Extracts from Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Edible Mushrooms Enriched with Vitamin D Exert an Anti-Inflammatory Hepatoprotective Effect

J Med Food. 2016 Apr;19(4):383-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2015.0111. Epub 2016 Mar 30.


Vitamin D has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Extracts derived from Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) edible mushroom exert an anti-inflammatory effect. These extracts contain high levels of ergosterol, which converts into ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) following exposure to ultraviolet light, followed by absorption and hydroxylation into the active form 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. To determine the anti-inflammatory effect of overexpression of vitamin D in edible mushrooms, L. edodes mushrooms were exposed to ultraviolet-B light, freeze-dried, followed by measurement of vitamin D2 contents, in their dry weight. C57B1/6 mice were orally treated with vitamin D2-enriched or nonenriched mushroom extract prior and during concanavalin A-immune-mediated liver injury. Exposure to ultraviolet light increased vitamin D2 content in Shiitake edible mushrooms. Following feeding of vitamin D-enriched mushroom extracts to mice with immune-mediated hepatitis, a significant decrease in liver damage was noted. This was shown by a decrease in alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase serum levels, a decrease in proportion of mice with severe liver injury, and by improvement in liver histology. These effects were associated with a decrease in serum interferon gamma levels. A synergistic effect was noted between the anti-inflammatory effect of the mushroom extracts and that of vitamin D. Oral administration of vitamin D-enriched L. edodes edible mushroom exerts a synergistic anti-inflammatory effect in the immune-mediated hepatitis. The data support its potential use as safe immunomodulatory adjuvant for the treatment of HCV and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

Keywords: Lentinula edodes; Shiitake; hepatoprotective; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / immunology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / analysis
  • Ergocalciferols / administration & dosage*
  • Ergocalciferols / analysis
  • Hepatitis / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Protective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Protective Agents / analysis
  • Protective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Shiitake Mushrooms / chemistry*
  • Shiitake Mushrooms / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Vegetables / chemistry*
  • Vegetables / radiation effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Ergocalciferols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Alanine Transaminase