The mushroom life cycle starts from spores to germinate to mycelium, like the root system of mushrooms. When mycelium meets its food source, such as sawdust blocks, it will produce the mushroom fruit body, the mushrooms.
The main bioactive compounds of medicinal mushrooms are beta-glucans and polysaccharides, which can boost the immune system.
Mushroom fruiting bodies contain the highest percentage of beta-glucans and polysaccharides.
Most of the mycelium powders contain more than 90% of grain powders and a small mushroom mycelium percentage.
You should also know about medicinal mushrooms: what part of the mushroom is used to produce the powders?
So let me explain a little bit of mushroom biology first.
If you take a mushroom, underneath the gills of the mushroom, some spores blow off, and that's how they get spread in nature.
If you place a mushroom on top of a clean piece of paper overnight, then the next it will drop its spores, and the next day, you will get what's called a spore print.
If you then scrape some of this off and put it on to some growing medium, sterilised growing medium.
Then those spores will germinate to form what's called the mycelium. This (mycelium) is one part of the mushroom. This (mycelium) is like the root system of a green plant.
When the mycelium grows through some food source like this (sterilised sawdust blocks),
when it's ready, it will start to produce the fruit, which is the mushroom.
The mushroom contains most of the beta-glucans, polysaccharides responsible for the immune system and the health benefits. The mycelium contains only a fraction of the amount that occurs in the fruit body.
There are too many products on the market that utilise the mycelium grown on some sterilised grain like this Wheat grain or rice grain; when it's fully grown, it's then ground up, the powder is made from that (grains mixed with mycelium).
So, you can see, it's 90% or more of grain and only a small percentage of the mushroom mycelium.
So, the best products come from using the whole mushroom the whole fruit body.