POLYSACCHARIDES - How Good Is My Extract?

Polysaccharides 
How good is my mushroom extract?

 

 

Alpha-Glucans vs Beta-Glucans
What are they and why are they so important?

It has come to my attention that most mushroom supplements on the market today advertise their polysaccharide count as a measure of medicinal quality and fail to be specific when comes to which polysaccharides make up the bulk of the supplement, along with the extraction method used.
It is vital that we understand what our supplements contain and how much medicinal value they have, lets's break it down...
Firstly, Polysaccharides -
What are they? and has the word "polysaccharide" become somewhat of a buzzword when we talk about the medicinal value of mushroom powders, extracts and supplements...
Polysaccharides are the long-chain carbohydrates that make a mushroom, a mushroom, they range from very simple compounds to more complex carbohydrate molecules that contain incredible medicinal benefits.
These fall into two categories - Alpha-Glucans and Beta-Glucans,
It is vital that we understand the difference between the two when choosing our supplements.

Alpha-Glucans
These are the compounds like glycogen, dextran, pullulan and starch, they are the polysaccharides that give the mushroom all its growing power and are found in the mycelium, growing medium and stem/stalk of the mushroom as well as the fruiting body.

Beta-Glucans 
It is the Beta-Glucans that hold all the medicinal value, helping to stimulate or enhance our body's defence and immune system’s functions, making us more effective in fighting pathogens, infections, viruses, parasites, cell mutations that cause cancer and other chronic illnesses and disease.
They are particularly concentrated in the fruiting body of the mushroom, it is these compounds where we find the greatest benefits that help our body to adapt, heal and restore.



The difference between Alpha and Beta-Glucans is extremely important to understand when it comes to choosing medicinal mushroom products.

Why are companies still only measuring and stating the polysaccharide count, not Beta-Glucan?
Is this a lack of knowledge or a marketing issue?

Through my research and discovery, I have found that there is a great lack of mycology knowledge in the supplement industry and along with some chosen ignorance, it is of course alot simpler and cheaper to dry and powder a mushroom with all its contents and medium than seperating and extracting the vital compounds.
Yet, mushrooms are beginning to make their way to the main stage for natural well-being and wellness, we are seeing mushroom products popping up everywhere!
Mushroom coffee, extracts, powders etc...

Extracts vs Powders


There is also a common misconception when it comes to the difference between mushroom powders and extracts, whilst both have their place they are two very different products altogether.

Mushroom Powder 
This involves the harvest and drying of the fruit body, the growing medium and mycelium.
The dried mushrooms are then milled or ground into a fine powder, there is no extraction of medicinal compounds, which may give you a vitamin boost but nothing more. The cells within the mushroom are still whole and intact, this means those vital Beta-Glucans aren't available to us and we cannot absorb them.


Mushroom Extract
This is the harvest of both the fruiting body and mycelium, they are then dried, ground, and ready for the dual extraction process.
Dual extraction is when both water and alcohol are used to extract the vital, medicinal compounds and crack the internal cell walls so that those medicinal compounds can be released and absorbed by us!


For the full medicinal benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms that can offer life-changing properties, we must look for a true mushroom extract that clearly states the Beta-Glucan count and method of extraction.

All our Incredible medicinal mushroom extracts have a 30% Beta-Glucan count and can hep you on your path to being the best version of you!

We must choose our supplements and medicines wisely, knowing exactly what we are putting in our body and why is vital to our wellness.
Good quality mushroom extracts can help us on our journey toward healing and restoring wellness, I am here to support and guide you on your path to discovering mushrooms and all their goodness!