Discover the Magical Mushrooms That Fight Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes and More
Maitake and shiitake mushrooms look like a good addition to stir fries, but they are packed with nutrients that reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, fight cancer cells and strengthen the immune system. These mushrooms prove their health benefits over and over again – so how can they help you too?
Maitake is among the “super foods” whose health benefits are known for thousands of years. It is rich in antioxidants and contains components called polysaccharides that benefit the immune system, cardiovascular system and even help fight cancer.
The name maitake comes from Japanese and means “dancing mushroom”. The Japanese used to say that the lucky person who finds the mushroom will dance with joy, as its benefits are priceless. Due to its special shape there have been many other nicknames like hen-of-the-woods, ram’s head and sheep’s head.
Maitake and cancer
Most studies in this field were made using medical extraction of the mushroom, which was found to encourage the creation of immune cells that destroy cancer cells and fight tumor development. The anti-cancer ability of maitake is attributed to its unique polysaccharides.
In 1997 it was found that maitake has an impact on the efficiency of chemotherapy, as it works synergistically with chemotherapy drug called mitomycin. It was also found that maitake has beneficial effect on cancer patients even if they discontinued the chemotherapy due to the severe side effects. A relief was also found from symptoms in cancer patients who have suffered a loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea and hair loss.
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