Nutrition Experts Weigh in on Whether Mushrooms Are Really Magic

mushroom supplements
Are Mushrooms Really Magic?

If you’re keen to enhance your immunity, the mushroom-supplement industry has something for you. But do these tinctures and powders work? MH asks the experts.

The Claim

Mushroom supp makers say they can improve mood and brainpower, raise immunity and (deep breath) fight cancer. Lion’s mane and reishi varieties have antioxidants and beta-glucan, a fibre that regulates blood sugar, weight and more.

What's True

Mushrooms do contain antioxidants and beta-glucan, says Brian St Pierre, a Men’s Health nutrition adviser. If their extracts come from real mushrooms, supplements will also have these nutrients.

Your Takeaway

There’s not enough data to conclude that these supps strengthen your brain or body, says St Pierre. Plus, they can be pricey (often about £20 for a bag), unlike, y’know, normal mushrooms, which also have solid research trumpeting their many benefits.

What's Also Dodgy

Some supps only contain the mushroom root and not the beta-glucan-rich cap and stem. Even if a company makes its supps from caps, it may decide to include a fraction of the dosages found to be effective in those human studies.

What's False

Most mushroom supplementation research has been conducted on rodents; the few human studies that exist have small sample sizes. There’s promise but no hard data to prove supps can boost mood or support your immune system.

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