Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) extract induces ovulation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: a possible monotherapy and a combination therapy after failure with first-line clomiphene citrate

J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Dec;16(12):1295-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0696. Epub 2010 Oct 29.


Background: Insulin resistance is a prominent feature of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and insulin-sensitizing drugs are used to induce ovulation. Recently, it was reported that an extract from Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) improves insulin resistance.

Objectives: The objective was to explore the effects of Maitake extract (SX-fraction: MSX) to induce ovulation in patients with PCOS in comparison with and in combination with clomiphene citrate (CC).

Design: We conducted an open trial with 80 patients with PCOS at three clinics in Japan. Seventy-two (72) new patients were randomly assigned to receive MSX or CC monotherapy for up to 12 weeks. Eighteen (18) patients who did not respond to MSX or CC were subjected to combination therapy of MSX and CC for up to 16 weeks. Eight (8) patients with documented history of failure to CC received combination therapy from the beginning. Ovulation was assessed by ultrasonography.

Results: Twenty-six (26) patients in the MSX group and 31 in the CC group were evaluated for ovulation. The ovulation rates for MSX and CC were as follows: 76.9% (20/26) and 93.5% (29/31), respectively by the patients (NS), and 41.7% (30/72) and 69.9% (58/83), respectively, by the cycles (p = 0.0006). In the combination therapy, 7 of 7 patients who failed in MSX monotherapy and 6 of 8 patients who failed in CC monotherapy showed ovulation.

Conclusions: The present study suggests that MSX alone may induce ovulation in PCOS patients and may be useful as an adjunct therapy for patients who failed first-line CC treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Clomiphene / pharmacology
  • Clomiphene / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / pharmacology
  • Fertility Agents, Female / therapeutic use
  • Grifola*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Infertility, Female / drug therapy*
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Ovulation / drug effects*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Treatment Failure
  • Young Adult


  • Biological Products
  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Clomiphene