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Maitake is the Japanese name for the edible fungus Grifola frondosa , which is characterized by a large fruiting body and overlapping caps. Maitake has been used traditionally both as a food and for medicinal purposes. Polysaccharide constituents of maitake have been associated in animal studies with multiple bioactive properties. Extracts of maitake mushroom, and particularly the beta-glucan polysaccharide constituent, have been associated with immune modulation in pre-clinical studies, and are hypothesized to exert anti-tumor effects as a result of these immune properties. Human data are limited, and at this time there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of oral maitake for any indication.
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