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Maitake Mushrooms

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Also known as: Grifola frondosa, king of mushrooms, dancing mushroom, cloud mushroom.

Potential uses: It's thought that the active ingredient (beta-glucan polysaccharide) in maitake mushrooms can boost the immune system.

Usual dose: About 3 to 5 grams per day. May be consumed as capsules, tablets, liquid extract, or raw mushrooms.

Are there any risks? These mushrooms have not been studied thoroughly in people, so the side effects are not well known.

What does the research show? In the lab, in studies in mice, an active ingredient in the mushrooms has been associated with an increase in immune response in bone marrow cells and a reduction in the toxic effects of Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin) on the cells. But there is no clear evidence that maitake mushrooms will affect breast cancer. More research is needed.

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