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Do Mushroom Supplements Really Work? Here Is What You Need to Know

by Shelly Roberts

June 08, 2022

Supplements continue to be a popular choice among health-conscious individuals. The 2021 Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements found that 4 out of 5 Americans use supplements today.

While mushrooms have been an important component of the human diet for thousands of years, mushroom supplements are a relatively recent addition to the market. The latter provide a quick, convenient, and reliable method of obtaining the dietary benefits of mushrooms.

If you’re new to mushroom supplements, you probably have quite a few questions. What are their benefits, and do mushroom supplements really work? Getting the facts and learning how to recognize quality mushroom supplements are important first steps. Consider these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding mushroom supplements.

What Are Mushroom Supplements?

Most mushroom supplements fall into two main categories: dried and milled whole food mushroom powder and mushroom extracts. Whole food mushroom powder contains all the nutrients and bioactive compounds of the mushroom’s full cycle, including the mycelium and fruiting bodies. Extracts typically contain a standardized dosage of one of the mushroom’s bioactive compounds such as beta-glucan polysaccharides. After the desired component is extracted from the mushroom in hot water or alcohol, it may be packaged in liquid form or dried and sold as an extract powder.

Mushroom supplements are available in several forms for easy inclusion into your daily wellness routine:

  • Mushroom powder: usually packaged in resealable pouches or plastic canisters. Loose powder blends are taken by mixing a scoop into beverages or by incorporating them into your cooking.
  • Mushroom capsules: Mushroom powder blends are also available in capsule form for ease and convenience.
  • Mushroom tinctures: Liquid extracts are usually packaged in dropper bottles that make adding drops to a beverage, broth, or soup easy.
  • Ready-to-use mushroom products: Mushroom powder blends and extracts are combined with other ingredients in flavorful, ready-to-use beverage and broth mixes that are reconstituted with water.

Regardless of the form, it is important to ensure that your mushroom supplement is made with high-quality, organic mushrooms grown under strict standards for safety and purity. Look for a brand that controls the cultivation and manufacturing process from start to finish and submits its products for third-party certification.

What Are the Benefits of Taking Functional Mushroom Supplements?

Functional mushrooms contain many nutrients and bioactive compounds that have earned them the superfood status. Their use has been documented in many parts of the world for centuries. As a whole, they can support immune system functioning and gut health.

Each functional mushroom species also has specific health and wellness benefits tied to its characteristic properties. You can choose the supplement that best matches your wellness goals. A few examples include:

Lion’s Mane

The shaggy, culinary mushroom known as lion’s mane contains beneficial hericenones in its fruiting body and erinacines in its mycelium. A lion’s mane supplement works to support a healthy brain and nervous system.

Reishi

One of the most well-known of the functional mushrooms, reishi is an adaptogen that helps the body maintain homeostatic equilibrium when faced with internal and external stressors. Reishi supports restful sleep and the body’s response to stress.

Maitake

Through its complex polysaccharides, maitake, or the “rippled dancing mushroom,” supports metabolic health and healthy weight. Taking maitake regularly can help maintain your weight alongside a balanced diet and exercise.

Cordyceps

With support for the cardiac and respiratory systems, cordyceps supplements are chosen by athletes and nonathletes alike. This functional mushroom supports energy and endurance.

Do Mushroom Supplements Really Work?

Mushroom supplements offer the same low-calorie nutrition found in their corresponding mushroom species. By balancing free radicals, their antioxidants can help combat damage caused by oxidative stress. Beta-glucan polysaccharides may support the immune system and the body’s response to inflammation. Prebiotic fiber from functional mushroom supplements supports the growth of diverse bacterial species in the gut.

Daily use of functional mushrooms requires a steady supply of high-quality products, as well as the time and ability needed to prepare them. This is where whole food mushroom supplements prove especially beneficial. Since functional mushrooms are most effective when taken daily, mushroom supplements are a convenient and accessible way to receive your daily dose.

How Long Does It Take for Mushroom Supplements to Work?

While some supplements may be taken occasionally, others work best when taken daily. As a nutritional supplement, mushrooms fall into the latter category. Over time, usually after two to three weeks, the benefits of the mushroom supplement work to support your body’s optimal functioning.

Either a daily dose as small as 2g (about one teaspoonful) of good quality mushroom powder or a comparable dose of three capsules provides the recommended amount of nutrients and bioactive compounds. Taking two doses each day for the first few weeks may help your body adapt even faster.

Can Mushroom Supplements Work for Me?

Mushroom supplements are an easy and accessible way to harness the power of functional mushroom superfoods. With common benefits and unique attributes, different mushroom species offer a variety of ways to support your health and wellness goals. Try a single species in either powder or capsule form based on your priority goal, or start with a multi-species blend that benefits multiple systems. With so many options, there’s something for everyone, and it shouldn’t take long to find the right mushroom supplement product to meet your needs.

Do mushroom supplements really work? Om Mushroom products say “yes!” Created from functional, whole food, organic mushrooms grown and processed under the strictest standards, our products contain the proper daily dosage to support your body’s optimal functioning. To take advantage of the benefits of functional mushroom products, shop now or subscribe to save!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Functional mushroom products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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