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

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 or guaranteed minimum 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 analyses and certifications from accredited labs and licensed certification agencies, respectively. With hot-water-extracted mushroom products that have been spray-dried, it is important to know if the product contains any carriers such as maltodextrin that were used in the spray-drying process. 

Some manufacturers neglect to list processing aids on their product labels. The content of carrier compounds can make up as much as 40% of the extracted and spray dried mushroom powder product, Mushrooms that have been extracted with solvents such as methanol and ethanol may also contain residual solvent material if the solvent recovery process was not thorough. 

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, gut health, and overall well-being. 

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 hericenone compound in its fruiting body and erinacine compounds in its mycelium.Lion’s Mane supplements work to support healthy brain and nervous system functioning as well as provide support for conditions of depression and anxiety. 

Reishi 

One of the most well-known of the functional mushrooms, Reishi is a highly valued adaptogen that helps the body maintain homeostatic equilibrium when faced with internal and external stressors. Reishi has also been reported to support restful sleep, immune function, cardiovascular function, and metabolic energy levels. . 

Maitake 

Through its content of complex polysaccharides, Maitake, or the “rippled dancing mushroom,” supports metabolic health, healthy blood sugar levels, and healthy weight. Taking Maitake regularly along with a balanced diet and exercise can help to achieve your weight management goals. . 

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? 

 Whole food, full spectrum, functional mushroom supplements provide low-calorie, high-density nutrition like that which is found in the more familiar culinary mushroom species. . However, functional mushroom species provide many other health benefits beyond just good nutrition, by balancing free radicals, mushroom antioxidants such as glutathione, ergothioneine, and polyphenols can help combat damage caused by oxidative stress. Beta-glucan polysaccharides support and potentiate the immune system. Prebiotic fiber from functional mushroom supplements supports the growth of diverse populations of the probiotic microorganisms that comprise the microbiome 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 level 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 and for the results to be noticed 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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