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Maitake should be recognized as a potential therapeutic adjunct for persons with HIV/AIDS. In a January 17, 1992 report on an in vitro study conducted for possible anti-HIV drugs, the National Cancer Institute noted that Maitake D-fraction was effective against HIV. The NCI results demonstrated that D-fraction can prevent HIV-infected helper T-cells from being destroyed by as much as 97 percent in vitro. This is very important because measuring a patient’s helper T-cell count is considered as a benchmark in monitoring the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS. Japan’s National Institute of Health had announced similar conclusions one year earlier.
According to authors Lieberman and Babal:
“The researchers at NCI admitted that the maitake extract is as powerful as AZT (a commonly prescribed drug for AIDS, and the only FDA-approved drug at the time) but without the toxic side effects associated with AZT. These prestigious research institutes confirmed in test-tube experiments that D-fraction enhances the activity of other immune cells as well as T lymphocytes. Since then, a number of practitioners involved in AIDS/HIV treatment have reported favorable responses in patients, including increases in helper T-cells and reversal of HIV-positive status to HIV-negative. This feedback supports what the studies show. Some physicians are also applying D-fraction extract topically as a treatment for Kaposi’s sarcoma, a skin cancer which often develops in AIDS patients.”
Two doctors, whose work with maitake has been most often cited, are well known for their successes with HIV/AIDS patients: physician and health freedom activist Dr. Joan Priestley (Omni Medical Center, Anchorage, Alaska) and Dr. David Hughes (Hyperbaric Oxygen Institute, San Bernardino, California).
Dr. Priestley has found considerable improvement in her HIV/AIDS patients who are taking maitake. She has found that her patients’ T-lymphocyte cell counts have stabilized or increased over the course of treatment. She has also found D-fraction to be a more effective treatment than maitake tablets alone. “I have used maitake products on my patients for some time now and have been very impressed with the results,” says Dr. Priestley. “Topical application produced good regression of Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions in one AIDS patient, which I consider a major accomplishment.” Kaposi’s sarcoma is an often fatal skin condition found among some 40 percent of HIV/AIDS patients.
In 1993, Dr. Priestley told health writer Anthony Cichoke:
Kaposi’s sarcoma is clearly improved by taking maitake for some of her patients.
Maitake extract (D-fraction) seems to be working better with her patients than maitake tablets.
Those patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma, who had received radiation treatment before taking maitake, showed dramatic improvement.
Many symptoms of AIDS were generally improved after taking maitake.
Dr. Priestley adds this caveat: More comprehensive and controlled studies are needed to investigate maitake’s activity against Kaposi’s sarcoma because it is known that natural remission sometimes occurs in such cases.
Meanwhile, Dr. David Hughes, of San Bernardino, has applied Maitake D-fraction mixed with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to treat Kaposi’s sarcoma in AIDS patients, reporting the lesions are phased out within several days. Dr. Hughes reports that one of his patients, who had been HIV positive, became HIV negative by taking Maitake D-fraction orally for a month.
According to Dr. Hughes, Maitake D-fraction may be applied directly to the Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions and recommends the following treatment:
Take two-thirds Maitake D-fraction liquid extract, plus one-third DMSO. Apply this mixture with a Q-tip to the Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions. The lesions reduce in a few days.
Dr. Hughes adds two cautions: 1) The mix gets quite hot—so it seems that maitake will react chemically with DMSO; and 2) some patients who kept using it continuously got quite “high.” He cautions patients not to use more than four times per day.
One of Dr. Hughes’s patients claimed his HIV-positive status was turned to negative by his use of maitake. On July 14, 1994, he tested positive for HIV, but a follow-up test result dated August 23 showed that he was HIVnegative. His diary shows the progress of his improvement:
07/20/94: …bad eye infection caused by getting motor oil in eyes….Dr Hughes suggested use of ampicillin and he looked at my blood and again noticed my blood counts were low…. he suggested maitake.
07/21/94: Took maitake as prescribed, one teaspoon in morning and evening.
07/22/94: Continued regime.
07/23/94: Continued regime.
07/24/94: I cut myself and noticed blood was bright pink (oxygenation).
07/25/94: Felt higher energy levels and between ampcillin and maitake. Eye infection cleared up.
07/26/94: Continued higher energy level.
07/28/94:Certain facial lines appeared minimal compared to prior treatment.
07/29/94: Continued higher energy level.
07/30/94: Cut myself again and blood still bright pink.
07/31/ 94: Last day of taking maitake. Dr. Hughes wanted to have blood stabilized and then have blood panel done…. CD4/CD8 ratio went from 0.8 to 1.0 and HIV went from positive to negative.
While we can neither be sure about the initial diagnosis nor ascertain that the condition was thus reversed, it seems evident that Maitake D-fraction played some kind of positive role in this patient’s improvement, probably enhancing his overall immune health.
But, fortunately, we have additional evidence that beta-glucan is an important aspect of HIV/AIDS treatment—and this evidence offers further support for use of maitake by such patients:
One study comes to us from the prestigious M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In 1986, researchers administered an intravenous solution containing beta-glucan to end-stage AIDS patients who experienced notable improvements in several immune “markers,” including interleukin-1 and interleukin-2. Both of these are integral to healthy immune function.
In another study, 20 male patients from 18 to 60 years of age with AIDS or Aids Related Complex (ARC) were enrolled in an evaluation of intravenously administered beta-glucan. Baseline and serial determinations of immune function were obtained. The treatment group exhibited elevations in their plasma interleukin-1, 2, and 3 levels, as well as improvement in helper-suppressor T-cell ratios with IV infusion of beta-1,3-glucan. Elevation of interleukin-1, 2 , and 3 is indicative of immune enhancement and activation. Interleukin-2 enhancement in patients infected with HIV is of notable value, as the virus is known to infect helper T-cells responsible for the production of this important immune system messenger. The production of interleukin-2 alerts the dormant immune system of infectious assault, resulting in the multiplication of immune B-cells and interferon production.
A particularly compelling study concerning HIV was conducted with a form of beta-glucan synthesized from glucose. It was established that beta-1,3-glucan inhibits the attachment of the HIV virus to T-cells. Even more compelling was the fact that after the virus and cells were exposed to beta-1,3-glucan for two weeks, complete inhibition of the replication of the HIV virus ensued. These results prompted a clinical trial in which the beta-1,3-glucan was administered intravenously to three HIV patients. A significant rise in immune system marker CD4 was accomplished.
In light of these improved immune system markers, treatment of immune-compromised patients with Maitake D-fraction or intravenous beta-glucan should be seriously considered.
Source: Maitake Mushroom Magic