In our last post, we discussed some vital information you should know about a medicinal mushroom supplement before you buy it (Read Part 1 now).
Let's jump back in to finishing that list so you can easily make educated choices on which medicinal mushrooms will be best for your dog.
PRODUCTS SHOULD STATE THE AMOUNT OF MEDICINAL COMPOUNDS
Most medicinal mushrooms are known for their active polysaccharides, called beta-D-glucans. Some mushrooms also have triterpenoid compounds. The polysaccharides and compounds should be listed and quantified. Make sure the company can support the numbers. Some companies list multiple “active” compounds without any actual testing results.
Don’t be fooled by high polysaccharide numbers. Polysaccharides can simply be starch, which is an alpha glucan and a major component of grain. Grain is commonly used to grow mycelium products, which, as you learned in Part 1, are not to be purchased.
FIND MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS THAT ARE ORGANIC
Be sure the company uses organic mushrooms. Our mushrooms come from organic mushroom growers in China, and our growers are time tested.
DON'T BUY NORTH AMERICAN MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms used as nutritional supplements are rarely cultivated in North America. It’s too expensive. Most mushrooms today come from Asia, primarily China. In fact, China produces 85% of the world’s mushrooms. Even Japan, a traditional mushroom producer, is the number one importer of Chinese mushrooms.
CHINESE MUSHROOMS ARE THE STANDARD
Our mushrooms come from the ancient heartland, deep in the mountains and far from industrial pollution, the original source of world mushroom cultivation. We have a rigorous testing program that all products must meet before they are released, and we stand by our Chinese partners 100%.
MORE IS NOT MORE, IF IT INCLUDES MYCELIUM
Some companies claim that their product has “all stages” or is a “unique combination” of mushrooms and mycelium, saying that this provides a more diverse range of medicinal compounds. They may also claim the product is therefore “full spectrum.” Full spectrum supplements mean products contain only 100% naturally produced mushrooms.
See if the companies that claim a combination actually give you a percentage of each fungal part. One company uses only 10% mushrooms in one of their products. Another doesn’t even state how much of their mycelium product is actual mushroom. Don’t be fooled. Mushrooms are more expensive and, because of that, likely to be left out or included in small amounts just to make the claim of being present.
MYCELIUM PRODUCTS CAN NEVER BE FULL SPECTRUM SUPPLEMENTS
A mushroom and its mycelium are made of similar tissue, but with important differences. Mushrooms are genetically more complex and have more medicinal properties. This means that the product has all the major components of the mushroom present.
How is it possible then that mycelium grown on grain or rice, which becomes part of the final mycelium product, can be full spectrum? It simply can’t be, by definition. Whether you have pure mycelium or a real mushroom, the addition of grain negates a claim of full spectrum. It gets worse when you learn that the majority of a mycelium on grain product is actually just grain.
MANY MYCELIUM PRODUCERS CALL THEIR PRODUCTS "MUSHROOMS"
Be aware that mycelium on grain producers always use the term mushroom for their product sales. Is what they are doing wrong? Yes. The FDA doesn't allow for this (see Compliance Policy Guide, Section 585.525). But that doesn't stop dishonest companies from doing it. And because of that, we wrote this article to help you figure out what is a true, potent mushroom product.
We’re disgusted by companies that mislead customers about their products and their potency. You have the right to know what you are buying, and knowing these facts will get you a product that can actually help your dog. We make the best in hot water extracted medicinal mushrooms. Ask us questions; we have nothing to hide. We care about seeing dogs get and stay healthy.