Maitake and its Activity Against Diabetes

All mushrooms are an amazing source of nutrition for diabetics.

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus is a disease with impaired glucose, protein and lipid metabolism, low-grade chronic inflammation, and immune dysfunction, is a global public health crisis.

Polysaccharides from maitake are now known to significantly diminish levels of insulin and of sugar-bound (glycated) hemoglobin. (1) The latter measure, abbreviated HbA1C, indicates the three-month average of blood glucose concentration. It is a reliable measure of long-term blood sugar levels. 

Extra Blood sugar reduction:

The anti-diabetic properties of maitake polysaccharides are just one aspect of blood sugar regulation.

It turns out that maitake also contains a disaccharide (“double sugar”) called trehalose. This small carbohydrate is known for its ability to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase (1).

Inhibition of alpha-glucosidase activity leads to a lower rate of glucose absorption in the small intestine. Drug companies are now developing alpha-glucosidase inhibitors for regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics.

New drugs seem to be an unnecessary approach, since trehalose is already known for such activity and is found in nature.

The Insulin Bonus:

Regulating levels of blood glucose and insulin are only part of the story when it comes to fighting diabetes. Over time, chronic impairment of carbohydrate metabolism can cause insulin resistance.

This condition is characterized as the failure of insulin to transport blood glucose into cells where it is needed for energy.

Restoring insulin sensitivity is therefore also crucial for healthy carbohydrate metabolism.

This is where maitake mushroom nutrition can provide an anti-diabetic bonus.

Studies show that a particular glycoprotein (“sugar-protein” combo) of maitake has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity (2)

Maitake lowers blood sugar levels. Simultaneously, the cellular sensitivity for insulin is increased, which facilitates improved cellular sugar utilisation. 

Clinical Study: Specifically in the polysaccharide extract of Grifola frondosa, a clinical study reported to control blood sugar levels and produce 30% reduction in blood sugar levels in some patients with Type II diabetes. (3)

in-vivo Study: We previously demonstrated that Grifola frondosa has bioactivities in improving glycemic responses. A 2015 study investigated the immunomodulatory effects of Maitake on the peripheral blood cells and splenocytes. The results showed Maitake mushrooms having a positive effect on rats with type 2 diabetes. During the study, Maitake mushroom consumption had a positive effect on glucose levels in rats. Maitake may decrease cell-medicated immunity in normal subjects and improve hyperglycemia and diabetes-induced alterations in cell-medicated and innate immunities in T2DM rats. (4)                                                                                                            

References:

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12224646/

2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17671829/

3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11903406/

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26349512

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