Maitake Mushroom Improves Ovulation in Women’s Health Study

December 28, 2010

A patented mushroom extract may be a viable alternative to pharmaceutical treatment of the common female disorder polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

PCOS is a disorder of the female endocrine system that affects an estimated 5–10% of women at reproductive age. Symptoms of PCOS include infertility, irregular menstrual periods, and a host of other complications.

Since published science indicates a connection between PCOS and insulin resistance, insulin-sensitizing drugs that induce ovulation are a common choice for treatment.

A multi-center Japanese study conducted with 80 PCOS patients now suggests that a patented maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) can encourage ovulation at comparable rates to a commercial pharmaceutical.

Researchers assigned 72 patients to the ovulation-inducing drug clomiphene citrate (commercially known as Clomid) or the patented maitake extract SX-Fraction (MSX) from Mushroom Wisdom Inc. (East Rutherford, NJ) for 12 weeks.

While patients on Clomid ovulated at a rate of 94%, those on the mushroom extract managed an ovulation rate of 77%.

While clomiphene citrates are generally well-tolerated for most people, Mushroom Wisdom notes that a series of side effects can occur from the pharmaceutical, including hot flashes, abdominal discomfort, mood swings, and an increased chance of delivering twins or experiencing multiple pregnancies.

“No significant adverse side effects have been reported for MSX over the eight years that it has been on the market,” says Mushroom Wisdom.

Further details of this study on a natural alternative product for women’s health can be found at the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.