Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders Organic Mushroom Extract Review: Does It Work?


Not enough time to read through the whole thing? Don’t worry, we’ve got the main points of the review outlined just for you.

  • 5 Defenders is an organic blend of five potent mushrooms namely Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, Turkey Tail and Chaga
  • The ingredients have been clinically proven to boost energy and enhance immunity
  • The product is made from 100% certified organic ingredients
  • It has been certified as a Vegan-friendly, 100% gluten-free, and non-GMO product
  • 5 Defenders contains only whole fruiting body mushrooms for maximum efficacy
  • It doesn’t have any added starch, grain or mycelium as filler materials
  • The product is available in both powder as well as easy-to-take capsule forms

Mushrooms have been known as antioxidant-rich, cognition-enhancing, and immunity-boosting superfoods for a long time. But the trouble is, it’s hard to find the real deal in today’s world.

That’s why, when we heard about the 5 Defenders powder and capsules from Real Mushrooms, we had to try them out. And today, we have the complete lowdown for you to read.

Let’s get going.

What Is Real Mushrooms’ 5 Defenders Mushroom Extract Powder?

As the name of the product itself suggests, 5 Defenders is a blend of 5 potent mushroom extracts. The product has been clinically proven to enhance energy, improve immunity, and boost overall physical and mental performance.

Available in both powder as well as capsule form, the product is entirely organic and is certified to be free of gluten. It’s also proven to be a certified non-GMO product and is 100% vegan friendly.

What’s more, the supplement claims to contain more than 20% beta-glucans and doesn’t have starch, mycelium, or any filler grains. It has also been verified for quality at highly accredited third-party laboratories.

From the above, it’s clear that 5 Defenders is a quality product; but we wanted to know more about the origins of the product and the people behind it. That’s why we decided to poke around a bit and find out more about the company behind the brand: Real Mushrooms.

Real Mushrooms is the brainchild of Skye Chilton, the son of medicinal mushroom legend Jeff Chilton. Jeff is a pioneer in the medicinal mushroom industry and is the founder of the well-known brand Nammex.

With over forty years of collective mushrooming experience under their belt, this father-son duo has set out to revolutionize the mushroom industry. Their primary focus is to deliver products that are made of actual mushrooms instead of grain fillers (more on this later).

All raw materials for the Real Mushrooms products are sourced from quality cultivators in China. This makes their products 100% authentic and safe, not to mention highly cost-effective.

5 Defenders Ingredients

As mentioned in the highlights, 5 Defenders is a blend of five powerful mushroom extracts. The following is a detailed breakup of each ingredient and how it works to improve your physical and mental performance.

1. Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus)

Chaga mushrooms have been used in ancient Asian medicines for centuries. Although the mushroom itself is rather unsightly in appearance, it has gained popularity as a rich antioxidant source.

Chaga mainly grows on the bark of birch trees in colder climates and resembles burnt charcoal. The inside, however, is soft and orange in color and has healing properties that may aid in helping to cure diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Chaga mushrooms are low in calories and are a rich source of antioxidants. Consumption of Chaga helps to boost the immune system, lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol, and increase physical and mental energy.

Taken together with other mushroom extracts, Chaga has the potential to be one of the most potent medicinal mushrooms in the entire world.

2. Reishi (Ganoderma Lingzhi)

Reishi is a well-known fungus that is found mostly in hot and humid spots across the Asian continent. For decades, extracts from this mushroom have been used in oriental medicines and treatment procedures.

Reishi has been tested to contain multiple beneficial components, such as polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and peptidoglycans. What’s more, it has proven capabilities in boosting the immune system response, which prevents people from falling sick easily.

Apart from the above, Reishi also has anti-cancer properties, works against mental depression and anxiety, can boost your motivation, and provides the body with energy. It’s even thought to be a rich source of antioxidants and is beneficial for improving heart health and controlling blood sugar levels.

Overall, Reishi extract has been demonstrated to be beneficial for a wide variety of physical as well as mental conditions. You can check out some other highly recommended reishi supplements here.

3. Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes)

Shiitake is one of the most used mushrooms in cooking worldwide and is famous for its rich taste. These edible mushrooms are native to Eastern Asia and are found to grow naturally on decaying hardwood trees.

Low in calories, these mushrooms offer generous amounts of fiber, minerals, and vitamins B and D. They are also a good source of copper, folates, niacin, and riboflavin.

Shiitake is also rich in polysaccharides, terpenoids, and lipids, many of which have anti-cancer, immune boosting, and cholesterol-lowering effects. It also works well as anti-inflammatory medicine and is a rich source of beta-glucans.

With the other mushroom extracts in 5 Defenders, Shiitake can be a wholesome addition to your daily supplementation needs.

4. Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor)

Resembling the tail-feathers of turkeys, this multicolored mushroom has been used as a medicinal source for hundreds of years. A known immunity booster, Turkey Tail is chock-full of antioxidants that work to reduce oxidative stress-related damage.

Turkey Tail is a rich source of flavonoids and phenols that reduce inflammation and stimulate the release of immunoprotective proteins. It’s also known to contain polysaccharopeptide, which has immunity boosting capabilities.

The mushroom is known to be effective in anti-cancer treatments and contains probiotics that enhance gut health. It also improves physical performance and is beneficial against type-2 diabetes.

Impressive in its range of benefits, Turkey Tail mushroom is undoubtedly one of the most potent components of 5 Defenders. You can take a look at some of our favorite turkey tail mushroom supplements to learn more.

5. Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)

Maitake is a known adaptogen that helps the body fight against any form of physical or mental stress. It’s also beneficial for overall physical system regulation and is used as an ingredient in medicines and cooking.

It is commonly found in the wilder parts of China and grows at the bottom of Elm and Oak trees. Although it has been known in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, the mushroom has only recently gained popularity in North America.

This mushroom is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, not to mention fiber and amino acids. Research suggests that the mushroom may help control cancer, reduce cholesterol, and work against type-2 diabetes.

Best known to work as an extract, 5 Defenders is an excellent Maitake source and can take care of your daily supplement requirements.

The kinds of mushrooms used in the 5 Defenders are definitely potent and beneficial but we wanted to confirm that the ingredients were being extracted properly using the correct part of the mushrooms.

Importance Of Whole Fruiting Body Mushrooms

A large variety of mushroom extracts are available in the market, but not all are created equal. Most mushroom supplements tend to use myceliated grain instead of the whole fruiting body of the mushroom.

This leads to drastic differences in the potency of the products. While most customers remain at a loss regarding what these terms mean, we don’t want you to be in that group. That’s why, in this section, we want to explain the importance of understanding the difference between these two terms.

Let’s begin with what a whole fruiting body is. Simply put, the entire fruiting body of a mushroom is the actual, fully grown organism at the end of the mushroom’s life cycle. This is essentially the umbrella-like structure that we all imagine when we think of mushrooms.

This whole fruiting body contains the major nutrients and beneficial compounds that make mushrooms such in-demand supplements. Unless a mushroom extract is made from the whole fruiting body, it cannot contain the entire range of beneficial components that these supplements can provide.

However, most mushroom supplements available in the market use myceliated grain as the primary ingredient. Mycelium is essentially a root-like network that later develops into the whole fruiting body mushroom.

Now, this mycelium needs a base material or a substrate on which it can germinate and grow. For most mushroom growers, this comes in the form of grains such as wheat and sorghum.

When preparing an extract from this myceliated grain, the resulting product contains very little of the actual mushroom. The majority of the extract is filled with the grainy components that were used to facilitate the mycelium growth.

Naturally, myceliated grain contains a large amount of starch (upwards of 70%) and doesn’t have the same efficacy levels as whole fruiting body mushrooms. That’s why all Real Mushrooms products are prepared using only whole fruiting bodies.

Check out this video from Jeff Chilton explaining the difference between mushrooms and mycelium.

The Hot Water Extraction Process And Beta-D-Glucans

Apart from the actual mushroom fruit, the extraction process that goes into preparing the supplement is also essential. For the preparation of 5 Defenders, a hot water extraction process is employed.

In this method, hot water is used to extract all water-soluble nutrients from the mushroom. The raw components are boiled in hot water at a temperature of about 80 to 175 degrees celsius during the process.

Once extraction is completed, the leftover plant material is discarded, and the water extract is evaporated to form a powdery residue. Hot water extraction is the preferred process due to the fact that Beta-D-Glucans, the major active ingredient in medicinal mushrooms, is water-soluble.

Beta-D-Glucans is a form of polysaccharide found in medicinal mushrooms and is classified as biological response modifiers. In essence, these are structural components of the cell walls within the mushrooms.

Whole fruiting body extracts generally contain a considerable amount of physiologically beneficial Beta-D-Glucans. Real Mushrooms’ 5 Defenders claims to have greater than 20% Beta-D-Glucans content, which shows how effective it is.

Our Experience

It’s not a surprise that many of our team members already take medicinal mushroom supplements to complement their daily diets. However, we were curious to see if the 5 Defenders were going to be more effective than the other brands we were using. Our team members tried out the supplement, both in capsule and in powder form.

The results, we must say, weren’t immediate. But after trying the supplement over eight weeks, we began to notice the changes. Our immune system response was much better than before, and mental clarity increased as well.

What’s more, most team members taking the product also reported getting better sleep, and more energy to work. Overall, all of us felt more balanced than before and could feel the supplement’s effects gradually building up. Many of our team members have actually switched from their previous mushroom supplement brand to Real Mushrooms’ 5 Defenders because of the particular blend of mushrooms that this supplement uses. Naturealm’s Sacred 7 and Freshcap Mushroom’s Thrive 6 are popular alternatives but don’t have capsules like 5 Defenders offers.

Although is blend is amazing, we wish that there was some lion’s mane included in the blend for the cognitive benefits it provides. Many of our team members didn’t mind the absence of the ingredient because we supplement lion’s mane through capsules already. You can find some of our favorite lion’s mane supplements here.

Recommended Dosage

As per the company recommendations, the supplement’s dosage is pegged at two capsules a day for adults. According to our experience, this is a standard dose that should be enough for most healthy adults.

If you’re going for the powdered variant of the extract, we recommend a dose of 1g per day. This roughly translates to about ½ teaspoon of the powder. You incorporate the powdered mushroom mix with tea or even blend it in a smoothie to make a healthy snack.

Since the product is all-natural, there’s very little chance of developing any adverse symptoms. Our team members can vouch for the efficacy and the quality of the product after using it for a long period of time.

Our Thoughts


After careful consideration, we think that 5 Defenders by Real Mushrooms is indeed a product that works and possibly one of the best mushroom supplements on the market today. The supplement is made from high-quality ingredients, and the extract is prepared to glean the full benefits of the raw materials.

We also like how the product is available in both capsules as well as powder form. This offers a choice to those who prefer capsules over powders, and vice-versa.

Wrapping up, we think 5 Defenders is certainly a mushroom supplement that you should try. Given that our team members are super happy with the product and how good it makes us feel – we don’t think you’ll be disappointed either.

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