What Is Bio-availability?


Have you ever taken a supplement in capsule form and noticed that it takes several minutes or even hours to take effect? Perhaps you've even taken that same supplement as a liquid and felt the effects even sooner. It might've even felt more potent than the capsules, right?

This is because of bioavailability.

A supplement’s bioavailability is determined by how much of a biologically active substance your body actually absorbs and gets delivered into your bloodstream and body tissues (organs) as intended.

verdant leaf blog icons memory

Just because you take a substance, doesn’t mean your body actually absorbs any or all of it.

How drugs and supplements are administered plays a key role in bioavailability. Others include (but are not limited to):

  • The particle size of bioactive compounds
  • Chemical stability en route to the desired destination in your body
  • Dosage form
  • Other synergistic or antagonistic compounds

Bioavailability vs. Absorption

Bioavailability is affected by our body's ability to absorb bioactive compounds. When supplements are taken in various forms, the body may not absorb them the same way.

For example, at Verdant Leaf, we use a proprietary Mycosonic™ technology to extract the bioactive chemicals in the mushrooms that we cultivate. Through our sonication process, those active chemicals are broken down into nanoparticles and used to make products in three forms:

  • Powders/Capsules
  • Alcohol-free tinctures
  • Alcohol-based sprays

While capsules are an incredibly popular way to take advantage of the adaptogenic benefits of functional mushrooms, the liquid provides a more bioavailable benefit.

Alcohol-free, water-based tinctures, on the other hand, will allow the bioactive compounds to absorb much faster than capsules; however, alcohol-based sprays may have better absorption since they will play nicer with your gastric fluids and can help deliver the bioactive compounds in a way that allows your body to absorb more of the good stuff.

Bioavailability vs. Absorption

While eating mushrooms is a common way to take advantage of the medicinal benefits of mushrooms, it is not necessarily the most effective method for achieving optimal absorption. This is because some of the beneficial compounds in mushrooms may not be fully absorbed in the digestive system and may be excreted before they can have a significant impact on the body.

So, what are the best ways to reap the benefits of the bioactive compounds in mushrooms?

1. Optimal mushroom supplement dosage forms

Considering how mushrooms are traditionally administered, let’s assume that the majority of them are consumed orally, vs some of the more bioavailable methods earlier described (inhaled, injected, etc). Out of all of the ways to orally consume mushrooms, here’s a chart that reflects the rate of absorption based on the supplement administering method.

Administering Method


Eating Mushrooms

Slowest, Higher Dosage


Slow, Higher Dosage (Reduced absorption may occur when mixed with various other substances)

Capsules (Non-Mycosonic)*

Slow, Higher Dosage

Capsules (Mycosonic)*

Fast, Lower Dosage

Water-Based Tinctures and Sprays**

Much Faster, Lower Dosage

*Mycosonic extraction is a proprietary process that breaks down bioactive compounds into nanoparticles for optimal bioavailability[3] and faster absorption. Visit and check out our Mycosonic extracts and capsules.

**USDA Organic water-based tinctures are not available on our online store, but are available for retailers. Contact sales [at] if you’d like to place an order.

2. Breaking mushrooms down to microns and nanoparticles: small particles, big impact

breaking mushrooms down

Capsules tend to be the most convenient ways to consume mushrooms in supplement form, and are a better option than eating their weight in the number of raw mushrooms needed for a similar dosage. Due to micronization, the process of reducing the particle size of the material to the size of a micron (also known as micrometer), mushroom powders and capsules have improved solubility and can allow for drastically improved bioavailability and absorption.

But wait, there are even smaller particle sizes that are even more bioavailable.

While microns are one-twenty-five thousandth of an inch, a nanometer is one-thousandth of a micron! Supplements where the bioactive chemicals are broken down into nanoparticles will provide the most bioavailability of the orally administered methods due to the improved solubility.[4] They also provide better absorption due to the smaller surface area of the particles, which allows the compounds to break down faster. An additional benefit of breaking down the compounds into smaller-sized particles is that you're also getting 1000 times more of the active ingredients within the same dose if you consume capsules or extracts with Mycosonic processing vs without.

3. Chemical stability of the bioactive chemicals

chemical stability

Dual-extraction methods are pretty common when trying to derive the full spectrum of bioactive compounds from mushrooms. During this process, both water and alcohol are used, as some of the compounds are not water soluble, and must be extracted with alcohol. Another benefit of dual extraction is that the bioactive compounds from the fruit body and mycelium can be derived. Some chemicals are available within the mushroom's mycelium (the thread-like roots of fungus), while others are available in the fruit bodies (the caps and stems).

So why not have the benefits of both?

Well, some people don’t want to consume alcohol for various reasons (pets, kids, personal preference, etc). While liquid extracts have higher bioavailability than mushroom capsules and powders, alcohol tends to be a better vehicle to deliver the chemical compounds to the bloodstream. With water extraction, more of the compounds get compromised or improperly metabolized along the way when consumed orally. But when alcohol is used in the extraction process and orally consumed, more of the compounds make it to the gastric system, increasing bioavailability.

Where To Find the Most Bioavailable Mushroom Supplements

At Verdant Leaf, our online store and retailers have our full-spectrum mushroom tinctures, sprays, and capsules. All of our supplements are USDA Certified Organic, Gluten-Free, and Oregon Certified Kosher as they are grown and processed here in Hillsboro, Oregon. And while our products are incredible in quality, we are also committed to sustainability by using ocean-recycled plastics and other sustainable packaging options.

Interested in Carrying our Products?

If you are interested in carrying our products in-store, please contact sales.


  1. 1
    Drug interactions with alcohol. M Linnoila, M J Mattila, B S Kitchell. PMID: 387374 DOI: 10.2165/00003495-197918040-00003
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
    Micronization: a method of improving the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs. J C Chaumeil 1. Affiliation: 1 Laboratoire de Pharmacotechnie et Dermopharmacie, Faculté des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Université René-Descartes, Paris, France. PMID: 9646283