Maitake mushroom has a long history of use in traditional Eastern medicine. Some believe that it can help with weight loss, due to its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. But does the science support these claims? This article takes a look at the evidence to see if maitake mushrooms can help you lose weight.
Gifola frondosais the scientific name for maitake mushroom. The word maitake in Japanese meant dancing. It is called so because when people found it in the wild they dance with happiness because of its nutritional and medicinal values. The maitake mushroom usually grows at the root of large trees such as Oak, Elm, and Maple trees. The mushroom was found in Japan thousands of years ago and it is indigenous to Japan. Recently, it is found to be popular in the United States and other parts of the world for its usefulness in various health conditions.
The mushroom is rich in various nutrients such as antioxidants, beta-glucans, vitamins B and C, copper, potassium, fibers, minerals, and amino acids. Furthermore, it is considered nutritious because it is fat-free, has low sodium, low calorie, and is cholesterol-free. Owing to its nutritional value, it works as a good supplement for various nutritional content. Also, it is used for various health benefits. It is found that the maitake mushroom has antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-hepatitis, antiobesity, anticancer, and anti-HIV effects. The mushroom is also used in recipes for taste as well.
We have known that the maitake mushroom has various health-related benefits, In this article, we would focus on its effect on weight loss, how does it lead to weight loss, how to take maitake mushroom for weight loss, side effects of taking the maitake mushroom and when to avoid taking the maitake mushroom. So, let us find it out.
Maitake Mushroom For Weight Loss
During the process of standardization of maitake mushroom, there are various extracts of proteins and glycoproteins obtained. Among them, SX-fraction was found to be having a beneficial effect on weight loss and diabetes control. SX-fraction was named so because it's a glycoprotein in maitake mushroom which has a remarkable property of improving and preventing the features of syndrome X.(1)
Syndrome X is a group of conditions associated with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia that includes conditions such as obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus.
In 2007, SX-fraction got a U.S. patent for anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, anti-obesity, and anti-hyperlipidemic effects. A study conducted in 2001, found that Type 2 diabetics taking SX-Fraction for two months were able to significantly reduce their fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, insulin, and body weight.(2)
Although the health benefits of maitake mushrooms are promising, there are few side effects associated with the condition and there are conditions in which you need to be cautious before consumption of the mushroom. Therefore, you should use caution and consult your physician before taking maitake supplements, especially when you are taking them for therapeutic purposes.
So, let's discuss some of the mechanics of how maitake mushrooms lead to weight loss
1. SX-fraction activity for the treatment of SyndromeX: There are certain parameters of the insulin induction pathway such as insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate 1, and protein kinase B involved with Syndrome X responsible for insulin resistance and thus leads to obesity and other related disorders. SX fraction in maitake mushroom helps to regulate and reactivate this insulin induction signaling pathway, thus improving insulin resistance and glucose uptake into the cells. This is responsible for improving obesity.(3) In addition, it is also studied that the extracts of maitake mushrooms also inhibit the conversion of cells into adipocytes. These factors are responsible for reducing weight and controlling obesity.
2. Fiber content: The maitake mushroom has got a good amount of fiber. The raw form of maitake mushroom contains 2.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Having a good amount of fiber in a diet is helping in losing weight and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. Fibre provides nutrition to good microbes of the gut making our gut microbiome environment healthy which helps to avoid weight gain. In addition, fibers also make us feel less hungry and we consume less amount of food, This also helps in reducing the weight.
3. Low carbohydrate: Total calorie intake while taking maitake mushroom in the diet is low. Thus, the maitake mushroom can be considered one of the low carbohydrate diets. The low-carb diet along with the high content of fibers makes you feel fuller. You can avoid a high-calorie diet if you are not feeling hungry and thus lose weight.
How To Consume Maitake Mushrooms?
You can buy maitake mushrooms as a whole and cook them in various forms like fries, soups, salads, or smoothies. You must use healthy cooking oil to lose weight. However, eating a boiled form of maitake mushroom is the best way to lose weight. It can also be bought in powder form so that you can add it to the tea or water. You can find the extracts in the form of supplements but they are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So, you need to find a good brand to buy for taking it as a supplement.
The supplement of the extracts is available in various forms like pills, capsules, or powder. Whichever form you choose, you need to take the 100 percent pure extracts without any fillers. Moreover, you should not take any kinds of supplements that do not disclose the information of ingredients. The dose of the supplement depends on your weight, age, and your overall health condition.
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 Side Effects of Maitake Mushroom Consumption?
Maitake mushroom is generally well tolerated and has minimum risks but there are some side effects you might experience while consuming maitake mushroom or its extracts. You might need to consult your doctor if these side effects become troublesome. Some side effects of maitake mushroom are:
- Stomach upset
- Allergic reactions: rashes, itching, hives, stomach cramps, difficulty in breathing, facial swelling
- Lowering of blood sugar
- Lowering of blood pressure
When Should You Avoid Maitake Mushrooms?
It is better to consult your doctor if you are incorporating maitake mushroom in your diet in large amounts or if you are taking the supplement of the mushroom. A few conditions are mentioned below in which you need to consult your doctor to take any amount of maitake mushroom:
1. You are pregnant or you are breastfeeding.
2. You have a history of low blood sugar or you are taking blood sugar-lowering medicines
3. You have a history of low blood pressure or taking blood pressure-lowering medicine.
4. If you have any autoimmune disease
5. You have any bleeding disorder
6. Don’t take maitake mushroom 2 weeks before or after surgery.
The maitake mushroom is found to be effective in losing weight as well as preventing weight gain by acting on signaling pathways or by reducing the intake of a high-calorie diet while maintaining the nutritious requirement of the body. The mushroom can be included in the regular diet or can also be taken as a supplement for promoting weight loss.
However, you need to talk to your healthcare provider before taking supplements for weight loss. Also, you need to talk to your doctor if you develop any side effects while taking maitake mushrooms for weight loss.
Having said that, if you felt that you are gaining weight instead of losing, then there might be a possibility that some other component of your diet might be involved in weight gain, as the maitake mushroom itself does not cause weight gain. In such situations, a proper review of your diet is also warranted.
- Babel, K. (2011). Mushrooms for Health and Longivity. InGoogle Books. Books Alive. (1) https://books.google.mk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Ww_rBgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT6&dq=Combination+for+Improved+Weight+Control+with+Medicinal+Mushrooms+and+Other+Compounds+++Ken+Babal
- Konno, S., Tortorelis, D. G., Fullerton, S. A., Samadi, A. A., Hettiarachchi, J., & Tazaki, H. (2001). A possible hypoglycaemic effect of maitake mushroom on Type 2 diabetic patients.Diabetic Medicine,18(12), 1010–1010. (2) https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1464-5491.2001.00532-5.x
- Konno S. (2020). SX-fraction: Promise for novel treatment of type 2 diabetes. World journal of diabetes,11(12), 572–583. (3) https://doi.org/10.4239/wjd.v11.i12.572