Benefits of Lion’s Mane – Improve Cognitive Health

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Introduction to the Benefits of Lion’s Mane

The benefits of Lion’s Mane ( Yamabushitake Mushroom) are pretty exciting if you ask me. Even though this is another natural nootropic that has been around for many centuries it is now very popular in the world of

nootropics. In fact, this mushroom is the only one we know of that has nootropic properties. This review of Lion’s mane will give you plenty to think about.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are white globe shaped fungi with long, shaggy spines. You can eat them alone, or mixed in food. They have a slightly seafoodish taste to them. You can also buy them and take them as supplements.

Among the many health benefits, Lion’s Mane research is showing, there is reduced inflammation and improved cognitive health and improved heart health. Largely, there are two main compounds that are the ones to stimulate brain cell growth. They are Hericenones and Erinaines. (1)

Some animal studies have discovered that Lion’s Mane may be able to help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease by protecting the brain cells against degeneration. Although these studies are animal studies, Lion’s Mane increase mental functioning.

On interesting study with senior adults with some minor cognitive impairment suggested that 3 grams of Lion’s Mane in the form of powder for four months did significantly improve mental function. However, this effect continues only when taking the Loin’s Mane. Once they stopped the supplement, the effects stopped as well.

A study in older adults with mild cognitive impairment found that consuming 3 grams of powdered lion’s mane mushroom daily for four months significantly improved mental functioning, but these benefits disappeared when supplementation stopped. (2)

There are other studies done on animals that give promising results, but not enough research has been done on humans to be completely definitive on its abilities in this area.

Nootropic and non-Nootropic Benefits of Lion’s Mane

Anxiety and Depression

We know that Loin’s Mane may really be beneficial in the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Not only can Lion’s Mane improve brain function, but it may also help decrease the anxious symptoms associated with anxiety and also depression. Initial studies are showing that it may do so by upregulating neurogenesis in the hippocampus of mice. The hippocampus is the area of the brain that is thought to be responsible for regulating emotional responses and memory. (3)

There is also evidence that depressive symptoms associated with mild depression are related to neurological inflammation. (4)

In a small Japanese study, women with a variety of health conditions, including menopausal symptoms and poor sleep quality, were given cookies containing the Lion’s Mane extract. Another group were given a placebo for a total of 4 weeks. The ones who consumed the extract reported back lower levels of irritation and anxiety than those who took the placebo. (5)

Brain Health Improvement

From the above, we know that Lion’s Mane is quite good for our brains making it a nootropic of course. When we talk about improving our brain health we see that it stimulates the growth of new neural pathways in our brains. The results of this are wonderful implications for helping patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and maybe neuropathy.

Lion’s Mane has also been shown to protect brain cells and nerves from degeneration due to various environmental threats such as environmental toxins, certain drugs, and our bodies’ own inflammatory processes.

 

Protection from Dementia

As we age so do our brains, unfortunately.  Our brains’ ability to form new pathways slows down and then we see our mental function decline when we get older. (6)

Animal studies have found that lion’s mane may help protect our brain against Alzheimer’s disease.  Lion’s Mane and its extracts have been shown to reduce symptoms of memory loss in mice, as well as prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which accumulate in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease (7, 8, 9, 10).

So far there have been no studies on whether Lion’s Mane will help reduce memory loss in humans, it is shown to boost mental functioning

A study in older adults with mild cognitive impairment found that consuming 3 grams of powdered lion’s Mane daily for four months significantly improved mental functioning, but these benefits disappeared when supplementation stopped (11).

The ability of lion’s Mane to promote nerve growth and protect the brain from Alzheimer’s-related damage may explain some of its beneficial effects on brain health.

Enhanced Immune Function

Lion’s Mane may be able to enhance our immune system by reducing inflammation and preventing oxidation.

Research done with mice shows us that Lion’s Mane may boost the activity of the intestinal immune system. (12)

In another study on mice, indications are that a protein in lion’s mane mushrooms encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria that strengthen immunity. (13)

Age-Related Brain Fogbenefits of lion's mane

Lion’s Mane has also been shown that it may help with mild age-related cognitive decline in people between the ages of 50 and 80. During the study, some participants were given 750 mg of Lion’s Mane per day and others were given a placebo for 16 weeks. The results of this study showed researchers that it enhanced overall cognitive performance scores conducted through the 16 week period. However, when the participants stopped taking Lion’s Mane the effect had disappeared.

This study tested how lion’s mane might help people between the ages of 50 and 80 who were experiencing some form of mild age-related cognitive decline. Researchers gave these study subjects 750 mg of lion’s mane every day (or a placebo) for a span of 16 weeks. At the study’s conclusion, researchers reported that the cognitive testing performed throughout revealed lion’s mane appeared to enhance overall cognitive performance scores. Interestingly, these enhancements disappeared when subjects were tested again for weeks after stopping supplementation. (14)

Recovery from Nervous System Injuries

Your nervous system is there to transmit signals that pretty well control every function your body has. The nervous system is quite complicated and is made up of your brain, the spinal cord followed by the nerves travelling throughout your body. Given this, an injury to your brain or spinal cord can be very much life changing. You may have brain impairment such as concussion that takes days to months and even years to heal. Paralysis with a spinal cord injury can and often is permanent.

However, research has found that lion’s mane mushroom extract may help speed recovery from these types of injuries by stimulating the growth and repair of nerve cells (15, 15, 17).

One extraordinary finding is that when given the extract to rats with nervous system injuries, recovery time was reduced by 23-41%. That is quite significant (18).

Stroke

In another study, high doses of lion’s mane extract were given to rats immediately after sustaining a stroke. It helped decrease brain inflammation and reduce brain injury (stroke) size by up to 44%. (19).

Unfortunately, we will have to wait for any studies to be performed on humans with regard to the effectiveness of Lions Mane on nervous system injuries and stroke.

Blood Sugar in Diabetes

Consistent high blood sugar levels in Diabetic patients may result in a list of medical problems such as atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, eye or retina damage, renal or kidney impairment, etc. The extracts of Hericium Erinaceus have shown benefits for the reduction of high blood sugar levels.

In addition to controlling high blood sugar levels, the extracts also increased insulin levels in animal studies. (20)

Treats Peptic or Gastric Ulcers

Peptic ulcers may lead to acidity, indigestion, burning sensation and pain below the ribs, pain behind the breastbone or sternum, etc. Extracts of Lions Mane have shown their ability to treat peptic ulcers according to a research study. The polysaccharide component of Hericium Erinaceus decreased the size of the peptic ulcers. Lion’s mane mushroom also protects the gastric mucosa by preventing the reduction of antioxidant enzymes which protect the gastric mucosa. (21), (22)

Protecting the Liver

Recent research shows us that Lions Mane extracts have can protect the liver. These extracts can reverse hepatotoxicity or liver damage caused by acute alcohol exposure or toxicity. The use of Hericium Erinaceus extracts has shown to reduce the levels of aspartate Aminotransaminase (AST), Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT), maleic dialdehyde (MDA) which are markers of liver injury or damage. (23)

Can Lower High Cholesterol

Consuming Lion’s Mane will help fight high cholesterol.  One animal research study noticed that there was approximately a . 45% decrease in bad cholesterol, as well as 31% boost in good cholesterol, in subjects given extracts of Lion’s Mane.

How to Take Lion’s Main

  • In standalone supplements and nootropic stacks, the dosage tends to be lower, in the range of 500 mg per serving.
  • Dosage may sometimes be increased, which presents no issue as Lion’s Mane appears to be overwhelmingly safe and well-tolerated.
  • Lion’s Mane is available in powder form and liquid extract.
  • Since science hasn’t pinpointed its active ingredients yet, I suggest buying products that present Lion’s Mane as a full-spectrum extract, so you get everything that might be involved in its nootropic activity.

Side Effects

Consumption of Lion’s Mane is well documented and in parts of Asia, it is consumed regularly as part of meals without any report of sided effects.

Conclusionbenefits of lion's mane

Lion’s mane mushroom and its extract have been shown to have a variety of health benefits in animals and mice. Other studies showed much promise in humans. it may help protect us from forms of dementia, reduce our mild symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as dramatically help in repairing nerve damage.

It also has strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting abilities and been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, ulcers and diabetes in animals.

While the current research is promising, more human studies are needed to develop practical health applications for lion’s mane mushroom.

Lion’s Mane is also a key component in the great nootropic stack Mind Lab Pro.  An all-around natural nootropic

Where to Buy Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane can be purchased as capsules or as a powder to be added to food such as soups and many people are adding it to their healthy smoothies.  Coffee is another way to enjoy your Lion’s main.

 

15 thoughts on “Benefits of Lion’s Mane – Improve Cognitive Health”

  1. I must say that I found this article to be very helpful and interesting. Honestly, I never heard about Lion’s Mane but I see that it has very good benefits for human organism.  Sometimes I suffer from depression because of daily job and I would like to use it in that purpose. I will chose powder instead of capsules, its somehow better.

  2. I have never found mushrooms so interesting! Who knew all the benefits? so cool to learn, may even add to my regimen with all of the benefits. It would be amazing to see the use of nootropic mushrooms replace some of the harsher meds with more side effects that treat the same disease in today’s medicine.

  3. Hi Stew,

    I have to say that I had never seen this mushroom before, but it looks quite interesting! I usually eat the ‘regular ones’ – champignons and shiitake, but never tried something ‘exotic’ like this. 🙂 I say exotic because of its look. As I see, it’s really good for health, which is great! I could actually try this, because I always wanted to try something new and a bit different.

    Thanks for sharing this info, I will surely consider trying this!

    Best wishes,Susan

    • It is one of the most commonly eaten mushrooms because of it’s properties.  It reminds me of sea food which I don’t enjoy so I don’t eat much Lion’s Mane anymore

  4. This is a very intriguing article, Stew. I am familiar with other “beneficial mushrooms” (such as reishi) but didn’t know much about Lion’s Mane before reading your post (sure is weird looking!). I appreciate your well-researched approach to the information you’ve shared. The studies so far do seem very promising, and I (probably like you) hope that more trials on humans will be forthcoming because it’s particularly curious that the positive effects only present when taking the Lion’s Mane supplement in one form or another, and the desired changes are lost of the supplementation is discontinued. That’s good incentive, though, for making the use of Lion’s Mane a life-long habit for improved cognitive and heart health. Thanks for such great information!

    • and thank you for the wonderful comment.  It will be a long time before medicine will look seriously at supplements.  Pharma rules medicine

  5. There are so many great benefits.  I could really use this for anxiety and depression.  I love coffee so it would be good to add it to my daily coffee, every morning.  What form would be best when added to coffee, the powder of liquid form?

      Is it best to just consume the mushroom itself or is the extract into powder or liquid form a better option? 

     Which way do you like it best? 

     Would the powder blend easily when mixed, into other foods?  

    Who wouldn’t want to improve their brain health, especially if you are getting older like me.  I do not want to deal with brain fog and anything that helps the brain in any way has got to be good.

    • Well, powder for coffee and food for sure, the liquid I don’t know about.  Capsule is the other.

      Powder is the best for food and is used in food all over the world

  6. Wow I’ve never heard of this mushroom before, but it seems to have lots of great benefits. I will defintly have to try this out in the future?

    Do they sell them arm regular stores, and if not where can I get them? Also what’s the best way to eat them? In a stew, baked, or maybe in a salad?

    • You may be able to find them in stores, but the quality is usually big business quality meaning not good.

      Most people incorporate the powder into their diet on a regular basis, but it is entirely up to you.

  7. That’s really awesome to read the review of this awesome product. Initially, I thought this is for lions in zoo. I was surprised to read the article entirely thereafter.

    You have listed very essential benefits of this product. I’ll surely try this product, is it not available in Amazon or e-bay?

    Thank you for sharing this awesome review. it is well analyzed and sufficiently detailed to understand it thoroughly.

  8. I have always loved the “look” of lion’s mane mushrooms.  Their shagginess are a wonder to me.  

    I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find anyone who grows the things where I live (in Hawaii) because I have wanted to try them fresh in cooking.  (I’m a firm believer in food as medicine and have been playing with challenging myself to add at least one new food with exceptional health benefits to my ingredients lists for our meals.)

    I had not thought about using the powdered form that’s available in supplements.  I am going to try that, I think.

    Thanks for the idea…..

    • Thank you for the comment and your interest in them.  Hope you can find them in Hawaii.  If not you can get them through my site.

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