What Are You Really Getting In Your Mushroom Extracts?


The below article from Nammex.com a leader in medicinal mushroom extracts and research shows that a lot of what goes into medicinal mushroom extracts is not what you payed for!

Here at Vitalherbs.co.uk we have always put important emphasis on showing you proof of quality and supplying a detailed analysis of all our organic medicinal mushroom extracts. 

We also take great care in only sourcing mushroom extracts that are grown as close to how nature intended, this means only mushrooms grown on wooden logs and not grain are used. And only the fruiting body is harvested not the mycelium.

This was done as we believed mother nature had things figured out and we did not want to second guess her and in so doing miss out on all the benefits that these very special mushrooms can impart on our bodies and minds.

The article below backs up our initial ideas and shows that buying what seems like a better extract in all the sales speak and hype is really not the case  when analysed. And also shows that getting that confirmation of quality through detailed analysis is key to getting all the benefits of these amazing mushrooms, instead of an empty wallet and a fancy packet of not much at all.

The Article 

A newly published research paper in the peer-reviewed  Journal of AOAC International titled “Measurement of β-Glucan in Mushrooms and Mycelial Products”, by Dr. Barry McCleary, CEO of Megazyme Ireland International, confirms testing results from the Nammex White Paper by Jeff Chilton, Redefining Medicinal Mushrooms, published in February, 2015.

Dr. McCleary’s paper examines different testing methods for measuring beta-glucans in basidiomycetes and utilizes whole dried mushrooms and off the shelf retail products as his sample material.

Table 2 shows the retail products tested:

Measurement of β-Glucan in Mushrooms and Mycelial Products - Table 2

Measurement of β-Glucan in Mushrooms and Mycelial Products – Table 2


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Table 10 shows the testing results:

Measurement of β-Glucan in Mushrooms and Mycelial Products - Table 10

Measurement of β-Glucan in Mushrooms and Mycelial Products – Table 10

The alpha-glucan content (starch) in most of these products is extremely high.

Table 2 demonstrates that Product#2 is a mycelium on grain product which shows 66.4% alpha-glucan and 3.2% beta-glucan.

Product#3 also appears to be mycelium on grain with 72.5% alpha-glucan and 1.3% beta-glucan.

Product#8, which claims to be a “full spectrum” Cordyceps sinensis product, shows mostly alpha-glucan, 64.%, and 1.5% beta-glucan. This without question is mycelium on grain.

Product#9, which claims to be “100% organic ganoderma lucidum” shows 45.2% alpha-glucan and 7.3% beta-glucan.

Product#12, which is “Chaga mushroom (mycelium)” with other ingredients of “brown rice flour” shows 70% alpha-glucan and 0.0% beta-glucan.

In Redefining Medicinal Mushrooms we tested grains just to see what their alpha-glucan and beta-glucan content looked like. Our results are as follows:

Grain Tests from Redefining Medicinal Mushrooms

Our testing showed that even grain has a small amount of beta-glucans (1-2%). Pure mushrooms have very little amounts of starch, 1-5%.

So for the retail products listed above, how much is actually mushroom and/or mycelium?

The tests results would indicate that there is more grain than fungal tissue.

Measurement of β-Glucan in Mushrooms and Mycelial Products - Figure 2

This peer reviewed research by Dr. McCleary, confirms the test results reported in Redefining Medicinal Mushrooms and should be a wake up call for both companies and consumers. Genuine mushroom products are significantly different in quality, containing high levels of beta-glucans and low levels of alpha-glucans.  

As the results above demonstrate, the “mushroom” product you have purchased might be more grain than mushroom.

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Neal has had long running relationship with Daoism and its health related practices including Chi Gung, Meditation and a interest in its methods of using herbs and food to generate health. He hopes his passion will rub off on you in a positive way.

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