In one study a combination of MD-fraction and whole Maitake powder was investigated to determine its effectiveness for 22- to 57-year-old cancer patients in stages II-IV. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58.3 percent of liver cancer patients, 68.8 percent of breast cancer patients, and 62.5 percent of lung cancer patients; though the trial found a less than 10-20 percent improvement for leukemia, stomach cancer, and brain cancer patients. Unfortunately there has been little human research and clinical trials studying Maitake and Prostrate Cancer. A 2001 study conducted at the Toya Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan found that Maitake polysaccharides increased the killing power of macrophage immune cells, and another study by researchers at the New York Medical College, found that beta-glucan, a polysaccharide from Maitake, drastically slowed the growth of Prostate cancer cells, causing a nearly complete cancer cell death. Obviously more clinical studies are needed.
In addition to its reported cancer fighting qualities Maitake supplementation has also been used to regulate blood pressure, glucose and insulin, serum and liver lipids, and even for weight loss. There have been few reported side effects from taking Maitake MD-fraction. It appears the one area of concern is that Maitake can lower blood sugar and therefore those with low blood sugar should consult with their doctor before taking this supplement.
There is little hard data about dosage for Maitake MD-fraction. Many reports appear to recommend 0.5 to 1.0mg for each 2 pounds of body weight. I have chosen to start on the low end of this scale, taking 45mg of the Maitake MD-fraction per day and await the results. It is best taken on an empty stomach.