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Maitake, Grifola frondosa (hen-of-the-woods, ram's head, sheep's head), is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees; particularly oaks. It is typically found in late summer to early autumn. The fungus is native to the northeastern part of Japan and North America, and is prized in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom, an aid to balance out altered body systems to a normal level. Grifola frondosa grows from an underground tuber-like structure known as a sclerotium, about the size of a potato. The fruiting body, occurring as large as 100 cm, is a cluster consisting of multiple grayish-brown caps which are often curled or spoon-shaped, with wavy margins and 2–7 cm broad. The undersurface of each cap bears approximately one to three pores per millimeter, with the tubes rarely deeper than 3 mm. The milky-white stipe (stalk) has a branchy structure and becomes tough as the mushroom matures.
Grifola frondosa has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to enhance the immune system. Researchers have also indicated that whole maitake has the ability to regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and both serum and liver lipids, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids, and may also be useful for weight loss. Maitake is rich in minerals (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium), various vitamins (B2, D2 and niacin), fibers and amino acids. One active constituent in Maitake for enhancing the immune activity was identified in the late 1980s as a protein-bound beta-glucan compound. In 2009, a phase I/II human trial, conducted by Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, showed Maitake could stimulate the immune systems of breast cancer patients. Small experiments with human cancer patients have shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells, like NK cells. In vitro research has also shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells. An in vivo experiment showed that Maitake could stimulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system.
In vitro research has shown Maitake can induce apoptosis in various cancer cell lines as well as inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells. Small studies with human cancer patients revealed that a portion of the Maitake mushroom, known as the "Maitake D-fraction", possesses anti-cancer activity. In vitro research demonstrated the mushroom has potential anti-metastatic properties. Research has shown Maitake has a hypoglycemic effect, and may be beneficial for the management of diabetes. The reason Maitake lowers blood sugar is because the mushroom naturally contains an alpha glucosidase inhibitor. Maitake contains antioxidants and may partially inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase. An experiment showed that an extract of Maitake inhibited angiogenesis via inhibition of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Lys-N is a unique protease found in Maitake. Lys-N is used for proteomics experiments due to its protein cleavage specificity.
For more information, see the Wikipedia article on Maitake (Grifola frondosa).
Nootropics Depot has partnered with Nammex to offer these certified Organic whole fruiting body extracts, with not only testing to verify the percentage of active beta glugcans, but verififaction that starch content is low, and that there are no pesticide residues. One of the biggest conroversies in the medicinal mushroom industry today is the use of mycelium on grain extracts. Mycelium is to a mushrom like what roots are to a tree. When grown properly, they will form whole fuiting bodies; which are called mushrooms. However, to save money, most US producers of medicinal mushroom extracts today grow the mycelium on a bed of grain, like rice. To speed up production, and to make the end product cheaper to produce, these manufacturers grind up the mycelium and grain together, before allowing them to form whole fruiting bodies. The issue with that is that mycelium is not a mushroom, just like the roots of a tree are not a tree. The beneficial compounds in these mushroom species are all studied with relation to their fruiting bodies. The FDA even states that mycelium is not allowed to be called "mushrooms." However, many of the biggest brands today thwart that FDA guideline, and put out a cheaply-made, mislabeled, and ultimately inneffective products. They hide this fact by standardizing to "polysaccharides" instead of "β-Glucans." Well guess what shows up as polysaccharides in the traditional testing? Carbohydrates! Yes, the very carbohydrates from the rice used to grow the mycelium is used as a measure of the active ingredient in these substandard extracts. When you are buying one of the major mushroom extracts on store shelves today, you are buying a bunch of ground up rice mixed in with mycelium! It's a scam! This is why we decided to partner with Nammex. We are selling only certified Organic whole fruiting body extracts, which have been tested for not only the active β-Glucans, but to ensure the strach content is low; to prove what you are getting is actual mushroom, not ground up rice. You will know right away how big of a difference it is. You can even go to the store right now, and pick out one of the major mushroom brands. Mix the "mushroom" powder into some water, and ad a drop of iodine. It will quickly turn a dark purple/blue, indicating high amounts of starch. You'll immediately see how big of a scam it is, and just how many "trusted" brands are in on it!
Beta-Glugan (β-Glucan) content: 35%
Product contains either a 30g or 60g jar of Certified Organic Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushroom extract.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.