Beta-glucan, cloud mushroom, dancing mushroom, grifolan, Grifron Pro Maitake D-Fraction Extract©, king of mushroom, Maitake Gold 404©, MDF, MD-fraction, My-take.
Maitake is the Japanese name for the edible fungus Grifola frondosa, which is characterized by a large fruiting body and overlapping caps. Maitake has been used traditionally both as a food and for medicinal purposes. Polysaccharide constituents of maitake have been associated with multiple bioactive properties in animal studies. Extracts of maitake mushroom, and particularly the beta-glucan polysaccharide constituent, have been associated with immune modulation in pre-clinical studies and are hypothesized to exert anti-tumor effects as a result of their immune properties. Human data are limited and at this time, there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of oral maitake for any indication.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Early studies in the laboratory as well as in humans suggest that beta-glucan extracts from maitake may increase the body's ability to fight cancer, although some small studies have not found any effects. However, these studies have not been well designed and better research is needed before the use of maitake for cancer can be recommended.
In animal studies, maitake extracts are reported to lower blood sugar levels. However, little is known about the effect of maitake on blood sugar in humans.
Animal and laboratory studies suggest that beta-glucan extracts from maitake may alter the immune system. However, no reliable studies in humans are available.
*Key to grades:
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work);
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Antifungal, anti-infective, antitumor, antiviral, arthritis, bacterial infection, chickenpox, diagnostic agent, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, HIV, liver inflammation (hepatitis), snake bites, warts, weight loss.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (over 18 years old)
As capsules, tablets, or liquid extract, doses of beta-glucan from maitake range from 0.5 to 1 milligram per kilogram daily, taken in divided doses. Few studies in humans are available, and it is not known what doses may be safe or effective.
It is not known what doses of raw mushroom are safe or effective.
Children (under 18 years old)
Little information is available about the safety of maitake in children. Therefore, its use cannot be recommended.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
A case report exists of hypersensitivity pneumonitis associated with maitake mushroom.
Side Effects and Warnings
Maitake has not been studied thoroughly in humans and its effects are not well known. Because it has been used historically as a food, it is thought that low doses may be safe. Studies in animals suggest that it may lower blood pressure. However, no information about these effects is reported for humans. Individuals who take blood pressure medications should use caution. Animal studies report that maitake may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare professional, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Little is known about the safety of maitake in pregnancy and breastfeeding and therefore its use as a supplement cannot be recommended.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Based on animal studies, maitake may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional. Medication adjustments may be necessary. Animal studies suggest that maitake may lower blood pressure. Persons taking medications for blood pressure should use caution and should first discuss the use of maitake with a qualified healthcare professional.
Use cautiously if taking drugs that affect the immune system, including interferons, because maitake may boost the immune response. Maitake may also increase the effects of antiviral or anti-cancer drugs.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Based on animal studies, maitake may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment. Animal studies suggest that maitake may lower blood pressure. Use cautiously when combining maitake with herbs that can lower blood pressure.
Use cautiously if taking herbs or supplements that affect the immune system because maitake may boost the immune response. Maitake may increase the effects of antiviral or anti-cancer herbs or supplements.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2011 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
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- Cui FJ, Li Y, Xu YY, et al. Induction of apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells by polysaccharide-peptide GFPS1b from the cultured mycelia of Grifola frondosa GF9801. Toxicol In Vitro 2007 Apr;21(3):417-27.
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Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)