Drugs A - Z
Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa)
Generic Name: Maitake mushroom extract.
CategoryHerbs & Supplements
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.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: 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. However, these studies have not been well designed and better research is needed before the use of maitake for cancer can be recommended.
Animal and laboratory studies suggest that beta-glucan extracts from maitake may alter the immune system. However, no reliable studies in humans are available.
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: 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, diagnostic agent, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, HIV, liver inflammation (hepatitis), weight loss.
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.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
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
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 professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Tracee Rae Abrams, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); Ethan Basch, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Cynthia Dacey, PharmD (Northeastern University); Paul Hammerness, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jen Woods, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
BibliographyDISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Fullerton SA, Samadi AA, Tortorelis DG, et al. Induction of apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells with beta-glucan (Maitake mushroom polysaccharide). Mol Urol 2000;4(1):7-13.
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.
Cui FJ, Tao WY, Xu ZH, et al. Structural analysis of anti-tumor heteropolysaccharide GFPS1b from the cultured mycelia of Grifola frondosa GF9801. Bioresour Technol 2007 Jan;98(2):395-401.
Gu CQ, Li J, Chao FH. Inhibition of hepatitis B virus by D-fraction from Grifola frondosa: synergistic effect of combination with interferon-alpha in HepG2 2.2.15. Antiviral Res 2006 Nov;72(2):162-5.
Gu CQ, Li JW, Chao F, et al. Isolation, identification and function of a novel anti-HSV-1 protein from Grifola frondosa. Antiviral Res 2007 Sep;75(3):250-7.
Hong L, Xun M, Wutong W. Anti-diabetic effect of an alpha-glucan from fruit body of maitake (Grifola frondosa) on KK-Ay mice. J Pharm Pharmacol 2007 Apr;59(4):575-82.
Kodama N, Komuta K, Nanba H. Effect of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-Fraction on the activation of NK cells in cancer patients. J Med Food 2003;6(4):371-377.
Konno S. Potential growth inhibitory effect of maitake D-fraction on canine cancer cells. Vet Ther 2004;5(4):263-271.
Kubo K, Nanba H. Anti-hyperliposis effect of maitake fruit body (Grifola frondosa). I. Biol Pharm Bull 1997;20(7):781-785.
Li X, Rong J, Wu M, et al. [Anti-tumor effect of polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa and its influence on immunological function]. Zhong Yao Cai 2003;26(1):31-32.
Lin JT, Liu WH. o-Orsellinaldehyde from the submerged culture of the edible mushroom Grifola frondosa exhibits selective cytotoxic effect against Hep 3B cells through apoptosis. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Oct 4;54(20):7564-9.
Matsui K, Kodama N, Nanba H. Effects of maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-Fraction on the carcinoma angiogenesis. Cancer Lett 10-30-2001;172(2):193-198.
Preuss HG, Echard B, Bagchi D, et al. Enhanced insulin-hypoglycemic activity in rats consuming a specific glycoprotein extracted from maitake mushroom. Mol Cell Biochem 2007 Dec;306(1-2):105-13.
Wu MJ, Cheng TL, Cheng SY, et al. Immunomodulatory properties of Grifola frondosa in submerged culture. J Agric Food Chem 2006 Apr 19;54(8):2906-14.
Yang BK, Gu YA, Jeong YT, et al. Chemical characteristics and immuno-modulating activities of exo-biopolymers produced by Grifola frondosa during submerged fermentation process. Int J Biol Macromol 2007 Aug 1;41(3):227-33.