Glossary of Terms


Arabinoxylane - A compound comprised of two sugars: arabinose and xylose, and derived from the conversion of rice bran via extracellular enzymes exuded from mycelium. Enhances immune response.

Beta-Glucans - Polysaccharides found in mushroom cell walls, formed of sugar molecules arranged in specific patterns, and notable for immune modulation.

Ergosterol - A biological precursor (provitamin) to vitamin D2, native to fungal cell membranes.

Extracellular metabolites - Substances excreted from fungal mycelia into the growth medium. These compounds include enzymes, acids, sterols, antimicrobials, etc., whose functions range from digesting the substrate to protecting the organism from predators and competitors.

Fruitbodies - The reproductive phase of the fungal organism that holds the spores for propagation. This form typically has a stem and cap.

Functional Food - Food-based products containing additional health-promoting benefits beyond basic nutrition.

Galactose - Simple sugar (monosaccharide) found in plants, fungi, and dairy products. Precursor or building block to complex compounds like glycoproteins and other glycoforms.

Glucose - Simple sugar (monosaccharide) found in plants and fungi. Absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion, and used as primary metabolic fuel.

Glycoproteins - Compounds consisting of carbohydrates (saccharides) and proteins. Immunologically important in cell-to-cell interactions, including white blood cell recognition. Glycoproteins also help bind together connective tissues.

Inoculate - To introduce fungal mycelia into a new environment that contains the nutrients and other conditions necessary for expansion or growth (e.g. mycelia added to brown rice).

Macro-nutrients - Proteins, fats and carbohydrates found within foods that provide energy to human bodily systems.

Mannose - Simple sugar (monosaccharide) found in plants and fungi, and important in human metabolism. Precursor or building block to complex compounds like glycoproteins and other glycoforms.

Micro-nutrients - Vitamins, minerals and trace elements which humans cannot produce, yet are required for various physiological functions. Other substances (typically complex molecules) such as antioxidants, phyto-chemicals, sterols, etc., also fit within the micronutrient classification.

Mycelium - The vegetative, root-like part of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. Typically found on/within the growth medium (wood, grain, organic matter).

Mycology - The scientific study of fungi.

Mycoattractants - Fungi used for attracting and controlling insects and arthropods, replacing toxic, chemical-based pesticides.

Mycoremediation - The use of fungi to restore physically damaged or toxic ecosystems to a functional, balanced state.

P-Value™ - An exponential scale devised by Paul Stamets for measuring the expansion or age of mycelium through successive inoculations. Indicates how close a mushroom strain is to its origin.

Polysaccharides - Long, complex carbohydrate compounds. Important dietary elements for humans that provide source of energy.

Primordia - A stage of the fungal life cycle at which the mycelial mat has developed adequately to support the reproductive stage of the organism and birth the fruitbody. Moreover, the primordial stage contains the constituents of both the mycelia and the fruitbody, as both stages are simultaneously present.

Spores - Seed-like structure of fungal life cycle containing genetic material that is matured in the fruitbody and ejected into the environment to propagate the species.

Substrate - Growth medium or food source. For Host Defense supplements, we use organic brown rice for mycelia and red alder wood chips for some fruitbodies.

Triterpenoids - Large class of organic compounds that form the structural precursors to all steroids. Are major biosynthetic building blocks within nearly every living creature.

Xylose - Simple sugar (monosaccharide) found in plants and fungi. Precursor or building block to complex compounds like glycoproteins and other glycoforms.

For educational purposes only. © 2013 Paul E. Stamets and Fungi Perfecti, LLC, All rights reserved.

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