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Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?

old message Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms? Darrell Miller 11/11/05
old message Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits? Darrell Miller 11/11/05


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Date: November 11, 2005 05:54 PM
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Subject: Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?

Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?

A. Maitake (pronounced my-tok-kee) mushrooms are native to the mountain forests of Japan. They are large mushrooms, some growing up to fifty pounds, characterized by overlapping, rippling caps. For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. They have been highly prized for centuries. During the feudal era of Japan, maitake mushrooms were equal to their weight in silver.

Maitake mushrooms are known by many names. Maitake’s Latin name is “Grifola frondosa” which refers to the griffin, a mythical half-lion and half-eagle that symbolizes strength and vigilance. They are sometimes called “Hen-of-the-Woods”, as their overlapping caps are similar to the plumage of barnyard fowl. Maitakes are also known as “dancing mushrooms.” This name may reflect the mushrooms’ wavy, rippling appearance. It may also originate from the dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find maitakes in the woods.



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TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits?

Date: November 11, 2005 06:22 PM
Author:
Subject: Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits?

Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits?

A. Because maitakes are well known as healthy food, researchers interested in medicinal mushrooms have studied them extensively. They discovered many maitake compounds with dramatic health-promoting potential. One of these compounds, maitake D-fraction, has particularly powerful anti-cancer effects.

In lab studies, D-fraction stops the growth of cancer cells and cancerous tumors. Maitake D-fraction stimulates the activity of two white blood cells, macrophages and natural killer cells. These white blood cells then trigger the production of interleukins and other lymphokines, two biochemicals that help mediate the immune response. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanisms that promote metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph system and bloodstream.

Because of this success, maitake D-fraction is now being used in preliminary clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study has reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake D-fraction was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.




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