The Truth About Medicinal Mushroom Supplements: Jeff Chilton of NAMMEX

By:Ryan Munsey

Updated:2017-06-05 09:16:44.0

Medicinal mushrooms are one of the biggest and fastest growing trends in natural health and wellness today.

With good reason.

Mushrooms have been shown to boost immunity, increase Nerve Growth Factor, and improve endurance during physical activity (and this is only a partial list of the immuno-modulating benefits mushrooms can provide).

But there's a BIG SECRET that the mushroom industry is fighting to keep hidden from you.

These benefits only come from beta-glucans - and a majority of the mushroom products on the market contain little to none of this compound.


That's where our story gets interesting...

Meet Jeff Chilton: 

Jeff Chilton has been a pioneer in the Medicinal Mushroom industry ever since he began his career working on a large commercial mushroom farm in 1973. 

Today, his company NAMMEX (North American Medicinal Mushroom Extracts), is the largest medicinal mushroom raw materials supplier in North America.

From Jeff to his son Skye (featured on the Ben Greenfield podcast HERE) mushrooms have always been a passion for the Chilton family.

In 1983, Jeff co-authored the Mushroom Cultivator book and in 1989 he switched from growing mushrooms for food to selling mushrooms as nutritional supplements.

Today - just as Natural Stacks is fighting to shine light on - and modify - unethical practices in the supplement industry, Jeff and Skye are crusading to expose the dirty secrets of the mushroom industry.

If you use, have thought about using, or know someone who uses medicinal mushrooms, this podcast is a can't miss expose.

Jeff drops some bombs and shares the inside information you'll need to help you sort through facts and fiction in the medicinal mushroom industry.

Mushrooms Vs. Mycelium (grown on grain)

Here's what you need to know.

The active, beneficial compound in medicinal mushrooms is a special class of polysaccharides known as beta-glucans.

The profile of these beta-glucans differ from one mushroom species to the next. This is why Lion's Mane boosts Nerve Growth Factor by 500% while Cordyceps improves endurance, and Reishi promotes immune health and longevity.

If your mushroom supplement does not contain beta-glucans, you're not getting the active compounds that provide the benefits being sold to you.

Unfortunately MOST "mushroom" products on the US market do not source their products from actual mushrooms.

Instead, they use mycelium - a sterile, laboratory grown, vegetative part of the fungal organism. To make matters worse, this mycelium is grown on grains like rice, oats, or barley rather than precursor-rich wood on which mushrooms grow in nature.

As you'll hear from Jeff - and see in the lab analysis below - mycelium grown on grain has a SIGNIFICANTLY less favorable beta-glucan content, and a much higher pure starch content.

***Here's a look at the published research. Note the inverse relationship of alpha and beta glucan content from mushroom fruit bodies to mycelium. NOT EVEN CLOSE to the same thing! Also note the similarity in alpha-glucan content between mycelium products and actual rice (at the bottom of list).***

The alpha glucans present in mycelium are basic starches with no health-promoting properties.

No beta-glucans = no medicinal mushroom benefits.