What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Maitake?

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The Maitake mushroom is native to the mountains of Northeastern Japan, and an extract from this mushroom, called Maitake D is sold as a supplement. This mushroom is often used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to boost the immune system. Research has also suggested that it may be helpful in regulating glucose, blood pressure, insulin, serum lipids, and liver lipids, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids. It is also used in same cases to aid in weight loss.

Maitake is also full of vitamins and minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, D2, B2 and Niacin), fibers and amino acids.

Studies done in the 1980s were able to isolate the element of Maitake that helps boost immune activity: the protein-bound polysaccharide compound, beta-glucan.

Other medicinal...

Maitake has been used in a number of ways to help treat a number of health conditions. Contemporary herbalists classify maitake as an adaptogen, a substance said to help the body adapt to stress and resist infection (see the article on Ginseng for further explanation about adaptogens). It has been shown to stimulate the immune system and hence has been used for that purpose in a variety of ways.

Most investigation has focused on the polysaccharide constituents of maitake. This family of substances is known to affect the human immune system in complex ways, and one in particular, beta-D-glucan, has been studied for its potential benefit in treating cancer and HIV . 1 Preliminary studies also suggest that maitake may be useful in treating diabetes , hypertension (high...

Safety Issues

Maitake is widely believed to be safe, although formal safety studies have not been performed. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.