Mushrooms & Health - Mushroom Nutraceutical Production
medicinal mushrooms and mushroom products

Wild Medicinal Mushrooms

Since its inception in 1977, GMI has been cultivating mushroom products for both the culinary and the nutraceutical trades. For nutritional supplements, we focuses on mushroom mycelium, as mushrooms spend more than 90% of their life cycle in the mycelial, or vegetative stage. Our lines of mushroom mycelial biomass has been cultivated aseptically in California under strict protocol. The following medicinal mushroom species are currently in commercial production:

Latin Names Common Names Mushroom Types
Agaricus blazei (Brazilian Agaricus) Gilled
Flamulina velutipes (Enokitake) Gilled
Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Gilled
Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster) Gilled
Cordyceps sinensis (Caterpillar Mushroom) Entomogenous
Auricularia auricula (Wood Ear) Jelly
Tremella fuciformis (White Wood Ear) Jelly
Polyporus umbellatus (Zhu-ling) Polypore
Coriolus (Trametes) versicolor (Turkey tail) Polypore
Grifola frondosa (Maitake) Polypore
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) Polypore
Inonotus obIiquus (Chaga) Polypore
Schizophylum commune (Split-gills) Gilled
Hericium erinaceus (Monkey Head, Bear's Head) Toothed
Poria cocos (Fu-ling) Tuberous

Many other species are under development. We are constantly searching the world for new fungal species to study.

The advantages of our mushroom products can be summarized below:

  1. Consistent quality, with negligible batch-to-batch variation.
  2. Only organic substrate is used in the cultivation of all mushroom products.
  3. Negligible to no heavy metals, pesticides or other pollutants.
  4. Only specially isolated and developed cultures of mushroom strains are used.
  5. Unique medicinal mushroom strains may be combined into synergistic mushroom complexes.

Why Mushrooms?

Fungi are ubiquitous

Genetically speaking, fungi are more closely related to animals than plants

Fungi are already important to human lives

Fungi physiology

Host Defense Potentiators, Biological Response Modulators

Mushroom Morphologies/Phenotypes

Gourmet Mushroom Products

Mushroom Mycelial Biomass - Our product design philosophy

Cultivated Mushrooms

Fungi are an important source of medicine, including many antibiotics, anti-tissue rejection drugs for organ transplants, cancer drugs, and anti-inflammatory products. Most of the discoveries of fungal derived medicines have gone through rigorous studies and tests, sometimes by design, and sometimes by accident.

There are many nutritional supplements being offered in the health food industry with the idea that "more is better". We have often seen materials with unidentified ingredients being presented in concentrated form extracted at different ratios (e.g. 4:1, 10:1, etc.). Some materials are identified with marker materials at certain guaranteed concentrations. However, many times, these marker materials bear no direct relationship to the efficacy of the product. These products are hyped with the catch phrase of "guaranteed potency" when the markers used had never been subjected to any rigorous test for their "potency".

The paradigm of "the more the better" can be dangerous without the backing of clinical observations. Fungi, as nutritional supplements, are used generally as an adaptogen or biological response modulator. Materials in fungi are able to modulate the bodily functions to help cope with imbalances caused by infection and diseases. Two fungal-based medicinal products have alerted us to the danger of using fungal nutritional products indiscriminately:

  1. Lentinan, a glyco-protein extracted from shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes), is a proposed drug currently under phase 3 FDA testing. Interestingly, in a test of Lentinan on HIV patients, it was found that Lentinan was effective in increasing t-cells production only at low dosage. At high dose, the patients tested showed a lowered t-cell count.
  2. Cyclosporin, an anti-tissue rejection drug for organ transplant patients, is derived from an entomogenous fungus Cordyceps subsessilis which is a relative of the Chinese caterpillar fungus, Cordyceps sinensis. Cyclosporin is used to suppress the immune system so that the transplanted organ will not be rejected. The caterpillar mushroom in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is used as a tonic to the lungs and kidneys especially for the elderly and women after childbirth; the immuno-suppressive effects at high concentration are not the intended use.

The above 2 examples demonstrate that we need to be careful using extracts from fungi. We do not want to inadvertently produce materials in such high concentration that may compromise our system. Fungi metabolites are adaptogenic, i.e. they work to modulate our system by way of feedback mechanisms. Too much of some materials may close a physiological feedback loop. We feel that our natural, wholesome biomass products are true nutritional supplements. We need to use carefully designed pre-clinical observations to examine the effects of concentrated mushroom extracts.

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