Over the past 20 years, there has been a growing amount of research on mushroom cancer treatments. The majority of the research has been done in Japan and other Asian countries. But in the past several years, American scientists and doctors have started to look into the effect of mushrooms for cancer patients.
One of America’s largest cancer research facilities, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York has been conducting clinical trials with Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa). One of their recent clinical trials on a patented Maitake extract from Japan, has established an optimal dose for stimulating the immune system. They conducted the phase I/II trial on postmenopausal women who had previously completed breast cancer treatment.
In this Maitake research clinical trial, how to make magic mushroom gummies researchers found that there was no dose limiting toxicity for this Maitake extract. So basically, that means it appears safe to take. The effect on the patients’ immune response was significant. And increasing the dose had a stronger effect.
A convenient point about this extract, is that it can be taken orally. And does not need to be injected, like other anti-cancer mushroom extracts such as “Lentinan” (a Shiitake mushroom fraction approved since the 1980’s for treating gastric cancer in Japan) and “PSK” (the first mushroom-based anti-cancer drug, developed in Japan and extracted from the mushroom Coriolus versicolor). The patients took it in a liquid form, by drinking it. Other forms can include soft capsules, hard capsules and pressed tablets.
So what is this Maitake mushroom fraction anyways? The discoverer, Professor Hiroaki Nanba found the active ingredients to consist of a certain family of polysaccharides known as beta-glucans. They consist beta-1,6 glucan and beta-1,3 glucan) and protein, with a high molecular weight. Beta glucans are found in a variety of medicinal mushrooms. But the effectiveness of other mushroom beta-glucans on modulating the immune system are very different. Research from the 1980s to today show Maitake extract as the premier type of beta-glucan for immune response.
Who makes this extract? Currently the only maker of this Maitake extract is Yukiguni Maitake Co. Ltd., based in Niigata, Japan. They hold the patent in America and Japan. Yukiguni was the company who first commercialized the indoor growth of Grifola frondosa mushrooms. They are the highest quality maker of Maitake in the world, with multiple certified ISO numbers and certified Koshur.
Unfortunately, this mushroom extract is quite expensive because it requires large amounts of high quality mushrooms to make a small amount of final product. And because of the high cost, most North American mushroom supplement sellers buy a much cheaper alternative from China and then still charge a high price for it. It’s about 2500% cheaper to purchase Chinese Maitake extract than the Japanese patented one. Consumers think that they are buying the “real thing” that was used in the clinical trials at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. But all they are getting is an unknown mixture from a mysterious factory in China.