The Secret Behind Maitake For Powerful Immunity Support

 The Health Benefits of Maitake Mushroom

 What are the Beneficial Bioactive Compounds in Maitake?

 What are the Health Benefits of Maitake in Your Daily Routine?

What are Maitake Mushrooms? 

Maitake, also known as Grifola frondosa, translates to dancing mushroom in Japanese because, upon its discovery, it is said that people danced with happiness [1]. It is commonly recognized as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body to fight against mental or physical ailments and prevent the consequences of being in “fight-or-flight” mode [1]. Much like all medicinal mushrooms, Maitake are packed with an array of mushroom nutrients; they are rich in many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, allowing it to play a role in the treatment or prevention of many health conditions [1].  

Maitake mushrooms are typically found growing in the wild on the base of trees, particularly Oak, Elm, and Maple trees. They have a distinctive appearance, with overlapping fronds that resemble a fan or the ruffled feathers of a hen, resulting in its name “hen of the woods.” The mushrooms can grow to be quite large, sometimes weighing up to 50 pounds. 

The Health Benefits of Maitake Mushroom

In traditional medicine, Maitake mushrooms have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. More recently, researchers have been studying the potential health benefits of Maitake and have found that it contains a number of bioactive compounds that may help to support immune function, reduce inflammation, and even inhibit the growth of cancer cells. 

Maitake was found to downregulate TH2 cytokines, which suggests a benefit in treating cancer [2]. One study explained that a TH2 response can be detrimental to cancer patients because it decreases IFN-g, a cytokine responsible for stimulating the cellular immune response to cancer [2]. The cytokine pattern associated with a beneficial immune response to cancer is TH1 because the dominant cytokine in this pattern is IFN-g, thus, by preventing a TH2 response, Maitake has shown potential as an adjunct to cancer care [2].

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that is used to treat many conditions but can lead to depletion of important immune cells [3]. Administration of a Maitake mushroom extract to dexamethasone-treated mice was able to recover more than 40% the level of depleted T and natural killer cells; these are immune cells important to innate and adaptive immunity [3].

Additionally, in another animal study, Maitake administration over 15 days was able to prevent more than 60% breast tumor development, blocked tumor invasiveness, and increased overall survival rates [3]. This study suggests that Maitake has beneficial immunomodulatory potential and may decrease tumor burden and metastasis, thus decreasing mortality rates. 

what is maitake mushroom good for


What are the Beneficial Bioactive Compounds in Maitake? 


One of the most notable compounds found in Maitake mushrooms are beta-D-glucans, a type of polysaccharide that has illustrated metabolic and immunomodulating properties, such as anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral actions [4]. The beta-D-glucans present in mushrooms differ from other sources as they are structurally unique and recognized by receptors located on the surface of immune cells; thus, certain medicinal mushrooms have greater bioactivity and specific immunomodulatory properties that other sources of beta-D-glucans do not [4].  

Macrophages are specialized cells in our bodies involved in the detection and destruction of bacteria and other harmful organisms. These immune cells, along with many others, carry specific receptors for beta-D-glucans, such as dectin-1 [4]. Dectin-1 is the most abundant receptor, and its activation stimulates processes that lead to the death and elimination of pathogenic microorganisms that may invade the body [4]. 


Maitake mushrooms are considered a rich source of vitamin B3. Vitamin B3, also known as niacin or nicotinic acid, is a precursor of NAD and NADP, a cofactor that is used by many enzymes for different cellular processes within the body [5]. High NAD levels have been found to inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which, when overproduced, can offset the actions of immune cells by causing immunosuppression [5,6]. Niacin treatment has also been found to increase glutathione levels and decrease malondialdehyde levels, a marker of oxidative stress [5].  

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between ROS production and the antioxidant capacity of the body [7]. Chronically elevated oxidative stress has been associated with impaired immune responses and is seen in long-lasting viral infections, such as HIV and EBV [7]. Glutathione (GSH) is a powerful antioxidant and regulator of oxidative stress [8]. Increased GSH levels have been shown to enhance immune function markers and reduce oxidative stress biomarkers [8].  


Maitake also contains Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. Riboflavin is used by the body to metabolize fats, protein, and carbohydrates into glucose for energy [9]. However, it also acts as an antioxidant important for immune system function thanks to the two co-enzymes, FMN and FAD, which are involved in many oxidation/reduction reactions in the body [9]. Deficiencies of riboflavin have been noted in common conditions such as anemia, cataracts, migraines, and thyroid dysfunction [9]. 


Decreased levels of phosphorous in the body can increase the susceptibility of individuals to infections [10]. Without adequate phosphorous levels, weakened immune responses have been noted in addition to lack of recovery in damaged cells, as phosphorous is also involved in the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues [10]. 


In addition to containing phosphorous, Maitake is also a source of potassium. Recent studies have found that there is an imbalance of potassium within the body in certain infections, such as SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) [11]. Higher levels of potassium are excreted through the urine, resulting in hypokalemia and an increase in disease severity [11]. Not only does this leave patients susceptible to arrhythmia and respiratory dysfunction, but potassium dysregulation was also found to promote viral pathogenicity and patients with severe COVID-19 had to be treated with potassium to return levels back to normal [11].  

Vitamin D 

Lastly, Maitake is an important source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a regulator of the innate immune system; the first line of defense against infection [12]. Vitamin D is able to enhance the antimicrobial activity of many immune cells, while also increasing the efficiency at which they do their jobs [12]. Vitamin D deficiency has been seen in many chronic medical conditions caused by inflammation and immune dysregulation, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis [12].  

how to use maitake mushroom

What are the Health Benefits of Maitake in Your Daily Routine? 

While enhancing immunity is a powerful function of the Maitake mushroom, it has also been shown to provide benefits in improving heart health and regulating glucose levels. Research has found that Maitake was able to lower common signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes (high blood sugar, increased urine volume, glucose in the urine) while also improving glucose tolerance levels [13]. Additionally, Maitake illustrated the ability to improve lipid profiles by inhibiting the accumulation of lipids in the liver and inhibiting the elevation of lipids in the blood [14].   

Overall, incorporating Maitake mushrooms into your daily routine may offer a number of health benefits to support your overall health and well-being: 

  1. Boosting immune function 
  2. Supporting cardiovascular health 
  3. Reducing inflammation 
  4. May have anti-cancer properties 
  5. Supporting brain health against oxidative stress 

How to Use Maitake Mushrooms? 

While Maitake mushrooms can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and stir-fries, they can also be used in mushroom extract blends and as mushroom capsules to maximize their health benefits and reach therapeutic doses.  

Mushroom extract blends often come in powder form, making them a simple addition to your morning cup of coffee or tea. You could go even further and add them into your smoothies, or even into your cooking to provide another level of depth and earthiness.  

For those who enjoy taking supplements, mushroom extract capsules are a convenient way to consume the mushroom's health benefits without having to cook with it. With any mushroom product, it is important to follow dosage instructions and stay consistent; consistency is key when it comes to reaping the benefits of any supplement. 

how to use maitake mushroom

Where to Buy Maitake Mushroom Products? 

Although the market for medicinal mushrooms is wide, it is important to be mindful of what is inside of the products you are buying. If you find the words “full spectrum”, “mycelial biomass”, or “extracellular compounds” on the label, this means the product is made with the substrate the mushrooms are grown on, adding filler into your product. Full spectrum is often advertised as a beneficial aspect of the product by some companies, but you’d need to consume much more of it to achieve the same benefits as you would from a product containing 100% fruiting body.  

Eversio Wellness carries 100% fruiting body only mushroom extracts, and they consistently practice transparency to their consumers by sharing the COAs (Certificate of Analysis) of each product. The COAs reassure consumers that the percentage of compounds that are claimed to be in the products is scientifically confirmed through lab testing. Eversio Wellness also tests the heavy metal and microbial contents so you can be sure that your mushroom product is safe.  

Eversio Wellness has formulated two mushroom extract blends, the BALANCE blend and the REJUVENATE blend, which both contain Maitake. Both blends provide powerful antioxidant support in powdered form, making it a simple addition to any coffee, smoothie, or even meal.  

We hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below! 

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[1] Cronkleton, E. (2017, October 12). Maitake mushroom: Risks, benefits, and more. Healthline. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from  

[2] Guggenheim AG, Wright KM, Zwickey HL. Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2014 Feb;13(1):32-44. PMID: 26770080; PMCID: PMC4684115. 

[3] Aguilera-Braico DM, Balogh GA. CD3Ɛ immune restorative ability induced by Maitake Pro4x in immunosupressed BALBc mice. BMC Res Notes. 2022 Sep 23;15(1):307. doi: 10.1186/s13104-022-06201-1. PMID: 36138418; PMCID: PMC9502923.  

[4] Mirończuk-Chodakowska I, Kujawowicz K, Witkowska AM. Beta-Glucans from Fungi: Biological and Health-Promoting Potential in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era. Nutrients. 2021 Nov 6;13(11):3960. doi: 10.3390/nu13113960. PMID: 34836215; PMCID: PMC8623785. 

[5] Peterson CT, Rodionov DA, Osterman AL, Peterson SN. B Vitamins and Their Role in Immune Regulation and Cancer. Nutrients. 2020 Nov 4;12(11):3380. doi: 10.3390/nu12113380. PMID: 33158037; PMCID: PMC7693142. 

[6] Wang L, Kuang Z, Zhang D, Gao Y, Ying M, Wang T. Reactive oxygen species in immune cells: A new antitumor target. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jan;133:110978. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110978. Epub 2020 Nov 8. PMID: 33176269. 

[7] Iddir M, Brito A, Dingeo G, Fernandez Del Campo SS, Samouda H, La Frano MR, Bohn T. Strengthening the Immune System and Reducing Inflammation and Oxidative Stress through Diet and Nutrition: Considerations during the COVID-19 Crisis. Nutrients. 2020 May 27;12(6):1562. doi: 10.3390/nu12061562. PMID: 32471251; PMCID: PMC7352291. 

[8] Sinha R, Sinha I, Calcagnotto A, Trushin N, Haley JS, Schell TD, Richie JP Jr. Oral supplementation with liposomal glutathione elevates body stores of glutathione and markers of immune function. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jan;72(1):105-111. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.132. Epub 2017 Aug 30. PMID: 28853742; PMCID: PMC6389332. 

[9] Mahabadi N, Bhusal A, Banks SW. Riboflavin Deficiency. 2022 Jul 18. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 29262062. 

[10] Kumar P, Kumar M, Bedi O, Gupta M, Kumar S, Jaiswal G, Rahi V, Yedke NG, Bijalwan A, Sharma S, Jamwal S. Role of vitamins and minerals as immunity boosters in COVID-19. Inflammopharmacology. 2021 Aug;29(4):1001-1016. doi: 10.1007/s10787-021-00826-7. Epub 2021 Jun 10. PMID: 34110533; PMCID: PMC8190991.  

[11] Causton HC. SARS-CoV2 Infection and the Importance of Potassium Balance. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Oct 27;8:744697. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.744697. PMID: 34778307; PMCID: PMC8578622. 

[12] Sassi F, Tamone C, D'Amelio P. Vitamin D: Nutrient, Hormone, and Immunomodulator. Nutrients. 2018 Nov 3;10(11):1656. doi: 10.3390/nu10111656. PMID: 30400332; PMCID: PMC6266123.  

[13] Horio H, Ohtsuru M. Maitake (Grifola frondosa) improve glucose tolerance of experimental diabetic rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Feb;47(1):57-63. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.47.57. PMID: 11349892. 

[14] Kubo K, Nanba H. The effect of maitake mushrooms on liver and serum lipids. Altern Ther Health Med. 1996 Sep;2(5):62-6. PMID: 8795938. 

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