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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushroom

Maitake is recognized by a large fruiting body and overlapping caps and is a Japanese name for Grifola frondosa, which is an edible fungus. Maitake is used as both, traditionally ingested as food and medicinal purpose. Maitake mushroom extracts have been associated with multiple bioactive properties due to its beta-glucan polysaccharide constituent. In pre-clinical studies, it is also associated with immune modulation and is hypothesized to exert anti-tumor effects.

Health and maitake mushroom

Mushroom supplements are available in the form of capsules, tablets or liquid extracts.
Based on unscientific researches maitake mushrooms is used for the following purposes, however more human scientific researches are required for its safety and effectiveness in these conditions.
  1. Maitake contains beta-glucan extracts that may be beneficial to fight cancer, however to recommend maitake as a cure for cancer, more proven scientific data is required.
  2. Maitake mushrooms can help in diabetes control by lowering blood sugar levels. However these findings are based on animal studies, more conclusive human studies in this field are lacking.
  3. Maitake can also be useful for immune enhancement, but these findings are also based on animal and laboratory studies and human studies are not available.
  4. Traditionally based on scientific theories maitake mushrooms are used as an antifungal, anti-viral, anti-tumor, anti-infective, arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, bacterial infection, HIV, hepatitis and weight loss.

Side effects of maitake mushroom

The effects of maitake mushrooms are not well studied in humans, but as it is used traditionally as food it thought to be safe in low doses.
  1. Animal studies show that maitake can lower blood pressure, although there are no human studies that prove this it should be taken with a word of caution for patients with hypertension or taking any drugs or herbal supplements to lower blood pressure.
  2. Maitake may even lower blood sugar levels, thus should be taken with caution for people with diabetes or taking drugs or herbal supplements to lower blood glucose levels. Also sugar levels should be monitored and dose adjustment may be necessary.
  3. Maitake supplement is not recommended in pregnancy and lactation and also in children as its safety and effectiveness in them is not well defined.
  4. Doses for raw maitake mushroom are not yet established and its safety and    effectiveness is not well known.
Maitake mushroom supplements may also interact with certain drugs or herbal supplements. Thus it is advisable to take maitake supplements in recommended doses under the guidance of a health care professional.
Submitted on January 16, 2014