Facts About Mushroom Mycelium:

  • The mycelium is a part of a fungus, in this case a mushroom, very similar to the root system of a plant.  It is a rich network of thin filaments that collect food, water, & nutrients to nourish the mushroom and provide it with support & anchorage.
  • Because of the appearance of mycelium, it is assumed that it’s nothing more than a root system designed to support the fruiting body. While it’s easy to dismiss the vast network of mycelial filaments under the surface, it’s important to understand that the mycelium represents the primary function of the organism.
  • Mycelium is a highly dynamic stage of the mushroom life cycle and is the primary “plant” portion of the mushroom, while the fruiting body is the temporary “flowering” part of the mushroom life cycle that releases spores for reproduction.
  • Mycelium is the longest living part of the organism. Depending upon the species, mycelium can remain highly dynamic and metabolically active for ±95% of the overall life cycle, while fruiting bodies often represent less than 5% of the life cycle timeline.
  • Mycelium serves as the immune response that supports not only the health, vitality, and immune response of the fungal organism, but also supports the health of the surrounding ecosystem. Scientific research, targeted studies, and widespread use in holistic treatment plans demonstrate that when harnessed in the form of supplements, human beings also benefit from the significant health-supporting power of mushroom mycelium.
  • The process of growing mycelium in a controlled setting is not unlike that of several other well-known functional foods:
    • Tempeh is made through a natural culturing and fermentation process in which a fungal organism binds to and ferments soybeans until tempeh is formed. 
    • Yogurt is formed when probiotic bacteria are introduced to milk and allowed to ferment.
    • Kombucha is formed when a mix of sugar and tea are fermented using a culture of bacteria and yeast (a fungal organism). 
  • In each of these instances, the primary substrate is fundamentally converted as the primary ingredient digests and metabolizes the substrate. The process of fermentation makes the end result appear very different from the original individual ingredients. In addition to the original nutritional profile, the newly fermented final result also offers a greater range of health benefits.
  • The process of growing mushroom mycelium is similar to how fermented foods like tempeh, yogurt, and kombucha are produced. For each of those highly beneficial foods, a growth medium called a “substrate” is introduced as a food source for the bacterial and/or fungal organisms.
  • Research confirms that the beneficial mushroom mycelium and the fermented substrate used to grow the mycelium are both immunologically active and offer a complimentary array of health-supporting compounds.
  • It is not (easily) possible to separate mushroom mycelium from the substrate on which it’s grown. The two nutrient sources exist as a living, interconnected matrix. Alongside the pure mycelium, the cultured, fermented rice substrate becomes a new, integrated functional food providing highly effective support for immune function.
  • Mushroom mycelium is very potent in terms of triggering immune cell function. The fermented substrate, even when separated from pure mycelium, is highly active in supporting natural immune function. Pure mycelium and fermented substrate each offer unique yet complementary health benefits. The immune-supporting benefits of mushrooms are generated from a very wide range of constituents, not
    just beta-glucans*.

Turkey Tail  mushroom (Trametes versicolor,) is one of the most well-known medicinal mushrooms worldwide, and vast amounts of research have been carried out on it. Research indicates that the most impressive quality of the Turkey Tail mushroom may be its ability to enhance the
immune system**:

  • Contains a wide variety of phenol & flavonoid antioxidants which help promote immune system health by reducing inflammation & stimulating the release of protective compounds.
  • Contains PSK & PSP which are powerful polysaccharopeptides that may strengthen the health of the immune system.
  • Contain components such as PSK & CVG that may suppress the growth of certain types of cancers.
  • Enhances the efficacy of both chemotherapy & radiation therapy in people with certain cancers.
  • Positively impacts gut bacterial balance by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria while suppressing harmful species.
  • Combats HPV.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Has antibacterial qualities.
  • Improves athletic performance.
  • Improves insulin resistance.
  • * Hostdefence.com
  • ** Healthline, 06/11-2018.

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