Maitake extracts and their therapeutic potential

Altern Med Rev. 2001 Feb;6(1):48-60.


Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is the Japanese name for an edible fungus with a large fruiting body characterized by overlapping caps. It is a premier culinary as well as medicinal mushroom. Maitake is increasingly being recognized as a potent source of polysaccharide compounds with dramatic health-promoting potential. The most recent development is the MD-fraction, a proprietary maitake extract its Japanese inventors consider to be a notable advance upon the preceding D-fraction. The D-fraction, the MD-fraction, and other extracts, often in combination with whole maitake powder, have shown particular promise as immunomodulating agents, and as an adjunct to cancer and HIV therapy. They may also provide some benefit in the treatment of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and hepatitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-HIV Agents* / pharmacology
  • Anti-HIV Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic* / pharmacology
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic* / therapeutic use
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Glucans* / pharmacology
  • Glucans* / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypolipidemic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Polyporaceae
  • beta-Glucans*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Glucans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • beta-Glucans
  • grifolan