< class="article__title title"> Can Maitake Mushroom Help For Cancer Treatment?>
Can Maitake Mushroom Help For Cancer Treatment?
Jun 28, 22
Tags: Maitake
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Can Maitake Mushroom Help For Cancer Treatment?


Maitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms in the world, and they have a long history of use in traditional medicine. New research suggests that Maitake mushrooms may help to improve cancer treatment outcomes. In this post, we'll take a look at the latest research on Maitake mushrooms and cancer, and explore how this mushroom could help you or someone you love fight cancer. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting topic!

Maitake mushroom orGifola frondosais found to be indigenous to Japan. It has got its name ‘Maitake’ which means dancing mushrooms because the people in japan danced after finding out the health benefits of the mushroom

The mushroom typically grows in clusters at the foot of large trees, especially oaks. Although this mushroom was found in Japan thousands of years ago, it is finding popularity in the United States in recent years for its use in healing properties. It has traditionally been used as a part of the diet and also to treat hypertension and diabetes. It is also found to be effective as anti-hepatitis, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, and anti-HIV medicine. 

In this article, we would try to explain the use of the maitake mushrooms cancer-treating ability, how it works, how to consume the mushroom and recommendations for the consumption.

Maitake Mushroom For Cancer

There are various fractions in the process of standardization of mushroom extraction. Among them Maitake D-fraction is found to be most potent in acting as an immunotherapy agent, exhibiting good cancer inhibition.(1)

A study has suggested the use of Maitake mushroom showing significant improvement in 58.3 percent of liver cancer patients, 68.8 percent of breast cancer patients, and 62.5 percent of lung cancer patients. 

However, there was less than 10-20 percent improvement for leukemia, stomach, and brain cancer.(2) 

The beta-glucan D-fraction Maitake, a protein-bound polysaccharide, is the component that exerts anticancer effects by stimulation and activation of various subsets of the immune system. Further studies are going on to study the maitake cancer treatment mechanism, the effectiveness of maitake mushrooms in cancer treatment, and the maitake mushroom dosage required to treat cancer.

The side effects of the mushroom are allergic reactions and eosinophilia. Although these side effects are not common, the mushroom may interfere with other immunosuppressants and may also have hypoglycemic effects. Therefore, you should use caution and consult your physician before taking maitake supplements.

So, let's discuss some of how Maitake mushrooms cancer treatment mechanisms.

  • Treatment of cancer: Beta-glucan polysaccharide binds to Dectin-1 receptors present in the outer membrane of macrophages, Natural killer (NK) cells, and cytotoxic T cells. This cell-mediated immunity is responsible for attacking tumor cells directly and killing them. Thus, helping in the protection and fight against cancer development.

Furthermore, the Beta-glucans stimulate the production of signaling proteins of the immune system, such as interleukin-1, interleukin-2, and cytokines.(3)which helps to further activate the immune system to kill cancer cells.

  • Preventing cancer metastasis: The studies have also shown that the maitake mushroom also helps to prevent metastasis of cancer. Metastasis is the transfer of cancer foci from a primary site via blood, lymphatics, or direct invasion to secondary sites. It is believed that the maitake mushroom causes necrosis of tumor cells in blood and lymph via activation of cellular immune-competent cells. This prevents the metastasis of cancer from one site to another.(4)
  • Synergistic Effect with Chemotherapy:Chemotherapy works by directly killing cancer cells. However, the maitake mushroom acts indirectly via activation of the immune system. It is found that the treatment of cancer is more effective when used together with maitake mushrooms. Moreover, chemotherapy causes various side effects like serious infections by lowering the immune system of our body. So, the use of immune system activating substances like maitake D-fraction as an adjuvant can reduce the side effects associated with chemotherapy.(5)

How To Consume Maitake Mushrooms?

It can be taken as a part of a diet like other mushrooms to boost your health. But to take maitake D-fraction for the therapeutic purpose of treating cancer you might need to take a higher dose. The maitake mushroom dosage for cancer is still not clear and further study is required to determine the scientific dosage. So,  you need to consult your doctor.  before consuming the maitake mushroom supplements. You should also be careful about any unusual symptoms or discomfort. If you develop any symptoms, you should stop taking them and see your healthcare provider.

What Are The Risks Involved?

Maitake mushroom is generally well tolerated. however, some common side effects need to be considered such as : 

  • Stomach upset
  • Allergic reactions: rashes, itching, hives, stomach cramps, difficulty in breathing, facial swelling
  • Lowering of blood sugar
  • Lowering of blood pressure

You should avoid taking maitake mushroom if you have any bleeding disorder or within two weeks of surgery.

Is Maitake Mushroom Good For Cancer Patients?

Yes, maitake mushrooms have been found to be good for cancer patients and several reasonings have been explained to determine maitake cancer treatment mechanisms. But you should consult your doctor about taking the maitake mushroom for cancer treatment and should also follow the doctor’s advice regarding standard treatment options for the treatment of cancer.

Final Thoughts

The maitake mushroom D-fraction extracts are effective in the treatment and prevention of various cancers like breast, liver, and lung cancer patients. However, the results are not conclusive yet to recommend maitake mushroom alone for the treatment of cancer. So, if you would like to take maitake mushrooms as a supplement for your cancer treatment or to promote general health, you need to talk to your doctor and follow the doctor’s advice.


  1. Namba, H. (1997). Maitake D-fraction: healing and preventive potential for cancer.Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine,12(1), 43-49. (1) 
  2. Thorne, C., Kodama, N., Komuta, K., & Nanba, H. (2002). Maitake MD-Fraction Original Research Permission.Alternative Medicine Review X,7. (2) 
  3. ‌Roldan‐Deamicis, A., Alonso, E., Brie, B., Braico, D. A., & Balogh, G. A. (2016). Maitake Pro4X has anti‐cancer activity and prevents oncogenesis in BALB c mice.Cancer Medicine,5(9), 2427–2441. (3) 
  4. ‌Namba, H. (1997). Maitake D-fraction: healing and preventive potential for cancer.Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine,12(1), 43-49. (4) 
  5. Namba, H. (1997). Maitake D-fraction: healing and preventive potential for cancer. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine,12(1), 43-49. (5)

Let Us Know Your Comments