Why Fruiting Body Matters: The Benefits of Choosing a High-Quality Mushroom Supplement

When it comes to functional mushrooms, not all mushroom supplements are created equal. Different types of mushrooms have different levels of beneficial compounds, and choosing the right type of supplement can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your functional mushroom products.

For over 5,000 years, mushrooms have been used across the world from Europe to China for their medicinal properties. However, the mushroom marketplace is now dominated by products that don't actually contain real mushrooms. These products are made from mycelium, which is essentially the "root system" of the mushroom and does not include any actual fruiting bodies. Despite this, every single culture that has used mushrooms over the past thousands of years has exclusively used the fruiting body. In order to provide our customers with the most authentic and beneficial mushroom products, we use only fruiting body mushrooms in our products.

What is the 'Fruiting Body'

Fruiting bodies are the visible above-ground part of a mushroom that typically produce spores. In contrast, mycelium is the network of thread-like filaments that grows underground or within its host, and it is often used as a less expensive alternative to fruiting bodies in functional mushroom products.

Fruiting bodies are generally considered to be the more beneficial part of the mushroom for functional mushroom products due to their higher nutrient density, increased bioavailability of active compounds, more potent medicinal properties, and greater diversity of beneficial compounds.

What is the Mycelium?

Mycelium is essentially the 'root' system of the mushroom that grows underground. It is composed of a network of thread-like filaments called hyphae, which serve as the fungus' feeding system. Mycelium plays a crucial role in the ecosystem by decomposing organic matter and recycling nutrients back into the soil. In addition, mycelium has been found to have a wide range of medicinal properties and is commonly used in functional mushroom products. While mycelium does contain some beneficial compounds, it is generally considered to be less potent than the fruiting body of a mushroom and may not offer the same range of health benefits.

Benefits of Fruiting Body Vs. Mycelium

1. Higher Nutrient Density: Fruiting bodies have a higher concentration of beneficial compounds, such as beta-glucans, polysaccharides, and triterpenes, compared to mycelium.

2. Increased Bioavailability of Active Compounds: Fruiting bodies have been found to contain more bioavailable forms of active compounds, such as ergothioneine, which has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties.

3. More Potent Medicinal Properties: Fruiting bodies contain higher levels of beta-glucans, which have been found to have immune-boosting properties and may help reduce inflammation in the body.

4. Greater Diversity of Beneficial Compounds: Fruiting bodies contain a wider range of beneficial compounds than mycelium, which can lead to a more comprehensive range of health benefits.

Why do Mushroom Brands Use Mycelium Instead of the Fruit Body?

One reason companies may use mycelium rather than fruiting bodies in their functional mushroom products is cost. Mycelium can be produced in large quantities relatively quickly and at a lower cost compared to fruiting bodies, which can take longer to cultivate and are often more expensive to produce.  

However, it is important to note that mycelium does not contain the same level of beneficial compounds as fruiting bodies and may not provide the same range of health benefits. 

As a result, some companies use mycelium as a cheaper alternative to fruiting bodies, while others may use a combination of both to provide a more comprehensive range of health benefits. 

Consumers who are not aware of the difference between mycelium and fruiting bodies may not be getting the full value of their purchase, leading to dissatisfaction and confusion about the efficacy of functional mushroom products.

The Worst Part About Mycelium in Your Mushroom Supplement

Mycelium is typically grown and cultivated on a grain substrate, which is used as a food source for the mycelium to grow. However, the issue with this process is that the grain substrate (rice or oats) becomes a significant part of the final product, often making up to 90% of the product, leaving only 10% as actual mycelium. This is a common practice in the mushroom marketplace, where many products marketed as "mushroom-based" are actually made from mostly grain with only a small amount of mycelium. 

This is concerning as it can significantly decrease the potency and efficacy of the product, as well as the nutritional value, as the grain substrate doesn't offer the same beneficial properties as the actual fruiting body of the mushroom. At Clarabe, we prioritize the use of fruiting body mushrooms in our products to ensure our customers receive the maximum benefit and potency from our functional mushroom supplements.

Why Clarabe Chooses Fruiting Body Over Mycelium in Our Products

At Clarabe, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality functional mushroom products possible. That's why we choose to use only fruiting body mushrooms in our products rather than mycelium. While mycelium can be produced more cheaply and quickly than fruiting bodies, we believe that the health benefits of fruiting bodies far outweigh any potential cost savings.

Fruiting bodies have a higher concentration of beneficial compounds such as beta-glucans and triterpenes, which have been found to have immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, fruiting bodies contain a more diverse range of beneficial compounds than mycelium, which can lead to a more comprehensive range of health benefits. By using only the highest quality fruiting body mushrooms in our products, we can ensure that our customers are receiving the maximum health benefits possible.

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