Maitake - NutraPedia

Back to Table of Contents

Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa): A Closer Look

1) Studied Conditions

Maitake mushrooms have been studied for their potential effects on a variety of health conditions. Notably, they have been researched for their impact on:

  • Cancer, due to its purported immune-boosting capabilities.
  • Diabetes, for its potential to improve insulin resistance.
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as it may contribute to cardiovascular health.
  • HIV/AIDS, for its possible immune-modulating effects.

2) Effectiveness in Treating Conditions

While Maitake has shown promise in preliminary studies, the evidence is not conclusive. Some studies suggest that it may help boost the immune system and could have anti-cancer properties, but more rigorous clinical trials are needed to firmly establish its effectiveness. In the case of diabetes, some research indicates it may help lower blood sugar levels, but again, further study is needed.

3) Health Benefits

Maitake mushrooms are believed to offer several health benefits:

  • Immune system support: They contain beta-glucans, which may stimulate the immune system.
  • Antioxidant properties: Maitake contains antioxidants that can help combat oxidative stress.
  • Support for metabolic health: It may help manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Adaptogenic effects: Maitake could help the body adapt to stress.

4) Downsides

Though often considered safe when consumed as food, Maitake mushrooms can have downsides when taken as supplements:

  • Possible interactions with medications, especially for diabetes and blood pressure.
  • Potential allergic reactions in some individuals.
  • Insufficient data on long-term use, especially at high doses.

5) Genetic Variations and Maitake

There is limited research regarding Maitake mushrooms and specific genetic variations. Some studies suggest that genetic differences could affect individual responses to Maitake, particularly concerning its immunomodulating and metabolic effects. However, more research is necessary to understand these interactions fully. Individuals with known genetic susceptibilities should consult healthcare providers before starting any new supplement regimen.

Summary of Research on Maitake Mushroom

Clinical Trial on Immune Effects in Breast Cancer Patients

A clinical trial investigated the immune effects of Maitake mushroom polysaccharide extract in postmenopausal breast cancer patients. The trial included 34 women who were given the extract orally, with blood samples analyzed for immune response. No major toxicity was found, but two patients experienced mild side effects. The extract showed significant, complex impacts on immune function, with both stimulating and inhibitory effects depending on the dose.

Maitake D-Fraction and Cancer Treatment

The potential of Maitake D-Fraction (PDF), particularly its immunomodulatory and antitumor effects, was discussed. PDF, combined with vitamin C, has shown synergistic effects in vitro, indicating a possible enhancement of cancer therapies. The combination is also being considered for practical therapeutic approaches.

Maitake Mushroom and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Grifola frondosa, known as Maitake mushroom, has been reviewed for its neuroprotective effects against diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The mushroom's compounds provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, stimulate neuronal growth, and counteract β-amyloid activity.

Anti-Cancer Properties and Breast Cancer

Edible/medicinal mushrooms, including Maitake, have been traditionally used for health benefits and are now recognized for their antineoplastic activity against breast cancer. The review covers the bioactive compounds in these mushrooms and their mechanisms of action.

Meta-Analysis of Maitake Polysaccharide

A meta-analysis of preclinical studies on Grifola frondosa polysaccharide (GFP) showed significant tumor growth inhibition, tumor remission, and immune function enhancement. The study supports GFP's potential as a tumor treatment and suggests further clinical trials.

Impact of Maitake D-Fraction on Immune Response in Cancer Patients

A study evaluated Maitake D-Fraction's effects on natural killer (NK) cell activation in cancer patients. The results indicated increased NK cell activity and inhibited metastatic progression, suggesting the immunotherapy's potential in cancer progression inhibition.

Maitake D-Fraction in Advanced Laryngeal and Pharyngeal Cancers

In a clinical trial, patients with advanced laryngeal and pharyngeal cancers undergoing chemoradiotherapy received Maitake D-Fraction. The group taking the supplement had fewer severe adverse events, improved quality of life, and better recovery compared to the placebo group.


  1. A phase I/II trial of a polysaccharide extract from Grifola frondosa (Maitake mushroom) in breast cancer patients: immunological effects
  2. Synergistic potentiation of D-fraction with vitamin C as possible alternative approach for cancer therapy
  3. Maitake Medicinal Mushroom, Grifola frondosa (Agaricomycetes), and Its Neurotrophic Properties: A Mini-Review
  4. Anti-Cancer Potential of Edible/Medicinal Mushrooms in Breast Cancer
  5. Antitumor activities of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) polysaccharide: A meta-analysis based on preclinical evidence and quality assessment
  6. Effect of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-Fraction on the activation of NK cells in cancer patients
  7. Effect of Maitake D-fraction in advanced laryngeal and pharyngeal cancers during concurrent chemoradiotherapy: A randomized clinical trial

Upload Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) raw DNA data today and take a deep dive into your genome!

Or if you only have standard microarray data currently, upload raw DNA data to get started with your free DNA raw data analysis today!