Mushroom Supplement Review - Health Benefits You Need To Know About.
How Do Mushroom Supplements Work?
Could medicinal mushroom supplements be our new secret weapon to well-being? Studies are showing encouraging results for benefits to the immune system, digestion, antioxidant activity, stress, mood, and even carcinogen-fighting powers, the best mushroom supplements can seem too good to be true. But they might actually work.
Mushrooms like the Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, indigenous medicine, and global cultures’ healing practices for millennia. In Ancient Greece, mushrooms were used for their anti-inflammatory properties. First Nations people used mushrooms to heal wounds. Today, Western research is trying to confirm the specific chemical pathways and compounds that create their beneficial effects.
While studies are still underway, and more human research is needed, more and more research is confirming that mushrooms have powerful properties that could be used in the future. Does this mean mushroom supplements are a cure for illness or disease?
So, do mushroom supplements work?
Some of the best mushroom supplements claim benefits like better brain function, a healthier immune system, more energy, and better sleep. For the most part, different benefits come from different kinds of medicinal mushrooms, which is why mushroom supplements are a great choice: by combining multiple mushrooms in one product, they lend a myriad of benefits. Plus, they are alternatives to coffee for energy.
Mushroom supplements are packed with beta-glucans which are known to support the immune system and contain very high levels of antioxidants, among many other compounds! There is no doubt that the compounds contained within mushroom supplements are powerful. Some have anecdotal, and some preclinical studies to support certain benefits. The mechanisms by which they work, and their effectiveness in human trials, however, are yet to be elucidated.
Below are some of the top questions that people ask Powderful about mushroom supplements!
What is better, mushroom extract vs powder?
As with all-natural ingredients, the beneficial compounds within them can vary depending on the conditions and location it was grown in, the processing methods, and storage methods. Buying your mushroom supplements from a reputable source is the best way to make sure they contain high-quality ingredients.
While there may be some active compounds like beta-glucans in high concentration in an extract powder, other benefits are often lost when the solids are removed. Whole mushroom powder does not lose any of the content and so is thought to be more beneficial.
“Can I take a mushroom supplement for anxiety?”
Again, taking any mushroom supplement will not cure or treat any illness! It is possible that in the future, we may be able to identify compounds within mushrooms that could be utilized for medicinal purposes, however, more study is needed. There are, however, some interesting theories and preliminary studies that are showing promising results. Penn State researchers used data on diet and mental health collected from more than 24,000 U.S. adults between 2005 and 2016. They found that people who ate mushroom supplements had lower odds of having depression. Recent studies have shown that Lion’s Mane may stimulate the expression of neurotrophic factors such as nerve growth factor synthesis, which could have an impact on brain health.
“Can I take a mushroom supplement for weight loss?”
In short, there is no magic pill or supplement for weight loss! Some researchers found that the use of medicinal mushrooms was beneficial for people suffering from metabolic disorders (obesity, hypertension, diabetes) not from a weight loss perspective, but due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential. They are not a tool for weight loss, nor a cure for metabolic disorders.
“Can I take mushroom supplements for brain fog?”
There are many thoughts on what causes brain fog, and some causes require medical attention. However, many studies on Reishi, Chaga, and Lion’s Mane concentrate on the effects they have on focus, memory, and ‘brain fog’. While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support this, human studies are ongoing. You can read more about this in our brain fog supplements article.
“What are the top mushroom supplements benefits?”
Supports Immune Function
The Chaga mushroom extract is a powerful anti-inflammatory. While inflammation is part of healthy immune system response, some behaviors can lead to chronic inflammation. From there, conditions from stress to poor sleep to disease follow. Adding anti-inflammatory ingredients to your diet can help combat inflammation.
Mushrooms are high in beta-glucans, compounds that are thought to benefit the immune system. You can read more about beta-glucans in this study.
You can read more about mushroom benefits here.
We’ve all heard the term antioxidant, but do you know what they actually do? Oxidation occurs when harmful substances (think chemicals, environmental pollutants, UV rays) remove electrons from our bodies’ oxygen and water molecules. Oxidation creates “free radicals,” that is, unstable cells that seek to bond with others. This results in oxidative damage ie damaged cells in our bodies. Damaged cells can cause damage from skin aging, to disease.
Medicinal mushrooms are packed with antioxidants to help your body prevent oxidative damage. Many users report improved skin when taking mushroom supplements, and this is theorized to be why!
70% of your immune system is in your gut! So improving your gut health will have an effect on your body’s defense mechanisms. Can mushroom supplements help with this?
Mushrooms contain beneficial fibers that can serve as prebiotics, ie food for gut bacteria.
Some mushrooms can increase white blood cell activity in the gut - white blood cells are part of your immune system. In the gut, they will tackle foreign invaders that enter your body via food
Caffeine Alternatives For Energy
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi and cordyceps mushrooms are used to life force - or, make you feel more energetic! Preliminary studies show that reishi mushrooms can reduce fatigue as well as improve mood. Cordyceps have famously been used by athletes and Olympians for their effects on energy levels and stamina.
As inflammation is linked to fatigue, it’s possible that medicinal mushrooms affect energy levels by combating inflammation. They also work as adaptogens, meaning you adapt to stress more easily so that you’re able to get better rest and start each day with more energy.
Below are some of the common mushroom varieties you'll find in the best mushroom supplements, plus their individual benefits as discovered in lab studies and animal testing.
What Are the Best Medicinal Mushrooms?
Chaga: Delivering an immune system boost and anti-inflammation powers, chaga mushroom has some proven virtues and has been used by humans for centuries.
Reishi: For mood stabilization and immune health, turn to supplements with reishi mushroom. Studies indicate that the fungus can help lessen anxiety and depression symptoms and balance energy levels.
Lion's Mane: One of the most potent medicinal mushrooms, Lion's Mane has a range of benefits from inflammation reduction to immunity-boosting and anxiety treatment.
Cordyceps: Cordyceps fungus is uniquely effective for boosting energy, both mentally and physically. It does this by helping the cardiovascular system utilize oxygen more efficiently, thereby upping athletic performance and alertness.
“Where to buy the best mushroom supplements?”
Powderful gives you more bang for your buck, blending Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps mushrooms with adaptogens, spices, and zinc! It blends easily with any liquid and contains no caffeine. Check out our website for more studies on each of their ingredients, plus helpful blogs on optimizing energy and focus, how to look after gut health, and more!