Fungus Among Us

New Chapter

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

Did you know that the largest known living organism takes up over three square miles, is over 1000 years old, and is neither a plant nor an animal? This incredible individual is actually a type of fungus called the honey mushroom, discovered in an Oregon forest. Scientists were able to determine that it was a single mushroom by comparing DNA gathered from different spots in the area. The DNA samples all matched, showing that a single, enormous mushroom has been growing there for millennia!

What Exactly Is In Your Mushroom Supplement?

Mushrooms are truly amazing…and rather mysterious. For one thing, mushrooms are notoriously tricky to identify. There can be mushrooms that look similar to the eye, but are fundamentally different at a genetic level. So, for as long as humans have been benefiting from mushrooms as food and medicine, we’ve relied on experts to verify their correct identity. Mycologists (mushroom scientists) have been steadily building our body of knowledge on how to distinguish each unique type of mushroom. One of the best ways turns out to be DNA testing—just like the Oregon scientists used.

What’s in Your Mushroom Supplement?

The thought of DNA testing mushrooms might have you scratching your head a little and wondering, “Why is this important?” It turns out that some mushroom supplement brands on the market may not contain the exact mushroom that is on the label, perhaps because fungi are just so hard to authenticate. But at New Chapter®, we want to be sure that you’re getting the exact mushroom you’re paying for. To be absolutely sure that our LifeShield™ mushroom family delivers precisely the mushrooms you want and expect, we take the time to DNA-test each mushroom variety. Then we cross-check and confirm the results with robust mycology databases.

This advanced technology lets us separate out those mushrooms that might be cases of mistaken identity or “look-alikes.”  A perfect example is Reishi, a mushroom favorite here at New Chapter—for good reason! The authentic “Lingzhi” strain of Reishi is a mainstay in the Chinese herbal tradition: consumed by emperors and long respected for its many benefits. Reishi is usually labeled as Ganoderma lucidum, but there are different varieties referred to by that one name. New Chapter tested DNA samples of supplement products labeled G. lucidum and found that some do deliver the renowned Chinese Lingzhi variety—including ours! But others are formulated with less studied Ganoderma forms, such as a North American or European type. New Chapter is dedicated to delivering true Lingzhi, with studied benefits and a long history of use… so that’s what you’ll find in our LifeShield products.

If you’re not already enjoying the many health benefits of these remarkable fungi, we invite you to consider mushrooms as part of your daily supplement regimen! New Chapter’s identity-assured LifeShield family includes products formulated to support your immune system, mental clarity, and even healthy aging.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.