Rich in minerals (such as potassium, calcium and magnesium), vitamins (B2, D2 and niacin), fiber and amino acids, maitake is a nutritional powerhouse. It also has the β-glucans that have profound effects too.
- Blood glucose control: This mushroom is commonly used to treat diabetes as it can reduce blood glucose levels. This is likely due to a-glucans effect on insulin receptors increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Anti-cancer & anti-tumor effects: It can slow the growth of tumors and stimulate certain immune cells giving it anti-tumor effects. By stimulating macrophages, natural killer cells and T-cells, maitake may block tumor growth and improve the immune response of cancer patients.
- Immune system stimulant: Supplements are marketed to ‘enhance immune function’ as the β-glucans activate immune cells.
- Other benefits include: Lower blood pressure, aid in weight-loss (probably via improved insulin sensitivity) and lower cholesterol levels.
Find more about this and other mushrooms on my article The Wonderful World of Mushrooms.