Volume 13 Part 1 Article 52: Is the Shiitake mushroom an aphrodisiac and a cause of longevity?

Volume 13 Part 1 Article 52
Year 1991
Title: Is the Shiitake mushroom an aphrodisiac and a cause of longevity?
Author: V.T. Flynn


Shiitake mushrooms contain a drug Lentinan which has been shown to produce a polypeptide, Interleukin 1, which has metabolic, hormonal, immunologic and haematologic activities. It induced prostaglandin formation which causes dilatation of blood vessels which is an important factor in erections. It also stimulates T-lymphocytes which are depressed in cancer states and also in A.I.D.S and has an anti-viral effect through the production of Interferon gamma.

A summary of these complicated medical facts has shown that it is anti-cancer, has an anti-viral and anti-A.I.D.S. action.
These are ten theoretical chemical reasons why Shiitake may be an aphrodisiac although there is no way to prove this. From a list of “aprodisiacs” discussed, more medical evidence could be made for Shiitake increasing potency than for most of the other substances discussed.

Shiitake probably increases longevity by its anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory functions. Medical evidence has shown that ingestion of Shiitake also prevents blood platelets from adhering to each other and thus prevents the formation of clots.

More research needs to be stimulated in the “Western world” as up till now there have been very few reports outside Japan on the health giving aspects of Shiitake.

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