The mushroom-supplementing industry is growing steadily. The manufacturers claim that they have a hoard of health benefits. Do these mushroom supplements really help? Are they safe?
The mushroom supplements
The mushroom-supplementing industry is growing at a steady pace. The companies provide them as pills, powders or tinctures and urge people to use them for health reasons. People are increasingly gaining interest in these mushroom supplements and their sales and popularity are on the rise.
Mushroom supplement pills, powders and tinctures manufacturers state that these products boost the immune power of an individual. They elevate the mood and improve cognitive function. They can increase alertness and focus. These supplement makers even go to the extent to say that these mushrooms have the ability to fight cancer.
Moreover, some varieties of mushrooms such as reishi and lion’s mane contain beta-glucan and powerful antioxidants. The former substance is a fiber that helps in blood sugar control, weight management and more.
Are the supplements nutritious?
The mushroom supplements do have antioxidants and beta-glucan in them, reveals Brian St Pierre, a nutrition adviser for the magazine, Men’s Health. If the extracts in the supplements are from real mushrooms, then the supplements will have these nutrients in them.
But it depends also on whether the supplements are made from roots of the mushroom or the caps and stem. Because beta-glucan is rich only in caps and stem of the edible.
The roots do not have it in appreciable amounts. Even if the caps and stem goes into making of the supplements, the makers might not put adequate amounts of these nutrients into the supplement powder. Hence, the action might not come or might not be as remarkable as those in the studies.
Studies on real mushrooms have shown that they have certain health benefits. But the research on these mushroom supplements have been conducted only in rodents. No human studies on it exist. Moreover, the sample size of the studies were quite small to properly infer about their health benefits.
Though the studies reveal a promising role for these supplements, there have been no confirming data on it. There is no data to show that it elevates mood or boosts immunity. Brian opines that there is yet insufficient data to state that these supplements help mind and body. Moreover, the supplements come with a high price tag. Normal mushrooms are cheaper. Why not consume real mushrooms instead of these supplements?
Some good quality mushroom supplement products
Lion’s mane mushroom supplements
These are marketed for brain, focus, and nerve health. There are claims that they boost cognition, ease anxiety and depression and improve sleep quality. Entire mushroom goes I to the making and one can add it to shakes and smoothies.
Cordyceps mushroom supplements
This is meant for energy, power and endurance. Here too, the whole mushroom is used and nutrients concentration is in effective doses.
Shroom Tech Support
Available as capsules, these increase power and performance. Therefore, it is good for athletes and gym goers. They can take it en route the gym.
This boosts immunity and helps vascular function. It is a free radical scavenger that helps in cell repair and prevention of cellular damage. Dose is 2 capsules daily. It also has a bit of natural vegetable material in it.
This is similar to the natural mushroom with a better taste. It is savory and contains 6 grams of protein and 9 grams of dietary fiber per bag.