Maitake mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine for many years and recent research continues to unveil and confirm its health benefits. Maitake mushrooms, (Grifola frondosa), is an edible mushroom consumed widely in Asia and originally used to treat diabetes and hypertension.
Today, a variety of supplements use Maitake mushrooms as an ingredient due to its ability to enhance the immune system, but the list of potential benefits continues to grow. Studies have shown that Maitake supplements may help to prevent and treat cancer and aid in HIV treatment. Beta 1.6-glucan, a protein bound polysaccharide, has been identified as the active constituent. Polysaccharides 1,3 and alpha glucan are also present. A large number of studies have been investigating Maitake’s anticancer potential with promising results.
In addition, Maitake extracts exhibited hypoglycemic effects in a few studies and preliminary data suggest that maitake may be useful in inducing ovulation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Maitake demonstrated antitumor effects, enhanced bone marrow colony formation, reduced doxorubicin toxicity, and inhibited tumor metastasis in vitro. Maitake also enhanced interferon activity against bladder cancer cells and alleviated inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Maitake supplements can also help to regulate cholesterol and aid in weight loss.