Continued research proved and delighted researchers as the versatility of mushroom beta glucan became apparent, as did its effects with modulating the immune systems of living organisms. Further research showed that not only was this beta effective, it was also safe, non-toxic and therapeutic, with little risk of overdose. In order for the potent medicinal mushrooms to be cultured properly, scientists conducted tests within a controlled environment, sans pollutions and contaminants. By carefully structuring and monitoring this process, they were able to develop a special herbal medium using a patented biotechnological process and were able to successfully achieve the potency by preserving nature’s secret of energizing the living organism when the immune system is balanced and able to function properly.
Mushroom is committed to the best industry practice of remaining faithful to the science: We follow the evidence that indicates the immune health benefits available from medicinal mushrooms. Nutri Mushroom both continues to engage in its own laboratory-based research and to work with major American universities in order to gather more evidence on mechanism and effects of mushroom supplements. Every one of our formulations is backed by clinical trial verification.
Nutri Mushroom continues to engage in the best practice of continuing research by conducting clinical trials to investigate the quality-of-life impact of our product, with positive results backing the efficacy of medicinal mushrooms.
Quality Mushroom Supplements Come from Quality Processes
Mushroom practices reflect the core conviction that a medicinal mushroom supplement derived with the best extraction process and the best purification process is the superior to any other supplement with respect to its impact on immune system health. The hot-water process used to extract effective mushroom supplements honors the use of medicinal mushrooms in Chinese medicine, where tea preparations were utilized as the method of delivery. This process is the only process that has been confirmed to release beta glucan, the key immune-supporting element provided by medicinal mushrooms, in a bioavailable composition.
Other means of extracting the active ingredients from medicinal mushrooms or trying to deliver beta glucan, such as using cold water or alcohol extractions, or attempting to derive the extract from mycelium powder lack the verification of careful scientific testing to confirm the efficacy of these methods. Only hot-water extraction reliably and with support from modern science delivers the immune benefits of mushroom supplements.
History of Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms are not a newly discovered phenomenon. Rather, they have a long and honored history in human culture dating back, with documentation, thousands of years. Egyptian hieroglyphs as old as 4,600 years recognize mushrooms as a food item worthy of the living god rulers of the Egyptians, as the mushrooms were credited with the ability to bestow immortality.
Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes mushrooms as bestowing health benefits and promoting longevity. The mushroom has long been harvested and used regularly in the diet in civilizations throughout Asia, Russia, and Eastern Europe.
The cultures of Western Europe and North America have developed less enthusiastic attitudes toward mushrooms. This could be because these cultures have drawn their medical traditions primarily from the ancient Greeks and Romans, who paid little attention the benefits of mushrooms and were more likely to utilize toxic mushrooms such as that rumored to have been used to murder the Roman emperor Claudius. Later cultures descending from these then lacked a base of traditional knowledge that teaches people to readily distinguish between helpful and harmful mushrooms. As a result, mushrooms were not embraced and even seen as dangerous—to the extent of even being associated with the devil in the Western European Middle Ages.
So while the East continues to honor their long love of the mushroom, the West is only beginning to look at the mushroom in a new light and starting to investigate mushrooms for their medicinal properties. The University of California at Davis published a 2008 research review on the topic of medicinal mushrooms. Noting that not nearly enough is yet known about the properties of medicinal mushrooms, the publication encouraged further clinical trials to research the specific effects of medicinal mushrooms. Some of this research is being carried out at City of Hope Medical Center. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is also engaging in this ongoing research.
Chemical Activities of Medicinal Mushrooms
What the research has revealed so far is that it’s primary a collection of polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms that have the most significant impact on regulating the immune system. A sub-group of these polysaccharides known as beta-glucans is thought to have the biggest impact, with significant but lesser contribution from the alpha-glucans. Each polysaccharide is a complex sugar-based molecule built from chains of D-glucose units. The polysaccharides form in various shapes and weights and can be bound to other molecules, such as proteins. This is how polysaccharide-K, a protein-bound beta-glucan included in medicinal mushrooms, is formed.
The beta-glucans have been called “biological response modifiers.” This name refers to the apparent ability of beta-glucans to alter the response of biological systems when they are present, such as the way beta-glucans have been documented to stimulate the immune system. The production and activity of macrophage, NK-cells, T-cells and cytokines in the immune system have all been shown to be increased by the presence and function of beta-glucans. How this is accomplished is not yet completely understood. One such function that has been observed is that beta-glucans trigger response of the macrophage-1 antigen (CD18) receptor on cells of the immune system. Many other receptors in the human cells have been shown to be triggered by beta-glucans as well, including dectin-1, lactosylceramide, and scavenger receptors.
With this ability to trigger the activity of diverse cells by triggering receptors on their surfaces, the chemical components of medicinal mushrooms may be influencing hormone production in humans. Enzyme assay analysis of medicinal mushrooms like agaricus bisporus demonstrates the presence of activity that may be able to inhibit aromatase—which otherwise facilitates the production of estrogen. Likewise, Reishi mushrooms may inhibit 5-alpha reductase—which otherwise facilitates the production of dihydrotestosterone.
To prepare effective extracts from medicinal mushrooms, these active compounds must be obtained intact from the mushrooms. The cell walls contained in the mycelium and fruit body of the medicinal mushrooms contain most of the active polysaccharides that we need to obtain in order to produce efficacious extracts from medicinal mushrooms. The polysaccharides are water-soluble, and this is the basis of the extraction methods used by Nutri Mushroom.
Our hot-water-based, patented extraction method has been shown to effectively extract the active beta-glucan polysaccharide compounds from the cell walls of medicinal mushrooms, delivering standardized concentrations of these beneficial compounds in every extraction that Nutri Mushroom delivers.
In order to ensure 100% pure, organic preparations of medicinal mushrooms, Nutri Mushroom utilizes unparalleled quality control processes. At every step of the way from mushroom production to deliver, the quality control process is utilized to ensure international standards of organic farming and processing. Our medicinal mushrooms and their extracts are monitored throughout production, shipment, storage and processing.
Every single batch of Nutri Mushroom mushrooms undergoes extensive testing and receives a certification report from a leading European testing laboratory. This certification remains with each batch of mushrooms throughout processing to ensure the organic purity of each and every batch. These independent testing procedures check for the presence of over 500 pesticides, for heavy metals, and for microbiological purity. Brands less committed to maintaining their organic quality standard may rely on testing and certification of their supply on an annual basis. That’s not good enough for Nutri Mushroom.
By using such intense scrutiny of the supply line, Nutri Mushroom ensures that the medicinal mushrooms used to create Nutri Mushroom extracts are consistently superior in quality and organic purity. By using mushrooms of a grade at least equal to that of the mushrooms used in pharmaceutical research, Nutri Mushroom can ensure that the product will be at least as efficacious.
The Best Mushrooms for the Best Product
Nutri Mushroom medicinal mushroom mycelia are grown in a specifically designed pharmaceutical-grade facility using a submerged culture on an organic liquid nutrient base. This patented process resembles the technique used to cultivate most antibiotics. By eliminating the solid nutrient base that competitors use, Nutri Mushroom is able to avoid the contamination to which competitor brands are vulnerable.
Not every strain of mushroom can be processed from mycelia. Reishi and Shiitake must be cultivated to the fruit body stage of the life cycle before they can be processed. For these cultivations, Nutri Mushroom closely monitors development using organic cultures and harvests the fruit body at the exact point of development that research has indicated provides the highest level of active beta-glucan polysaccharides.
Not every mushroom is a medicinal mushroom; some are even toxic to humans. Mushrooms that are medicinal are those that contain beta-glucan polysaccharides and other helpful compounds in the cell walls of their mycelia and fruit bodies. Properly extracted, these substances, prepared as supplements, provide support to the human immune system.
Supplements derived from the extracts from any of the medicinal mushrooms are appropriate for use as immune system support. The choice of extract type may depend on the individual’s preference for the other benefits offered by each extract.
Oxidation is a term describing the process that produces rust: The destructive action of certain ions on molecules. In the human body, we describe these destructive ions as free radicals. These are chemically active substances that damage the natural molecules of the body, causing damage to the body over time. Anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals in the body, converting them to harmless substances and thus protecting the body from damage. A good supply of anti-oxidants is one key to aging well. Beta-glucans have been demonstrated to function as anti-oxidants.
The medicinal mushrooms Reishi and Coriolus have been shown to provide higher levels of anti-oxidants than green or black tea or blueberry extracts. This makes medicinal mushrooms a potent source of anti-oxidants, particularly because these strains have not only beta-glucans but also a compound called triterpene, an additional anti-oxidant that can, like beta-glucans, be extracted using the patented hot-water extraction method.
Improved Skin Healthǂ
The skin contains several indispensable elements of the immune system, such as macrophages, dendritic cells and Langerhans cells. In addition to serving as the body’s first line of defense against antigens, they protect the skin itself from bacteria, fungi, viruses and toxins. As the protective covering of the entire body, the skin is constantly being attacked by such environmental hazards. Contact with UV radiation, chemicals, and the presence of small wounds make the skin more vulnerable to antigens. Like many other cells in the body, research has demonstrated that the receptors of some of these cells can be triggered by beta-glucans. By improving the function of these aspects of the immune system within the skin itself, beta-glucan can function to improve the skin’s response to stressors, increase its healing ability, and minimize the effects of aging. A recent study has provided evidence that this is in fact the case.
Increased Energy Levelǂ
Most everyone today experiences high levels of stress, either in terms of a mentally and emotionally stressful lifestyle or in terms of high levels of physical activity such as those seen in athletes. These high levels of stress stimulate the adrenal glands, which can cause excessively high production of cortisol—also known as the stress hormone. While cortisol is indispensable to normal body function, prolonged high production of the hormone can lead to exhaustion of the adrenal gland, which in turn leads to fatigue, poor sleep, and low energy levels as .
In addition to beta-glucan polysaccharides, mushroom extracts contain adenosine. This compound can help replenish the adrenal gland, simultaneously lowering cortisol levels and restoring the normal function of the nervous system. This can result in restored energy, sleep patterns, and endurance.
One of the beneficial effects of beta-glucan polysaccharides operating as an anti-oxidant in the body is that this function also improves digestion in the human body. This allows the body’s natural processes to operate normally in order to remove cellular debris. By operating to boost the body’s immune system through the stimulation of macrophages, the function of the liver (Kupffer cells) is improved, increasing the body’s ability to detoxify itself. The improvement of these processes can improve overall vitality and health.
Improved Circulatory Health
The beta-glucan saccharides, sterols, triterpenes and adenosine in medicinal mushrooms all impact the cardiovascular system in a positive way. Multiple scientific studies have demonstrated that these compounds have a positive impact on the quality of life of patients experiencing chronic cardiovascular conditions. As a soluble fiber, beta-glucan is able to improve the flow of blood and decrease the demand for oxygen in the body. These effects can lower the strain on the cardiovascular system, leading to improved health.
Memory and Concentrationǂ
The Lion’s Mane mushroom has attracted the attention of researchers as a source of “Neural Nourishment.” It appears that when grown in liquid nutrients, the mycelium of Lion’s Mane mushrooms contains compounds that provide a positive impact on cognitive function. Effects that may be observed from these compounds include enhancement of the function of Nerve Growth Factor—the natural substance that allows the brain to quickly add more neural material—an increase in the production of NGF, increased production of myelin sheathing—which improves the efficiency of the transmission of neural impulses, and improvements to memory and concentration.
While medicinal mushrooms can’t remove the stressors from your life, the compounds found in extracts from medicinal mushrooms may be able to modulate the stress in your body—the physiological response of your body to the stressors in your life. Any change in life, positive or negative, is a stressor, as are illness, conflict and pain, and any circumstances an individual is subjected to over which he or she feels little or no control. Approximately 75% of complaints seen by physicians are stress-related issues.
In the short-term, the body’s response to stressors means that we have more strength, endurance, and energy. This response can be vital to survival in instances of extreme stress. Over a long period of time, however, the effects of the body’s response to stress can damage the immune system and lead to acute and chronic health complaints, impacting sleep, digestion, and the ability of the body to react to pathogens and toxins.
Because beta glucan saccharides are able to replenish the adrenal gland, they may have the ability to reset the nervous system and modulate the symptoms of stress burn-out.