skip to Main Content
Maitake And Shiitake Mushrooms – The Key To Health?

Maitake and Shiitake Mushrooms – the Key to Health?

Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms are often used for culinary purposes, but research has shown that they both have nutraceutical properties that make them even more valuable. Both Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms have beta-glucans that are responsible for their anticancer characteristics.

Key Takeaways

1. Both are often used for culinary purposes, but research has found that they have nutraceutical properties that make them even more valuable.

2. They are both rich in beta-glucans, a form of soluble dietary fibre.

3. Their consumption has been linked to an enhanced immune function, boost of overall mood, reduced stress, and decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes.


Nutritional Content 

Shiitake mushrooms can be found fresh, dried or in various dietary supplements. Four dried mushrooms contain 2 grams of fibre, 1 gram of protein, 39% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of copper, and 33% of the vitamin B5 RDI. In one cup of Maitake mushrooms, there is 1.4g of protein and 196% of the RDI of vitamin D.


Health Benefits of Maitake and Shiitake 

Both Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms contain polysaccharides called beta-glucans, which improve the function of macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that consume and digest foreign particles, such as cancer cells and microbes. When these cells are working efficiently, the immune system can work more effectively to inhibit the metastasis of cancer. Because of the immune support, these mushrooms are also used to speed up recovery from common colds. One health benefit that is unique to Maitake is that its high vitamin D content makes it even better at supporting the immune system, and it can also act as an adaptogen. Adaptogens stabilise moods and regulate physiological processes. Maitake mushrooms have also been shown to have anti-diabetic activity. Shiitake mushrooms are also beneficial for reducing cholesterol and blood pressure; acting to prevent heart disease.


Works Cited:

Abuajah, Christian Izuchukwu, Augustine Chima Ogbonna, and Chijioke Maduka Osuji. “Functional components and medicinal properties of food: a review.” Journal of food science and technology 52.5 (2015): 2522-2529.

Al-Achi, Antoine. An Introduction to Botanical Medicines: History, Science, Uses, and Dangers. Praeger Publishers, 2008.

Fullerton, S. A., et al. “Induction of apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells with beta-glucan (Maitake mushroom polysaccharide).” Molecular Urology 4.1 (2000): 7-13.

Jong, S. C., and J. M. Birmingham. “Medicinal and therapeutic value of the shiitake mushroom.” Advances in applied microbiology. Vol. 39. Academic Press, 1993. 153-184.

Kabir, Yearul, Mami YAMAGUCHI, and Shuichi KIMURA. “Effect of Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and Maitake (Grjfola frondosa) Mushrooms on Blood Pressure and Plasma Lipids of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.” Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology 33.5 (1987): 341-346.

Kubo, Keiko, Hisao Aoki, and Hiroaki Nanba. “Anti-diabetic activity present in the fruit body of Grifola frondosa (Maitake). I.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 17.8 (1994): 1106-1110.

María Elena Valverde, Talía Hernández-Pérez, and Octavio Paredes-López, “Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life,” International Journal of Microbiology, vol. 2015, Article ID 376387, 14 pages, 2015.

Mizuno, Takashi, and Cun Zhuang. “Maitake, Grifola frondosa: pharmacological effects.” Food Reviews International 11.1 (1995): 135-149.

Valverde, María Elena, Talía Hernández-Pérez, and Octavio Paredes-López. “Edible mushrooms: improving human health and promoting quality of life.” International journal of microbiology 2015 (2015).

Back To Top