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Effects of Maitake mushroom fractions on blood pressure of Zucker fatty rats.

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Department of Physiology, Medicine and Pathology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA.


A link exists between insulin resistance and many chronic disorders of aging including advancing-age. A safer means to prevent or, at least, slow the erosion of insulin sensitivity would provide a novel approach to better health. We compared the ability of a specific extract labeled fraction SX, as well as whole Maitake powder, fraction ES and fraction D of Maitake to influence SBP and various pertinent biochemical parameters when given orally to Zucker Fatty rats, a model of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. A secondary gain was the ability to ascertain the effects of bitter melon, olive oil, and sesame oil alone and combined with fraction SX to influence SBP. We found that a water-soluble fraction obtained from Maitake mushroom (SX) lowers SBP and fasting blood glucose significantly over the three to six weeks of study. While whole Maitake fraction lowered SBP effectively, the effects on fasting blood sugar were not apparent under the conditions of study. In contrast to fraction SX and fraction D, developed primarily to enhance immunity and suppress tumor development and growth, has essentially no effect on SBP under the conditions examined. An ether soluble fraction designated ES lowers SBP significantly. Interestingly, olive oil, unlike sesame oil, also lowers SBP. Finally, bitter melon and a combination of SX plus bitter melon also lower SBP. We conclude that fraction SX of Maitake mushroom may be useful to treat insulin resistance alone or combined with other natural products such as bitter melon and niacin-bound chromium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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