Fruiting Body Mushrooms vs Mycelium - What's the Difference?

Fruiting Body Mushrooms vs Mycelium - What's the Difference?

Mushrooms Supplements are becoming increasingly popular due to their numerous health benefits. However, there's a lot of confusion about the difference between the fruiting body mushrooms and mycelium. In this article, we'll explain the key differences between the two and why it matters.

What is a Fruiting Body Mushroom?

A fruiting body mushroom is the visible part of the mushroom that emerges from the soil. It's the part that we usually see in grocery stores or in the wild. The fruiting body contains spores, which are the equivalent of the seeds of the mushroom. These spores are dispersed by the wind or animals and then germinate into new mycelium.

What is Mycelium?

Mycelium is the vegetative part of the mushroom. It's a network of fine, thread-like structures that grow beneath the soil or substrate. The mycelium is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the environment and breaking them down into a form that the mushroom can use. Mycelium is also responsible for the growth and expansion of the mushroom colony.

How are Fruiting Body Mushrooms and Mycelium Used?

Fruiting body mushrooms are the most commonly consumed part of the mushroom. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are used in a variety of dishes. Fruiting body mushrooms are also used in dietary supplements and herbal remedies and are generally thought of as superior to mycelium based supplements. 

Mycelium is also used in dietary supplements and herbal remedies, but it's not as commonly consumed as the fruiting body. Mycelium extract is often used in supplements because it contains a high concentration of beneficial compounds, including beta-glucans, triterpenoids, and ergothioneine. However, so do actual real mushrooms.  Unfortunately,  the real reason brands use mycelium is simple because it is cheap and easy to produce in a lab environment. The mycelium is grown on grains and the ground up for the use in supplements. Its common to get very little mycelium and a bunch of useless grain. There are a few companies that product quality mycelium products but in general most are only using this part of the mushroom for financial benefit. 


Which is Better - Fruiting Body or Mycelium?

Both fruiting body mushrooms and mycelium have their unique benefits. Fruiting body mushrooms contain a high concentration of antioxidants and are a good source of fiber, protein, and B vitamins. High quality mycelium which is hard to find in supplements can contains a higher concentration of beta-glucans, which are known for their immune-boosting properties.

We believe in most cases the Fruiting Body is far superior to the Mycelium and ideally you would want to use a supplement that has both and contain no grains. 

However, it's important to note that the quality of the mushroom or mycelium product is also essential. Not all mushroom supplements are created equal, and the quality of the product can vary significantly. When choosing a mushroom supplement, it's essential to choose a product that has been tested for purity and potency.

5: Tips for Choosing High-Quality Mushroom Products

    1. Look for products that have been tested for purity and potency. Reputable companies will provide third-party testing results to show the quality of their products.

    2. Choose products that use the fruiting body of the mushroom. The fruiting body contains a higher concentration of beneficial compounds. Avoid products that contain only mycelial biomass, mycelium, myceliated grain or mycelial biomass, or cultured oats, Avoid buying products that lack specific information about the plant part of the fungi (whether real mushroom or mycelium).

    3. Check the extraction method used to make the product. Some extraction methods can damage or destroy the beneficial compounds in the mushroom, while others are more effective at preserving them.

    4. Read reviews from other customers to get an idea of the product's effectiveness and quality.

Understanding the difference between fruiting body mushrooms and mycelium is crucial when choosing a mushroom product. Both have their unique benefits, and the quality of the product is essential. By choosing a high-quality product that uses the fruiting body of the mushroom, has been tested for purity and potency, and uses an effective extraction method, you can ensure that you're getting the most benefit from your mushroom supplement.