top of page

Medicinal Mushrooms: Mycelium vs Fruiting Body

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

Products made with mushrooms can differ drastically in quality. Functional mushroom products often either contain the mushroom fruiting body, the root system of the mushroom (known as mycelium), or both. It's crucial to know which part of these fungi you're getting when you buy a supplement, if you genuinely want to benefit from their bio-compounds. Additionally, it can be difficult to determine which products on the market will actually support your health, because so many of them make promises about their components and efficacy.

The Key Medicinal Compound in Mushrooms: Beta-Glucans

Active compounds, which are abundant in the mushroom (fruiting body) itself but

less so in the mycelium, are what provide mushrooms their functional health

advantages. Beta-glucans, the most significant of the main elements found in

mushrooms, have a variety of health benefits.

According to recent studies, beta-glucans' ability to regulate the immune system is their primary contribution to our health. They are also helpful in controlling blood sugar, reducing fatigue, and boosting endurance. Nammex has conducted testing of these compounds in fruiting bodies and mycelium of several mushrooms. Click the link to see the results:

How to Read Labels

Concern should be expressed about the way numerous supplement companies

advertise and promote their fungal products. Consumers may easily be deceived by the packaging, naming, and labeling of the numerous products available if they don't know what to look for when purchasing a supplement made from medicinal mushrooms.

It can be challenging to identify between a genuine mushroom extract made from the fruiting body of the mushroom and one made from the mycelium-based "root" structure of the mushroom. The information on a supplement's packaging and nutritional labels may not be comprehensive.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated that all food and

supplement products containing mushrooms must explicitly state whether the product contains the fruiting body or only the mycelium. However, not everyone abides by these laws, and the FDA places little priority on their enforcement.

To find out which part of these fungi the manufacturer used, check the ingredients list on the supplement packaging for mushrooms or mycelium. On the basis of the labeling, it is frequently ambiguous. The end result might be any mixture of dried, ground-up mycelium, mushroom, substrate material, and grain.If the product does not say it contains 100% fruiting bodies, then there is a good chance it is not a potent product. Some labels even say it contains 'mushroom name' to try to conceal that they aren't using fruiting bodies.

Most commercial growers produce the mycelium on grains such as rice, oats, or

sorghum. Once the mycelium is grown, it cannot be separated from the grain.

Therefore, it gets dehydrated and powdered, and the final product is left with a majority of starch. This dilutes the product and decreases the amount of functional and medicinal compounds (like beta-glucans and polysaccharides). Since myceliated grain doesn't contain any active ingredients, it serves as a filler and "dilutes" the supplement when it makes up the majority of the product. The mycelium and fruiting bodies of many mushrooms have been tested, and shows that fruiting bodies contain a higher percentage. Research also shows that there is actually benefit to both mycelium and fruiting bodies. However, because you cannot separate the mycelium from the starch, many products on the market contain high levels of starches.

Since the fruiting body stage of a mushroom life cycle is the next step after mycelium formation, it takes a lot more time, materials, resources, and care to access. This could also be an incentive for companies to cut corners and only sell myceliated grain.

Mindful Mushrooms’ products do not contain any substrate material, grains, or fillers and solely produce extracts from the actual mushroom (fruiting body). We clearly list all of our ingredients and each label reads “contains 100% mushroom fruiting bodies”.

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by licensed medical physicians. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner for any medical advice.

48 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page