Put the Immune Systems of Mushrooms to Work for You*

Many scientists believe that the evolution of mushrooms' highly developed immune systems are exactly what makes mushrooms so valuable to humans. Discover what they may possibly do for you.*

  • Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex contains a unique blend of seven species of highly valued mushroom and their mycelium for potent immune support and more.
  • Grown and produced in the U.S., our formula utilizes a proprietary Solid State Fermentation method to enhance its bioavailability and nutritional-value.
  • Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex is made with whole food ingredients and not isolated extracts, avoiding possible loss of valuable enzymes, co-enzymes and other important co-factors responsible for a nutrient’s actions.

Mushrooms represent a largely unexplored world, especially in the Western hemisphere. They’re not considered a plant because they don't undergo photosynthesis; they’re a fungus. When it comes to fungi, there are over 5,000 different species in North America alone, and many of them are wildly popular in the culinary world.

Several Eastern cultures have long recognized mushrooms for their health-promoting attributes.* Over the last 50 years, scientists, mostly in the Eastern world, have finally begun to validate their many potential health benefits.

Over 300 different species of mushrooms are now thought to have health-promoting potential.* Evidence continues to emerge, confirming how mushrooms’ proteins, trace minerals, polysaccharides, amino acids and fiber promote overall heath.*

These and other compounds found in mushrooms are now believed to help:

  • Support immune function.*
  • Promote normal cellular growth.*
  • Protect against environmental stressors.*
  • Support your body’s normal detoxification process.*
  • Preserve cellular structure.*
  • Support healthy gut flora.*
  • Promote optimal digestion.*

In other words, mushrooms play many different roles, such as adaptogens, antioxidants and detoxifying agents, just to name a few.*

Mushrooms in the forest

A Mushroom Is More than What Meets the Eye

When most people think of a mushroom, they imagine a stem and a cap.

However, there's much more to a mushroom. What you and I consider a mushroom is actually the fruiting body of a much larger mass called "mycelium.”

Up to 95% of the mushroom's total biomass lies beneath the surface of the soil. The mycelium is the part of the mushroom you don't see or typically eat. It's the hidden part of the fungus.

Mycelium is a vast network of living cells covering much of the earth's surface. More than eight miles of these individual mycelium cells, called mycelia, can permeate one cubic inch of soil.

As the largest biological entities on the planet, these “fungal mats” can live for decades and even centuries.

During its life, the mycelium has one goal – to preserve and promote the existence of the species.

Like all living beings, mushroom or mycelium cells struggle to survive against invaders. To thrive, mycelia have developed highly efficient and proactive immune systems.

Many scientists now believe that the highly evolved immune system, the mycelia, along with its ability to break down organic matter in nature, are exactly what makes mushrooms so valuable to humans and other mammals.

To get a better understanding of how the mycelium promotes and preserves its species and what it can mean for you, let’s take a closer look at its life cycle.

Here’s a detailed look at the complete life cycle of the mycelium – and the mushroom:

The Life Cycle of the Mushroom

Life Cycle of a Mushroom

The diagram begins when the mature mushroom releases its spores (step 1 in the upper-left corner). These released spores germinate in an environment that promotes growth. This environment can be soil, plant matter or other substrate.

Keep in mind that everything happens underground until step 4. Environmental conditions such as rain and warm temperatures encourage the mycelium to form compact masses that develop into fruit – mushrooms – that can pop up overnight.

In a nutshell, the mycelium achieves its goal of promoting its species by growing mushrooms.

These mycelium fruit produce spores in their cap’s underside gills. The spores rapidly multiply, and by the time the mushrooms reach adulthood in their short lifespan, their gills release spores into the air and soil.

After releasing their spores, the mushrooms’ bodies decompose quickly, often within a day. The life cycle then repeats itself.

What may not seem apparent from this rather simple diagram is the enormity of the process.

Growing at the rate of one quarter to two inches per day, the growth of the mycelial mass from just a single mushroom species is impressive. Every inch of soil hosts thousands of fungi species.

This is just more evidence of the power of the mycelium and its ability to promote the life of the species and its genetic diversity.

Making Mushrooms and Mycelium Work for You

As mentioned earlier, other cultures have valued mushrooms for their health-supporting properties for five millennia, and science is now starting to validate many of those claims.*

What is it about mushrooms and their mycelium that makes them so potentially valuable to your health?*

Beta glucans and proteoglycans are the primary biologically active compounds in mushroom fruit bodies and mycelia that support the immune systems of humans, and some animals, too.* Beta glucans are chains of polysaccharides, and proteoglycans are special proteins, often found in connective tissue.

What makes mushroom-derived beta glucans so valuable to human health is their ability to help support the immune system.* And that may offer value to individuals who desire to support their immune function without over-stimulation.*

How do mushrooms support immune function?

The beta glucans found in mushrooms and their mycelium are large and complex long-chain molecules. What sets certain beta glucans apart are their unique side-branching patterns.

Just like a key and lock, the beta glucan compounds in mushrooms must “fit” perfectly with cellular receptor sites to support the immune system.*

By binding to receptor points on cells important to the immune system, the beta glucan polysaccharide compounds can have a positive effect on your immune cells.*

Each individual mushroom species contributes a variety of beta glucan molecular structures. When you combine several species, you multiply the number of immune cell receptor sites that may be activated.

While beta glucans have been the most studied component, mushrooms and their mycelium contain many other bioactive compounds and proteins that support immune function:*

  • Alpha glucans
  • Antioxidants
  • Enzymes
  • Pectins
  • Ribonucleases
  • Ubiquitin proteins
  • Peptides
  • Lectins

How Mushrooms Support a Healthy Gut and Digestion*

Supporting healthy immune function isn't the only thing mushrooms can potentially do for you.*

Mushrooms’ complex nutritional matrix of nutrients, dietary fiber and fungal enzymes has been shown to support healthy digestion and gastrointestinal tract function.*

Mushrooms that include the extra-cellular digestive enzymes produced by the mycelium are a source of a variety of enzymes that can help promote optimal digestive function.*

And, as you’ll soon see, how a mushroom is processed affects its contribution to your health, too.*

Produced using fermentation, specially processed mushroom mycelium can help promote optimal digestive function and more.*

If you’ve been reading our articles on the Mercola website for any period of time, you’re probably aware that optimal health starts in your gastrointestinal tract.

When you have a healthy digestive system, you can more completely digest food particles that might otherwise keep you from enjoying optimal health.

Most people don’t realize that 80% of their immune system lies in their gastrointestinal tract.

So, if you want to support your immune system, you must support your digestion.

Not only that, but your gut originates from the same type of tissue as your brain.

When a fetus develops, one part of this “brain” tissue turns into his central nervous system and the other part develops into his enteric nervous system.

These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen.

This nerve explains why your gut and your brain influence each other so powerfully, as well as why your intestinal health can affect your mental and neurological health.

Including fermented products into your daily diet is an effective way to naturally help optimize your gut flora and support your immune system and brain health.*

Mushrooms: A Timely Addition to the Mercola Market

With all the latest research on the benefits of fermented foods, I am constantly searching for ways to make it easier for you to include fermented products into your diet each day.

Especially since I know not everyone is willing to regularly eat the few true fermented foods that do exist, such as natto, kimchi and sauerkraut.

Natural Ways to Help Optimize Your Gut Flora

Including fermented products in your diet each day is a great way to support your digestion and immune function:

  • Lassi
  • Pickled, fermented vegetables
  • Fermented mushrooms
  • Fermented raw milk (kefir)
  • Kimchi
  • Tempeh
  • Natto

I have located a source of mushrooms that, in my opinion, offers the ultimate in mycelium benefits and is a fermented product.

Before I tell you more about the mushroom varieties included in our Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex, let’s take a look at the extraordinary company we’ve selected to produce our unique blend.

The company, Mushroom Matrix (M2), led by an expert team of Mycologists, has worked with mushroom species from around the world since the 1980s.

Pioneers in the field, they developed the proprietary Solid State Fermentation (SSF) production methodology and equipment that allows for the production of health-supporting mushrooms and their mycelium on organic substrate.*

M2 obtained 100% organic certification status for all of their products in 2006, and today, produce only certified organic mushrooms in their labs in San Marcos, California, just north of San Diego.

7 Beneficial Species Included in Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex

Fermented Mushroom Complex

M2 selected seven species for the new proprietary Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex, based on their expert research of purported health benefits:*

  1. Antrodia (Antrodia camphorata)
  2. Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)
  3. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
  4. Himematsutake (Agaricus blazei)
  5. Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
  6. Shiitake (Lentinus edodes)
  7. Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

Let’s take a look at each of the mushrooms that make up our unique complex.

What Makes Each Mushroom in Our Complex Special

Native Antrodia

A unique and health-promoting mushroom species native to Taiwan’s old growth rainforest, Antrodia, or “Niu-Chang,” is not only one of the world’s most rare and expensive mushrooms, but it’s also said to possess an impressive array of health-promoting attributes.*

Studies show that Antrodia supports:

  • Immune function.*
  • Normal cellular function and growth.*
  • Liver health.*
  • Normal Blood circulation.*
  • Normal blood pressure levels.*
  • Gastrointestinal health and function.*
  • Normal immune response.*
  • Neurological health.*

Cordyceps Mushroom

Looking the least like a mushroom, long and slender Cordyceps, or Cordyceps militaris, has been used for centuries for a wide variety of health-promoting properties.*

Researchers have found the mycelia of this variety of Cordyceps to provide additional bioactive ingredients to potentially help support:

  • Athletic performance and energy.*
  • Normal Sexual function.*
  • Normal blood circulation.*
  • Lung and respiratory health.*
  • Kidney health.*
  • Immune function.*
  • Normal cholesterol levels.*

Reishi Mushroom

Of all the health-promoting mushrooms, Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum, is not only the most revered, but also has the longest recorded history of use. Known as a “three treasure” herb, it’s thought by the Chinese to harmonize jung (life force), qi (energy), and shen (spirit).*

Active compounds are found in Reishi’s fruit bodies, spores, and mycelia. Studies suggest that they support:

  • Immune function.*
  • Normal cellular growth and development.*
  • The body’s normal detoxification processes.*
  • Normal blood pressure levels.*
  • Liver and kidney function.*
  • Normal Sleep Patterns.*
  • Cellular energy.*
  • Normal blood sugar levels.*
  • Normal response to stress.*
  • Muscular and joint comfort and movement.*
  • Neurological health.*
  • Normal blood flow and heart muscle function.*

Agaricus Mushroom

While Himematsutake [Royal Sun Agaricus] (or Agaricus blazei species) falls into the same genus as the common button mushroom, it boasts immune-supporting polysaccharides and other important cellular growth-supporting compounds.*

Richly almond scented, Agaricus also helps support:

  • Normal insulin response.*
  • Heart health.*
  • Liver health.*
  • Optimal gastrointestinal health.*

Maitake Mushroom

Almost resembling a butterfly in flight, Maitake, or Grifola frondosa, is a large mushroom characterized by multiple overlapping layers.

The fruit bodies and mycelia of Maitake provide immune-supporting beta glucans and a complex variety of polysaccharides, amino acids, proteins, enzymes and antioxidants to help support:*

  • Immune function.*
  • Normal cellular development.*
  • Normal glucose levels and response.*
  • Weight management when combined with a healthy diet and exercise.*
  • Normal blood pressure levels.*
  • Skin health.*

Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake, or Lentinus edodes, is well-known and often used in Asian cuisine. Its use in Traditions Chinese Practice dates back to at least 100 AD. Both the fruit body and mycelium of the shitake are also highly valued in Asian cultures for their health-promoting benefits.*

In vitro and animal research show shiitake supports:

  • Immune function.*
  • Normal cellular growth and development.*
  • Liver function.*
  • Blood circulation.*
  • Oral health.*
  • Normal cholesterol levels.*
  • Healthy response to stress.*

Turkey Tail Mushroom

The Turkey Tail, or the Trametes versicolor mushroom, with its fan-shaped, colorful overlapping layers of fruit bodies truly resembling turkey tails, has one of the longest histories of health-promoting use in China and Japan.*

Known for its supply of a particular type of polysaccharide – PSK – Turkey Tail has been widely studied. Some of its purported benefits include the support of:

  • Respiratory health.*
  • Urinary and digestive health.*
  • Immune health.*
  • Normal cellular growth.*

Bringing You the Best in Health-Promoting Mushrooms*

Our Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex contains seven species of highly-valued, health-promoting mushrooms and their mycelium that provide an array of enzymes, nutrients, antioxidants and immune-supporting compounds.*

Additionally, we've made sure our blend is:

  • Made from a whole food, not from an extract.
  • Cultivated using organic oats instead of rice.
  • Certified USDA Organic.
  • Formulated mostly with the mycelium and fruiting bodies.
  • Produced using Solid State Fermentation (SSF).
  • Biologically active.
  • Gluten free.
  • Free of unhealthy levels of toxic heavy metals.
  • Grown and processed in the U.S.
  • Free of additives and fillers.

Why Organic Fermented Mushrooms Outdoes Isolated Mushroom Extracts

While most mushroom products you’ll find on store shelves are made from “extracts,” our product is truly made from a whole food.

We are passionate about whole foods, and supplements are no exception. When you isolate nutrients from their food source, you strip them of their valuable enzymes, co-enzymes and other important co-factors responsible for a nutrient’s actions.

A whole food with its ratio of natural components designed by nature will always be a better choice than concentrations of individual elements.

Studies have shown that consuming food nutrients such as vitamins and minerals in their natural “whole food” matrix offers greater nutritional value than ingesting those same vitamins and minerals in an isolated, purified state.

Just like eating a fresh vegetable with its fiber and natural nutrients intact is the preferred way to get those nutrients, it’s no different with mushrooms.

When you extract certain bioactive compounds from mushrooms, such as important beta glucans and polysaccharides, you leave behind enzymes, coenzymes, and chelated mineral activators.

These valuable compounds support the mushroom’s bioactivity and how your body receives benefits from the compound. The extraction process can also damage many of the bioactive enzymes and proteins.

Additionally, highly concentrated mushroom extracts can bring the potential for unintended consequences. As powerful as they can be, an overload of certain compounds in isolated extracts may shut down the important feedback your body depends upon.

Whole grains

The Mycelium’s Substrate: Why Our Supplier Chose Oats Over Rice

In stark contrast to other mushroom products, the mycelium for Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex is cultivated using 100% Certified Organic Whole Oats, complete with the outer hull intact. Our supplier believes that oats make a better growing substrate for mycelium than hulled brown rice, the medium commonly used. Why?

  • The outer hull protects the oat seed from oxidizing and going rancid.
  • Oats have a higher content of nutrients, protein and fiber.
  • Oats’ cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin stimulate the mushroom to activate a more complete set of metabolic and enzymatic pathways, vital to the mycelia’s bioactivity.
  • Oats are easy for the mycelium to digest.
  • Almost all the oats are digested during the fermentation process.
  • Oats’ plant beta glucans compliment the fungal beta glucans.

How Solid State Fermentation Enhances Our Product

Our supplier, M2, has developed and optimized a proprietary Solid State Fermentation (SSF) method to produce their mushrooms.

SSF is a process in which the insoluble substrate, in this case organic whole oats, is fermented with just the right amount of moisture. This results in higher quality production while breaking down the starch and enhancing the nutrients.

In this process, the team cooks the oats to hydrate them to 55% moisture and to remove competing fungi, viruses, yeast, and bacteria.

This substrate is now ready for the mycelium starter to be added.

Grown in bags over the next 30 to 80 days, the mycelium gradually digests the oats until the grains vanish, leaving behind a solid white mass – the mycelium biomass. During this length of time, almost all the oats are digested, unlike mushroom spawn, which is harvested after about seven days.

At this point, and right before the biomass enters the erupting fruit body stage, the team members open the bags and slowly dehydrate the biomass to reduce the moisture content. The use of controlled 118 degrees preserves live enzymes, protein structure and the many bioactivities of each mushroom species.

Once the mushroom biomass reaches 5% moisture, it is milled into a fine powder and is ready for use.

Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex is Safely Grown and Processed in the USA

The growing environment of mushrooms matters just as it does with other plants. Their intense ability to concentrate minerals and metals in their tissues makes polluted environments a real threat to their purity.

When grown in a polluted environment, mushrooms may contain lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and hexavalent chromium, which can be toxic, depending on the levels.

Recently, Asian (and Chinese, in particular) mushroom products have been found to contain unhealthy levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic and chromium, most likely from widespread water, soil, and air pollution.

Although M2 Mycologists select strains of mushrooms from around the globe and carry home tissue cultures of these extraordinary species, they propagate and produce all of their own mushrooms in their lab in San Marcos, California.

All critical points of quality control stay totally in their hands.

Further, they routinely test for heavy metals in the tissue samples, the organic oat substrate as well as the finished mushroom ingredients, so we’re assured of a product free of dangerous levels of heavy metals.

A More Bioactive and Cleaner Organic Mushroom Blend

Fermented Mushroom Complex 3-pack

If you are convinced of mushrooms’ value for your health, there’s no question that Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex is for you.

This powerful blend of seven organic mushrooms is:

  • Made with the whole food mushroom and mycelium, not isolated extracts.
  • Produced using a proprietary Solid State Fermentation method.
  • Free of unhealthy levels of heavy metals.
  • Made up of the rarest and most bioactive mushrooms.*
  • Grown and produced entirely in the U.S.
  • Made using oats instead of rice for its substrate, adding valuable plant beta-glucans and enhancing the mycelia’s bioactivity.*

And through carefully controlled processing methods, this high-quality mushroom product retains its potent bioactivity.*

Support a healthy immune system with the best in beneficial mushrooms, and order your supply of Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex today.

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Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions
  1. 1. How does Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex differ from Immune Support?

    Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex is a fermented, whole-food blend of seven domestically grown organic mushrooms known for their immune, digestion and GI tract function-supporting properties.

    Immune Support is an herbal complex of immune-supporting botanicals, like oregano oil, olive leaf extract, propolis, dimethylglycine and European Elder Flower, designed for short-term use.

  2. 2. Can I take Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex every day?

    While we recommend Immune Support be used only for 10 days at a time, Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex can be taken daily as directed.

  3. 3. Why does Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex contain so many different kinds of mushrooms?

    The company that provides this outstanding supplement to us is led by an expert team of mycologists whohave studied mushroom species from around the world since the 1980s.

    Our proprietary formula is based on their industry-leading research on seven extraordinary species that they personally produce for us in the U.S. It is their professional belief that a blend of several mushrooms offers more potential health-supporting benefits than a single mushroom.

  4. 4. What is the primary use of Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex?

    The seven individual mushrooms in this blend offer numerous potential benefits, ranging from supporting immune function, normal cellular growth and development, to promoting restful sleep, optimal blood flow and healthy heart muscle function.*

    As you can see from this wide assortment of potential benefits, there clearly is no "one" intended use for Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex.

  5. 5. Is Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex suitable for all nutritional types?

    All nutritional types may potentially benefit from Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex. A fermented, whole food, our mushroom formula is gluten-free and very low in carbohydrates.

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