MAITAKE: THE KING OF MUSHROOMS


The scientific name for maitake, Grifaln frondosa, isderived from the common name of a mushroom in Italyand refers to a mythical beast which is half-lion and half-eagle. Maitake is indigenous to the northeastern part of Japan. The mushroom has a rippling appearance with no caps and grows in clusters at the foot of oak trees. To the Japanese, this conveys an image of dancing butterflies, thus the name maitake, literally "dancing mushroom."
Others say that maitake is so named because people who found it deep in the mountains would begin dancing with joy because of its delicious taste and wonderful health benefits. During the feudal era of Japan, maitake also had monetary value and was exchanged for the same weight in silver by local lords who in turn offered it to the national leader the shogun.
Maitake has other unique characteristics. As mentioned above, it is the only edible mushroom in the Monkey's Bench family, which are well known as immune enhancers. Maitake is a giant, often reaching 20 inches in diameter at the base. A single cluster can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Its large size and amazing health benefits are why it has come to be called "the king of mushrooms."

MAITAKE RESERCH

Dr. Andrew Well, one of the most prominent figures in the field of alternative medicine, praised the "king of mushrooms" in a 1993 article in Natural Henltlz (May/June): "Research on the therapeutic properties of maitake is better and more extensive than that on other species....

It acts to potentiate cellular immune-competent cells, where macrophage, NK, LAK, Tc, and activated by D-fraction. Fig.1

This mushroom is delicious." In his recent book 8 Weeks To Optinrum HeaIth notes that "My tonic of choice at the moment is an extract called Maitake D-fraction, which concentrates the immune-boosting constituents ... and since I've been [using it] I almost never get colds."
The chemical structure of maitake's polysaccharide compound is slightly different from beta-glucans found in other medicinal mushrooms: Known as beta 1,6 glucan, it is recognized by researchers as the most effective active agent stimulating cellular immune responses.
Immunostimulant activity, in terms of tumor growth inhibition ratio, has been found to be potent among many medicinal and edible mushrooms, including shiitake (Lentinus edodes), oyster (Pleurotus ostereatus), and enoki (Flammulina velutipes). Figure 1 shows how much each type of immune-competent cell is activated by maitake. Activity of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T-cells was increased from 1.5 to 3.0 times by oral or intraperitoneal administration of maitake. Also seen was an increase of production of interleukin-1, which activates T-cells, and superoxide anions, which damage tumor cells.

CANCER RESERCH WITH MAITAKE D-FRACTION

Recent studies with maitake investigated the "D-fraction," which appears to be the most active form of beta-glucan. The Maitake D-fraction is a protein-bound extract developed by Professor Hiroaki Namba, Ph.D. of Kobe Pharmaceutical University in Japan. D-fraction has also been confirmed to be the optimal choice for oral administration, demonstrating the same effectiveness (or better) as injection (Table 1).

Table 1. Comparison of Tumor Growth Inhibition after Oral and I.P.Administration

TUMOR INHIBITION
The antitumor activity (tumor inhibition ratio) of D-fraction is surprisingly potent and far superior to Lentinan (shiitake extract), PSK (kawaratake extract) or reishi extract (Table 2). Furthermore, PSK, the@world's best-selling cancer drug, is not effective on its own." For this reason, Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry instructs doctors to combine PSK with other chemotherapeutic agents. Peter D'Adamo, N.D. of Greenwich, Connecticut theorizes that maitake may also have a potentiating effect on shark cartilage supplements which are thought to inhibit angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors).

Table2.Tumor Growth Inhibition in I.P.Injection of Mushroom Extracts (against Sarcoma 180 tumor)

INHIBITION OF CANCER METASTASIS

Preventing the spread (metastasis) of cancer from one area of the body to another is an important concern in cancer treatment. Dr. Nanba conducted a study in which mice were injected with cancer cells.@The mice were then divided into three groups and fed (A) a control (normal) diet; (B) a diet consisting of 20% maitake powder; or (C) a control diet, but with additional injections of 1 milligram per kilogram of body weight of D-fraction. The result of the experiment is shown in Figure 2. It was observed that metastasis was prevented by 81.3% in the maitake-fed group and by 91.3% in the group fed D-fraction, while there was no inhibition. Whatever in the group receiving the regular diet.

Fig.2 Inhibition of metastasis by Maitake

ANTICARCINOGENESIS

Dr. Nanba also wanted to determine if maitake could prevent cancer from developing in normal cells. Three groups of mice were fed (A) a control diet, (B) a diet with 20% maitake powder or (C) oral administration of 1 mg /kg of D-fraction. The mice were then given a carcinogenic chemical three times at seven-day intervals.
After 60 days, the tumors that developed in the liver were counted. Figure 3 shows that the occurrence rate of liver cancer in the D-fraction group (C) and the 20% maitake-fed group (B) were 9.7% and 22.2% respectively while that of the control group (A) was 100%.' The results of this study suggest that maitake may be helpful in reducing cancer risk from the numerous chemical carcinogens in our environment.

Fig.3 Inhibition of carcinogenesis by Maitake

ENHANCEMENT OF CHEMOTHERAPY

A recent study by Dr. Nanba compared D-fraction with mitomycin-C (MMC), one of the strongest and widely-used chemotherapeutic drugs. With just a small dose, the maitake extract produced approximately an 80% tumor shrinkage in mice compared to 30% with MMC. When D-fraction and MMC were combined in half-doses, an astonishing 98% tumor shrinkage was achieved demonstrating an apparent synergy between the two agents (Figure 4).


Fig. 4. Tumor Inhibition by Mitomycin C with D-fraction

IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR PATIENTS

Fig.5 Summary of Trial results Agaist Various Cancers

Figure 5 shows the results of a nonrandomized study of the efficacy of maitake against various advanced cancers presented by Dr. Nanba at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida in October, 1995."' The 165 patients who participated in the study were given Maitake D-fraction, 35 to 100 mg per day, along with crude powder tablets only, or D-fraction accompanied by standard chemotherapy.
Although this was not a blind, placebo-controlled study, the results suggest that breast, lung and liver cancers are more favorably affected by maitake treatment than cancers of the bone, stomach or blood (leukemia).
It is important to note that many severe side effects of chemotherapy for all types of cancer were ameliorated when maitake was included in with conventional treatment (Figure. 6).

Fig. 6. Amelioration of Chemotherapy Side-Effects by D-fraction and Maitake tablets

Symptoms such as nausea, hair loss and leukopenia (deficiency of white blood cells) were alleviated in 90% of the patients. Reduction of the pain was also reported by 83% of the patients. When closing his presentation at the symposium, Dr. Nanba observed: "Though it cannot be said that Maitake D-fraction and tablets are the cancer cure, one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."

CLINICAL CASES

Here are some typical clinical cases presented by Dr.
Namba at above symposium,showing improvement by
oral administration of Maitake D-fraction and tablets:

(1) 51 years old, male, stage III liver cancer:
He had received Adriamycin (ADM) since 1993, but refused it because of insufficient effectiveness and severe side effects. He has been taking 35 mg of D-fraction and 4 grams of crude tablets per day.
Eight months later, the level of biiirubin and albumin are improved. Bilirubin reduced to 1.8 mg/dl rom 4.7 mg/dl. Albumin improved from 2.1 g/dl to 3.7 g/dl and the prothrombin activation was increased to 920/0 from 36%. His doctor reclassified his stage from stage III to II.

(2) 56 years old, female, stage III liver cancer
She was diagnosed in stage III with serum bilirubin of 3.5 mg/dl, albumin of 2.8 g/dl and prothrombin activation of 48%. Diameter of tumor was more than 2 cm and metastases to lymph nodes were observed. She received transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) in January, 1994 and was then administered chemotherapeutic drugs such as ADM, Cisplatin (CDDP) and 5-FU, but did not show any improvement. In December, 1994, she started taking 55 mg of D-fraction and 6 g of maitake tablets every day. As of July, 1995, value of bilirubin was 2.7, albumin 3.1 and prothrombin activation 63%. She improved and re-classified as stage I.

(3) 53 years old, female, stage III lung cancer
In November, 1993, she was diagnosed as stage III-A. Chemotherapeutic drugs CDDP 80 mg/m, CPA 350 mg/m and ADM 50 mg/m2 were administered.
However, she gave up taking those in March, 1994 because of severe side effects. Since then she has switched to taking 50 mg of D-fraction and 4 g of tablets. After 14 months, she improved to stage I.

(4) 71 years old, male, stage IV lung cancer
He was diagnosed as advanced stage IV and told by his doctors that he had three months to live at most. He could not take chemotherapeutics. But he could take 70 mg of D-fraction and 9 g of tablets every day.
Unfortunately, he died 20 months later. However, tumor size was reduced and the overall symptoms improved, being diagnosed as stage III-A before he died. Tumors that had metastasized in remote areas disappeared. He did not claim to feel much pain.
Though he died, it appears that the maitake contributed to extending his life for 17 months beyond his doctors' estimate.

(5) 45 years old, female, breast cancer
ER + (Estrogen receptor positive) was observed on this patient, who had 1.8 cm dian~eter of tumor. In April, 1992, she underwent surgical removal of one breast. Then she received chemotherapy including 5-FU and ADM until February, 1994, but cancer recurrence (diameter of 0.9 cm) was found in April, 1994.
She refused to take surgery this time and started taking 100 mg of D-fraction and 5 g of maitake tablets every day. After 6 months, the dose of D-fraction reduced to 50 mg a day. In May, 1995, complete regression of the recurred tumor was confirmed by her physician.

(6) 44 years old, male, brain tumor
This is an example of D-fraction working very well. The patient has taken 100 mg of D-fraction and 6 g of maitake tablets every day for four months without taking any other medication, including chemotherapy and radiation. He had received chemotherapy (Lomustine: CCNU) 135 mg for four cycles, beginning in February, 1994. Because of severe side effects, no treatment was given for four months before starting maitake administration. After four months, the chicken egg-sized brain tumor was confirmed by MRI to have completely disappeared .

Two U.S. Cases
Some practitioners in the United States also confirmed the effectiveness of Maitake D-fraction against brain tumor patients, though not as dramatically as in case (6), above .
Robert M. Murphy, N.D. of Connecticut has used Maitake D-fraction on his patients and has seen improvements in brain tumor patients:
I had agreed to do an uncontrolled in-office study of administering Maitake D-fraction 200 mg BID [twice a day] to a 44-Lear-old patient with mucinous adenocarcinoma of the brain. He had been given this diagnosis May 18, 1994 and it was also revealed that he had a tumor in the proximal left femur. He was initially treated with Decadion to reduce brain edema and whole brain radiation consisting of 10 sessions of 300 rads. On August 8, 1994, I started this gentleman on Maitake D-fraction 200 mg BID, Larix occidentalis powder, one tablespoon BID, Echinacea tincture 60 drops BID, vitamin A 50,000 IU per day, multiple antioxidants
(C, E, selenium, and beta-carotene) BID, vitamin C 1 gram BID and CO-Q10 300 mg/day.

I phoned this gentleman on November 23, 1994. He was feeling well and had a repeat MRI done on October 19, 1994, which demonstrated significant improvement and reduction of tumor size. I have included copies of the before and after MRIs. This patient would like to continue on Maitake D-fraction.
The cause for improvement is uncertain . Maitake D-fraction may well have played a part in this. Therefore, I would recommend he continue on Maitake D-fraction.


This patient's November 19, 1994 MRI report read in part:

...the degree of edema has significantly improved in the interval as well. The patient now seems to have 5 residual enhancing lesions, whereas previously there have been either 13 or 14 of these lesions. In addition to diminished number, the sizes of these lesions have all diminished in the interval. The enhancing portion of the largest left frontal lesion is now approximately 2.2 x 2.2 x 1.5 cm, whereas previously this had measured approximately 3.5 x 3.5 x 2.8 cm.

In another case, a patient suffering from prostate cancer submitted blood tests showing that his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) had come down from 9.0 to 0.01 in six months. He was on maitake mushroom alone. His medical report for July 27, 1994 shows the PSA as "9.0," with a reference range of 0.0 to 4.0. Then on September 7, 1994 another lab test revealed it as less than 0.3. The tests were repeated and results were verified. Another test on November 2 showed 0.02 ng/mL and another on February 2, 1995 showed 0.01 ng/mL.

A HEALTH REVELATION

In the June 1994 issue of his newsletter, Health Revelations, Robert Atkins, M.D. wrote, "RaIph Moss, author of several excellent books on cancer and alternative therapies, has researched more than 100 natural, effective cancer therapies. You'd think that he'd have a tough time identifying the most promising one, but when I asked him to do just that, he replied with just two words: medicinal mushrooms,"
In his July 1996 issue, Dr. Atkins noted: "Some two years have passed since I last wrote about what may be the best of [cancer antagonists], maitake mushrooms. Since then, some significant scientific advances have elevated the fungus even higher on my list of safe anti-cancer agents."

HIV AND AIDS


Fig. 7. Anti-HIV Activity of Sulfated Maitake Extract Confirmed by U. S. NCI: Log,, of Sample Concentration (ug/ml)

Maitake's anti-HIV properties have been recognized in both Japan and the U.S. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) confirmed the efficacy of D-fraction against HIV early in 1992," (Figure 7) one year after the National Institute of Health Uapan) announced the same conclusion." This result indicated that D-fraction can prevent HIV-infected helper T-cells from being destroyed by as much as 97% in vitro. This is very important because measuring a patient's helper T-cell count is considered as a benchmark in monitoring the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS.
Moreover, the researchers at NCI admitted that the maitake extract is as powerful as AZT (a commonly prescribed drug for AIDS, and the only FDA-approved drug at the time) but without the toxic side effects associated with AZT. These prestigious research institutes confirmed in test-tube experiments that D-fraction enhances the activity of other immune cells as well as T lymphocytes. Since then, a number of practitioners involved in AIDS/HIV treatment have reported favorable responses in patients, including increases in helper T-cells and reversal of HIV-positive status to HIV-negative. This feedback supports what the studies show. Some physicians are also applying D-fraction extract topically as a treatment for Kaposi's sarcoma, a skin cancer which often develops in AIDS patients.

American Pioneers
The pioneers who developed such treatments are two American AIDS researchers; Dr. Joan Priestley (Omni Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska) and Dr. David Hughes (Hyperbaric Oxygen lInstitute in San Bernardino, California). Dr. Priestley has found considerable improvement in her HIV/AIDS patients taking maitake. She has found that her patients' T-lymphocyte cell counts have stabilized or increased over the course of treatment. She has also found D-fraction to be a more effective treatment than maitake tablets alone. She states that "I have used maitake products on my patients for some time now and have been very impressed with the results. Topical application produced good regression of Kaposi's sarcoma lesions in one AIDS patient a major accomplishment."
Dr. David Hughes has focused his research on treating Kaposi's sarcoma, an often fatal skin condition that effects 40% of HIV/AIDS patients. According to Dr. Hughes, Maitake D-fraction may be applied directly to the Kaposi's sarcoma lesions; he reports that lesions have disappeared within several days. Dr. Hughes recommends the following treatment:

Take two-thirds Maitake D-fraction liquid extract, plus one-third DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide). Apply this mixture with Q-tiP to the Kaposi sarcoma lesions. The lesions reduce in a few days. [Dr. Hughes added two cautions, however:] 1) The mix gets quite hot--so it seems that maitake will react chemically with DMSO; and 2) some patients who
kept using it continuously got quite "high." We therefore tell patients not to use it more than four times per day.

Reversing HIV
One of Dr. Hughes's patients has claimed that his HIV-positive status was turned to negative by his use of maitake. On July 14, 1994, he tested positive for HIV, but a follow-up test result dated August 23 showed HIV- negative. His diary shows the progress of his improvement:

07/20/94: ...bad eye infection caused by getting motor oil in eyes....Dr Hughes suggested use of ampillicin and he looked at my blood and again noticed my blood counts werelow.... he suggested maitake.
07/21/94: Took maitake as prescribed, one teaspoon in morning and evening.
07/22/94: Continued regime.
07/23/94: Continued regime.
07/24/94: I cut myself and noticed blood was bright pink (oxygenation).
07/25/94: Felt higher energy levels and between ampillicin and maitake. Eye infection cleared up.
07/26/94:Continued higher energy level.
07/28/94:Certain facial lines appeared minimal compared to prior treatment.
07/29/94: Continued higher energy level.
07/30/94: Cut myself again and blood still bright pink.
07/31/ 94: Last day of taking maitake.
... Dr. Hughes wanted to have blood stabilized and then have blood panel done.... CD4/CD8 ratio went from 0.8 to 1.0 and HIV went from positive to negative.

It seems undeniably evident that Maitake D-fraction played a major role in this patient's improvement by enhancing his overall immune activity.

DIABETES
Diabetes affects 16 million Americans, of whom approximately 95% are non-insulin dependent (Type II). Diabetes can cause death and is a risk factor for other diseases, including atherosclerosis, kidney disease and loss of nerve function. Recent studies indicate that maitake can control blood glucose levels by reducing insulin resistance and enhancing insulin sensitivity.

Fig. 8. Profiles of Biochemical Change on Diabetic KK-A

Figure 8 shows the results of a test on mice that have an obesity gene and are genetically diabetic. On a regular diet, the blood glucose level of these mice increases as well as their body weight. If maitake is mixed with the feed (20%), however, biomarkers such as blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides and body weight are maintained at a significantly lower level.
Following this test, a crossover test was also conducted, in which the feed was altered at the beginning of 5th week, from maitake-enriched feed to the normal feed for one group, and vice versa. Blood glucose of mice in the control group, which had risen to 400 mg/dl, decreased to 230 mg/dl the week after the administration of the maitake feed began. After two weeks, it decreased further to 155 mg/dl, which was below the start-up level. The levels of insulin and triglycerides demonstrated similar changes as the group's diet was altered from normal feed to maitake feed. The researchers concluded that the changes in glucose values were caused by the administration of the maitake feed prior to the change in body weight and that maitake is effective in reducing glucose levels, insulin resistance and triglycerides in diabetic mice.

There are a number of drugs available on the market intended to ameliorate the symptoms of type II diabetes. Unfortunately, none of them is without adverse effects. Most of the drugs operate by stimulating beta-cells of the islands of Langerhans in the pancreas to promote the secretion of insulin. The problem is that, although the insulin supply may be replenished for a while, pancreatic function would eventually decline, resulting in exhaustion of insulin secretion.
Just recently, some pharmaceutical giants in the United States and Japan have succeeded in obtaining governmental approval in both countries for the marketing of a new type of drug. Troglitazone, to improve glucose transport in the body tissue. However, there are unresolved questions about the drug's possible potential for carcinogenicity and for promoting cataract formation.
Dr. Nanba and his research group have successfully isolated an active ingredient from maitake which may increase insulin sensitivity and improve glucose transport and bioavailability for optimum use by body tissues. And, as mentioned previously, maitake is free from the side effects often associated with conventional drug treatment.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Administration of maitake to hypertensive rats has also been studied (Table 3). When fed maitake, blood pressure was reduced by 50 mmgHg compared to controls on a regular diet after 4 days. Further, a one-time feeding of an ether-soluble extract of maitake showed a remarkable result. In just 4 hours, blood pressure was lowered from 200 mmgHg to 115.

Table 3. Anti-Hypertensive Activity of Maitake

Abram Ber, M.D. of Scottsdale, Arizona, treated over 30 patients with maitake during a period of two to three months. He states, "When on medication, the blood pressure is all over the place, but with maitake mushroom there is a gradual decrease in blood pressure toward normalcy. Further, there are absolutely no side effects." Dr. Ber's treatment program includes 3 grams of whole dried maitake per day for the first week, 4 grams per day for the second week, then 5 grams per day as blood pressure indicates.
"Sometimes," he says, "blood pressure is dose-related."
S. Gerson, M.D., Director of the Foundation for Holistic Medical Research in New York City, has also conducted studies on maitake's effectiveness in lowering blood pressure.

Eleven patients (seven men and four women) between 46 and 48 years old with "documented essential hypertension" were studied. All 11 subjects were instructed to take three 500 mg. caplets of maitake mushroom (Grifron) twice per day in the morning and evening at least 90 minutes away from food. Blood pressure was then measured weekly in the same clinical setting for an average of six weeks....there was a mean decrease in systolic BP of about 14 mm Hg. and a mean decrease in diastolic BP of about 8 mm Hg.... It is notable that there were no adverse effects reported by any of the subjects. In fact, all of the subjects reported feeling cluite well during the study.

Hypertensive people taking prescription drugs often experience unpleasant side effects such as nausea, dizziness and headache.
Dr. Gerson concluded that "I was left with a strong suspicion that maitake does indeed reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients."
Michael Williams, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Cancer Treatment Centers of America shared his own experience of maitake's blood pressure-lowering activity:

I am six feet tall with a family history of hypertension, with blood pressure ranging from 150/105 to 140/90. Systolic blood pressure before and one hour after 1, 2, or 4 maitake pills ranged from 136 to 124, from 140 to 128, and from 146 to 134 on different test days. Diastolic blood pressures remained 88-92. The 8-12% deaease in systolic pressure was maintained for up to 6 hours. I resumed taking 10-12
maitake pills in divided dose throughout the day.
Blood pressures have remained at or below 120/80
for over two months without Vasotec [a prescription
drug for hypertension].

He cautioned, however, to avoid large doses on an empty stomach with beer. This may cause some severe hypotensive (low blood pressure) responses.
It should be pointed out that for lowering high blood pressure, or for adaptogenic use, you need to take whole maitake mushroom, rather than the fractionated extract, which contains only isolated compounds.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND TRIGLYCERIDES
One of the chief causes of death and disability among elderly people today is atherosclerosis. There is no doubt that the high-calorie and high-cholesterol American diet has contributed heavily to the incidence of serious degenerative diseases such as stroke and heart attack. Also, the lipid compounds called triglycerides are known to be strongly associated with cardiovascular diseases, especially in older women. In an animal test using rats which were fed (1) a regular diet, (2) one containing 5b/o shiitake or (3) one containing 5% maitake, the maitake-fed group experienced greater redudion of blood and liver cholesterol and triglyceride levels than the shiitake-fed group or
the normal-fed group.16 (See Figures 9 and 10.) This suggests that maitake may have cardioprotective effects and reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease risks.

Fig. 9. Effect of Mushroom on Plasma Cholesterol andTriglyceride
Fig. 10. Effect of Mushroom on Liver Cholesterol and
Triglyceride Contents in SHR-rats

WEIGHT CONTROL AND CONSTIPATION
Maitake is high in dietary fiber, an important component of a healthful diet. Fiber helps to prevent constipation by holding moisture in the bowel and increasing peristaltic action. Animal data show that the water content of the stool is significantly increased after feeding with maitake powder.
Maitake's anti-obesity activity has been studied in both animals and humans.'" The results of tests with overweight rats indicate that after 18 weeks those fed unheated maitake powder lost weight, whereas controls gained weight (Figures 11 and 12).

Fig. 11. Weight Changes of Overweight Rats
(Fed Maitake with Water)

Fig. 12. Weight Changes of Overweight Rats
(Fed Maitake without Water)

In a human study conducted by M. Yokota, M.D. at the Koseikai Clinic in Tokyo, patients lost weight on maitake.'Y Thirty patients were given twenty 500-mg tablets of maitake powder daily for a period of two months with no change in their regular diets. All of the patients lost weight (between 7 to 26 pounds) with an average loss of 11 to 13 pounds. Dr. Yokota suggests that the patients would have continued to lose weight if they had continued the program beyond the two months.

OTHER CLINICAL CASES
Abram Ber, M.D. is a long-time user of maitake mushroom products for a number of conditions. Dr. Ber gave six patients with uterine fibroids maitake tablets and found substantial reduction of fibroids six months to one year after beginning maitake treatment. The patients' conditions improved.to a point at which surgery was usually not indicated. In general, Dr. Ber's treatment program is two tablets' three times per day (3 grams) and up to 8 grams, depending on the size of the individual. "
According to Dr. Ber, at least 12 patients with prostatic cancer have been treated with maitake tablets, resulting in amelioration of symptdms. In particular, there was improvement in urinary flow as well as frequency.
Another long-time user of maitake is Peter D'Adamo, N.D., of Greenwich, Connecticut, author of a recent best seller, Eat Right Fov Yanr Type. He writes: "My observations cause me to feel very strongly that maitake mushroom and D-fraction accelerate the rate of healing and also have a complementary effect with other remedies that I use. One good case was a leukemia patient who had received chemotherapy. The tumor had metastasized to her spleen during the year after the treatment.
The tumor grew fast and her spleen was swollen when she came to me. I gave her D-fraction and instructed her to take a half teaspoon twice a day. After a while the tumor completely disappeared." He added that this was not a particularly rare case.
In 1993, Dr. D'Adamo treated 30 to 35 cancer patients and about 15 HIV-positive patients, using primarily maitake mushroom in conjunction with a few other natural remedies. He has successfully used maitake in treating prostate cancer in men whose previous chemotherapy had been unsuccessful. He has used it successfully in treating pulmonary metastasis (cancer spreading through the circulatory system). These results were confirmed by physicians in Massachusetts General Hospital using CAT scans and magnetic imaging. He has successfully used maitake mushrooms in treating other cancers as well, including those of the liver, breast and colon. Dr. D'Adamo also theorizes that maitake has a potentiating effect on shark cartilage.
Sidney Shane, M.D., of Wayne, New Jersey, says, "We have used maitake mushroom for the past two years and have found this product to be very helpful in treating chronic fatigue syndrome and with long-standing viral problems" He also talks about his personal experience with maitake: "Maitake helped me recover from a heart bypass. Afterwards, I was feeling fatigued.
When I started taking maitake mushrooms, I recovered very quickly. After about a month I stopped taking the mushrooms and my energy and health diminished. After resuming taking maitake mushrooms, I noticed that this energy returned."

SOME PERSONAL ACCOUNTS

Here are some more testimonials from patients who received treatment with Maitake D-fraction:

My wife was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in the spring of 1992. We started using the D-fraction in liquid form. For a duration of 21/2 weeks we continued the program, then on a Sunday afternoon during a family trip, my wife indicated she felt a warm feeling in her head. Results of a CAT scan showed the tumor had disappeared and she was once again cancer-free (1996).

San Bernardino, California


I have been taking Maitake D-fraction extract for about one year.... my T-cells increased, and general overall health improved without many of the drug-related side effects, which is uncommon.
Thank you for this wonderful product.

AIDS patient, Boulder, Colorado


I started taking Maitake D-fraction in April. By July, I noticed that my yearly allergy attacks had not yet arrived. My diet had not changed and the climate during the summer-fall remained optimal for allergens. I truly believe maitake built up my immune system.

Hoboken, New Jersey


HOW TO TAKE MAITAKE

There are a few tips you should know when preparing fresh and dried maitake to help minimize nutrient losses. The D-fradion or beta1, 6 glucan, the active compound in maitake for the immune system, is hot water extradable. That is, it dissolves in the cooking water. As with cooking vegetables, you must recover the liquid to make use of all nutrients. The water in which maitake has been steamed or boiled can be used for soups, stews or sauces. Other compounds in maitake that are important in lowering high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol are fat-soluble. This means that if you stir-fry, these substances will dissoltte into the cooking oil. Also, research indicates that the more the mushroom is heated, the less effective its anti-obesity activity. To summarize, the best way to consume maitake is to eat the whole mushroom, including the cooking liquids, and to be careful not to overcook it. Until cultivation increases in this country, it may be difficult to find fresh or dried maitake.
Most people will find maitake supplements as capsules, caplets or liquid extracts more convenient to take. Supplements consist of a concentrated, dried powder of the whole mushroom and are recommended for routine use as a tonic or adaptogen (a substance that helps adapt to stress by readjusting altered body conditions toward normal). The usual recommendation is 1 to 2 grams daily for preventive purposes or 3 to 5 if used therapeutically. The whole mushroom is generally used for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and blood pressure. Maitake D-fraction, the optimum extract of beta-glucan, is the most potent and active form of maitake for therapeutic oral administration (capsuies and tincture). D-fraction is now the basis of all research in the area of immune-related chronic diseases tie: cancer, HIV/ AIDS) both in Japan and the United States. Maitake also comes in tea form combined with complementary herbs. All products are available through natural food and supplement stores.

MAKE SURE IT'S MAETAKE

You should also be aware that there are several mushrooms in maitake family, including Tonbi-maitake, Shiro-maitake and Chorei-maitake. Those are all edible and do have some health benefits. However, it is confirmed that the maitake mushroom (GrifoIa frondosa) is the most potent in its ability to enhance the immune system (rich in D-fraction content). Besides, it tastes best. Another fact you should know is that nutritional composition is different from one maitake mushroom to the next, depending on its strain and the way of cultivation. It is noted that some maitake has very little D-fraction content even though it looks land tastes) like a real maitake mushroom.
There are number of medicinal mushrooms that are also edible. But maitake is the only edible mushroom in the "Monkey's Bench" family, known as potent cancer fighters. Maitake's unique combination of delicious flavor and important health benefits fully justify its title of
"King of Mushrooms."


REFERENCES

  • 1. Mizuno, T. et al., "Maitake Grifola Frondosa, Pharmacological Effects," Food Reviews Ilzt., 11(1), 135-149, 1995.
  • 2. Nanba, H., Ilztriguing Power of Maitake, p.4, KK Bestsellers, Japan, 1992.
  • 3. Nanba, H. et al., "The Chemical Structure of an Antitumor Polysaccharide in Fruit Bodies of Grifolafrondosa (Maitake)," Clzenz. P~ann. Bull., 35(3), 1162-1168, 1987.
  • 4. Mori, K. et al., "Antitumor Activities of Edible Mushrooms by Oral Administration of Cultivated Edible Fungi," Penn State Univ., July, 1986.
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