Nutritional Supplement


  • Supportive Interactions

    • Shiitake


      Support Medicine

      Lentinan is a complex sugar found in shiitake mushrooms (Lentinas edodes) and is recognized as an immune modulator. In an early human trial, 88 HIV-infected people received didanosine (400 mg per day) plus a 2 mg lentinan injection per week. Didanosine-lentinan combination therapy improved CD4 immune cell counts for a significantly longer period than didanosine alone. Lentinan is under investigation as an adjunct therapy to be used with didanosine for HIV infection. Oral preparations of shiitake are available, but it is not known if they would be an effective treatment with didanosine for HIV infection.

      1. Gordon M, Guralnik M, Kaneko Y, et al. A phase II controlled study of a combination of the immune modulator, lentinan, with didanosine (ddI) in HIV patients with CD4 cells of 200-500/mm3. J Med 1995;26:193-207.
      2. Threlkeld DS, ed. News, Keeping Up, December 1994, Lentinan. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, Dec 1997, 805.


1. Jones K. Shiitake: A major medicinal mushroom. Alt Compl Ther 1998;4:53-9 [review].

2. Taguchi I. Clinical efficacy of lentinan on patients with stomach cancer: End point results of a four-year follow-up survey. Cancer Detect Prevent Suppl 1987;1:333-49.

3. Matsuoka H, Seo Y, Wakasugi H, et al. Lentinan potentiates immunity and prolongs the survival time of some patients. Anticancer Res 1997;17:2751-6.

4. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 125-8.

5. Guangwen Y, Jianbin Y, Dongqin L, et al. Immunomodulatory and therapeutic effects of lentinan in treating condyloma acuminata. CJIM 1999;5:190-2.

6. Cho YK, Kim Y, Choi M, et al. The effect of red ginseng and zidovudine on HIV patients. Int Conf AIDS 1994;10:215 [abstract no. PB0289].

7. Jones K. Shiitake: The Healing Mushroom. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1995.

8. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 125-8.

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