Maitake, or as scientists called it, grifola frondosa, is a large polypore mushroom that originates in China, Northeastern Japan, Europe and North America. It is usually found at the trunk of broadleaf trees, including Elk, Maple and Oak. The nutritious and delicious edible mushroom can reach up to 20 inches in diameter and weigh up to 100 pounds, which is why many refer to it as the “king of mushrooms.” In addition to being a star ingredient for many culinary dishes, maitake is overflowing with science-backed health benefits.
This article breaks down the health-enriching power of Maitake with supporting scientific research.
Benefits of Maitake Mushrooms
Maitake is a tasty and edible mushroom that offers incredible medicinal properties. It contains unique bioactive components that offer a wide range of physiological and nutritional benefits. The functional mushroom has been shown to modulate the immune system, treat hypertension, balance blood glucose levels, and more (1).
You can’t talk about Maitake’s immune-boosting benefits without mentioning D-Fraction. This constituent of Maitake is one of the reasons it has become a topic of interest for scientists and researchers. D-fraction has positive effects on our immune system (2). With a rise in pollution and new viruses, it’s important to build your body’s defenses. D-Fraction is an essential addition for anyone that seeks to support their immunity.
Clinical trials have demonstrated that SX-Fraction, a bioactive glycopeptide found in Maitake, can decrease blood glucose levels, activate insulin receptors and lower insulin resistance when managing diabetes (3). If you are being treated for diabetes, consult with a doctor before taking this mushroom.
Maitake Nutritional Benefits
Maitake is a high-protein, fibrous and low calorie mushroom. It is one of the most commonly used fruiting bodies used in culinary dishes. It’s pleasant taste and texture makes the mushroom easy to digest. They provide a great source of amino acids, B vitamins, important minerals, and vitamin D, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s maitake data.
Scientific research demonstrates that Maitake is synergistic when fused with other healthy compounds. That is why innovative products, such as RESCUE functional mushroom tincture, are combing grifola frondosa with other types of medicinal mushrooms, superfoods and micronutrients. Maitake offers its own unique benefits that can support overall well-being. That said, the effects can be enhanced when you ingest the right combination of ingredients.
Maitake With Shiitake
Maitake combined with shiitake can provide a serious power-up for your body’s defenses. Both mushrooms are independently great for your immune system, but they are reported to be more powerful when taken together (4).
Vitamin C With Maitake
Studies have shown that D-fraction combined with MD-fraction and Vitamin C can potentially treat certain illnesses (5).
How to Take Maitake
Everyone agrees, including scientists and researchers, that grifola frondosa mushrooms are super healthy. However, it can be challenging to find the right mushrooms and dosage. Maitake can be consumed in several different ways. If you want to know exactly which bioactive compounds are in the mushroom (such as beta-glucans) and to what degree, consider a maitake mushroom powder.
- Raw Maitake or mixed with your favorite dish
- Maitake powder, edibles, capsules, etc.
- Maitake in a tincture or liquid form for fast absorption
Science Supports Ancient Maitake Wisdom
Maitake means "Dancing Mushroom" in Japanese. It’s said to have earned this name because people would dance with joy upon discovering one in the wild, due to its medicinal properties. In the present day, scientists are joining our ancestors on the fungi dancefloor and boasting about the benefits of Maitake mushrooms.
- He, Xirui et al. “Polysaccharides in Grifola frondosa mushroom and their health promoting properties: A review.”
- Wu, Jian-Yong et al. “Bioactive Ingredients and Medicinal Values of Grifola frondosa (Maitake).”
- Konno, Sensuke. “SX-fraction: Promise for novel treatment of type 2 diabetes.”
- Vetvicka, Vaclav, and Jana Vetvickova. “Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts.”
- Konno, Sensuke. “Synergistic potentiation of D-fraction with vitamin C as possible alternative approach for cancer therapy.”