Mushrooms

Mushrooms is a category of products that covers mainly extracts from the so-called medicinal fungi. These rank among functional foods, as they are capable of positively affecting biological processes inside the body. This is mainly due to their content of antioxidants, polysaccharides, and other bioactive compounds. Therefore, if you don't like to consume mushrooms directly, you can easily benefit from their effects thanks to dietary supplements. These typically contain a higher concentration of beneficial substances, since they are deprived of water and other components. The dietary supplements in question most often come in the form of tablets, capsules, or powder that can be added to food or drink.

The most popular medicinal fungi:

Reishi

Reishi, often called the “mushroom of immortality”, is also known under the name lingzhi. In addition to water, proteins, carbohydrates and fat, it contains a number of bioactive compounds, including terpenoids, steroids, phenols, and nucleotides. This makes it popular among people who are looking for a way to stabilize blood sugar levels or support the body's overall resilience. It is recommended to take approximately 5.2 g of reishi extract daily.

      

Shiitake

Shiitake, also called the black mushroom, excels mainly in its high fibre content. However, it also contains terpenoids, sterols and lipids, which boast many beneficial effects. It is thus a popular choice for those who want to support the proper functioning of their immune system, optimize blood cholesterol levels or reduce fatigue and exhaustion. There are no general recommendations for taking the shiitake mushroom extract. Some sources state an intake of 1000-2000 mg per day.

     

Chaga

Chaga is a parasitic mushroom also known as the clinker polypore. It contains polyphenols, triterpenoids and polysaccharides, but it also boasts a fair amount of antioxidants that have beneficial effects on our body. What's more, it is often associated with beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels and heart health, but it is equally popular with people who want to support their immunity. However, the optimal intake amount of the Chaga mushroom has not been established yet. It is therefore ideal to always follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding this dietary supplement.

      

Lion's mane

Lion's mane is a mushroom that also goes under the name monkey head mushroom. It is popular primarily for its content of beta-glucan polysaccharides, which boast a number of beneficial effects on the human body. This mushroom also contains other beneficial compounds such as erinacines and hericenones, which are popular due to their possible neuroprotective effects. In addition, it contains a whole range of antioxidants. However, this mushroom is mainly linked with an effect on cognitive functions, such as memory or attention. It therefore ranks among nootropics and is used as a popular substitute for coffee. That said, it is equally sought-after by people who experience problems with mental, heart, or digestive tract health. Lion's mane doesn't really have a recommended daily serving amount, but there is a study that researched the amount of 3000 mg, which equals to a 96% extract of this mushroom. This proved to be effective.

       

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is also known as the caterpillar fungus. It contains nucleosides, polysaccharides, sterols, proteins, amino acids, and also polypeptides. From among other bioactive compounds, it includes cordycepin, ergosterol, mannitol, and adenosine. Thanks to this, it boasts numerous beneficial effects on the human body. It is especially popular among people who want to promote their heart health, physical well-being, immunity or improve performance. In the same fashion, people use it as an alternative to analgesics. The optimal serving amount for Cordyceps is not established. That said, several studies often worked with an amount between 1000-3000 mg per day.

       

Maitake

Maitake is a polypore mushroom, which you may also know under the name hen-of-the-woods. It has a high content of water and also includes bioactive beta-glucans and amino acids. Just like some of the aforementioned mushrooms, it ranks among adaptogens, so people use it to support their overall resistance to stress and external factors. Similarly, it is used by people who want to optimize blood sugar and cholesterol levels or those who would like to reduce fatigue. The recommended serving amount of this mushroom has not yet been clearly established. However, according to some sources, adults typically take between 1-1.5 g of a concentrated extract per day.

       

Turkey tail

Turkey tail is a mushroom also known under its binominal name Coriolus versicolor. It boasts amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, methionine, tyrosine, glutamine, and asparagine. However, it also contains antioxidants such as phenols and flavonoids. This enables it to have an effect on the protection of cells from oxidative stress and support immunity. What's more, it contains polysaccharides that function as prebiotics, which makes it also affect the health of the digestive tract. Turkey tail mushroom has no established recommended daily serving amount. Therefore, it is best to follow the instructions from the manufacturer. 

       

Oyster mushroom

Oyster mushroom is a very popular and common edible mushroom also known under the name hiratake. It contains bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, peptides, proteins, terpenoids, fatty acid esters and polyphenols. What's more, it also contains beneficial antioxidants. This mushroom is most often associated with a beneficial effect on the levels of “bad” cholesterol and oxidative stress, but is also great for strengthening the immune system. In addition, people also reach for it in order to reduce fatigue and exhaustion. That said, the optimal daily serving amount of this mushroom is not clearly established. If you decide to include it in your diet in the form of dietary supplements, always follow the manufacturer's recommendations, which can be found on the packaging. Last but not least, this mushroom will serve as a wonderful ingredient for preparing various delicious recipes.

       

Snow fungus

Snow fungus, also known as the white jelly mushroom, is popular due to its interesting content of polysaccharides, proteins, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that play a vital role in the human body. Of course, it wouldn't be on this list if it didn't contain some bioactive compounds. Thanks to these, it is able to contribute to the reduction of oxidative stress. It is also associated with neuroprotective and anti-ageing effects. Similarly, it is the go-to choice for people who want to support their cognitive functions. It is not clearly established just how much of the extract of this fungus should you take per day. Therefore, always follow the manufacturer's recommendations, which can be found on the packaging.

       

Dietary supplements that contain extracts from these and other mushrooms can thus be considered a great way to provide your body with nutrients. This can help support the proper functioning of all vital processes, as well as overall health and vitality. You can choose between a tablet, capsule, or powdered form. Afterwards, it is up to you whether you opt for supplements containing an extract from just one mushroom or reach for a complex solution with multiple extracts from different mushrooms.

      

If you want to learn more about the effects of medicinal fungi, you should definitely check out our article: What Are the Effects of Reishi, Oyster Mushroom and Other Medicinal Fungi?

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