Maitake Mushroom

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Traditional uses in Japanese culture


The Japanese have always been interested in the potential of mushrooms, and Maitake is no exception.

Throughout Japanese history, this mushroom has played an important role both in the economy and in local traditions, being recognized for its delicious aroma, but also as a favorite of Japanese royalty.


As in the case of other mushrooms from East Asia, Maitake has been prized for benefits such as increasing longevity and the vigor offered to the body. Taken as a tonic, this mushroom can strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure and bring extra virility when taken regularly.


Although the medicinal benefits of the Maitake mushroom are very important to the Japanese, the taste made this mushroom famous. Described as woody, smoky, deep and rich, maitake is said to evoke "umami" or the "fifth taste" and act as a natural flavor enhancer when cooked with other foods.


Maitake grows in forests on the decaying roots of oak, beech and other hardwood trees. According to local Japanese folklore, he preferred trees that had been struck by lightning.
 


Maitake - health benefits


The Maitake mushroom is rich in bioactive polysaccharides, especially fraction D, fraction MD and fraction SX. These protein polysaccharides have well-documented immune protection and antitumor properties.

In addition, maitake may provide health benefits such as:
 
  • Heart health
The beta glucan in maitake can help you reduce cholesterol, improving artery functionality and overall cardiovascular health to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Maitake polysaccharides can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol without affecting your triglyceride or HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
 
  • Support for the immune system
Along with supporting heart health, beta-glucan can help improve your immune system.

Fraction D from the maitake mushroom has a strong effect on the immune system. It increases the production of lymphokines (protein mediators) and interleukins (secreted proteins) that improve your immune response.
 
  • Cancer support
Beta glucan may be particularly useful in targeting and destroying cancer cells. Several studies show its ability to attack tumors of various types of cancer.

Other studies have shown enhanced abilities when fraction D and fraction MD are combined with vitamin C for cancer treatments.
 
  • Diabetes management
Another beta-glucan, the SX fraction, has been shown in clinical trials to reduce blood sugar levels. It helps to activate insulin receptors, while reducing insulin resistance in diabetes management.
 
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
A preliminary study shows great promise for women with PCOS.
In the study, 80 patients took either clomiphene citrate or three tablets of a specific product containing maitake mushroom powder three times a day for three cycles.

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