The mushroom supplement industry has exploded recently, with dozens of companies touting the miraculous health benefits of mushrooms. But many are keeping a dirty secret: their products contain little to no real medicinal mushrooms.

Some supplements only contain leftover mushroom mycelium, the starch-rich branching fibers that mushrooms grow from. While mycelium is cheaper to produce, it lacks the powerful compounds that give mushrooms their health benefits.

Other supplements contain mostly powder from dried mushrooms. But simply grinding up dried mushrooms doesn’t make their nutrients bioavailable. Mushrooms need to be properly extracted to concentrate their active compounds.

By following a few recommendations, you can cut through the marketing buzz and select mushrooms that produce real results.

Key Takeaways

  • Read your nutrition facts panels carefully to be sure you know what you’re consuming. 
  • Dosage: Most supplements provide only minuscule amounts of mushrooms. 3000-5000 mg daily is the dosage regularly used in human and clinical trials while many products provide as little as 300 mg or even less.
  • Look for the words “Fruiting Bodies” in the label, otherwise you’re consuming mycelium (the underground root structure) along with the unknown substrate in which it is grown. Your mushroom product could contain large amounts of brown rice, flax, cotton or sawdust and you’ll never know - because the substrate ingredients are not disclosed in Nutrition Facts panels! Fruiting bodies contain more beneficial compounds and no fillers.
  • Look carefully for the word “extract” in your label, otherwise you’re consuming dried mushrooms. Extraction is key to ensuring our bodies can easily absorb the active compounds. This is why only fruiting body extracts are used in almost all human and clinical trials for medicinal mushrooms.
  • With Mind & Mane you’re consuming the most pure, concentrated Lion’s Mane & Reishi mushroom formula available - 2000-3000 mg of organic fruiting body extracts per delicious serving!

What is a mushroom fruiting body and why it’s important.

Mushrooms have two key parts: the fruiting body and the mycelium.

Mushroom Fruiting Body

It’s the mushroom’s visible, fleshy cap and stem that emerge from the soil. It contains the spores essential for reproduction and bioactive compounds that can impart health benefits.

As the mushroom’s pharmacologically potent part, the fruiting body is the primary component used for medicine or consumption.

Mushroom Mycelium

This is the mushroom’s root-like structure that grows in the soil or other growth medium, absorbing nutrients to feed the mushroom.

While it contains some of the same compounds as the fruiting body, the concentrations tend to be lower.

Companies know this, so why do they still produce mycelium-only products?

Because it’s cheaper and easier for companies to grow mycelium, which can save them money and boost profits.

Easy to cultivate in controlled environments with common substrates, mycelium also ensures a stable supply chain.

Also, most consumers may not grasp the difference between mycelium and fruiting bodies but are enticed by premium-sounding fungal extracts at budget-friendly prices.

For some businesses, consumer ignorance is bliss—and highly profitable.

To give some examples:

Several animal studies have revealed that compounds from lion’s mane mushrooms can stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is important for the health and function of neurons involved in memory.

Both mycelium and fruiting body extracts increased NGF synthesis. But the compound hericenone, isolated from the mushroom’s fruiting body, “increased NGF levels by two-fold compared to controls.”²

Another study investigating the antimicrobial activities of fruiting bodies and mycelia of 20 mushrooms found that mycelium’s antimicrobial activities are “generally weak.”³

Mushroom fruiting bodies of reishi and lion’s mane are high in:

  • Polysaccharides (1,3 1,6 beta glucans)⁴ with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties 
  • Phenolic compounds⁵ with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antihyperglycemic, and neuroprotective effects 
  • Triterpenoids⁶ that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory effects 
  • Ergosterol⁷ which can be converted to Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 that keeps nerve cells healthy

Why extracts are better than dried mushrooms.

The simple answer is that extraction isolates and concentrates the mushroom’s active compounds. Extracts make it easier to get a standardized dose.

Mushrooms contain difficult-to-digest carbohydrates such as chitin. Simply ingesting dried mushrooms means many of the beneficial compounds may pass through the body without being absorbed. ⁸

There is no official recommended daily dose for reishi and lion’s mane mushrooms. But the dose used in most human clinical trials is 3-5 grams of mushroom extracts per day.

Our products contain 2000-3000 mg of very potent 4:1 mushroom extracts per serving, while many of our competitor products only contain 250 – 500 mg per serving. This is why you won’t notice a difference taking many mushroom supplements!

One way to think about it is that to ingest 4:1 extracts, you need to consume 4000 mg of the dried mushroom fruiting body.

How to find high-quality supplements that use fruiting body extract.

Supplement quality and contents aren’t guaranteed. Standardized extract has a guaranteed amount of key compounds like beta-glucans or triterpenoids that are responsible for the health benefits. Standardization ensures a consistent dose and effect.

Reputable brands will conduct third-party testing on each batch to ensure their products meet label claims for ingredients, potency, and purity. Test results should be available on the company’s website or upon request. If they don’t test, choose another brand.

What do our customers say about us?


1. Tacer-Caba, Z., Varis, J. J., Lankinen, P., & Mikkonen, K. S. (2020). Comparison of novel fungal mycelia strains and sustainable growth substrates to produce humidity-resistant biocomposites. Materials and Design, 185, 108728.

2. Friedman, M. (2015). Chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (lion’s mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelia and their bioactive compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(32), 7108-7123.

3. Yamaç, M., & Bilgili, F. (2006). Antimicrobial activities of fruit bodies and/or mycelial cultures of some mushroom isolates. Turkish Journal of Biology, 30(5), 660-667.

4. Chen, P., Yong, Y., Gu, Y., Wang, Z., Zhang, S., & Lu, L. (2015). Comparison of antioxidant and antiproliferation activities of polysaccharides from eight species of medicinal mushrooms. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 17(3), 287-295. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i3.80

Vaithanomsat, P., Boonlum, N., Chaiyana, W., Tima, S., Anuchapreeda, S., Trakunjae, C., Apiwatanapiwat, W., Janchai, P., Boondaeng, A., Nimitkeatkai, H., et al. (2022). Mushroom β-Glucan recovered from antler-type fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum by enzymatic process and its potential biological activities for cosmeceutical applications. Polymers, 14(19), 4202.

5. Veljović, S., Veljović, M., Nikićević, N., Despotović, S., Radulović, S., Nikšić, M., & Filipović, L. (2017). Chemical composition, antiproliferative and antioxidant activity of differently processed Ganoderma lucidum ethanol extracts. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 54(5), 1312-1320.

Ghosh, S., Nandi, S., Banerjee, A., Sarkar, S., Chakraborty, N., & Acharya, K. (2021). Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion’s mane mushroom. Journal of Food Biochemistry. Advance online publication.

6. Zhang, C., Yin, X., Cao, C., Wei, J., Zhang, Q., & Gao, J. (2015). Chemical constituents from Hericium erinaceus and their ability to stimulate NGF-mediated neurite outgrowth on PC12 cells. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 25(22), 5078-5082.

Ahmad, M. F. (2018). Ganoderma lucidum: Persuasive biologically active constituents and their health endorsement. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 109, 906-916.

7. Papoutsis, K., Grasso, S., Menon, A., Brunton, N. P., Lyng, J. G., Jacquier, J.-C., & Bhuyan, D. J. (2020). Recovery of ergosterol and vitamin D2 from mushroom waste – Potential valorization by food and pharmaceutical industries. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 99, 469-479.

8. Regula, J., Suliburska, J., & Siwulski, M. (2016). Bioavailability and digestibility of nutrients from the dried oyster culinary-medicinal mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus (Agaricomycetes): In vivo experiments. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 18(8), 681-688.

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