Possible adverse reactions to shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are considered as edible forms of fungus and can be eaten cooked, raw or as a nutritional supplement using the powdered extract of the mushroom. The mushrooms have been utilized as an herbal remedy for various conditions and widely used in Asian cuisine.

Despite these benefits, there have been reported adverse effects after ingesting shiitake mushrooms either in whole or in supplement form.

What are the usual reactions to shiitake mushrooms?

Digestive issues

Shiitake mushrooms are essentially safe but capable of triggering digestive distress including diarrhea and bloating. Other digestive issues include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Persistent stomach cramps

Remember that these effects are usually linked with a significant consumption of the mushrooms in one serving and likely associated to the inability of the body to process the contents of the mushroom at once.

Skin reactions

Shiitake mushrooms

Even though uncommon, shiitake mushrooms have been linked with dermatitis and photosensitivity.

Even though uncommon, shiitake mushrooms have been linked with dermatitis and photosensitivity. Eating the mushrooms can trigger the manifestation of skin lesions which is called as shiitake dermatitis in Japan.

These skin lesions often associated with consumption of the mushroom can be aggravated upon exposure to sunlight. This simply suggests that the mushroom can trigger an increase in photosensitivity.

Blood abnormalities

In one study conducted, the daily intake of 4 g of mushrooms throughout a 10-week course can lead to the development of blood eosinophilia. This is a blood condition that triggers an erratic increase in the amount of a type of white blood cells known as eosinophils that might be linked to the digestive symptoms related to the consumption of shiitake mushrooms.

Allergic reaction

Shiitake mushrooms can trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals that can drastically affect the nose, skin, throat or lungs. The usual symptoms of an allergic reaction to the mushrooms are the manifestation of hives, swollen face, neck or throat, rapid heart rate and difficulty breathing. Once an individual experience any of these symptoms after consuming the mushrooms or a supplement, it is vital to seek medical care right away.


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