BioCeuticals backs immunity magic of medicinal mushrooms with new supplement range

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

The mushrooms are sourced through US company Aloha Medicinals.
The mushrooms are sourced through US company Aloha Medicinals.

Related tags Immune system

BioCeuticals, the Blackmores-owned practitioner-only supplement firm, has launched a full suite of immunity-boosting medicinal mushroom supplements, produced using a novel growing system and backed by a DNA-testing process.

Its new UltraDefense range of products is the result of what is known as the full-spectrum growing process, as well as a DNA testing method.

The flagship product is UltraDefense Mushroom 7 Mushroom Complex with Maitake and D3, which includes a blend of seven mushrooms, along with vitamin D3.

There is also UltraDefense Energy Blend, for energy, immune and lung support. Mushroom ingredients include Cordyceps sinensis ​(caterpillar mushroom) ​and Ganoderma lucidum ​(reishi​).

The final two products are UltraDefense Maitake D with PolyGlucan D and UltraDefense Trametes, which feature two common immune ingredients found in TCM, PolyGlucan D and Trametes.

According to the firm, the innovative growing process and testing method ensure that all the biologically active components created in the mushroom life cycle are retained — even within the final product.

Process progress

The mushrooms are sourced through US company Aloha Medicinals, whose mushrooms are all grown in the US and have been certified 100% organic by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, BioCeuticals' marketing innovation manager Di Strang said: "Aloha handles the sourcing, growing and DNA testing, after which we send the products to an external lab to be tested for validation."

The full-spectrum growing process entails the mushrooms being cultivated in custom growing chambers that feature highly controlled growing substrates, with no compost, sawdust or straw.

The growing environment in the chambers is strictly climate-, air- and light-controlled, in order to prevent contamination and maximise the production of specific medicinal compounds.

"At the end of the process, we dehydrate the mushrooms and turn them into a powder, then test them to ensure we have the best quality product. The process is stringent from soil to bottle,"​ Strang said.

She added: "The initial testing is all about starting with quality material. Climate control in the growing conditions ensures that the mushrooms are not degraded and are of consistent quality, so when we dehydrate it, we retain all the medicinal value and pharmacologically active compounds of the mushrooms."

Tradition and technology

With this new range of products, BioCeuticals is tapping into mounting consumer interest in mushrooms and their health benefits.

This is no doubt part of Western consumer tastes gradually shifting to traditional medicine like TCM and ayurveda​, which many tend to believe are more 'natural' and therefore, more nutritious.

Strang said of the Australian market: "We don't have a strong mushroom culture, but as the world gets smaller and people obtain information faster, we become more aware of the health benefits of mushrooms."

She believes there is vast untapped potential for medicinal mushrooms in Australia, and that the onus is on practitioners to ensure they receive "proper education" ​on this "under-indexed category"​.

"I think we're at the beginning of the journey with practitioners, so their knowledge is not yet robust.

"When you sit down and unpack the research (on mushrooms), it's overwhelming. Its application can be game-changing, especially in conjunction with conventional therapy for immunological conditions, chemotherapy, and chronic illness."

The immunity category has proved to be very successful for BioCeuticals in recent years, with CEO Nathan Cheong telling us in an exclusive interview​ last year that such products were "flying out"​.

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