US patent 7214778 ("Glycoprotein with antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antiobesity and antihyperlipidemic effects from grifola frondosa, and a method for preparing same") was the result of extensive research in collaboration with facilities in the U.S. and Japan. The investigations found anti-diabetic activities of SX-Fraction extracted from Maitake mushroom. While SX-Fraction has been available in vegetable tablet form as a finished Maitake product. However, the New Jersey-based mushroom extract specialist said it will also now offer SX-fraction as a standardized extract, PSX-Fraction, for use in dietary supplement geared towards supporting metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a common precondition for both coronary disease and type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Foundation estimates over 50 million people in the U.S. have the syndrome, which is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors including: Abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, high blood pressure and insulin resistance.
As a result, Maitake Products claims there is significant market potential for SX-fraction. The company has devised a water soluble glycoprotein extract with a protein to saccharide ratio between 75:25 and 90:10. The patent covers the invention of extracting water soluble glycoprotein from the grifola frondosa mushroom, purified to an average molecular weight of 20,000. The ethanol-water extraction procedure consists of extracting ground or pulverized body of the mushroom with ethanol and then exposing the residue to hot water extraction. Ethanol is again added to the water-soluble extract to a concentration of 50 to 75 percent. The mushroom has also been studied for pharmaceutical purposes relating to cancer. The rippling flower-like maitake has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Japanese medicine for a host of ailments and for regulating immunostimulant activity.
In 2006, the US Department of Agriculture published information on mushroom varieties, including maitake, in its National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. All of the varieties were found to have a significant amount of copper, which helps the body to produce red blood cells and to drive a variety of chemical reactions that are key to human health.