Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) – biological activity
Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler (shiitake) is a species with medicinal properties that is used primarily in traditional medicine, but also in conventional oncology treatment. The first records of Lentinula edodes cultivation reach back to China under the Song dynast (960-1127). The Japanese adopted the Chinese technique of shiitake cultivation, thus becoming its main producer. Currently, shiitake is used in the treatment of lifestyle diseases. Polysaccharides contained in this species strengthen the immune system, eliminate side effects of chemo and radiotherapy and have strong antitumor, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The year 1972 saw a discovery of substances with anti-atherosclerotic effects, with the most important being eritadenine (2 (R), 3 (R)-dihydroxy-4-(9-adanyl) butyric acid) and statin – lovastatin. L. edodes is of interest to researchers due to its content of therapeutic compounds. These substances have antitumor, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic, antihypertensive, hypoglycaemic and antioxidant effects.