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Lion’s Mane Benefits and Research: Ultimate Guide

| Leestijd 5 Minuten

Want to know more about Lion’s Mane benefits for your mental and physical health? This “mushroom for the brain” has gained considerable popularity among biohackers, athletes, and health gurus in recent years. Does it truly enhance memory and boost focus? In this article, we delve deep into the research findings on the effects of this marvelous mushroom.

Also read: Buying Functional Mushrooms: Find Your Match

What is Lion’s Mane?

Lion's Mane benefits

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a remarkable mushroom that bears a resemblance to a lion’s mane or a wig. Unlike psychedelic mushrooms, it falls into the category of non-psychedelic functional mushrooms. This means you can’t get high from it, but you can use it to support your health.

In recent years, this mushroom supplement has gained popularity among athletes, health-conscious individuals, and high performers who aim to optimise their physical and cognitive well-being naturally. Lion’s Mane is often taken as a nootropic, often referred to as “smart medicine,” to strengthen cognitive functions.

Are the benefits of Lion’s Mane comparable to that of traditional nootropics?

Nootropics are substances used to enhance cognitive functions, including memory, concentration, creativity, and mood, without the side effects associated with traditional psychoactive drugs.

As nootropics do not produce a “high,” they can take the form of plants, mushrooms, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and even synthetic compounds. One of the most well-known natural nootropics that increases alertness, concentration, and focus is caffeine.

Now, Lion’s Mane is also considered a natural nootropic. According to research (as discussed later in this article), the mushroom stimulates the production of NGF (Nerve Growth Factor), which could have a beneficial effect on brain health.

The benefits of lion's mane mushroom supplement

Therefore, the benefits of Lion’s Mane can be compared to that of traditional nootropics in that it can have a positive impact on the brain. One key difference is that Lion’s Mane is 100% natural (at least ours is!), and it contains no synthetic substances.

Lion’s Mane is absolutely legal in the Netherlands and is also commonly found in Dutch forests. The mushroom thrives, in particular, on old trees, such as oaks and beeches.

What is Lion’s Mane suitable for?

Lion’s Mane is rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds, including hericenone. Research (1, 2) has linked hericenone to the promotion of nerve growth factors. These factors play a crucial role in the growth of nerve cells and neural networks in the brain.

By stimulating these factors, Lion’s Mane can have a positive impact on the brain. It may enhance memory, learning ability, and concentration. Whether it can increase your IQ remains to be studied. However, what has been studied will be discussed in the following sections.

Does Lion’s Mane offer protection against brain diseases?

Lion's Mane mushroom and mental health

There is a substantial amount of research on the potential benefits of Lion’s Mane for specific brain diseases, but no definitive conclusions have been reached yet. Nevertheless, there is evidence suggesting that the bioactive compounds in Lion’s Mane, such as hericenone and erinacins, possess properties that may be neuroprotective:

  • Stimulation of nerve growth factors: Lion’s Mane is associated with the promotion of nerve growth factors, such as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Lion’s Mane’s anti-inflammatory properties could benefit brain health.
  • Antioxidant activity: Lion’s Mane contains antioxidants that can help neutralise free radicals in the body, potentially preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

Benefits of Lion’s Mane for dementia

According to several studies, it appears that Lion’s Mane as a supplement may have a positive effect on mild dementia (3, 4). In a double-blind study, where both the researchers and participants are unaware of who is in the experimental group or control group, Lion’s Mane demonstrated its potential effectiveness in improving mild cognitive impairment.

The study involved 30 Japanese men and women between the ages of 50 and 80, all diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. The group was divided into two: a control group of 15 people and an experimental group of 15 people.

Whereas the control group received a placebo, the experimental group received an extract of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane). Over 16 weeks, the experimental group took four 250-mg tablets containing 96% Lion’s Mane powder three times a day.

At weeks 8, 12, and 16, the experimental group showed significantly higher scores on the cognitive function scale based on the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS-R). Four weeks after the experimental group stopped taking the tablets, their scores dropped significantly.

Lion’s Mane and mental health

Over the past decade, several studies have explored the benefits of Lion’s Mane for mental health (5, 6, 7). These studies have investigated the effects of Lion’s Mane on depression and stress. However, the findings are not yet conclusive enough to support the idea that Lion’s Mane can reduce depression.

Plus, many of these studies have been conducted on mice and rats, not yet on humans. One study does suggest that “chronic administration of Hericium erinaceus may have antidepressant-like effects by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis” (8).

Whether these results translate to humans remains to be explored, but it offers intriguing insights into the potential benefits of mushrooms, particularly Lion’s Mane.

What to consider when buying Lion’s Mane supplements

What to consider when buying Lion's Mane supplements

As with all supplements, it’s crucial to choose 100% top-quality organic mushroom supplements. At MushPeak, you can rest assured that we meet all these criteria:

  • Quality and purity: Check the list of ingredients to ensure the supplement contains only Lion’s Mane with no additives or fillers.
  • Purification and extraction method: Ensure that a purification or extraction method is used to optimise the amount of active ingredients.
  • Source and quality control: Mushrooms can absorb substances from their environment, so it’s vital that they are grown in a clean and controlled environment. Choose a brand that emphasises their source and quality control.
  • Independent testing and certification: Only purchase your mushroom supplements from a brand that collaborates with independent third-party laboratories to verify product quality.

We believe in providing you with the best information. Do you have any questions or want to learn more about a product? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Discover the benefits of Lion’s Mane with MushPeak

Are you searching for the best mushroom supplements to support your health? Explore the benefits of Lion’s Mane for yourself with MushPeak and choose top quality, safety, efficacy, and purity.

Discover our mushrooms!

 

Disclaimer

Supplements should not be used as a replacement for a diverse diet, a healthy lifestyle, or as a treatment for any medical condition. Keep this product out of the reach of children. If you are ill, pregnant, or in doubt, always consult with your healthcare provider. The information provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. While traditional Chinese medicine has a history spanning thousands of years and has been tested on numerous individuals, MushPeak does not make claims indicating the proven medicinal properties of herbs or mushrooms, in accordance with current EU legislation. Detailed information about mushrooms is available from publicly accessible sources on the Internet. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

References

  1. Younis N.A. (2020). Online Survey for Patient Outcomes on Hericium Erinaceous Mushroom. Pharmacognosy Journal. 12(3):519-525. https://doi.org/10.5530/pj.2020.12.79
  2. Spelman K., Sutherland, E., & Bagade, A. (2017). Neurological Activity of Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus). Journal of Restorative Medicine. 6(1). https://doi.org/10.14200/jrm.2017.6.0108
  3. Mori K., Inatomi S., Ouchi K., Azumi Y., & Tuchida T. (2009). Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res23(3):367-72.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2634. PMID: 18844328.
  4. Kawagishi, H., Zhuang, C., & Shnidman, E. (2004). The Anti-Dementia effect of Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceum) and its clinical application. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. 249, pp 54+.
  5. Chong P.S., Fung M-L., Wong K.H.,& Lim L.W. (2020). Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 21(1):163. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010163
  6. Nagano M., Shimizu K., Kondo R., et al. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research. 31(4):231-237.  https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.31.231
  7. Chou M-Y., Ho J-H., Huang M-J., et al. (2022). Potential antidepressant effects of a dietary supplement from the chlorella and lion’s mane mushroom complex in aged SAMP8 mice. Frontiers in Nutrition. 9.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.977287
  8. Ryu S., Kim H.G., Kim J.Y., Kim S.Y, & Cho K-O. (2018. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain. Journal of Medicinal Food. 21(2).
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