Why are hot water extractions important in my dog’s cancer medicine?
The answer is simple and is based on two factors.
The immune supporting polysaccharides common to all mushrooms and mushroom mycelium are found inside of the cell walls. However, the cell walls of the mushrooms and mushroom mycelium are made from an indigestible fiber called “chitin,” the same material a lobster shell is made of.
Hot water extraction is the only method used by Healthy Dogma/K9 Critical Care products for breaking these polysaccharides out of the indigestible cell walls.
The immune supporting polysaccharides found in the cell walls of mushrooms and mushroom mycelium comprise only 0.5-2% of the total mass by dry weight (depending on the mushroom), not enough to have effect even if they were bioavailable. Most hot water mushroom/mycelium extracts are at least a 20:1 concentration.
Hot water extraction dissolves the indigestible fiber (chitin), allowing the fiber to be removed from the extract when the water is removed.
In addition, hot water extracts are, on average, 50 to 80 times more potent than mycelium biomass or tinctures. (Tinctures are liquid mushroom supplements preserved in alcohol.)
***Although hot water extraction is significantly more expensive and technically more difficult than making tinctures or mycelium biomass, Healthy Dogma carries on this tradition, using only hot water extraction when preparing mushroom supplements.
What makes wood grown products better?
All of the mushrooms, except Cordyceps and Agaricus blazei, grow on trees in their natural habitat, the forest. More specifically, they grow on fallen, injured or dying trees. This includes Maitake, Coriolus versicolor, Reishi and Shiitake.
These mushrooms are called “primary decomposers” or “saprophytic fungi”. They perform an important function in the forest by breaking down and decomposing dead and dying trees. As the trees decompose important nutrients are released back into the soil, freeing up and restoring the nutrients needed by the next generation of trees and plants. Mushrooms are recyclers that help feed the forest.
The food source mushrooms were cultivated on was never an issue in the past because all growers grew their mushrooms on wood, on logs or sawdust, if the mushrooms grew on trees in their natural habitat.
However, this has become an issue in recent years because many U.S. companies are growing mushrooms and mushroom mycelium on rice, millet or other grains. It turns out that this practice of growing mushrooms and mycelium on grain has undesired consequences when it comes to the bioactivity of the active compounds.
What the mushrooms are consuming, or eating, when they grow on trees, logs or sawdust is the lignin in the wood. Lignin is a very different food than the grains used to grow mushrooms on in recent years, and lignin provides very different nutrients to the mushrooms and the mushroom mycelium.
It has been found that the active compounds extracted from mushrooms cultivated on wood are far more bio-active in terms of their ability to stimulate the immune response.
Beta glucans are the active compounds that makes a mushroom so beneficial. Beta glucans are in fact the only compound in mushrooms capable of stimulating the human immune response.
When the mushrooms are grown on wood, instead of grain, the beta glucans develop far more branching in the side chains. With more branching in the side chains, the beta glucans can stimulate a much stronger immune response.
Once a mushroom tea or a capsule of mushroom extract is consumed the beta glucans make their way to the gut. Once in the gut the body funnels the beta glucans into the lymph system, where in turn the beta glucans interact with the cells in our cellular immune system.
Healthy Dogma’s extracts of wood-grown mushrooms deliver the true and complete essence of what made these mushrooms so valuable for centuries. Our extracts also contain guaranteed levels of all the active compounds, including the beta glucans.