The Truth About Medicinal Mushroom Supplements: Jeff Chilton of NAMMEX

The Truth About Medicinal Mushroom Supplements: Jeff Chilton of NAMMEX

The medicinal mushroom industry is lying to you.

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.

In this podcast, Jeff will shed light on how and why this is happening in the mushroom industry.

He'll also arm you with the ability to see through - and test at home - mushroom products for yourself.

Listen to the Optimal Performance Podcast on-the-go:



What you'll hear from Jeff Chilton on the OPP:

  • Why immuno-modulating beta-glucans are the key to medicinal mushrooms
  • The difference between medicinal mushrooms and mushrooms for food
  • Debunking the myth that mushrooms should not be in our diet because they are fungi
  • Learn the most important benefits of each kind of medicinal mushrooms
  • Mushrooms used as cancer treatments in Japan
  • Why it’s necessary to know every compound in a natural product
  • Dried fruit bodies vs. Extracts: which is the best for your supplements
  • Why most mushroom supplements are actually just made with mycelium grown on grain
  • Independent lab testing reveals beta-glucan and starch content of REAL mushrooms vs. mycelium
  • The at-home test you can do to determine if you're actually getting medicinal mushrooms - or starch
  • The reason no company in the US is producing mushrooms as supplements
  • DIY tests to see if your mushroom supplements are real or just mycelium on grain (see more here)
  • Why you should never buy mushroom supplements grown in the USA
  • Natural Stacks joins forces with NAMMEX to fight against mycelium in "mushroom" products
  • Meet the Natural Stacks Myco line! We're launching 3 new products this month
  • Where you can find more of Jeff, Skye and NAMMEX
  • Jeff Chilton’s top 3 tips to live optimal

Watch the Video Version:

Links & Resources

NAMMEX Website

Jeff's 1983 Book: The Mushroom Cultivator

Huffington Post: 6 Cancer Fighting Mushrooms

More on the the medicinal power of mushrooms (Great example of a company producing US-grown "mushrooms" while touting the benefits of REAL mushrooms)

Papers and Studies mentioned on this show

Jeff's Letter Challenging The Status of Mycelium on Grain as "Mushroom" 

Alpha and Beta-Glucan Content of Mushrooms vs. Mycelium (Tested at Virginia Tech by 3rd Party)

Study on medicinal mushrooms - even the author couldn't tell the products were mycelium instead of mushroom

2016 Paper in Journal AOAC: "most samples used were mycelium propagated on grain"

Natural Stacks MYCO Line

MYCO Mind - Boost mitochondrial function with BioPQQ and Lion's Mane increases Nerve Growth Factor by 500X

MYCO Immune - We've combined reishi, chaga, and turkey tail to give you the top immuno-modulating mushrooms conveniently bundled in 1 product so you get optimal support and adaptation with ease

MYCO Boost - Yerba Mate + ATP boosting and stamina boosting Cordyceps for that extra push before workouts, after work, or whenever you need it


We want to hear your thoughts...keep the conversation going in the comments below.

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