What are Polysaccharides and why are they important?
To avoid getting too technical, polysaccharides are fundamentally long chain carbohydrates. Most if not all medicinal mushroom retailers will quote a Poly. Content between 10%-50% as a means to persuade you on its strength however this may potentially be misleading.
The reason it may be misleading is because the poly content is a factor but not the essence that makes the mushroom amazing. Inputs that influence the % is what it’s made up of (fruiting body or Mycelium) and where its grown (mycelium is grown on grain, grain as we know is a carbohydrate as such will dramatically overstate the actual %)
The types of polysaccharides important to fungi are the beta-D-glucans (1-3, 1-6). The 1-3 or 1-6 are specific branching structures. Enough of the organic chemistry jargon…
Why this is important is because bulk of the medicinal mushroom research is based on the effects of these beta-glucans not the poly content.
What does the Fruiting body or Mycelium mean in the context of Turkey Tail?
Mushroom extracts is filled with a growing divide between those who prefer whole fruiting bodies and those who prefer mycelium on grain.
A fruiting body is generally what you would visually recognize as a mushroom. It is fleshy, contains spores, and grows above ground or directly on the surface of its host, like a tree or old log. The mushroom's fruiting body comprises a stem, cap, and gills, which are what the general populace would eat in a culinary dish, but in nature, it acts primarily as the reproductive component of a fungal system, dispersing spores and inoculating hosts.
Mycelium is the main body and feeding membrane of a mushroom. It grows underground or within the host plant. While it might not look like much, the mycelium acts much like a complex network that can communicate with and adapt to its surrounding environment. Think of it like the roots of the mushrooms.
What’s the difference, which one is better?
Fruiting bodies offer a much more effective, high-quality product than mycelium extracts. Fruiting bodies are considered “full spectrum” as they provide a wider array of the mushroom’s nutritional components. Fruiting bodies offer more minerals, including phosphorous, copper, zinc, and potassium. Fruiting body extracts also contain higher concentrations of vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin D, beta-carotene, and various B vitamins.
Mycelium, on the other hand, was primarily created as a cheaper alternative that was quicker to produce. The benefits of mushroom extracts are studied in relation to the fruiting body. Mycelium actually contains very little of the important compounds, vitamins, and nutrients of the actual mushroom. Furthermore, mycelium is not allowed to be considered a mushroom by the FDA, but many companies in the mushroom extract industry will hide this with clever labels. For instance, instead of listing beta-glucans (the effective compounds in fruiting bodies), mycelium producers will generalize by stating that their product contains high amounts of polysaccharides. This isn’t untrue but only because polysaccharides are a class of carbohydrates, and the brown rice used in mycelium extracts is definitely a carbohydrate. In other words, the high amount of polysaccharides mainly comes from the starch, gluten, and other non-mushroom components in the brown rice.
Which one is Chirp Turkey Tail made up of?
The product is a 100% fruiting body extract. The extract provides a concentrated form of the glyconutrients and healthy components present in Turkey Tail. The fruiting body is where the magic is.
What is the beta glucan content in Chirp Turkey Tail?
Chirp Lions Mane is on the top end of the spectrum with an impressive beta glucan content of 30%. It’s the real stuff. #SubtleFlex
What is difference between Turkey Tail powder and Turkey Tail Extract?
Extract based supplements are those in which a key compound is extracted from the plant and used either as a powder or a liquid in the supplement. Whereas on the contrary powdered supplements are those supplements in which the whole plant is dried up and made into a powder for use.
The extract for a 50% polysaccharide content is made on a 20:1 ratio.
What are the different extraction methods?
An extract is a preparation that results from taking raw plant material and applying a solvent to it, such as water or alcohol. The solvent causes the dis-solvable compounds to be separated from the structural part of the plant or mushroom.
Extracts contain high levels of the active ingredient a particular herb or mushroom is known for, such as the beta-glucans found in most medicinal mushrooms.
Another advantage of extracts over raw herbs is higher bioavailability – a fancy term that means they are easier for the body to absorb and use.
A hot water extract is exactly what it sounds like – using hot water to dissolve water-soluble ingredients from raw herbs or mushrooms. The same process is undergone for Alcohol extraction where the water is substituted for alcohol. In some cases, it may be beneficial to use both water and alcohol extraction – a method referred to as a dual or double extraction. In a dual extract, the material is first extracted with either hot water or alcohol, and then the remaining plant material is extracted again with the other method.
Which extraction method is better?
When shopping around for mushroom supplements, it is beneficial to know what kind of extraction method is used for your specific product. This will ensure that you are getting a high-quality supplement that actually works.
If you are looking for a Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, or Maitake mushroom product, you should look for a hot water extract product. This is because their most important active ingredients – beta-glucans – are water-soluble. Using alcohol or dual extraction for these mushrooms is not desirable, because alcohol would cause some of the the beta-glucans to solidify and be filtered out of the liquid.
On the other hand, the reishi and chaga mushrooms benefit from dual extraction because they contain both water-soluble beta-glucans and alcohol-soluble terpenoids.
Our Lion's Mane and Turkey Tail is extracted using the water method in order to derive the highest beta-glucan content.
Capsules or extracts?
When considering the differences between liquid extracts and capsules, we believe that one is not better than the other; it is a matter of personal preference. Daily serving suggestions are basically equivalent; 2 capsules or 1g twice per day.
All of our supplements are vegan, gluten free, organic and non-GMO!
Is it safe to consume during pregnancy?
Generally speaking if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, we recommend seeking medical advice before taking Turkey Tail or any of our other products.
Furthermore, to date, there has been no concerted investigation into the use of Turkey Tail mushroom in pregnancy and lactation.