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Fact-checking the benefits of mushroom coffee

In the last few years, mushrooms have made a name for themselves. You may see more and more products containing the fungi; you could even see it in coffee.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When you scroll through social media, you are probably seeing a lot of ads for random products. One that has been filling many timelines is mushroom coffee. 

Viewer Kendell W. emailed WCNC Charlotte asking if the hype about mushroom coffee is real and what the pros and cons of drinking mushroom coffee vs. regular coffee are. 

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Many mushroom coffee ingredients include cordyceps, phellinus, chaga, and lions mane.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, these mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes in several countries. Some benefits include strengthening immune systems and lowering blood pressure and inflammation. 

But do they still work in coffee form? 

"Well, the jury is still out on this one," Robinson said. 

The Cleveland Clinic states not enough research has been conducted to really understand if the benefits come through in coffee form. 

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"What we don't know is once it's processed and then brewed if you still retain those same properties," Robinson said. 

However, Robinson said it doesn't hurt to drink the coffee, but mushrooms alone could have a better benefit. 

"For anyone who is looking for a true health boost, I would say it is probably best at this point to just stick to adding mushrooms to your salad or adding mushrooms in another way," Robinson said. 

Another thing to think about is the price. Mushroom coffee can run double the price of a regular bag of coffee. 

The Cleveland Clinic also notes sometimes mushrooms can cause digestive issues, especially if you have kidney issues or trouble with grains so they suggest talking to your doctor if you have those sensitivities. 

Either way, Robinson said mushrooms have many benefits, but more research is needed to understand if the true benefits are in full effect when they are in coffee form. 

 Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte's Verify series is all about trying to make a difference in the Carolinas by making sure the community has the correct information. WCNC Charlotte outlines concisely what we know and what we don't know. Sometimes the answer can be surprising. Watch previous stories where we verify social media claims in the YouTube playlist below and subscribe to get updated when new videos are uploaded.  

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