Mushrooms and Heavy Metals

Mushrooms are notorious for absorbing heavy metals!

Heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr) and lead (Pb).

(Some) Marketing: “Naturally grown in the pristine mountain forest, watered by God’s tears, the way nature intends”

(Some) Reality: Clouds conduct water contaminated with heavy metals from a nearby city, travel across to the pristine mountain forest and dumps its load of contaminated water saturated with heavy metals.

It is really important to ensure the mushrooms you are buying have heavy metal analysis!!!

Organically/naturally grown Mushrooms does not mean anything in terms of heavy metal composition.

To reassure you about Oriveda’s products we can honestly say all products are 100% safe. The extracts are tested by an independent third-party laboratory for heavy metals and other trace elements. The test results are available here. The analytical labs used (CWC, Eurofins Group) are ISO/IEC 17025 accredited, which is the highest level of certification.

Don't overlook that although less is always better, levels of heavy metals should be seen in relation to the intake (of a dietary supplement or another food) and the bodyweight of the individual consuming it. For a baby 1ppm (part per million) of whatever compound might be toxic, whereas for an adult man it is perfectly safe. The danger is in the dosage!

Below are the official EU and World Health Organisation / Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (WHO / JECFA) guidelines. The amounts are in mcg (micrograms).

  • Arsenic: 
  • (Adult, 70 kgs: 150 mcg = daily limit)
  • Cadmium: 
  • (Adult, 70 kgs: 70 mcg daily = daily limit)
  • Lead: 

(Adult, 70 kgs: 250 mcg daily = daily limit)

  • Mercury: 

(Adult, 70 kgs: 16 mcg daily = daily limit)

Of course it is also interesting to know how much heavy metals are present in common everyday foods.

To compare, in 2007 the FDA conducted a survey to determine levels of heavy metals such as lead in typical foods. The majority of foods were free or almost free of any heavy metals, but not all. There was no difference between 'organic' and standard.

Their most striking results (levels per serving, per day):

  • fresh collard greens: 30 micrograms of lead
  • dry roasted mixed nuts: 20 micrograms of lead
  • Brussels sprouts: 15 micrograms of lead
  • Sweet potatoes: 16 micrograms of lead
  • Spinach: 15 micrograms of lead

These are all considered normal and safe levels.

Here is an example of a 2020 test report from Oriveda's Reishi

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As you can see there is a very little amount of Lead, Arsenic and Cadmium present, and 0 Mercury, so you can safely take Oriveda's Medicinal Mushrooms with peace in your heart that you aren't poisoning yourself!

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