Maitake mushrooms are highly sought after for their anti-cancer properties. They are abundant in polysaccharides and polysaccharide-protein complexes that the body uses to fortify the immune system. The mushroom’s beta-glucan content works to promote important immune system functions, effectively activating white blood cells that fight off microorganisms that cause disease, including cancer. Maitake mushrooms enhance the activity of cells, inducing the production of interleukins and other lymphokines that have chemoprotective effects, slow tumor growth, and help to inhibit the spread of cancer. Regular consumption of maitake enhances the immune system as well as lowers blood pressure. The consumption of maitake mushrooms may regulate blood sugar levels and blood lipid levels. Research on animals suggests that maitake may help lower blood pressure in people. Maitake mushrooms can promote weight loss and decrease obesity when combined with light exercise. Studies have shown that Maitake mushrooms can lower cholesterol.