Agaricus Blazei vs. Other Mushrooms: What Makes It Unique?

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Mushrooms are a staple in many cuisines worldwide, known for their unique flavor and nutritional benefits. However, not all mushrooms are created equal. According to MycoWeb, there are 40 different Agaricus species known to be seen in California alone [1]. Among the various types of mushrooms, the Agaricus subrufescens Peck Mushroom (known as Agaricus blazei Murill, Himematsutake, Almond Mushroom, mushroom of life) stands out as a unique species with exceptional health benefits. Though it may not be as well-known as other mushrooms like the Portobello or Shiitake, the Agaricus subrufescens Peck Mushroom is rapidly gaining popularity for its unique properties worldwide. From its distinctive taste to its impressive health benefits, this mushroom has a lot to offer. In this article, we'll explore what makes the Agaricus subrufescens Peck Mushroom, referred to here as Agaricus mushroom, unique and why it's worth adding to your diet. So, let's dive in and discover the wonders of this incredible fungus!

Agaricus Bisporus

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Among the 40 different Agaricus species that can be found in California, the most popular is Agaricus bisporus. Agaricus bisporus, known as the button mushroom or champignon, is one of the most common, most widely consumed mushrooms around the world. It’s the species that we see in the supermarket, accounting for 90% of the mushroom production, sales, and consumption in the United States [2, 3]! In its immature white stage, the mushroom is commonly referred to as the “button mushroom." While white button mushrooms make a wonderful pizza topping, they can also be used for so much more. For instance, Chinova Bioworks, a Canadian food technology company, has found a way to upcycle the stems of white button mushrooms to serve as a natural and sustainable alternative to artificial preservatives as well as an alternative to synthetic or animal-based fining agents for clarifying beverages [4, 5]. Furthermore, a group of researchers in Japan have found that champignon extract can alleviate body odors, improve halitosis, and deodorize the intestinal tract within 4 weeks [6].

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Agaricus bisporus increased in popularity with the introduction of brown-capped variations. We may see these being referred to as Portobello, Portobella, Baby Bella, Cremini/Crimini, or simply “brown mushroom”. The difference between these brown species is that Portobello mushrooms have been allowed to open up and expose their mature gills and brown spores, resulting in a mushroom that is bigger in size and the most mature. On the other hand, Cremini mushrooms are less mature than the Portobello, with a closed cap and lighter brown color [2]. Nevertheless, these brown varieties are known to have a deeper, earthier flavor and firmer, meatier texture compared to their white counterparts. Nutrition-wise, a single portobello mushroom can have more potassium than a banana [3]! While that may be the case, white mushrooms contain the most potassium per serving while the brown varieties contain the most ergothioneine, a natural and potent antioxidant [7].

Agaricus Campestris

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Agaricus bisporus is often confused with Agaricus campestris, known as the field or meadow mushroom, due to their similar appearance and flavor profile. However, these two species can be distinguished by their habitat as Agaricus bisporus can be found scattered in grass or under conifers while Agaricus campestris only grows in grassy areas. Additionally, Agaricus bisporus fruits almost year-round whereas Agaricus campestris fruits in the late summer to early fall. Much like the button mushroom, Agaricus campestris can also be found worldwide, but it is most commonly consumed in Britain and Ireland. In terms of medicinal properties, a study conducted by Gray and Flatt showed that Agaricus campestris extracts stimulate the release of insulin and have potential antihyperglycemic properties [8].

Agaricus Subrufescens

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Agaricus subrufescens, also known as Agaricus blazei or the "mushroom of life" among other names, is a white or brownish mushroom originally discovered in Brazil, but can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia today. While this Agaricus Mushroom may not be as well-known as the previously mentioned mushroom varieties, the Agaricus subrufescens Mushroom has several unique characteristics that make it stand out. For starters, it has a distinct flavor and texture that is different from other mushroom varieties. It has a mild, nutty taste, often likened to the taste of almonds, that is slightly sweet and savory, with a firm texture that holds up well in cooking.

Another unique aspect of the Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom is that it is difficult to grow commercially. The mushroom prefers to grow in certain temperature, humidity, and soil conditions. The unusual growing preferences make this species difficult to cultivate and contribute to its rarity.

The nutritional value of the Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom is on par with other popular mushroom varieties. For example, both the Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms are also low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals. However, the specific nutritional composition of each mushroom varies slightly, with the Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom containing higher levels of some nutrients like beta-glucans, potassium and phosphorus. It also contains a variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that have been linked to numerous health benefits.

Studies have shown that the Agaricus Mushroom may help boost the immune system, support healthy inflammatory response, and healthy cholesterol levels. It has also been shown to strengthen natural killer cell and T-cell activity. Additionally, the Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom has been linked to improved cardiovascular health, better blood sugar control, and enhanced liver function.

Comparison with other popular mushroom varieties

Perhaps the most significant quality of Agaricus blazei mushrooms is the significant amounts of beta-glucans and polysaccharides they contain. Beta-glucans are a type of polysaccharide found in the cell walls of fungi, yeast, algae, and some plants, and have been studied extensively throughout the years. The main component of the glucans found in Agaricus blazei mushrooms are β-1,3-glucan with minor amounts of β-1,6-glucan. Research has identified that this specific combination might be responsible for some of the health benefits associated with Agaricus blazei mushrooms. These glucans are known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-stimulating properties. The high content of beta-glucans found in Agaricus blazei mushrooms has led to increased interest in their potential health benefits and a large body of research looking at the therapeutic potential they may have on various conditions. The results of these studies have been promising so far, offering hope to people suffering from seriously challenged immune systems that could potentially benefit from supplementation with Agaricus blazei mushrooms.

Research studies on the medicinal properties of Agaricus mushrooms

Numerous studies have been conducted on the potential health benefits of the Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom. One study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that an extract of Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom was effective in reducing inflammation in the body [9]. Another study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms found that Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom extract had potent antioxidant activity and may help protect against oxidative stress [10].

Other research has suggested that Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom may have cellular health properties and could be effective in reducing damaged cells. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom inhibited the growth of damaged cells in the human prostate [11].

While more research is needed to fully understand the medicinal properties of the Agaricus subrufescens Mushroom, the available evidence suggests that it may have significant potential in promoting health and wellness.

How to consume Agaricus mushrooms

Agaricus blazei Murill Mushroom and its products are becoming more widely available in health food stores, specialty markets, and online retailers. It can be purchased as dried slices, powder, liquid extract and is also available in capsule form.

Fresh Agaricus blazei mushroom does not last too long. However, once the mushroom is dried well, dried slices should last at least 2 years when stored in cool dried conditions. Dried slices of the Agaricus mushroom can be consumed as tea, stews, and soup.

When purchasing Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom, it is important to choose a reputable supplier that sources its mushrooms from a reliable and sustainable source. Look for products that are free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals and certified organic, like Superfood Science Agaricus Bio capsules and liquid supplement.

Potential side effects and precautions

While Agaricus blazei Mushroom is generally considered safe for consumption, some individuals may experience allergic reactions or digestive issues when consuming large amounts. It is also important to note that Agaricus blazei Mushroom may interact with certain medications such as diabetic medicines, so it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before using it as a supplement or including it in your daily regimen.

The potential of Agaricus mushrooms in promoting health and wellness

In conclusion, the Agaricus Mushroom is a unique and versatile species of mushroom that offers numerous health benefits. From its impressive nutritional value to its immune modulating, anti-inflammatory, and cellular health properties, this mushroom has a lot to offer in terms of promoting health and wellness. While it may not be as well-known as other mushroom varieties, it is rapidly gaining popularity for its unique flavor and texture. So, the next time you're looking to add some variety to your diet or a boost to your immune system, consider giving the Agaricus Mushroom a try!



[1] Mykoweb: California Fungi - Agaricus

[2] Difference Between Baby Bella Mushrooms & White Button Mushrooms

[3] What’s the Difference Between Cremini, Button, and Portobello Mushrooms?

[4] Chinova Bioworks ­ — Chiber

[5] Chinova Bioworks ­ — MycoKleer

[6] Nishihira, J., Nishimura, M., Tanaka, A., Yamaguchi, A., & Taira, T. (2015). Effects of 4-week continuous ingestion of champignon extract on halitosis and body and fecal odor. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine7(1), 110–116.

[7] Are Mushrooms Healthy? Here’s What Experts Say

[8] Gray, A. M., & Flatt, P. R. (1998). Insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity of Agaricus campestris (mushroom). The Journal of endocrinology157(2), 259–266.

[9] Padilha, M. M., Avila, A. A., Sousa, P. J., Cardoso, L. G. V., Perazzo, F. F., & Carvalho, J. C. T. (2009). Anti-inflammatory activity of aqueous and alkaline extracts from mushrooms (Agaricus blazei Murill). Journal of medicinal food12(2), 359-364.

[10] Yurkiv, B., Wasser, S. P., Nevo, E., & Sybirna, N. O. (2015). Antioxidant Effects of Medicinal Mushrooms Agaricus brasiliensis and Ganoderma lucidum (Higher Basidiomycetes): Evidence from Animal Studies. International journal of medicinal mushrooms17(10), 943–955.

[11] Yu, C. H., Kan, S. F., Shu, C. H., Lu, T. J., Sun-Hwang, L., & Wang, P. S. (2009). Inhibitory mechanisms of Agaricus blazei Murill on the growth of prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry20(10), 753-764.

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