TOKYOA proprietary Maitake mushroom extract may induce ovulation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and may be useful as an adjunct therapy for patients who failed first-line PCOS treatment, according to a recent study (J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Dec;16(12):1295-9). Japanese researchers found the Maitake SX-fraction (MSX, U.S. Patent #7,214,778, from Mushroom Wisdom Inc.) worked almost as well as clomiphene citrate (CC), a commonly used drug to treat PCOS patients.
PCOS is one of the most common female endocrine disorders affecting about 5 to 10 percent of women of reproductive age, and is believed to be a leading cause of female infertility.
CC is usually well-tolerated for most of people, but may have side effects such as hot flashes, abdominal discomfort, weight gain, mood swings, nausea and dizziness, etc. as well as increasing the likelihood of delivering twins or multiple pregnancies. Another potential side effect is thick cervical mucus, which may lead to a decreased chance of getting pregnant.
Researchers conducted an open trial with 80 patients with PCOS at three clinics in Japan over a 3-year period. Seventy-two new patients were randomly assigned to receive MSX (Grifola frondosa) or CC monotherapy for up to 12 weeks. Eighteen patients who did not respond to the mushroom extract or CC were subjected to combination therapy of MSX and CC for up to 16 weeks. Eight patients with documented history of failure to CC received combination therapy from the beginning.
Twenty out of 26 patients in the MSX group (76.9 percent) and 29 out of 31 patients in the CC group (93.5 percent) showed ovulation. Also, six patients (out of 8) who failed in CC therapy showed ovulation when using a combined therapy of CC and MSX.
In this study, 3 of the 26 patients in the MSX group wished to be pregnant and all three conceived after the MSX treatment or a combination of both MSX and CC. None of the CC group that wanted to conceive did. No significant adverse side effects have been reported for MSX in the eight years that it has been on the market.