Fruit Body Extract vs Mycelium Extract - VESPER MUSHROOMS

Fruit Body Extract vs Mycelium Extract

We know mushrooms are increasingly becoming a prevalent part of human health, with a wide range of potential health benefits. However, it’s important to understand that not all mushroom extracts are created equal. Two types of mushroom extracts commonly found on the market are functional mushroom fruiting body extract and mycelium extract.

Functional mushroom fruiting body extract is derived from the visible part of the mushroom, which is the part that we typically recognize as the mushroom cap. In lion's mane, this is the fuzzy-looking white portion, in reishi, it's the red fanlike portion, the black mass for chaga, the concentric circles of turkey tail and the cheetos that grow of cordyceps. The fruiting body contains the reproductive organs of the mushroom and is where the spores are produced. This part of the mushroom is rich in the bioactive compounds that provide the potential health benefits, including beta-glucans, polysaccharides, and other compounds such as ergothioneine and triterpenoids.

On the other hand, mycelium extract is derived from the thread-like network of cells that make up the “roots” of the mushroom, known as the mycelium. In the aforementioned mushrooms, the mycelium is simply a white mass or mat that spreads throughout its growing medium.  Mycelium extract is often produced through a process called liquid fermentation, where the mycelium is grown in a nutrient-rich liquid. While mycelium extract may contain some of the same bioactive compounds found in the fruiting body, the concentration and ratio of these compounds may be different.

So, what are the differences between these two types of mushroom extracts?

Firstly, the functional mushroom fruiting body extract tends to be more concentrated in terms of bioactive compounds, as it contains the matured, reproductive stage of the mushroom. This means that it is more likely to contain a higher level of beta-glucans and other beneficial compounds. Additionally, the fruiting body extract may be more effective in providing the specific health benefits that are associated with mushrooms, such as immune support and anti-inflammatory properties or enhanced brain health.

In contrast, mycelium extract tends to contain a higher level of starches, which are the food source for the mycelium. While some mycelium extracts may still contain bioactive compounds, the ratio and concentration of these compounds may be different from what is found in the fruiting body extract.

Furthermore, in mycelium extracts, it is impossible to completely separate the mycelium from the growing medium, leading to somewhat less purity than high quality fruit body extracts.

In summary, while both functional mushroom fruiting body extract and mycelium extract may contain beneficial compounds, there are important differences between the two. If you are looking to supplement with mushrooms, it’s important to read the label carefully and choose a product that contains the specific type of mushroom extract that has been studied and shown to provide the desired health benefits.


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