Maitake mushrooms, grifola frondosa, is a wild mushroom native to China, Japan, and North America, and is used in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom. Most recently however, this mushroom has been used in cancer research. In 2009, a study found that taking the extract from the grifola frondosa is associated with boosting the immune systems of patients with breast cancer. What this Maitake mushroom can do is stimulate immune system cells, or NK cells. “Natural killer cells (also known as NK cells, K cells, and killer cells) are a type of lymphocyte (a white blood cell) and a component of innate immune system.”
The key to this has been identified as the D-Fraction of the maitake mushroom extract.
“Five hundred grams of dried maitake mushrooms contains:
A fraction = 14.5 grams
B fraction = 2.95 grams
C fraction = 2.3 grams
D fraction = 0.8 grams = 1.6 mg./gm”
The key to this has been identified as the D-Fraction of the maitake mushroom extract. The D-fraction is called MT-1. It is an extractable compound that contains approximately 30% protein and It occurs in a concentration of 1.6 mg. per gram of dried maitake mushrooms.
In a separate study, patients were administered the maitake mushroom extract orally, which was found to show significant activity when ingested that way. What this means is that dried maitake mushrooms and their extract were effective at tumor inhibition when used in proper doses. Maitake mushroom powder showed 86% tumor inhibition in these studies.
In a study from 2003, “Maitake D-Fraction, extracted from maitake mushroom, has been reported to exert its antitumor effect in tumor-bearing mice by enhancing the immune system through activation of natural killer (NK) cells.” The D-Fraction is capable of boosting the activity of these NK cells, thus repressing cancer progression.
ABN is working currently on starting to make a maitake mushroom D-fraction supplement!