True story: the world of health supplements is an unmitigated disaster.
Scams, hucksters, and frauds are the norm in the supplement business.
My guest this week will teach you to spot the difference between the real thing and a well-marketed, pricey placebo in a bottle.
I met Jeff Chilton’s son Skye on a wilderness survival trip in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Jeff’s family business creates high-quality, scientifically tested organic mushroom extracts. Today he’ll be talking about how medicinal mushrooms can improve your health and performance.
You’re about to learn:
- How to spot a fraudulent supplement
- Which types of mushrooms have the strongest medicinal properties
- How to use mushrooms to boost immune system health and function
- And much more…
JEFF CHILTON: THE MUSHROOM MAN
Abel: Jeff Chilton studied ethnomycology at the University of Washington, is a founding member of the World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products, and a member of the International Society for Mushroom Science. His company, Nammex, was the first to offer a complete line of certified organic mushroom extracts to the U.S. nutritional supplement industry. His extracts are used by many supplement companies and are noted for their high quality based on scientific analysis of the active compounds. We’re going to dig into that a lot more. Jeff, thank you so much for joining us.
It’s my pleasure to be here.
Abel: Most Americans know mushrooms as a second-tier pizza topping. But you have a slightly different experience, and you understand their power. Tell Americans something they don’t know about mushrooms.
Well, I guess the first thing I’d tell you is mushrooms are a very nutritious food. And the reason why a lot of Americans don’t know that is because classical nutritionists always looked at foods with no calories as basically a food with no substance, and so mushrooms kind of got tarred with that brush back in the early days.
But the fact of the matter is, mushrooms:
- Are high in protein, up to 25% of quality protein
- Have a good amino acid profile, especially essential amino acids
- Are also high in quality carbohydrates, a lot of which we’ll be talking about later
- Are low in fat
- Have good vitamin content, like riboflavin and niacin
- Are high in fiber, which we all need
- And they’re a great prebiotic as well
I recommend everybody put mushrooms into your diet. And having just come back from China and having traveled over there a lot, we ate mushrooms with every meal. I’m not kidding you.
In China when you eat a meal, they bring out plate after plate after plate. So maybe you’ve got 12 different dishes to choose from, and out of those 12, there’d at least be two or three mushroom dishes. It’s a big category, a major food over there, they’re eating a lot of them, and I recommend Americans do the same.
Get mushrooms into your diet. They're just a great food. Click To Tweet
Abel: But a lot of Americans are short-changing themselves by limiting themselves to pizza topping mushrooms, right? Which come out of a can, they have no flavor left, they have no substance. There’s a huge difference between a fresh mushroom or one that you grab from the woods, like we did growing up. Those things are dang good, and they don’t taste anything like that tasteless glop.
I tell you, if I get a pizza and it’s got a canned mushroom on it, I am not only disappointed, but I’m disgusted. Canned mushrooms are horrible. I got into the mushroom-growing business back in 1973, and worked for 10 years on a mushroom farm that grew the button mushroom. And the truth of the matter is, I love those fresh. But on that farm we had a Japanese scientist. He was growing shiitake, oyster mushroom, and what’s called enokitake mushroom—this is in the ’70s. I was exposed to these other mushrooms.
This farm I worked on was a big farm with 200 employees. It was the first farm to sell fresh shiitake into the U.S. market back in 1978. And the funny thing about it is that despite a major marketing campaign, the whole thing flopped. People were not ready for fresh shiitake mushrooms in 1978.
So what they did is they just stopped producing them, and they built up their Agaricus industry and started producing more Agaricus. And of course today, you can get maybe, in the right place, half a dozen different specialty mushrooms. I love shiitake. I love enokitake. If people haven’t had enokitake, these are these very slender stems, small caps, and they come in a bundle of 1,000 of them or something. You pull them apart, you throw them into a hot wok and fry them up, and they’re like noodles. They’re crunchy, they’re tasteful, they’re wonderful. And so I’d say to people, “Hey. Get into it, because mushrooms are a fantastic food, not only flavor-wise, but nutritionally.”
Abel: Indeed. What is the cultural problem in America or Western food? Why don’t we have similar diversity, not only in our mushrooms but in our food in general?
Some people categorize it as mycophobia. Certain cultures are really, totally into mushrooms, and not just in Asia, but in Eastern Europe, Russia—they know mushrooms. They’re totally on to it. But for some reason in the U.K., where most of us come from initially, that kind of came over, and that mycophobia got entrenched in the U.S. Then when mushroom farming really got started here, which was from European growers and mostly in Pennsylvania, that was the Agaricus they grew. Then that sort of slowly but surely worked its way into our food market.
But that’s something… Food, let’s face it. As a culture, there are certain foods we’re kind of like, “Eh, I’m not sure about that.” And then, of course, you hear a couple of stories about somebody harvesting a poisonous mushroom, and next thing you know, they’re dead. And you’re like, “Okay. No. No. No. No strange mushrooms for me.” Right?
Abel: Well, you do have to know what you’re doing if you’re grabbing them from the woods!
Absolutely. And I make that clear to anybody who’s wildcrafting: look, do not eat any mushrooms unless you’re absolutely positive about the identification from somebody who really knows what they’re doing.
Abel: I was fortunate, growing up in New Hampshire. My parents got into wildcrafting mushrooms from the woods as a hobby. After my parents were empty-nested, my mom took up the stand-up bass, my dad started playing the banjo, and they started wildcrafting all these mushrooms. They must’ve gotten really bored without the kids running around the house. But anyway, they’d come back from the woods, or we all would, in some cases, with these big hunks of chaga mushrooms, or these beautiful lion’s mane. We’d fry them up in butter and it was heavenly.
Man. When you’ve had that, your entire appreciation for mushrooms goes up a few notches, because real mushrooms are a delicacy. They really are.
They are. The wonderful flavors. I was just talking to a friend of mine this morning, his name is Christopher Hobbs. He’s an herbalist, written a book about medicinal mushrooms. And he was telling me that he was just talking with another mushroomer who said, “You know, the most beautiful thing about wildcrafting mushrooms is getting out in the woods, getting out in nature. It’s like a treasure hunt, right?”
He said, “The whole experience is magical.” And it is. It’s very magical. You’re out there and not much going on… And all of a sudden, you see one, and you’re just like, “Oh my God. Look at that. Look what I found, some absolutely choice edible mushroom.” It’s a wonderful thing.
I think mushrooms are one of those foods that if you’re talking about Paleo or anything like that, it’s a food that’s been with us for tens of thousands of years. Think about it. In season, you’ve got this thing there and a lot of times it’s big, it’s meaty, it’s flavorful, it’s right there, easily harvested. So they’ve been with us a long time. And on that note, I was reading some historical information about mushrooms in the U.K. and Europe, and they used to call mushrooms “poor man’s meat.” Isn’t that cool?
Abel: Right, and mushrooms are still used as a meat substitute, especially in vegetarian/vegan circles.
Yeah. Well, on one of these programs or sites, they just had a piece, “use mushrooms and hamburger in some unique way, and we’ll choose the top five recipes.” And that’s something they’re moving to a lot, where you’re chopping up mushrooms, putting it together with hamburger, and coming up with an even more flavorful burger. And I’m totally on to that.
Abel: Yeah. Here in Austin, there’s a burger place that serves a “Paleo” burger, grass-fed, that’s surrounded by two huge mushroom caps for the buns.
Exactly. And those big cremini that you can get out there on the market now, you can slice those up into steaks. No, it’s fantastic. Mushrooms are coming of age. It’s something I really love because I’ve been into that for so long, and just seen it slowly, slowly growing, and seeing the varieties of mushrooms, the species that are available to us to grow as well. Finally!
THE MEDICINAL POWER OF MUSHROOMS
Abel: Mushrooms aren’t just for eating, though. They’re also used medicinally and have been for thousands of years in a very powerful way. And they’re something that I take pretty much every day, mushrooms of various kinds. Can you talk a little bit about the power of mushrooms that are easy to find and have potent beneficial effects on your health?
First, let me put it this way. Most mushrooms, their cell walls are made up of compounds called beta glucans. Whatever mushroom you’re eating, you will be getting those beta glucans. And like I said before, mushrooms have a lot of fiber to them, so you’ll be getting a lot of prebiotics there.
Certain mushrooms, like shiitake, oyster mushroom, maitake, lion’s mane, they have these beta glucans. Each beta glucan has a specific architecture that’s a little bit different, and that architecture means that some of them are more active than others. So that’s why some mushrooms are medicinal and some are not, just by that particular beta-glucan and how it’s structured. Those mushrooms, in particular, and some that are not edible, like reishi or turkey tail, are all medicinal mushrooms that you can also utilize as supplements.
And that’s what my company is built around—selling mushrooms as nutritional supplements and putting them into a form that’s a little bit more concentrated than you might get eating mushrooms.
Again, like I say, I encourage people to eat mushrooms for nutritional as well as medicinal benefits, but for those who can’t, or would like a little more, supplementing with mushrooms is really a great way to go. And so we take these mushrooms and turn them into extract powders that we sell to companies who put them out in capsules, bottles, and so on.
Abel: Yeah. Let me say this. When I take supplements, and I’ve tried quite a few, most of them you just don’t feel anything. But when I had cordyceps for the first time, I was like, “Wow, there’s something happening that I can actually feel.” And there are a few others that really stand out. Why would you take some of these mushrooms as supplements, and what could you expect?
First of all, there aren’t going to be a lot of mushrooms where you’ll necessarily take them and go, “Boom. I can really feel that.” Unless you were to take a significant amount, because mushrooms are a little bit more subtle in that way, and I would say, generally speaking, you need to take them for a period of time to get their full benefits.
Mushrooms are an adaptogen. The beta glucans will come in, and they will hit receptor sites that we have in our lower intestine. Those beta glucans will hit those receptor sites and then they will activate our immune cells. And the thing with an adaptogen is that it may be there, and then you’re starting to get a little bit out of balance one way or the other. Well, the adaptogen is really doing its work in the sense that it’s trying to keep you in balance.
Now, if your immunity is really low, generally, well, these supplements are going to hike those immune cells up and get them a little more active in trying to get you back in balance.
What we’re really looking at here with our health is finding balance, finding that place. It’s harmony. We need to stay in harmony, and when we get out of harmony, we get sick.
And my philosophy is, I’m not out there looking at this as a battle. It’s like, we’re going to war against this thing. I don’t like those metaphors at all. I really like the idea of, we’re in this big organism here. We’re part of it and we’re all trying to get along, right? But sometimes we get out of balance a little bit, and something comes in and affects us in a certain way that causes illness.
We’re doing whatever we can, and mushrooms can be a big part of that in terms of maintaining that balance. And that’s where these beta glucans in the mushrooms are so important.
There’s a lot of scientific research that’s been done on beta glucans that has demonstrated they have this immunological activity. And that’s why mushrooms are considered longevity types of herbs. They’re herbs that maintain… You get older and your immune system is not quite as strong as it was before. I mean, just like a lot of systems as you get older, like my memory. “Where’s the lion’s mane? I need some lion’s mane.” That’s where the mushrooms really come in and can help us maintain that immunity, that balance, that harmony. And that’s sort of how I look at their actions. I don’t look at them specifically as, “Okay. They’re going to definitely target this or that.” They’re a little bit more nonspecific, and that’s how adaptogens work.
Abel: Adaptogens fill in the gaps.
Yes. Absolutely. So that’s how I look at them.
HOW TO CHOOSE HIGH-QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS
I’ve got to talk to you a little bit about the beta glucans and the fact of how important they are, and how one of the things that my company’s been able to do is measure beta glucans.
Beta glucans are a polysaccharide, and so you hear a lot of companies talking about all the polysaccharides in their products and so on, but there are other things that are polysaccharides too, like maltodextrin, and dextrose, and grain. And so when somebody with a mushroom product says, “We’re testing for polysaccharides and the numbers are way up here,” it’s like, well, that probably means they’re full of starch of some sort.
Abel: You’ve been in the supplement industry for decades. It’s got a lot of problems, and when you walk into the store and you buy something that’s supposed to have vitamin C in it or mushrooms in it, in a lot of cases—in fact, in most cases, when you really look at it, you’re not getting what you’re buying.
Oh my goodness, that is a topic that is just crazy. And in my part of it, in my category, in the medicinal mushroom side of things, I did a study last year, it was called “Redefining Medicinal Mushrooms.” And in that study we tested 100 different samples, 40 of which were retail products that we bought right off the market. And we had dried mushrooms, actual dried mushrooms, and then we had mushroom extracts. We tested all of these products for beta glucans, and what we found was that the majority of the bottle products were mostly starch and had very low amounts of beta glucans. The reason for this was fairly simple: most products that are manufactured in the U.S. are not mushroom. They’re what’s called mycelium, and they grow this mycelium on grain.
Just to give you a little bit of background on that because it’s really important: For a mushroom, basically the whole lifecycle of this organism starts with a spore. The spore will germinate into what’s called a hypha, which is like a filament that we don’t normally see. The hyphae grow together and that forms what is called a mycelium. That’s the actual body of this fungus. And it’s out there in nature, it’s in the ground, it’s in the wood. We don’t normally see it unless we were to like… When we pull that mushroom out, we kind of look at its base and look into the ground, and then we can see this white filamentous type of thread-like thing growing there. That’s the mycelium. That mycelium produces a mushroom, and that’s what we’re used to seeing. So what happens is that growing mushrooms in North America is expensive.
Think about it like if I grow shiitake mushrooms and I sell them for $5 a pound, let’s say, as a producer, and maybe in the store you pay $10 a pound or something. But $5 a pound as a producer… the mushroom is 90% water. So when I take the water out of it and turn it into a dried powder, now instead of $5, I have to get $50 for that pound of dried shiitake. It doesn’t work in the market in terms of selling that as a supplement.
So what happens is companies will take that mycelium, they’ll take it into a lab, they’ll put it on sterilized cooked grain, and they’ll grow out that mycelium on the grain. When it’s fully grown out after, let’s say, 30 or 45 days, they will then harvest it and grind it to a powder, and they haven’t separated the grain out from the fungal tissue. So that product ends up being mostly grain powder, and the problem is that rather than identifying it as that, they call it mushroom and sell it as mushroom. So if you go out to the market, and you’re looking for these products and you see all these mushroom products, most of them are not mushroom at all.
The example I want to give your listeners is, if you know of a product called tempeh, tempeh is a fungus grown on cooked soybeans. It’s a wonderful food product. So that’s essentially what these people are growing. They’re growing a fungal food product, but yet grinding it up and calling it mushroom and selling it as a supplement. And my testing showed that the beta glucans in that was somewhere around 5%, when in fact, a mushroom has 25% to 60% beta glucan. And starch-wise, which is the other side of it, is that a mushroom has no starch. It has glycogen, which is under 5%, and these products are 30% to 60% starch.
Think about that for a second, if you’re on a Paleo diet, and you’ve just bought this great mushroom product and you’re like, “Oh man. I’ve got this wonderful mushroom product. And I listened to this person and he was an expert and told me it was a great product and I’m taking it.” And the first thing I ask those people is, “Well, what’s the brand?” And then I say, “Well, do you know that actually what you’re taking is mycelium that’s grown and produced in a laboratory on sterile grain? It’s not Paleo. I’m sorry to tell you. It’s not even mushroom.”
Abel: I bet they don’t like hearing that.
Oh my God. Do they not like hearing it. And not only that, the terrible thing is I tell that to some companies that are selling those products that have bought those raw materials, and they don’t like hearing it because they’re looking at me and they’re going, “You know what? It’s selling, nobody’s complaining, what’s the problem?” Well the problem is, you’re not really selling a product that’s going to be beneficial to people.
Abel: Neither are most supplement companies.
It’s a really interesting thing out there. And I tell you, it just goes to show you, you have to be very vigilant. The thing with these mycelium on grain products that are masquerading as mushroom is you look, turn it around, look at the supplement facts. Some companies are honest enough to list the grain; some of them will say mycelium. But of course, a lot of people don’t look at the supplement facts; they just look at the front label, and it says mushroom, and it says reishi mushroom, shiitake mushroom. Those are the people that I’ve talked to and they tell me they’re taking this great mushroom product, and I’m like, “Sorry.”
You remember at Bulletproof, I had that bag of mycelium on grain. And I say, “This is what you’re taking.” And people are like, “Oh my God.” And yeah, I feel bad, because I believe mushrooms have a tremendous amount of benefit. I think they’re a wonderful thing for people, and especially people who have life-threatening illnesses, and taking this thing because of that. And when I hear they’re taking mycelium on grain products that are mostly grain powder and starch, I’m very saddened by it. I’m very saddened by it.
Abel: So look for quality, folks. Look for someone you can trust; look for a brand you can trust. And the good news, I think, is that in this day and age, it seems like the people who are trying to get ahead the wrong way are starting to get found out, right? Of course, there’s fake news and all that nonsense, Google spits out a bunch of crap at you these days, but word is starting to get around, I think. And that’s the promise of the future, is that the people who are doing business the right way are starting to stand out.
I totally agree. And I think it’s people like yourself and other people that are podcasting and have books and are educating… Right now, so much of what I do is just educational. I’m out there, not just to try to educate consumers, but mostly I’m trying to educate naturopaths, herbalists, any company in the supplement industry.
I have a ton of content on my website that helps to educate people. That’s what I’m doing mostly and I feel it’s so important. In a way it’s funny, because I did this study and I was sort of sitting back with my business for 10 years, just going, “Things are doing okay. It’s not growing much, but that doesn’t matter. It’s doing well. I’ve got a customer base out there.” And all of a sudden, having published that, it has dragged me right into this whole thing, and now I’m working more than I have in years.
Abel: Is that right? Well, it’s a good problem to have.
I guess it is, yeah. I don’t mind. I’m enjoying it. And I feel very passionate about it because mushrooms have been a big part of my life. And like I say, I think they’re very beneficial, and I think it’s a great supplement for people if it’s the right thing. I encourage people to eat mushrooms. It’s a wonderful food.
Abel: Yeah. Now the hard thing for me, initially anyway, was finding a way to take the powders, because they’re obviously not as convenient as capsules. But if you go and you buy the capsules, you don’t always know what you’re getting.
I found that throwing them into smoothies makes it really easy. But I may have mentioned this on the show before—there are certain things that taste great, and reishi is not one of them, right?
So in a lot of cases, I’ll have a smoothie that I try to make taste good, and I’ll leave the more offensive flavors out of it. Because it’s not just the mushrooms. Sea buckthorn, and a lot of other very nutritious things can just ruin a smoothie or ruin whatever you’re eating in a hurry.
So, instead, I make almost a bitter cocktail, where I mix up all the powders into this little elixir, and I just glug it down. It’s not the most pleasant thing that I’ve ever consumed, but it’s very effective. And I noticed something happen after I started doing that, and I think it has to do with the bitter taste. There are a lot of benefits to actually getting that punch in the face of bitter flavor every once in awhile, that resets your palate and stimulate digestion.
Well, you know what? Bitters are really an old-world type of, let’s just call it, remedy. Bitters were something in the diet and were important, I think. And of course, we’ve gone in North America into, everything’s got to be sweet or maybe salty. Totally gotten away from that. And when it’s bitter, people are like, “I don’t think so.” They want something sweet somehow. And what I like to do with the reishi, by the way… I love my coffee in the morning, and I drink it just black. And I add maybe half a teaspoon or something of reishi extract into my coffee. It dissolves right into it, and it gives it this other bitter tone.
Abel: Yeah. I’ve done it with coffee, that does work.
That’s what I recommend to people if they’re coffee drinkers. And then of course, if they sweeten it, fine. Sweeten it to your taste, but you’ve got these two different bitters working together. So that’s kind of my recommendation for the reishi, because man, you’re right. Reishi is like, in a way, it’s concentrated bitterness. It’s really a bitter flavor and that’s something you can use. I tell people, “Do you have a reishi product?” “Well, yeah.” “Is it really great? Pour out the capsule, taste it. If it tastes bland, if it tastes at all sweet and grainy, well, you don’t actually have a reishi product, because if it’s a reishi product, it is going to be bitter.” That is my reishi challenge to people.
Abel: It better taste bitter!
It better taste bitter, and if it doesn’t… I just want to mention a couple things about polysaccharides. One of which is, there are companies now that still do a polysaccharide test for mushroom products. And all that does is, if you’ve got a lot of grain in your product, you’ve got a high polysaccharide number. A polysaccharide test for mushrooms is absolutely worthless. Don’t go there.
HOW TO TEST MUSHROOM SUPPLEMENTS YOURSELF
The other thing I really love is, if you’ve got a mushroom product and you’re not sure whether it’s real or mycelium on grain, get yourself a little bottle of iodine, take that mushroom product, dump some out into a cup of water, mix it up really good, and put 10 drops of iodine in there. If there is starch in there from the grains, it will turn black immediately. It is the coolest test. And then if you’ve got dried mushroom or something around, powder up some dried mushroom, put it into the same water, put the iodine in, and you’ll see there is absolutely no change at all. So that’s a great test for those people that are like, “Gee, I’m not sure. I can’t really tell from this.” Well, give it the iodine test. It’s really fun, really cool. It’s like an unmasking, right?
Abel: Totally. We’re coming up on time, but before we go, I want to make sure we talk about your trip to China. You did some epic food journeying?
Yeah. Here’s something I’ll never forget. When I was traveling, actually, in China in the ’90s, one of my interpreters for people I was working with was a Chinese English teacher. And this was an old man. He must’ve been 75 years old.
And you know, Abel, in the 1990s in China, people were still riding their bikes. You don’t see that much anymore, but literally on the roads, there were massive bike lanes on either side with just a few cars going down the middle. This man, this English teacher, was still riding his bike.
So anyway, we’re going out and we’re traveling, going here, there. We stop at a restaurant for lunch and we’re eating lunch, and in the lower-quality restaurants along the side of the road, when that stuff comes out, most of those dishes are swimming in oil. And I’m looking at him going, “Oh my God.”
In those days too, everybody in China carried around a glass jar for their tea. And this is just like a glass jar, not something they bought. It was a glass jar from whatever product they had bought, and so they all have a glass jar and they all have tea, and everywhere you go, there’s hot water. There we’re sitting at this meal and we’re all eating and the meal is over, and the English professor looks at these platters there, which now, a lot of the food is gone, but there’s all this oil in there. The first thing he does is, he picks up one of those platters, takes it up here, and he drinks the oil.
Then he emptied out his tea jar and he collected the rest of the oil from the table. This was a man who had been through the famines of the ’20s and ’30s. And for him, it’s like, “Man, that oil is big-time calories.” And I’m just sitting there going, “Wow, this is amazing.”
Abel: What kind of oil do you think it was? Frying oil?
It was frying oil, and it had to have been some of your lowest-quality oils you can imagine. It would not have been a good oil, but what can I say? The Chinese people were certainly, back then, healthy. They’re on their bikes; they’re riding all the time. Nobody’s driving around in cars and spending all their time sitting in a car or anything like that.
Today, it’s just the opposite. They’ve gone completely Western. Everybody’s got cars. In the cities, you don’t see very many bikes at all. In fact, most people are on electric motor scooters if they’re not in a car, so it’s changed completely. I rode around Beijing back in the ’90s on a bicycle, and it was just easy. And you never thought about, “Am I going to get run over by somebody?” They had bike parking lots that were unbelievable: thousands of bikes that looked exactly the same in a bike parking lot.
Abel: In a way, the past almost sounds like a utopian future, doesn’t it? A lot of cities now are trying to put in biking infrastructure.
Yes, Vancouver. Vancouver, B.C., absolutely. They’ve got a great biking infrastructure now. And if you go to Amsterdam, Amsterdam’s got a fabulous biking infrastructure, and they still have very big bike parking lots in Amsterdam and Holland. They still bike a lot. It is back to the future.
Abel: Right. We’re all struggling with different things, but at the same time… And hopefully, we’re going to be able to solve some of these problems because it’s disheartening to hear that a lot of the countries around the world are following America’s lead, but not in the right way.
You’re absolutely right. I think, really, one of the big things is to get out of your car. Get into a city or whatever kind of urban environment where you can walk. Walk more, don’t take that car so much. That, to me, is one of our biggest problems is just that it’s a car culture. Everything’s organized according to a car, that keeps us from walking.Walking is one of the best exercises humans can get. Click To Tweet
Abel: Yeah, it is. And when you combine walking in your lifestyle with eating real traditional foods, and mushrooms certainly fall under the traditional foods category, your entire life can change.
I think as Westerners, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of all those different traditional foods and the traditional ways of even moving around, which I think bicycles could probably be included in that as well.
It absolutely could be included in that. Bicycling and walking, that’s really very human, very natural, and we need to get back there. We really do.
I’m so heartened right now, because I look at my sons and they listen to people like you, and Dave Asprey, and Ben… A lot of these people, right? And they’re so much into a healthy diet. They’re into exercise. They’re doing things, which when I was in my 30s, unfortunately, I was smoking cigarettes. I was not getting as much exercise as I should have. That’s changed a lot. When I look at this new generation of you guys and I just think, “Man, you guys are doing the right thing.” And I’m so happy and encouraged by that, that we’re starting to bring back that culture, which is much more genuine.
Abel: Right on. And now you have a family business with your son.
That’s right. That’s right. I’m so excited about that. I really am.
Abel: These generations can definitely learn a lot from each other, and I think you’re a great example of that. Before we go, can you tell folks where they can find you and what you’re working on next?
WHERE TO FIND JEFF CHILTON
If you got to nammex.com, we have a ton of great content there that will help educate you.
And one of the coolest things that I’m working on that we didn’t get a chance to touch upon, is that mushrooms have a compound in them called ergosterol. It’s similar to our cholesterol. This ergosterol, when you expose it to UV light, turns into vitamin D. Okay. Vitamin D2, which is not D3, which comes from animals, which is fine, I don’t have a problem with that, some people do. But D2 is very, very important. D, in general, is important. D2, the research is… It kind of goes back and forth on which is better. You’re still going to get a lot of benefit from D2 no matter what. And in the products we’re working on right now, one gram of mushroom powder that’s been exposed to a UV lamp can give you 5,000 IUs of vitamin D. One gram, two 500 milligram capsules.
This is a new product that we’ll be putting out in the new year and I am so excited about it. We saw a company in China now that’s putting out all sorts of vitamin D enhanced products using this process, and I just think that certainly, with vitamin D, especially for those of us that live up in the northern climate, it’s not necessarily you, but I’m up here in cloud zone…
Abel: I’m from the frosty backwoods of New Hampshire. I get it.
You understand, right? Vitamin D is important and so being able to get it… Again, mushrooms don’t have vitamin D. They have very low amounts, but they have the precursor. And if you have mushrooms, you can put them out in the sunlight and expose them to sunlight, and that will turn a lot of that ergosterol into vitamin D. So you can enrich those dried mushrooms with 15, 20 minutes in direct sunlight.
You’ll be able to have one gram of our mushroom powder and it will give you 5,000 IUs of vitamin D. I’m so excited.
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