Free USPS Priority Mail Shipping for Your Order of $125 or More! (US orders only.)
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total

    Host Defense Information

    Our Delivery Methods: Capsules & Extracts

    Our Delivery Methods: Capsules & Extracts

    Host Defense Delivery Methods: Capsules & ExtractsHost Defense offers delivery method options to best match your lifestyle needs. Host Defense Capsules work well for daily convenience. If you’re seeking rapid absorption by the digestive system, then Host Defense extracts may be the way to go.

    capsules

    Host Defense mushroom capsules are made with Certified Organic, non-GMO mushroom mycelium / fruitbodies, encased in a plant-based capsule made from pullulan—a non-GMO, naturally-fermented polysaccharide polymer. Pullulan is starch-free, gluten-free, and preservative-free, and helps protect mushroom material against oxidation.

    extracts

    Host Defense Capsules & ExtractsHost Defense liquid mushroom extracts are made with U.S.A. grown and processed Certified Organic mushroom mycelium and fruitbodies. Most other brands use only hot-water extraction, which leaves out many valuable constituents.

    Host Defense extracts utilize Paul Stamets’ comprehensive Double and Triple Extraction Methods:

    1. Hot Water

    Certified organic fruitbodies of Reishi, Maitake, Turkey Tail, Lion’s Mane and Shiitake are hot-water extracted to pull out polysaccharides (e.g. beta-glucans, glycoproteins, and other high-molecular weight compounds).

    2. Ethanol

    Mycelium and fruitbodies are extracted with certified organic ethanol, which isolates antioxidants (e.g. terpenes, triterpenoids, inositols, ergosterols, sterols and myco-flavonoids).

    3. Cold Water

    Pure, filtered water is used to extract extracellular metabolites from the living mycelium within the temperature range at which the fungi’s native immune systems are most active.


    For educational purposes only. © 2017 Paul E. Stamets and Fungi Perfecti, LLC, All rights reserved.

    Should You Consume Raw Mushrooms?

    Should You Consume Raw Mushrooms?

    With the increased use of mushroom products, I feel a personal responsibility to inform the public about safety issues regarding mushroom preparations. Misleading marketing causes consumer confusion, risk, and damage to our industry, which is always under scrutiny. At Host Defense we are dedicated to providing the best, evidence-based, scientific information concerning safety and optimum use of mushrooms for health benefits.

    Should you consume raw mushrooms and/or mushroom mycelium?

    • No, absolutely not! Raw mushrooms are largely indigestible because of their tough cell walls, mainly composed of chitin.
    • Dr. Andrew Weil advises, in agreement with other experts, that mushrooms must be cooked! “Mushrooms have very tough cell walls and are essentially indigestible if you don't cook them. Thoroughly heating them releases the nutrients they contain, including protein, B vitamins, and minerals, as well as a wide range of novel compounds not found in other foods,” (Prevention, Feb 1, 2013).
    • Raw mushrooms and raw mycelium may pose health hazards from harmful pathogens and heat-sensitive toxins—potentially causing red blood cell damage1, gastrointestinal irritation and allergic reactions, such as skin rashes2.

    How can one safely use mushrooms?

    • By consuming mushrooms or mushroom products that have been cooked, or heat-treated.*
    • Proper heat treatment denatures toxins, softens fungal tissues, and allows our natural digestive enzymes to access and utilize the inherent benefits of both culinary mushrooms and mushroom supplements: Edible mushrooms should be tenderized by heating to at least 140 ˚F —over many hours— more preferably over 180˚F, most preferably above 200 ˚F to release their nutrients and render them digestible and safe.3

    Are Host Defense® Mushrooms raw or cooked?
    Host Defense® encapsulated products have been heated to proper temperature levels to maximize nutritional benefit and safety. Our process includes:

    • Growing mycelium (the root-like life stage) on Certified Organic, cooked, and sterilized brown rice.
    • At peak performance, we harvest and immediately freeze-dry material, to preserve nutrients and prevent oxidation. (Air-drying, a cheaper and inferior processing method, does not achieve maximum constituent levels nor reduce toxin levels, and is vulnerable to contamination and oxidation.)4
    • We heat-treat the mushroom mass after freeze-drying, to activate and unlock the nutritional compounds and ensure their bioavailability. Host Defense products are assayed a minimum of four times for quality and purity.

    Thank you for your continued support on the path to help people and planet.

    1Shibata, T., M. Kudou, Y. Hoshi, A. Kudo, N. Nanashima, K. Miyairi, 2010. “Isolation and characterization of a novel two-component hemolysin, erylysin A and B, from an edible mushroom, Pleurotus eryngii.” Toxicon 56: 1436–1442.

    2Kopp, T., P. Mastan, N. Mothes, S. Tzaneva, G. Stingl, A. Tanew, 2009. “Systemic allergic contact dermatitis due to consumption of raw shiitake mushroom.”Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 34: e910–e913.

    3Choi Y., S.M. Lee, J. Chun, H.B. Lee, J. Lee, 2006. “Influence of heat treatment on the antioxidant activities and polyphenolic compounds of Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushroom.” Food Chemistry 99(2): 381–387. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.08.004.

    4Ma, L., H. Chen, W. Zhu, Z. Wang, 2013. “Effect of different drying methods on physicochemical properties and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides extracted from mushroom Inonotus obliquus.” Food Research International 50:633-640.

    Immune Benefits of Mushroom Mycelium & Cultured Substrate Confirmed*

    Immune Benefits of Mushroom Mycelium & Cultured Substrate Confirmed*

    Scientists demonstrate significant health benefits of Host Defense mycelium & cultured rice.*

    In 2017, Paul Stamets and his team at Fungi Perfecti, LLC (FP) have partnered with Natural Immune Systems, Inc. (NIS) to further clarify the immune-enhancing impacts of various mushroom ingredients. NIS Labs specializes in bio-relevant assays, integrating their laboratory and clinical facilities to evaluate how natural products impact human physiology. Together, NIS Labs and FP are uncovering some remarkable truths about mushroom ingredients used in the supplement industry.

    To check for activation of various immune factors, three Host Defense® brand products were put to the test: MyCommunity® capsulesReishi mycelium capsules and Agarikon mycelium capsules.

    Testing by NIS Labs confirmed that these three mycelium-centered products:

    • increase innate immune cells for protection*
    • activate white blood cells for immune strength*
    • regulate immune cell compounds for a balanced immune response.*

    A separate research effort by FP and NIS Labs sought to understand the immune impact of organic brown rice substrate after being cultured by Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) mushroom mycelium.

    As mushroom mycelium grows through brown rice, it produces a near-inseparable matrix of mycelium and enzymatically-converted material. Utilizing an expensive and time-consuming laboratory process, researchers were able to separate pure Turkey Tail mycelium from the cultured rice substrate.

    Testing verified both the mycelium and the cultured rice substrate as immunologically active.* Furthermore, the mycelium and the cultured rice substrate are active in different ways, each conferring unique and complimentary immune benefits.*

    By contrast, the same immune assays were performed on organic brown rice substrate that was not cultured by mushroom mycelium. With the plain, uncultured rice, no significant immune activity was detected.

    This data definitively demonstrates that cultured mycelium on organic brown rice is extraordinarily active in supporting immunity.*

    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Consumers should keep in mind that it is not possible to separate mushroom mycelium from its grain substrate under normal circumstances. Similar to yogurt, in which beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus cultures milk, these two nutrient sources exist as a living, interconnected matrix. Alongside the pure mycelium, the cultured rice substrate becomes a new, integrated functional food providing complete and effective support for immune function.*

    Some vendors in the mushroom supplement space deceptively argue that mycelium grown on a grain substrate is not useful for consumers and that only mushroom fruitbodies are valuable in supporting health. These claims contradict hundreds of articles published in the scientific literature demonstrating the health-enhancing value of mushroom mycelium grown on grain substrates such as organic brown rice, including a NIH funded study confirming the immunologically supporting activity of Host Defense Turkey Tail mycelium capsules.*

    Paul Stamets notes, “In my scientific opinion, mushroom products not incorporating mycelium are at a decided disadvantage, given the results of recent research.”

    Ongoing research efforts by Fungi Perfecti and NIS Labs are further demonstrating the profound value of mushroom mycelium. Several papers are in preparation for publication in peer-reviewed immunological journals.

    Paul Stamets & Fungi Perfecti, LLC: 

    Founder, owner and Director of Research of Fungi Perfecti, Paul Stamets, D.Sc. has been recognized for decades as a leading innovator in the field of mycology, with a focus on revealing the health-supporting properties of mushrooms. As a renowned researcher and author of six books, Stamets’ Host Defense mushroom formulations have long been the most sought-after and highly valued within the dietary supplement industry.

    Host Defense Mushrooms

    Host Defense Mushrooms

    PO BOX 7634 • OLYMPIA, WA 98507 • USA  •  HOURS OF OPERATION: Monday–Friday 8:30am–4:30pm PST
    Toll-Free: (877) 504-MYCO (6926) • Phone: (360) 427-4561  •  Fax: (360) 426-6584 • email: order@hostdefense.com

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.

    The Mushroom Life Cycle

    The Mushroom Life Cycle

    The mushroom life cycle remains largely invisible to most mushroom hunters; not so to cultivators. The mushroom cultivator follows the path of the mushroom life cycle. Fruitbodies form only at the completion of the mushroom lifecycle and for most species, occur but for a few days, then disappear.

    • inoculation: Spores alight upon a growth medium (or substrate). If conditions are favorable, spores will germinate.
    • spore germination: Fine fungal filaments known as hyphae grow from the spores. Compatible hyphae mate to create fertile mycelium.
    • mycelial expansion: Developing mycelium breaks down organic matter and absorbs nutrients from its surroundings. During this stage of growth, mycelium expands at an exponential rate. In its environment, mycelium encounters many competitors and predators which it repels with an amazing array of protective enzymes and compounds. In this sense, the mycelium is the immune system of the mushroom.
    • hyphal knot: Mycelium condenses into hyphal knots, which then develop into “primordia” or baby mushrooms.
    • primordia formation: The mushroom organism produces an amazing array of enzymes and optimizes the constituents of both the mycelium and the developing fruitbody. Host Defense harvests during this peak stage of growth to capture an abundant constituent profile including polysaccharides (beta glucans, arabinoxylanes), glycoproteins, ergosterols, triterpenoids and other myco-nutrients.
    • fruitbody selection: From thousands of primordia, the growing organism selects the most promising few to develop into mature fruitbodies.
    • mature fruitbody: The organism channels all of its energy and nutrients to develop the fruitbody, which will then produce spores. Spore generation is the sexual reproduction phase of the mushroom life cycle.
    • spore release: The fruitbody releases spores into the environment for propagation. Those that land on a favorable substrate (or growth medium) can germinate, beginning the life cycle anew!

    What Is the Stamets P Value® System?

    What Is the Stamets P Value® System?

    An unavoidable fact that affects all life on this planet—including humans and fungi—is that we age. When we are young, the number of downstream cell divisions is vast, but incrementally declines as we grow older. Recently, cell division limiting factors have been attributable to a shortening of telomeres, the protective region at the end of the chromosome, and the role that the enzyme telomerase plays in the repairing and replication of chromosomal DNA. These models serve to explain what we all know: as we age, we become less vital and more susceptible to disease.

    The same is true with mushroom strains. In the 1980's, I developed the proprietary Stamets P Value® system for tracking the age of strains, as measured by their successive growth over a nutrient-filled petri dish. When a strain is first isolated from a mushroom in the wild, and getting the mycelium to grow from the mother mushroom onto a petri dish, it is labeled P-1. After a week or so, the strain will be transferred to a new petri dish which is then designated as P-2, and with each successive transfer, the P Value increases accordingly. This has proven to be an important method for both maintaining strains at peak vitality. The P Value system is key to providing our customers with fungal strains with the greatest efficacy and genetic vitality.

    Mushrooms have immune systems just like people. Over the years, I have received mushroom cultures from fellow mushroom enthusiasts, with no information on their age. Often these cultures would suddenly slow in their growth, become more susceptible to disease or even stop growing altogether. Strains that were progressively cultured from low P Values out-performed the very same strains that had high P Values. The strains that we isolate here at Host Defense are kept close to their wild genetic origins, maintaining exceptional vigor and disease resistance. We are able to keep the P Value low by making sufficient backups of the cultures during the original culturing, and storing pure master cultures under deep refrigeration in our mycological laboratories. In essence, most of our mushroom strains are genetically just a few weeks old, even though some of the rarer strains may have been isolated decades ago.

    In mushroom culture, small mistakes make for big problems. Even today I am surprised at how unfamiliar many culture libraries are with the importance of maintaining young cultures. Amongst the general public, most people do not realize that a small fragment of tissue, the size of your little finger nail, is expanded into hundreds or even thousands of pounds of fungal biomass in a short period of time. Unless the strains have sufficient vitality, they will often fail to produce healthy, vigorous mycelium, containing all the beneficial compounds found in identical strains growing in the wild. What this ultimately means is that the consumer may be getting a product that is far inferior to ones grown from younger strains of mushrooms.

    With Host Defense's nearly three decades of experience, a verifiable chain-of-custody, and the use of stringent quality-assurance tools such as the P Value system, we strive to provide the highest quality products available in the world today. From the Forest, to Our Farm, to You™.

    —Paul Stamets

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