels, a decreased macrophage inflammatory protein-1α/chemokine C-C ligand 3 (MIP-1α/CCL3) level, and no change to IL-6, IL-1β, MIP-1β, IL-17 and interferon (IFN)-γ levels. Regular L. edodes consumption resulted in improved immunity, as seen by improved cell proliferation and activation and increased sIgA production. The changes observed in cytokine and serum CRP levels suggest that these improvements occurred under conditions that were less inflammatory than those that existed before consumption.


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