The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: 5 Top Supplements Reviewed

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The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: 5 Top Supplements Reviewed:

Gut health is, in many ways, at the very core of mental health and mood, with good gut health being supported through the use of various supplements. There are a number of mushroom supplements available to promote good gut health, and we’ve reviewed five of them for you. Read on to learn about the best mushrooms for gut health.

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What is the “gut,” and what does it do for you?

 “Gut” is a shorthand way of referring to the human digestive system called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract contains a diverse microbial community containing more than 100 trillion microorganisms known as gut microbiota. This system of microorganisms is unique to every person and includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other organisms that assist in various bodily functions, including:

  • Digestion by metabolizing nutrients from the food we eat
  • Drug metabolism
  • Maintaining the mucosal barrier that protects the gut from harmful substances (gut barrier function).
  • Production of some vitamins
  • Regulating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Defending against pneumococcal pneumonia
Gut thealth demo in doctor's hand.

[This article “The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: 5 Top Supplements Reviewed” is originally published in MushroomMaestro]

The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: What the gut needs to do its job.

The gut needs a balance of healthy microorganisms (gut microbiota) to perform all of the above-stated functions optimally, but the general wear and tear of life can make that challenging.

Factors that take a toll on gut microbiota include:

  • An unbalanced diet
  • Stress
  • Antibiotic use
  • Diseases
  • Food allergies
  • Excess alcohol use
  • Age

The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: You can nourish and build healthy microbiota with mushrooms

Building healthy gut microbiota can be assisted with supplementation of probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics aid in replenishing good bacteria in the gut, while prebiotics feed the good bacteria.

A critical review from 2017 shows that mushrooms are excellent prebiotics because they provide nutrition to healthy gut bacteria and stimulate the growth of gut microbiota. This review also makes the following statement:

“There are several edible mushrooms that have significant medicinal metabolites. These mushrooms can make better prebiotics to stimulate the gut microbiota. There are several sources of various prebiotics, such as seaweed, but mushrooms have the advantage of their easy availability and having been studied extensively, when compared to other prebiotics.

So why does the gut microbiome like mushrooms so much?

 
It’s the carbs, baby! The carbohydrates found in mushrooms are highly immune-stimulating β glucans and polysaccharides. Mushrooms also contain essential amino acids and minerals, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: 5 Top Supplements Reviewed is an original (MushroomMaestro) article.

What are some of the best mushrooms for gut health?

Mushrooms have been used as food and medicine for thousands of years worldwide in many cultures. The earliest medicinal use is traced to China. The Greek physician Hippocrates, circa 450 BCE, classified the amadou mushroom (Fomes fomentarius) as an anti-inflammatory and recommended using it to cauterize wounds.

There are approximately 14,000 species of known mushrooms – but don’t worry, we’re only taking a look at five used to improve gut health, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, and Shiitake.

Turkey Tail Mushroom (Coriolus Versicolor) is one of the most studied medical mushrooms.

Here’s how it works on your gut:

  • Balances gut bacteria.
  • Polysaccharide peptide (PSP) may help with weight management (more study is needed on human subjects to confirm this theory).
  • May positively alter fecal microbiota composition.
human hand holding turkey tail mushrooms

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi)

Often called “the king of mushrooms,” it’s benefits include:

  • Strong anti-inflammatory
  • test-tube studies
  • , Reishi can affect the genes in white blood cells (critical to the immune system),
  • Improves immune function
  • Reverses gut dysbiosis (imbalance)
Fresh reishi mushroom for display.

Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium Erinaceus)

are so named because of their prominent white shaggy appearance resembling a lion’s main. Here are some ways they can help your gut:

  • Protect against ulcers in the digestive tract
  • Treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • Positively change the composition and activity of the GI tract and microbiota,
  • Gastroprotective – decreasing inflammatory and immune responses
  • Encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Bowl with coral fungus, Lion's Mane Mushroom and oyster mushroom

Chaga Mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus)

are called the “mother of antioxidants.”

A study shows that Chaga mushrooms can reduce inflammation and fight harmful bacteria; they can also:

  •  Assist in treating IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Help achieve a healthy microbiome
  • Assist in treating leaky gut
  • Treat gastrointestinal disorders
  • Calm down the immune system
Chagga Mushroom in white bowl for gut health.

Shiitake Mushrooms (Lentinula Edodes)

Dr. Robert Silverman, certified sports nutritionist and author ofInside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body, says, “Shiitake mushrooms have a positive effect on gut health because it blunts the signals of inflammation in the gut, which is critical for immune function and digestion.”

Shiitake benefits include:

  • Balancing and improving gut microbiota
  • Immune system support by boosting white cell production
  • Discouraging pathogens found in the GI tract
  • Improving digestion
Shiitake-mushrooms.

The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: 5 Top Supplements Reviewed is (MushroomMaestro) report.

Here is our review of 5 supplements containing the best mushrooms for gut health

Teelixir

(Tea + Elixir = Teelixir) is based in Melbourne, Australia. They have formulated a line of powdered mushroom and superfood supplements that mix easily into water, tea, coffee, juice, smoothies, or any food or dessert recipe.

Their gut support blend, Mushroom Immunity/Gut-Immune Support, is a blend of certified organic mushroom powder extracts containing all five mushrooms discussed in this article, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, and Shiitake – among others.  Teelixir also offers single mushroom powders.

FreshCap

FreshCap purchases functional mushrooms from qualified organic growers in the United States and Canada. From their website: “We’re all about whole fruiting body mushrooms, thoroughly extracted and with no grain fillers. So, you can actually feel a difference.”

Freshcap offers mushrooms in several forms: capsules, powders, drinks, and gummies. Their

Ultimate Mushroom Complex (capsules) contains four of the five mushrooms mentioned in this article: Lion’s mane, Turkey Tail, Reishi, and Chaga. They also sell single mushroom products.

pills for imrpoving gut health.

OM Mushrooms Superfood

The word OM in their brand stands for Organic Mushrooms – and they grow their own. OM Mushrooms come in a variety of formats:

  • Capsules
  • Powders
  • Functional Beverages
  • Protein
  • Creamers
  • Supplement Drink Mixes
  • Broths
  • Bundles

Their Immune Blend Organic Mushroom Powder combines four species of mushrooms, including Turkey Tail and Reishi, for broad-spectrum immune support. Their powder is easily mixed into any beverage or can be added to recipes.

Realmushrooms

Real mushrooms commits to us that their mushroom extracts are wholly pure and organic with scientific verification of the beneficial compounds in mushrooms.

Their formulas have been perfected for over 30 years and contain no grain fillers.

Real Mushrooms offers mushroom products in a variety of formats:

capsules, powders, and blends.

Their  immune blend, 5 Defenders Organic Mushroom Blend (capsules)

contains four of the mushrooms discussed in this article:  Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, and Shiitake.

Individual mushroom products are also offered. If you’d like to take a mushroom extract for gut health in the form of a powder or capsule, Real Mushrooms offers the very best products on the market. They have been the mushroom supplement provider of choice in multiple comparison and review articles.

Mushroom with Vitamin pill.

The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: 5 Top Supplements Reviewed is an original (MushroomMaestro) article.

Troop

Troop’s company name comes from the noun “troop,” which refers to a group of mushrooms growing together. Their mushrooms are sourced from organic growers in the United States.

Troop likes to have a bit of fun with their mushrooms which are produced as tasty gummies using the whole fruiting body of the mushrooms and come in natural fruit flavors. Their gummie mushroom products are:

  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Soy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dual extracted
  • Grain & Mycelium free

Troop offers a blend –  Super Troop containing six mushroom extracts, including four of the mushrooms discussed in this article: Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail. They also sell Lion’s Mane and Reishi gummies separately. If you are not completely comfortable with the prospect of taking mushroom capsules or powders for gut health, Troop’s gummies are notably delicious (based upon numerous reviews) and have been the most highly rated mushroom edibles in the marketplace. Their three principal products are wonderful alternatives to capsules and powders, if that is your preference.

Shiitake Lentinus edoides mushroom supplement capsules

A few tips about using natural mushroom supplements

Now that you’ve learned about some of the best mushrooms for gut health – why not experiment by trying a mushroom supplement? You can try a single variety or a blend (which work synergistically).  Keep in mind that unlike pharmaceutical drugs you may not feel the effects immediately. Natural supplements are slowly absorbed by your body and need time to work – nourishing and building gut microbiota doesn’t happen quickly. So be patient and consistent for at least 15 to 30 days with your supplementation to reap the benefits of improved gut health.

For Further Reading:

A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms

What is the Healthy Gut Microbiota Composition?

Probiotics and prebiotics: What you should know – Mayo Clinic

Stimulatory Effect of β-glucans on Immune Cells

Important Note: The information contained in this article (The Best Mushrooms For Gut Health: 5 Top Supplements Reviewed) is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

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