Most examples of a popular Chinese health supplement said to boost the immune system and fight tumours did not live up to their makers' claims in tests by the Consumer Council. Only one in 16 samples of capsules made from the medicinal fungus lingzhi measured up to their claims of full spore breakage - a condition that aids absorption of the substance into the organs. Half of the samples had 90 per cent breakage of the natural outer shell of the spores, while the worst performer had just 5 per cent, meaning the medicine might not work as well as the consumers expected. Lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming said the situation was serious and advised consumers to consider carefully before buying health supplements. The Consumer Council has conducted laboratory tests using a light microscope to study the ultra-fine lingzhi spores in the capsules. Registered Chinese medicine practitioner Kong Kin-wa said the spores were the 'good essence' of lingzhi, a type of tree fungus. He said breaking the wall of the spores enabled the body to better absorb the nutrients. Council vice-chairman Ambrose Ho said: 'We tested the products to see if the breakage rates actually matched their claims.' The test found wide variance in the breakage rates. Royal Medic Broken Ganoderma Spore had the lowest, at 5 per cent. The company did not comment on the result. The highest score, 100 per cent, was recorded by Natural Square Lingzhi Spore-Pollen. Mr Ho said many of the 16 samples contained more than just the spores, such as a type of growth cell and filling. The Consumer Council has notified both the Customs and Excise Department and the Department of Health of the test results.