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Best Mushroom Supplement

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed by a holistic health practitioner. Angela Halderson, RD, is a certified health coach with experience providing nutritional counseling.

Lackluster health is an all-too-common reality for many in today's nonstop, high-stress world. Mental fog, nagging fatigue, lingering illnesses, and constant aches leave us at less-than-peak performance. However, relief from these energy-draining states may be found in an unexpected yet powerful source  – mushrooms.

Nutrients in various mushroom species confer wide-ranging benefits that help align the entire mind and body ecosystem. From sharpening focus and speeding recall to stamping out inflammation at the cellular level, compounds in reishi, cordyceps, lion's mane, and other mushrooms create cascading positive effects. By supporting nervous, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, and immune system function simultaneously, mushrooms allow every organ to flourish. 

To assist in selecting the best mushroom supplement, this article first offers an overview of the rich history and benefits of mushroom use, followed by guidelines and recommendations.  

A Time-Honored Tradition

Throughout history, healing traditions have revered certain mushrooms for their profound health-enhancing effects. Modern science has only recently begun to confirm their therapeutic properties. 

Ancient Greeks believed mushrooms gave their warriors strength in battle, and the Romans regarded them as the “food of the gods.” The Chinese treasured mushrooms as an “elixir of life.” Archeological findings in Chadakufu, China, reveal medicinal mushrooms were used for curative means as far back as 2800 BC. 

Native Alaskans also relied on the Chaga mushroom for overall vitality. Similarly, the Sami people of northern Scandinavia found mushrooms indispensable when venturing through arctic extremes. Morels, truffles, chanterelles, and other wild varietals flourished in use by Mesoamerican healers as a panacea, while in central and east Africa, mushrooms were a source of nourishment in cultural diets and medicine. 

Thus, through intuitive empiricism refined over thousands of years, mushrooms roused recognition as adaptive modulators able to revitalize health and fend off disease. Now, with modern research validating mushrooms' extensive therapeutic actions, their legendary status continues to grow, still supplying the profound gifts of healing from nature discovered eons ago.

Ten Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms offer an array of science-backed therapeutic effects thanks to their unique blend of ingredients. Here are ten of the top researched benefits:

1. Reduce Risk of Cellular Changes

Studies show eating just a small handful of mushrooms daily cuts risk of irregular cellular changes by 45% across major types like breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. They reduce the risk of irregular cellular development through several mechanisms:

  • • Antioxidant effects – Mushrooms contain antioxidants like ergothioneine and selenium that can help fight free radical damage and oxidative stress in the body's cells. This reduces DNA mutations that could lead to cancer.
  • • Anti-inflammatory effects – Compounds in certain mushrooms like reishi have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can contribute to tumor growth, so lowering it can mitigate risk. 
  • • Immune system modulation – Mushroom polysaccharides, peptides, and lectins can enhance immune surveillance. This function helps the body detect cancerous cells early and stop tumors from forming and advancing. 
  • • Angiogenesis inhibition – Some mushroom extracts have shown abilities to disrupt the process of angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) that tumors rely on to grow and metastasize. Blocking this process starves tumors of needed blood supply for expansion.

Additionally, mushrooms may enhance apoptosis (programmed “bad” cell death), inhibiting oncogene expression and disrupting tumor cell adhesion and migration. 

2. Improve Cardiovascular Health 

Mushrooms can improve cardiovascular health in a few key ways:

  • • Lowering cholesterol levels – Studies show that regularly eating mushrooms can lower LDL "bad" cholesterol levels. This is likely due to mushrooms' high fiber content and beta-glucans interfering with cholesterol absorption. Lower LDL cholesterol reduces plaque buildup in arteries.
  • • Decreasing blood pressure – Certain varieties, like maitake mushrooms, have been shown to improve blood pressure levels, including lowering systolic pressure. The potassium and vitamin D in some mushrooms help relax blood vessels and open circulation. 
  • • Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation – Oxidative damage to blood vessels and inflammation drive atherosclerosis development. Bioactive compounds like ergothioneine, polyphenols, and selenium exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities that protect blood vessels. 
  • • Improving blood sugar regulation – Compounds in some mushrooms moderate glucose absorption and insulin secretion. By controlling spikes and drops in blood sugar, mushrooms prevent vascular damage that occurs with poor blood sugar control.

Replacing meat with mushrooms reduces fat and sodium intake and benefits cardiovascular function.

3. Enhance Neurological Health

Mushrooms contain unique compounds that can enhance neurological health in several ways:

  • • Stimulate nerve growth – Hericenones and erinacines in lion's mane mushrooms can stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) production. NGF supports the growth and differentiation of neurons, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system.
  • • Improve cognition – Lion's mane can reduce mild cognitive impairment in humans. The stimulation of NGF enhances neurological pathways involved in memory, learning, and decision-making by protecting neurons from damage. 
  • • Anti-inflammatory effects – The antioxidants in reishi, cordyceps, and turkey tail mushrooms may reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases. The anti-inflammatory effects protect neural cells.
  • • Increase blood flow – Adenosine, ergothioneine, and nerve growth factors in mushrooms can promote blood circulation, oxygenation, and nutrient availability to neural tissues and the brain. Better blood flow supports overall brain health and function.
  • • Prevent amyloid protein growth – The ergothioneine in mushrooms may prevent the development of amyloid proteins related to dementia.

Consuming mushrooms as part of a balanced diet may support better memory and focus and guard against neurodegenerative diseases. Singapore studies found subjects eating over two cups of mushrooms weekly cut mild cognitive impairment risk by 50%. More research is still emerging, but mushrooms show promise as a natural neuro-enhancing food.

4. Reduce Risk of Depression  

Numerous bioactive compounds in mushrooms are associated with reducing depression risk. These include B vitamins, vitamin D, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds like ergothioneine. 

Low vitamin D levels are associated with a higher risk of depression, likely because vitamin D is involved in regulating mood and the production of serotonin. Consuming mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light can help increase vitamin D levels, which may have antidepressant effects. 

Inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain can also contribute to depression when out of balance. Ergothioneine is needed to maintain the balance. Studies have found that people with depression tend to have lower levels of ergothioneine – an essential compound found in mushrooms.

As previously noted, lion's mane and other medicinal mushrooms stimulate nerve growth. Consequently, this nerve growth may counteract the atrophy often seen in the brains of people with chronic depression and other mental health disorders.

5. Support Immunity 

Mushrooms support and enhance immunity in several key ways:

  • • Antioxidant effects – The antioxidants in mushrooms (e.g., ergothioneine, selenium, and glutathione) protect immune cells against oxidative damage, allowing them to function more efficiently.
  • • Anti-Inflammatory effects – The anti-inflammatory properties of certain mushrooms may inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines. This inhibitive function prevents excessive inflammation that can be immuno-suppressive if unchecked. 
  • • Immunomodulation – Mushroom polysaccharides and protein-bound polysaccharides can directly interact with receptors on macrophages, T-cells, and NK cells. This stimulates their activity and enhances pathogen elimination capabilities.
  • • Antibacterial and antiviral activities – Compounds in mushrooms demonstrate direct antimicrobial effects against some viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. This aids the immune system in tackling pathogens. 
  • • Gut microbiome support – Prebiotic fibers in mushrooms promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria tied to immune regulation. The enhanced communication between gut microflora and immune cells leads to a more balanced and self-regulating immune system.

Through its unique spectrum of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and immunomodulatory compounds, mushroom nutrition provides multilayered reinforcements for the immune system. 

6. Build Bone Strength

Mushrooms can help build bone strength in a few key ways:

  • • Vitamin D – Many mushrooms contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Calcium is the primary mineral that makes up the structure and strength of bones. By boosting vitamin D levels, mushrooms better enable calcium utilization for improved bone density.
  • • Minerals – Mushrooms provide minerals like zinc, copper, selenium, and magnesium that are important for bone structure and function. Deficiencies in these minerals can contribute to a higher risk of osteoporosis. 
  • • Antioxidants – Oxidative stress contributes to osteoporosis progression. Antioxidants like ergothioneine in mushrooms combat this oxidative damage to help preserve structural integrity.
  • • Vitamin K – Important in bone metabolism, vitamin K is found abundantly in many types of mushrooms. Vitamin K improves calcium binding to strengthen bone matrix proteins and lower fracture rates. 
  • • Anti-inflammatory – Chronic inflammation can lead to declines in bone mineral density over time. Bioactive anti-inflammatory compounds in mushrooms can inhibit these mechanisms.

Adding mushrooms to one's diet can supply critical factors to enhance bone density, improve strength, and prevent age-related bone loss.

7. Improve Gut Health

Mushrooms can improve gut health in several ways:

  • • Prebiotic fiber – Mushrooms contain prebiotic polysaccharides and chitin fibers that act as food for beneficial gut bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. These fibers stimulate the growth and activity of these healthy bacteria.
  • • Improved microbiome balance – Compounds in certain mushrooms have been shown to inhibit the growth of bad gut bacteria like Clostridium and E. coli species. Limiting these pathogenic bacteria allows the good bacteria to thrive.
  • • Strengthened gut barrier – Mushroom extracts strengthen tight junction proteins between gut epithelial cells. This protects the gut lining from leaky gut syndrome, reducing the passage of toxins, allergens, and pathogens.

Through multifaceted mechanisms of fiber enrichment, microbiome balancing, and gut barrier strengthening, mushrooms deliver broad-spectrum support for optimal gut health and integrity with regular consumption.

8. Support Healthy Metabolism

Mushrooms can help support healthy metabolism in several ways:

  • • Enhancing bile production – The eritadenine in mushrooms stimulates the release of bile from the gallbladder, which helps digest and absorb fats more efficiently. This enhances metabolic capacity. 
  • • Promoting weight management – Mushrooms are low in calories but high in lean protein and fiber. By promoting satiety and healthy gut flora, mushrooms can assist with reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • • Moderating fat absorption and synthesis – As mentioned, mushrooms improve bile flow for better fat digestion. Some mushroom components also inhibit key enzymes involved in fat metabolism and storage, including pancreatic lipase and FAS fatty acid synthase.  
  • • Aiding nutrient absorption – The prebiotic fiber in mushrooms feeds gut bacteria, which generate many beneficial nutrients. This allows for enhanced nutrient extraction and delivery from foods that support the body's needs.

Through enhancing bile and enzyme secretion, promoting weight control, balancing lipids, regulating enzymes involved in fat metabolism, and boosting nutrient absorption, mushrooms provide multilevel metabolic support and optimization of many key digestive and absorptive processes.

9. Improve Stress Adaptation

The consumption of mushrooms can improve stress adaptation in the following ways:

  • • HPA-axis regulation – Bioactive compounds in certain mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps, and lion's mane can help regulate the HPA-axis, which controls the release of stress hormones like cortisol. This modulation prevents spikes or drops in cortisol that impair stress adaptation.
  • • Adrenal support – The polysaccharides and peptides in mushrooms support healthy adrenal gland function. The adrenals are responsible for producing hormones that manage the stress response. Mushrooms nourish these glands to prevent adrenal fatigue.
  • • Balanced energy -–Mushrooms enhance mitochondrial health and oxygen utilization for more stable energy levels during stress. The reduced inflammation and blood sugar swings prevent an energy crash many feel during chronic stress.
  • • Mood regulation – Compounds like hericenones and erinacines in lion's mane can stimulate the synthesis of mood-boosting neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. This helps stabilize mood despite stressors. 

In essence, mushrooms augment cell energy, modulate inflammation, support glandular systems that govern the stress response, and boost neurotransmitters tied to motivation and relaxation. This multilayered physiological support enables better metabolic, hormonal, and mental adaptation during times of heightened stress.

10. Increase Energy and Endurance

Mushrooms can help increase energy, endurance, and athletic performance in a few key ways:

  • • Enhanced oxygen utilization – Compounds like cordyceps increase cellular capacity to use oxygen during aerobic respiration. This leads to greater energy output, supporting faster-paced activity.
  • • Boosting mitochondria and ATP – Ergothioneine and other nutrients in mushrooms nourish mitochondria and increase the production of cellular energy currency ATP. More fuel for cells enables sustained effort.
  • • Anti-fatigue effects – Mushrooms allow build up and clearance of less lactic acid during vigorous activity. This forestalls the muscle fatigue, pain, and soreness that lead to reduced performance. 
  • • Cardiovascular support – Compounds that modulate nitric oxide and adenosine activity improve oxygen-rich blood flow to working muscles. The enhanced circulation prevents cardiovascular limitations.
  • • Hormone regulation – Cordyceps helps balance testosterone, cortisol, and inflammation, which can impede optimal athletic capacity if dysregulated.

With these synergistic benefits of more oxygen utilization, ATP generation, lactic acid management, blood flow, and hormonal balance, adding mushrooms to one's diet can provide that extra 1–5% edge in energy and endurance for fitness and sports.

How to Select a High-Quality Mushroom Supplement

Navigating the mushroom supplement market to find a superior formula can be challenging if you don't know what to look for. However, you can select a high-quality supplement by following just a few steps:  

  1. 1. Identify your health goals – Determine what benefits you hope to get from a mushroom supplement. This will help you select formulations with suitable mushroom varieties targeting your needs.
  2. 2. Look for organic quality – Choose mushrooms grown in pristine conditions without pesticides, chemical residues, or contaminants that can undermine benefits and safety.
  3. 3. Select reputable brands – Research companies thoroughly and read reviews to verify high standards, purity testing, facility certifications, etc. Reputable brands stand behind their products. You may want to start with the “Professional Picks” noted in this article.
  4. 4. Evaluate the ingredients – Formulations should contain concentrated, standardized extracts of proven mushroom varieties backed by research, like reishi, cordyceps, lion's mane, etc. 
  5. 5. Confirm extraction method – Hot water, dual extractions, and fermentation optimize beneficial compounds extracted from mushrooms. This maximizes potency.
  6. 6. Review suggested use – Follow dosage directions based on ingredients and concentrations. Most contain daily serving instructions for best results.

Researching the mushroom supplement marketplace takes a bit of work on the front end, but it ensures you find a high-quality, effective formula that delivers the results you seek. 

Professional Picks

BrainMD (Smart Mushrooms)

Smart Mushrooms by BrainMD is grounded in recent clinical and scientific research on medicinal mushrooms. It includes six mushrooms that have been revered for centuries. The mushrooms in this formula are high in protein and fiber, low in calories and sodium, and contribute vitamins and minerals to the diet. They include glucans, unique fibers that enhance immunity, provide antioxidant benefits, and promote healthy gut microbial balance. 

The lion's mane mushroom contains unique hericenones and erinacines, which can increase the brain's nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF supports acetylcholine circuits required for focus, memory, and other cognitive functions. Lion's mane has shown promise in several clinical trials for improving cognition and mood. Its glucans also help boost immunity and support healthy bacterial balance in the gut.

  • • Form: Powder 
  • • Serving Size: 3 grams (1 scoop)  
  • • Suggested Use: Add one scoop to smoothies, coffee, or foods. For accelerated benefits, double the dosage for the first three weeks. Use within 45 days of opening.
  • • Servings per Container: 30

This product contains no GMOs, gluten, dairy, corn, nuts, soy, egg, yeast, or artificial colors/flavors. It is organic, vegan, paleo, and keto-friendly.

ecoNugenics (Ten Mushroom Formula) 

Ten Mushroom Formula by ecoNugenics is a comprehensive blend of 10 organically grown medicinal mushrooms. Each mushroom variety, including reishi, cordyceps, maitake, and coriolus, was specially selected for its synergistic health benefits and ability to support whole-body wellness.

This professional-grade formula utilizes the entire mushroom mycelium cultivated on organic Asian rice to capture the most bioactive compounds. It is provided in convenient vegetarian capsule form. The Ten Mushroom Formula adheres to strict standards of purity and ingredient quality. 

  • • Form: Vegetable capsules
  • • Serving Size: 4 capsules 
  • • Suggested Use: Take 1–4 capsules three times daily before meals or as your healthcare practitioner recommends. For best results, take this product on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before or after food.
  • • Servings Per Container: 30

Those new to mushroom supplements should start low and slowly with 1–2 capsules per day.

Source Naturals (Mushroom Immune Defense) 

Mushroom Immune Defense by Source Naturals provides a potent array of over a dozen mushroom species to support immune health. Carefully sourced high-quality mushroom varieties, including reishi, shiitake, maitake, and cordyceps, are provided in bioactive mycelia biomass and extract forms. These mushrooms contain polysaccharides, peptides, and other compounds that research suggests may boost NK cell, macrophage, T-cell, and cytokine activity.

By leveraging a diversity of synergistic mushroom species and bioactive compounds, Source Naturals Mushroom Immune Defense offers multidimensional support for robust immune system function. Those seeking additional immune reinforcement during seasonal changes may benefit from this high-potency blend.

  • • Form: Tablets
  • • Serving Size: 2 tablets  
  • • Suggested Use: Adults take 1-2 tablets twice daily between meals
  • • Servings Per Container: 60

This vegetarian supplement contains no common allergens and is specially formulated for broad-spectrum immune support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Third-Party Testing

Q: What is third-party testing, and why does it matter?

A: Third-party testing means sending mushroom supplement products to an independent laboratory to test for potency and purity and to ensure accurate labeling. This unbiased testing ensures quality, safety, and transparency so consumers know what they are getting. 

Q: What should you look for in third-party testing?

A: Look for regular testing that confirms the identity, purity, and potency of the raw materials and the finished product. Testing for contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents is also ideal.

Method of Extraction

Q: What are some of the best extraction methods?

A: The extraction method impacts the effectiveness of the bioactive compounds extracted from mushrooms. Methods like hot water, alcohol, and dual extractions optimize the benefits of polysaccharides and antioxidants. Top methods include hot water extraction, dual water/alcohol extraction, and fermentation. These gently and effectively extract key bioactives while preserving structural integrity. Certain enzymes may also be used.

Q: What’s the difference between hot water and alcohol mushroom extracts? 

A: Hot water extracts polysaccharides like beta-glucans, which enhance immunity, while alcohol (ethanol) extracts triterpenes and other compounds tied to antioxidant and longevity effects. Quality products use dual extracts to provide complete benefits.

Mushroom Species

Q: Why is using multiple mushroom species important?

A: Combining several mushroom species provides synergy from diverse bioactive compounds and a more comprehensive range of therapeutic benefits than supplements with just one mushroom.

Q: What are the best mushroom varieties to look for? 

A: Top species like lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi, turkey tail, shiitake, maitake, and chaga are backed by extensive research confirming substantial health benefits. Blends with several of these mushrooms tend to be most effective.

Form and Dosage

Q: What forms do mushroom supplements come in?  

A: Common forms include capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders. Specific forms, like liquids and powders, may have higher bioavailability. Capsules provide convenience, while tinctures allow dosage precision.

Q: What factors affect optimal dosage?

A: Age, health status, medication use, and specific benefits desired affect the ideal dosage. Products will recommend target dosages based on their concentration and extraction potency. Consulting an integrative doctor can help tailor dosage. 

Q: How often should you take mushroom supplements?

A: Most supplements are taken daily, ideally with meals, to maintain consistent nutrient levels. Breaks may be taken periodically after a few months if desired, then resumed for sustained benefits. There is little evidence that taking “too much” of a mushroom supplement causes harm. However, mega-dosing is not necessary. Optimal benefits typically occur when taking doses at recommended ranges.

Side Effects

Q: Are mushroom supplements safe? What about side effects?  

A: Extensively researched medicinal mushrooms have an exceptional safety profile, especially when taken per dosage guidelines. Mild effects like digestive discomfort may manifest initially in sensitive individuals. This often resolves within days. 

Q: Do mushroom supplements interact with medications?

A: Medicinal mushrooms are considered safe for most people and medications. However, immune-modulating effects may impact certain immune and blood thinner medications warranting medical guidance on use.

Q: Who should not take mushroom supplements?  

A: Children, pregnant/nursing women, and those with certain health conditions should exercise caution or avoid use without professional advice. Lion’s mane mushroom may also exacerbate autoimmune diseases in some cases.

Clinical Studies and Research

Q: How much research supports the use of medicinal mushrooms? 

A: Over 270,000 medical studies on mushrooms confirm their wide-ranging health benefits and mechanisms of action. Both human and animal studies demonstrate safety along with substantial therapeutic effects. 

Q: Where can consumers access research on mushroom supplements?

A: Many companies link to key scientific studies on their website. PubMed, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect databases also allow access to extensive published clinical data to evaluate efficacy. Reputable sites also cite relevant research.


Historically, mushrooms have demonstrated far-reaching therapeutic properties as a healthy superfood. As highlighted throughout this article, the bioactive compounds in species like reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps, and maitake impart multi-modal benefits from reducing cancer and heart disease risk to optimizing immunity, cognition, mood, digestion, and more. 

While lackluster health plagues modern society, mushrooms provide an adaptogenic nutritional intervention honed by thousands of years of traditional use and backed by a substantive foundation of human research. Comprehensive mushroom supplements, like the expert-recommended formulas covered here, offer accessible means to reclaim whole body vitality, too often lying latent from the demands of everyday life.