Fruiting body vs. Mycelium
Fruiting body vs. Mycelium
Mushroom supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their potential health benefits. However, there is some debate about which type of mushroom supplement is more effective: those made from the fruiting body or those made from the mycelium.
To understand this debate, it's important to first understand the difference between the fruiting body and mycelium of a mushroom. The fruiting body is the part of the mushroom that we typically see above ground. It's the part that we typically consume in food or supplements, and it's also the part that contains the spores that allow the mushroom to reproduce. The mycelium, on the other hand, is the thread-like network of cells that grows underground and is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the soil.
One argument in favor of using supplements made from the fruiting body is that they contain a wider range of nutrients than those made from the mycelium. For example, studies have shown that the fruiting body contains higher levels of beta-glucans, which are believed to have immune-boosting properties. In addition, fruiting body supplements are also believed to contain more antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can help protect the body against various diseases.
A study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms in 2013 compared the effects of consuming extracts made from the fruiting body and mycelium of the shiitake mushroom. The researchers found that the fruiting body extract had significantly higher levels of beta-glucans and other polysaccharides than the mycelium extract. The study also found that the fruiting body extract had a stronger antioxidant effect and was more effective at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in vitro.
However, some proponents of mycelium supplements argue that they are more effective because they contain a higher concentration of certain compounds, such as ergothioneine, which is believed to have antioxidant properties. Mycelium supplements are also believed to be more cost-effective, as they can be grown more quickly and efficiently than fruiting bodies.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2015 compared the chemical profiles of mycelium and fruiting body extracts from the lion's mane mushroom. The researchers found that while both extracts contained similar levels of beta-glucans and other polysaccharides, the mycelium extract had significantly higher levels of ergothioneine and other amino acids. The study also found that the mycelium extract had a stronger antioxidant effect than the fruiting body extract.
It's worth noting that not all mushroom supplements are created equal, and the quality and potency of the supplement can vary depending on factors such as the growing conditions and extraction methods used. In addition, different species of mushrooms may have different nutrient profiles, so the effectiveness of fruiting body versus mycelium supplements may vary depending on the specific mushroom being used.
In most of the cases the mycelium product is grown in grain or rice and this ingredient is included in the final product reducing the nutrient value.
In Longevity Botanicals we offer organic 100% fruiting body of the mushroom extracts and we publish the Percentage of Beta D-Glucan on the package as this is the main beneficial ingredient. Most other brands show nothing or percentage Polysaccharides which is meaningless as Rice and Grains are also Polysachcarides but have no value.
Ultimately, the choice between fruiting body and mycelium supplements may come down to personal preference and individual health needs. Some people may find that fruiting body supplements are more effective for immune system support and disease prevention, while others may prefer mycelium supplements for their antioxidant and amino acid content. It's also possible that a combination of both types of supplements may provide the most comprehensive health benefits.
In summary, both fruiting body and mycelium supplements have potential health benefits, and the choice between the two may depend on the specific nutrient profile of the mushroom being used and the individual needs of the consumer. Regardless of the type of supplement chosen, it's important to look for high-quality products that are responsibly sourced and properly extracted to ensure maximum potency and effectiveness.