Unveiling the Contents of Your Pet's Mushroom Supplements:
A Consumer's Guide to Purchasing High-Quality Mushroom Extracts: Navigating through the PR & marketing BS.
Ratios: Do They Matter?
Companies frequently emphasize ratios like 8:1 or 15:1 in their mushroom powder extracts, but understanding their significance can be challenging. To unravel the complexities, let's break it down step by step with guidance from experts.
Look Beyond Ratios: The ratio alone doesn't determine quality. Crucial factors include mushroom type, chitin hardness (skin), and resulting polysaccharides/beta-glucans. For instance, when comparing Lion’s Mane extracts from Company "A" (8:1) and Company "B" (20:1), the key lies in polysaccharide levels. If Company "A" offers 37% polysaccharides with an 8:1 ratio and Company "B" has 30%, with an 20:1 ratio, Company "A" provides the superior product.
It's important to note that polysaccharides, including beta-glucans, are considered one of the bioactive compounds in mushrooms that contribute to their potential health benefits. These benefits may include immune system support, antioxidant properties, and potential anti-inflammatory effects. Keep in mind that the polysaccharide content can be influenced by the part of the mushroom used (fruiting body vs. mycelium), the extraction process, and the overall quality of the product.
When purchasing functional mushroom products, it's advisable to check the product's label or contact the manufacturer for information on the polysaccharide content. High-quality products often provide this information to help consumers make informed choices based on the desired health benefits.
Also, be aware of companies that claim to high of polysaccharides levels in their products. Of the three main functional mushrooms average polysaccharides levels should fall between: Cordyceps, 10-25% Lion’s Mane 25-40% & Turkey Tail, 35-60%.
Mycelium Matters: Pay attention to mycelium. While it plays a crucial role in the mushroom's lifecycle, its inclusion in extracts can introduce unwanted starch, sugars, and fillers. Opt for products with 100% fruiting body content, and be cautious if a company is not transparent about its use of mycelium or mycelium-fruiting body mixtures.
ORAL DROPS / TINCTURES
Oral Drops / Tinctures: The confusion intensifies when considering mushroom tinctures or oral drops. While these can be excellent ways to administer mushrooms, questions arise about their content and health benefits.
Extraction Techniques: Many companies use a double extraction technique for tinctures, involving soaking dehydrated or powdered mushrooms in 200-proof alcohol and later decocting them in hot water. However, this method may leave a significant amount of medicine in the chitin (skin).
Forward-thinking companies, like FurBabies, use ultrasonic waves for a more effective extraction, breaking down the chitin efficiently.
Avoiding Alcohol and Preservatives: When choosing tinctures or oral drops, steer clear of products containing alcohol and preservatives, especially for pets. Ensure the product is fruiting body only and pay attention to declared amounts of polysaccharides/beta-glucans. This ensures you are getting the full medicinal benefits without unnecessary additives.
Conclusion: Making informed choices in the mushroom extract market requires a discerning eye. By understanding the nuances of ratios, being cautious about mycelium content, and choosing tinctures wisely, consumers can navigate the maze of options with confidence. With this guide, empower yourself to prioritize the quality and effectiveness of mushroom extracts for both you and your furry friends.