Parts Used & Where Grown
Maitake is a very large mushroom, which grows deep in the mountains of northeastern Japan, as well as in North America and Europe. Famous for its taste and health benefits, maitake is also known as the “dancing mushroom.”1 Legend holds that those who found the rare mushroom began dancing with joy. Others attribute its name to the way the fruit bodies of the mushroom overlap each other, giving the appearance of dancing butterflies.
Maitake is extremely sensitive to environmental changes, which have presented many challenges to those cultivating this mushroom. However, Japanese farmers have succeeded in producing high-quality organic maitake mushrooms, allowing for wider availability both in Japan and the U.S. The fruiting body and mycelium of maitake are used medicinally.
What Are Star Ratings?
Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
How It Works
How It Works
A common denominator among some mushrooms and some herbs is the presence of complex polysaccharides in their structure. These active constituents help support immune system function and are sometimes called immunomodulators. The polysaccharides present in maitake have a unique structure and are among the most powerful studied in test tubes to date.9 The primary polysaccharide, beta-D-glucan, is well absorbed when taken orally and is being studied as a potential tool for prevention and treatment of cancer and as a adjunctive treatment for HIV infection .10 , 11 Animal studies suggest maitake may lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides.12 , 13 However, this research is still preliminary and requires human trials for confirmation.
How to Use It
Maitake can be used as a food or tea and is also available as a capsule or tablet containing the entire fruiting body of the mushroom. For maitake, the fruit body is higher in polysaccharides than the mycelium, which is why it is recommended. Whole-mushroom maitake supplements, 3–7 grams per day, can be taken.14 Liquid maitake extracts with variable concentrations of polysaccharides are available, and should be taken as directed.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.
Interactions with Medicines
Certain medicines interact with this supplement.
Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check
Replenish Depleted Nutrients
Reduce Side Effects
Potential Negative Interaction
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.
1. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 110–5.
2. Kubo K, Nanba H. Anti-hyperliposis effect of maitake fruit body (Grifola frondosa). I. Biol Pharm Bull 1997;20:781–5.
3. Kubo K, Nanba H. Anti-hyperliposis effect of maitake fruit body (Grifola frondosa). I. Biol Pharm Bull 1997;20:781–5.
4. Yamada Y, Nanba H, Kuroda H. Antitumor effect of orally administered extracts from fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chemotherapy 1990;38:790–6.
5. Nanba H. Immunostimulant activity in-vivo and anti-HIV activity in vitro of 3 branched b-1–6-glucans extracted from maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa). VIII International Conference on AIDS, 1992 [abstract].
6. Bone K, Morgan M. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Warwick, Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 1996, 13–20.
7. Nanba H. Antitumor activity of orally administered ‘D-fraction’ from maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa). J Naturopathic Med 1993;4:10–5.
8. Pengelly A. Medicinal fungi of the world. Modern Phytotherapist 1996;2:1, 3–8 [review].
9. Nanba H, Hamaguchi AM, Kuroda H. The chemical structure of an antitumor polysaccharide in fruit bodies of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chem Pharm Bull 1987;35:1162–8.
10. Yamada Y, Nanba H, Kuroda H. Antitumor effect of orally administered extracts from fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chemotherapy 1990;38:790–6.
11. Nanba H. Immunostimulant activity in vivo and anti-HIV activity in vitro of 3 branched b-1–6-glucans extracted from maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa). VIII International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992 [abstract].
12. Kubo K, Nanba H. Anti-hyperliposis effect of maitake fruit body (Grifola frondosa). I. Biol Pharm Bull 1997;20:781–5.
13. Adachi K, Nanba H, Otsuka M, Kuroda H. Blood pressure lowering activity present in the fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chem Pharm Bull 1988;36:1000–6.
14. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 110–5.
15. Hanselin MR. Vande Griend JP, Linnebur SA. INR elevation with maitake extract in combination with warfarin. Ann Pharmacother 2010;44:223–4.
Last Review: 11-07-2012
Copyright © 2012 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2013.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
465 Congress Street Suite 600 | Portland, Maine 04101-3537 | (207) 775-7001