About Mushroom Quality
Not all mushroom supplements are created equally. In fact, most aren't created very well. Learn more about harvesting and extraction here.
What's in a High-Quality Mushroom Supplement?
How a better approach to production and extraction makes all the difference in functional mushrooms.
Let's Talk About Production
Whole Fruiting Body vs. Mycelium - What's the Difference?
Whole Fruiting Body Production
This is the preferred source for functional mushrooms, and the term refers to what most people think of when you think of mushrooms. “Whole fruiting body” is the real “mushroom” that grows out of the tree, log, or stump - and what you hope the supplement you are taking is made from.
The fruiting body is where you find the greatest concentration of active compounds that give functional mushrooms their beneficial properties. While growing and harvesting this part of the mushroom is more expensive, it's the only method we use for extraction.
When some people refer to the other part of the mushroom or the “roots”, then they are talking about the “mycelium”. For example, If the “fruiting body” is the flower, then the “mycelium” would be the rest of the stem and roots.
Some manufacturers produce huge quantities of mycelium that has been grown on wheat, oats, rye, sorghum, brown rice, or other grain. This is where you will see the term “mycelium on grain”, “myceliated brown rice” or “myceliated oats” on the ingredient list. These production methods are cheaper and faster, but result in a less nutrient-rich end product.
In mycelium products, you normally won't be able to find beta-d glucans on the label.
Learn About: Beta-D Glucans
What on earth is that, Love Mushrooms?
Well, friend, β-glucans are one of the most abundant forms of polysaccharides found inside the cell wall of bacteria and fungus. It's hard to summarize their effects, and more studies are needed, but here's a quote: "β-glucans derived from different sources will elicit variable immune and anti-cancer responses."
There is a strong suggestion that these Beta-D Glucans could be a powerful compound in increasing immunity to various diseases in humans.
Energy— Dan, Accountant
"Cordyceps seems to give me a little more energy. Good during winter. Usually lazy."
Convenient— Geoff, Researcher
"I take Reishi most mornings, it makes me feel like I'm doing something good for my body. The capsules are easy to take."
Delivery + Service— Dana, Teacher
"Delivery was pretty fast. Everything was good and customer service was nice. I'd recommend Love Mushrooms."
Let's Talk About Extraction
Hot Water vs. Alcohol Extraction
There are many beneficial compounds in mushrooms, like beta-d glucans, triterpenes, and sterols - but these are “locked” in the cell walls of the mushroom. Our bodies are not designed to process this fibrous material.
In order to make all of the most beneficial compounds in mushrooms available, we must first run the whole fruiting body through an extraction process.
Hot Water Extraction
In this extraction method, mushroom fruit bodies are simmered in hot water for several hours. Afterwards, these mushrooms are typically “spray dried” and turned into a fine powder. This powder can then be added to capsules - like we do with Love Mushrooms.
Hot water extraction is the preferred method of extraction for most types of mushrooms because it lowers the risk of the destruction of beneficial compounds which is a small risk with alcohol extraction.
Some of the compounds in specific types of mushrooms are not soluble in water, meaning hot water extraction isn't the right choice. It's most important to get the major beneficial compounds into our extract powders, even if there is some small risk of mild material degradation in the process.
In these cases, alcohol extraction becomes the best choice. That's because using alcohol (typically ethanol) as the solvent helps bring out terpenes in the final product.
Final Learning: Extraction Ratios
Some of our products' nutritional info labels show a ratio - for example, Lion's Mane shows an 8:1 extraction ratio. That means 8 pounds of raw material was used to create a single pound of extract, as the quality control and extraction processes cut a full 7 pounds of weight out.
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
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