Volume 19 Part 1 Article 48
Title: Extracts of vitamin D2 enriched Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) mushrooms as anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory agents
Author: Dan Levanon, Sharon Avni, Ariel Drori, Yehudit Shabat, Ami Ben Yaakov, Lidya Zolotarov, Yaron Ilan, Ofer Danay
Mushrooms, like Lentinula edodes, are an abundant source of ergosterol, which is the precursor of vitamin D2. Additionally, they contain immunomodulating polysaccharides, such as Glucans (α Glucans and β Glucans). Vitamin D has well-established antiinflammatory properties. Vitamin D supplement improves the sensitivity to anti-viral therapy for chronic Hepatitis C Virus infection. In a former study we have demonstrated that extracts derived from Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) mushrooms exert an anti-inflammatory effect1. Therefore vitamin D2 enriched mushrooms were studied in order to verify the impact of both ingredients. At the first stage, fruit bodies of L. edodes at different development stages were picked. Immediately after picking the fruit bodies were exposed to UV-B irradiation in order to raise their vitamin D2 content. The vitamin content increased dramatically, to 1600 IU in 1.0 gram dry weight, compared to no vitamin in the un-irradiated mushrooms. The highest vitamin content was found in fruit bodies that were picked at the “flat” development stage, two days after the optimal marketing picking time (day +2). Four groups of C57B1/6 mice were orally treated with vitamin D2 enriched or non-enriched mushrooms extract prior and during Concanavalin A – immune-mediated liver injury. Following feeding of the Vitamin D enriched mushrooms extracts to immune-mediated hepatitis harboring mice, ALT serum levels decreased from 6238 U/L for the control (untreated) group to 2802, 3183 and 2872 U/L for Vitamin D, non-enriched and enriched mushrooms extracts treated groups, respectively (p< 0.019, < 0.036 and < 0.022, respectively). Proportion of severe liver injury was decreased from 83% in control group to 60%, 50% and 40% at the Vitamin D, non-enriched and enriched mushrooms extracts treated groups, respectively. Pathological examination of liver biopsies revealed a corresponding improvement of the immune mediated liver injury. Therefore it was demonstrated that oral administration of Lentinula edodes edible-mushroom and/or Vitamin D supplements, exert an anti-inflammatory effect in the immune-mediated hepatitis model. The data supports their potential use as safe immune-modulatory agents and as an adjuvant therapy for Hepatitis C Virus infection and Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis.