As the global wellness trend continues to grow, so does the demand for naturally-sourced supplements that promote health and vitality. Among these, mushroom extracts have garnered significant attention due to their array of health benefits.
At Upraising, we only use 100% fruiting body mushroom extracts for our functional coffees. However, not all mushroom products do the same. To derive maximum benefits, it's crucial that the extracts are made from 100% fruiting bodies – the "top bit" of the mushroom. But why is that so?
Most of the bioactive compounds linked to a variety of health benefits are densely concentrated in the fruiting bodies
A mushroom is not just a simple fungus, but rather a complex organism with distinct parts, each playing different roles. Its structure can be broadly divided into two sections :
- The fruiting body, which is the umbrella-like structure we often associate with mushrooms
- The mycelium, which is the root-like network existing beneath the soil.
The mycelium serves as the mushroom’s life support, absorbing nutrients from the surrounding environment and aiding in the growth and development of the fruiting body. The fruiting body, on the other hand, is responsible for reproduction, producing billions of microscopic spores that will potentially become new mushrooms.
Why are 100% fruiting body Mushrooms better?
Most of the bioactive compounds, including antioxidants, polysaccharides, and beta-glucans that mushrooms are praised for, are densely concentrated in the fruiting bodies. These compounds have been linked to a variety of health benefits such as boosting immunity, enhancing brain function, and reducing inflammation.
Unfortunately, many mushroom supplements on the market use extracts derived from the mycelium rather than the fruiting body.
This is primarily because cultivating mycelium is less time-consuming and more cost-effective. Mycelium can be grown on a variety of substrates like grains, which are then ground into a powder and sold as mushroom supplements. However, mycelium-based extracts lack the rich concentration of beneficial compounds found in fruiting bodies.
Even worse, mycelium cultivated on grain can result in a significant concentration of carbohydrates in the final product. This occurs when the mycelium does not fully metabolise the grain prior to harvest. As a result, you may end up consuming more grain filler than actual mushroom in these kinds of supplements.
Making the Right Choice
As consumers, it’s vital to understand what we are buying and ingesting. It’s highly recommended to choose mushroom supplements that specify they are made from 100% fruiting body extracts. Brands should also provide transparency about their testing practices and quality control measures to ensure that what's on the label is what's in the bottle.
While these products may come with a higher price tag, the health benefits and potency they offer far outweigh the cost.
In the rapidly growing wellness industry, mushroom supplements stand out due to their numerous health-enhancing benefits. However, to truly harness the power of these incredible fungi, it's crucial to opt for products made from 100% fruiting body extracts. As with many things in life, with mushroom supplements, you truly get what you pay for.