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Common Alternative Therapies: Shiitake Mushrooms


GMHC Treatment Issues 1993/94 Winter; 7(11/12): 24

Shiitake Mushrooms (Lentinan edodes) are a traditional Oriental herbal remedy (and currently a popular haute cuisine ingredient) and being used in the process of making LEM (Lentinan edodes mycelia). LEM is the active component incubated in water to allow digestion of mycelial enzymes. The digest of mycelia enzymes is extracted with water, filtered, sterilized and concentrated into a powder. The LEM powder is put into ethyl alcohol and freeze-dried to become ethanol-precipitated LEM or E-P-LEM.

Japanese researchers report that pretreatment of T cell cultures with .4mg/ml. E-P-LEM protects them from both free-viral and cell-to-cell HIV infection without cell viability. Pretreatment of HIV with a .5mg/ml of E-P-LEM made it unable to infect cells at all. The researchers suggest that E-P-LEM interferes in HIV interaction with the cellular CD receptor.

These were test tube studies done in Japan, however, and as yet there are no human trials planned in the US.

1. Tochikura TS, et al. Med. Microb. & Immun., 1988; 177:235-44.

Copyright (c) 1993 - Gay Men's Health Crisis. All rights reserved. Noncommercial reproduction is encouraged.


Copyright © 1993 -Gay Men's Health Crisis, Publisher. All rights reserved to Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) Treatment Issues. Reproduced with permission. Treatment Issues is published twelve times yearly by GMHC, INC. Noncommercial reproduction is encouraged. Subscription lists are kept confidential. GMHC Treatment Issues, The Tisch Building, 119 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011 Email GMHC. Visit GMHC

Information in this article was accurate in December 1, 1993. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.