United States Pharmacopeia research study confirms lack of triterpenes and beta-glucans in many Reishi products

In August, 2017, Nature, the worlds most cited scientific journal, published in its Scientific Reports an important analytical study about Reishi mushroom products. United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) sponsored this project with a leading mushroom scientist from China, Dr. Li Shao-ping. In their research, 19 different Reishi mushroom products sold in the USA were tested for the compounds that characterize a real Reishi mushroom (fruiting body). They used scientifically identified and validated Reishi mushrooms as their standard.

In the USP study, they utilized various highly accurate testing methods including HPTLC, Colorimetric method, GC-MS, and High Performance Size-exclusion Chromatography. The results of their study demonstrated clearly that only 5 of 19 samples could be verified as genuine Reishi mushroom. Most of the other products lacked characteristic triterpenoids and also had a starch-like polysaccharide profile that was inconsistent with Reishi mushroom.

During the study, Jeff Chilton, founder of Nammex, was in contact with USP and alerted the researchers to quality control issues including mycelium products that are grown on grain. Many of the samples they had purchased, which were sold and labeled as mushroom, were in fact mycelium on grain. More importantly, because of his long-standing work with mushrooms, Jeff was allowed to submit some Nammex Reishi mushroom extract samples.

USP made the following statement in the abstract of their research.

“ The results showed that the measured ingredients of only 5 tested samples (26.3%) were in accordance with their labels, which suggested the quality consistency of G. lucidum dietary supplements in the U.S. market was poor, which should be carefully investigated.”

3 out of the 5 samples (60%) that passed USP’s testing standards were Nammex reishi mushroom extracts.

The USP research has now confirmed what Jeff Chilton has demonstrated in his published 2015 White Paper, Redefining Medicinal Mushrooms, and his presentation to the International Society for Mushroom Science symposium in 2016.

Nammex commends USP for initiating this study and assisting the health and wellness industry with the validation of quality standards for mushroom products.

USP Research Article: (Nature Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 7792(2017)

Nammex Beta-glucan Research Highlights 2016 International Society for Mushroom Science Conference

Jeff Chilton, President of Nammex Organic Mushroom Extracts, recently presented his groundbreaking beta-glucan research in Amsterdam to the International Society for Mushroom Science (ISMS), a worldwide organization of which he has been a member for 40 years.

Held every four years, ISMS presents current research from around the globe on all aspects of mushrooms: genetics, innovations in cultivation equipment and techniques, spawn making, and nutritional and medicinal aspects.

For years, mushroom scientists and advocates have been searching for a means to quantify the active compounds in medicinal mushrooms. Mr. Chilton has solved this problem with the development of the Nammex Testing Protocol™, a series of three or more tests that provide a fingerprint for mushroom quality.

Based around the groundbreaking Megazyme beta-glucan test, this testing protocol is relatively inexpensive and very accurate. In fact, a number of members at the conference also presented research that used the Megazyme method.

According to Mr. Chilton, the Megazyme beta-glucan based protocol sets a new standard and revolutionizes the assessment of medicinal mushroom products.

“There can no longer be any doubt as to medicinal mushroom product quality. The Nammex Testing Protocol gives all companies the tools to evaluate and verify claims made by their mushroom supplier.”

Medicinal Mushroom Pioneer Challenges Mycelium Potency

With over forty years in the mushroom industry, Jeff Chilton knows the science of mushrooms. In fact, the Nammex founder helped pioneer the now rapidly expanding market for medicinal mushrooms.

But Mr. Chilton is concerned that the common practice of growing mycelium on a grain medium – a methodology which Jeff helped popularize in the 1990’s before abandoning it in 2005 – has now flooded the market with less than optimal ingredients.

Mr. Chilton has confirmed through scientific research that mycelium grown on grain produces lower amounts of beta-D-glucans, the primary active compound in medicinal mushrooms. Not only that, the residual grain in the form of starch dominates these products.

Jeff has proven his findings by using a new, highly specific testing method developed by Megazyme International, an award-winning, world leader in testing technologies – especially carbohydrates and polysaccharides. Megazyme’s method is specifically designed to measure (1>3)(1>6)-beta-glucans from mushrooms and yeast. The test is now utilized by researchers worldwide and is becoming a standard.

The Megazyme test results clearly show that mushrooms, the “fruiting body”, produce measurably greater amounts of beta-glucans compared to mycelium, “the vegetative body”. And because mycelium is typically grown on grain, mycelium products can contain as much as 70% starch. Mushrooms contain less than 5% starch on average.

Furthermore, secondary metabolites like triterpenoids, recognized as key medicinal compounds, are mostly absent in mycelium on grain products due to lack of precursors. Not so in organically grown mushrooms.

NAMMEX first organized organic mushroom production in China in 1997. Their long-term business development efforts have paid off with their Kosher and Certified Organic mushrooms being grown in pristine mountain valleys deep in China – the traditional home of medicinal mushrooms.

NAMMEX now guarantees the potency levels of active compounds in their organic mushroom products. They sell twelve primary medicinal mushrooms, which include Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps and Chaga. All are tested and shipped with guaranteed amounts of beta-D glucans. Certified organic and Kosher.