Where do mushroom extracts come from?
Our mushrooms come from China, and this seems to be an issue most people do not understand. We would really like to be able to grow mushrooms in North America and claim them to be “made in the USA”, but it is not economically feasible to grow mushrooms for supplements here.
You will notice, if you do the research, that all “US Grown” products are made from mycelium or grain-based mycelium (grown on rice) and not from mushrooms.
China has a history of mushroom use and is the birthplace of mushroom cultivation, which started way back as early as the 12th century, and is the only place you can get pure organic mushroom extracts. The Chinese produce over 85% of the world’s mushrooms.
Are Your Products Organic?
It all starts with our organic mushroom farms, certified organic by the Institute for Market Ecology (IMO). The IMO, based in Germany, does organic certification around the world and is an accredited organic certifier under the National Organic Program of the USDA and the organic certification program in the EU.
In order to achieve organic certification, the farms were inspected multiple times a year, announced and unannounced, for three consecutive years. Inspectors tested the soil, water and air, as well as the growing substrate and the mushrooms themselves. This testing regimen continues today in order to maintain organic certification.
The dedicated extraction facility is also certified organic by the IMO and undergoes equally rigorous inspections multiple times a year, announced and unannounced. They audit the Master Batch and sanitation records, test the water used in the extraction process as well as randomly selected products from the production line and sample library.
Every square inch of the facility is inspected to ensure proper hygiene is maintained and to ensure there is no possibility of cross contamination during production that could compromise the organic status of the mushroom extracts produced.
Can you use mushroom extracts long term?
Long Term Use
Mushroom extracts can be used long term, for years, with no negative side effects or drop off in effect (there is one exception that is discussed below). There is no problem with “burning out” the immune system as reported with Echinacea. Mushroom extracts represent an excellent choice of immune tonics for vegetarians as Echinacea should not be used long term and colostrum products are animal derived.*
Immune Challenges - Long Term Use
As we have gained more experience with the use of medicinal mushroom extracts we have come to learn three important facts: 1.) After 3-4 months on a single extract at a high dose some people (less than 20%), experience a slight tailing off in terms of immune support; 2.) Each polysaccharide from each medicinal mushroom produces a slightly different cascade of events in the non-specific immune response; 3.) Using two extracts simultaneously creates a far more powerful immune response— especially in the first three or four weeks—than using any single extract alone.*
The synergy created when using two extracts together is especially important when addressing immune challenges; however, it is important to remember that an insufficient dose of one extract will not help an insufficient dose of another extract work any better (the problem with many of the combination formulas). Slightly lower doses can be used when using two extracts together; however, each single extract must still be used at a dose sufficient to create an immune response if used alone.*
One simple option to avoid the tailing off effect is to use a single extract for three months and then switch to another single extract for three months, switching back and forth every three months. It is a simple protocol to switch back and forth between Coriolus and Maitake every three months.* Although it may seem complicated to some, the best option for immune challenges is to use a rotating combination of extracts. The three Group 1 mushroom extracts are used most often in these circumstances: Coriolus (C) Agaricus (A) and Maitake (M).*
The most important point to remember is that it does not matter which mushroom extract or combination of extracts you start with as you will rotate through all possible options in nine to twelve months.
C + A
C + M
A + M
(THREE MONTHS EACH… THEN START OVER AGAIN)
Why is Mycelium Listed Under "Other Ingredients" on the Label?
On the JHS Natural Products and Mushroom Science labels you may notice that we list “mycelium” and “myceliated rice” under the “Other Ingredients” section of the label. Dehydrated hot water extract powders are very hygroscopic, very sticky. The stickiness of the extract powders make them extremely difficult to work with and can result in significant product loss during encapsulation.
To reduce the stickiness of the extract powder, we mix in a small amount of unextracted mycelium biomass powder into each batch prior to encapsulation, around 7% to 8% by weight. This reduces product loss during encapsulation and allows us to avoid the use of magnesium stearate or other flowing agents and excipients.
We list “myceliated rice” along with “mycelium” because all mycelium biomass powders are still half undigested rice. Solid state fermentation, growing mycelium on a solid grain or straw medium yields, at best, a 50% bioconversion rate.
Can you use the extracts if you have Candida and Yeast Infections problems?
It is okay for people with candida or yeast problems to use mushroom extracts. The primary treatment should be adjusted diet and adjusted intestinal flora, however, immune support with mushroom extracts is a useful part of an overall protocol to address either of these problems
Is AHCC a Medicinal Mushroom Supplement?
No. MGN-3 and AHCC (ImmPower, Kinoko) are modified rice bran supplements that provide active compounds called arabinoxylane and alpha glucans. These products do not contain any detectable levels of non-linear polysaccharides (beta glucans), the clinically researched immune boosting compounds extracted from medicinal mushrooms.*
When making modified rice bran supplements, mushroom enzymes from the mycelium are added to the manufacturing process to further break down the cellulose in the rice bran, creating higher levels of arabinoxylane. However, the amount of mushroom material used in this bio-conversion process does not constitute the level of mushroom based raw material normally needed or used when making mushroom based supplements. As mentioned, there are no detectable levels of beta glucan in the rice bran supplements we have analyzed.*
Arabinoxylane creates an immune response by interacting with receptors in the gut. Mushroom polysaccharides/beta glucans pass through the gut, enter the blood stream, and create an immune response by interacting with receptors on the surface of the immune cells. AHCC and mushroom extracts are complimentary, not redundant. Mushroom extracts offer a customer using AHCC an entirely new and different pathway for influencing immune health, a pathway of documented effectiveness when the appropriate dose is used.*
What is the difference between Coriolus Super Strength/PSK vs. PSP?
- Coriolus Super Strength (PSK) has more protein than peptide in the non-glucan portion of the molecule. Coriolus PSP has more peptide than protein in the non-glucan portion of the molecule.
- There are minor differences in the non-active single sugars.
- The glucan (polysaccharide) portions of Coriolus Super Strength (PSK) and Coriolus PSP, the part considered to be the primary active compound, are identical under NMR analysis.
- Coriolus Super Strength (PSK) is 40% polysaccharide, Coriolus PSP is 28%.
- Coriolus Super Strength (PSK) has 500 mg of extract powder per capsule; Coriolus PSP has 400 mg of extract powder per capsule.
- There has been more research done on the protein-bound form of Coriolus (Super Strength/PSK) as compared to the polysaccharide-peptide form of Coriolus (PSP), but the academics, the scientists that study this medicinal mushroom, believe PSK and PSP are of equal value for immune support purposes.*
What Products Can You Recommend For Me?
We do not have any health care professionals in our office, so under FDA law, we are unable to make any recommendations to any customer. You will have to seek out your own information or speak to a health professional that knows about mushroom extracts. This also means that we cannot answer any questions related to any ailment that you might be experiencing.