The Benefits of Lions Mane: Is This ’Shroom the Brain Booster It’s Made Out To Be?

Hericium Erinaceus, or as you might know as Lion’s Mane, is a mushroom that occurs naturally in China, Japan, Europe, and North America.

It has been used as a food source and to address medical needs in Asia for centuries. Its uses outside of Asia and around the world are relatively new and fast growing. [1][2]

What is Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s mane is a type of mushroom that grows in many places around the world but most commonly in the United States and Canada. It grows in Europe and Asia as well, although it is a little bit more of a rarity in Europe.

Its appearance is big and white! It looks shaggy on its outside. It grows around hardwood trees, usually ones that are dead or dying.

Benefits of Lion’s Mane

The benefits of this mushroom, whether used as a supplement or as part of your favorite dish, include improved cognitive function. Studies have noticed improvements particularly  in individuals with dementia, metabolic disorders (diabetes), peptic ulcers, depression, and anxiety.[1][2][3][4] 

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A double-blind, placebo controlled study in Japan tested the effects of this mushroom on elderly men. Within 8 weeks the study observed significant increase in cognitive function among the group taking lion’s mane. Inversely, cognitive function among that same group decreased when taken off the mushroom.[9] 

Most of the evidence of its effectiveness comes from animal studies. However, some studies focus on components of the mushroom—specifically, beta-glucans. These “Beta-Glucans” have been found to improve both physiological and immune functions in humans. [7]

A study that looked at several mushrooms found lion’s mane to be high in antioxidants and a great food to incorporate into your diet to reduce oxidative stress and prevent certain diseases such as hypertension. [8]

Lion’s Mane Dosage: How Much is Safe to Take?

There are varying recommendations as to what dosage and frequency are most effective. 

A study from Al Balqa Applied University reviewed the results from lion’s mane users and discovered that taking lion’s mane 2 times daily with a dosage of 2 to 3 tablets (3 grams per day) produces positive results.[6] Taking the supplement in the morning is beneficial, allowing you to benefit from its healing properties throughout the day.[5]

When considering how much lion’s mane to take, bear in mind that the recommended dosage in grams varies depending on your method of consumption (how concentrated the product is). They took lion’s mane capsules in the above study where they consumed 3 grams per day. If you instead used a powdered extract (which is a lot more concentrated) you would only take about 1/3 of that. If you’re taking fresh lion’s mane mushroom itself, you are able to consume an even higher dosage (in grams).

Researchers have identified limited side effects and adverse reactions, and toxicity was not observed even when taken in high dosages. For most individuals, it is completely safe and harmless to consume.[7] If you have a mushroom related allergy, consult with your physician before consuming lion’s mane. [6] In the Japanese study mentioned earlier, there were no side effects whatsoever among participants.[9] 

How to Take Lion’s Mane (The Best Way)

You can buy lion’s mane at your local health food and nutrition stores, large online retailers and superstores. 

It comes in various forms such as raw mushrooms, capsules, powders, and various edibles.

Curious about the fastest and tastiest way to consume Lion’s Mane?

NoonBrew is a tea that contains 19 superfoods, including a safe and calculated amount of lion’s mane. Our tea is low in caffeine, providing you a calm jitter-free energy to power you through your day with mental clarity, focus, and reduced stress/anxiety. 

Summary

Lion’s mane is a very promising mushroom and there are many studies that support it being a good brain food, especially with people that have cognitive impairments. 

There is still a lot of research to be done on lion’s mane but in general, it is a fairly low cost health food to add to your diet that is safe for most people.

References

  1. Deshmukh     SK, Sridhar KR, and Gupta MK 2021 – Hericium     Erinaceus -A     Rich Source of Diverse Bioactive Metabolites. Fungal Biotec 1(2),     10–38, Doi 10.5943/FunBiotec/1/2/2
  2. Seul Ki Lee, Se     Hwan Ryu, Ayman Turk, Sang Won Yeon, Yang Hee Jo, Yoo Kyong Han,     Bang Yeon Hwang, Ki Yong Lee, Mi Kyeong Lee, Characterization of     α-glucosidase inhibitory constituents of the fruiting body of     lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus), Journal of     Ethnopharmacology, Volume 262, 2020, 113197, ISSN 0378-8741, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113197, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874120330798
  3. Mischoulon,     David, Wong, Jing-Yang, Abdulla, Mahmood Ameen, Raman, Jegadeesh,     Phan, Chia-Wei, Kuppusamy, Umah Rani, Golbabapour, Shahram, Sabaratnam, Vikineswary 2013/11/05, Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom, https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/492976, Hindawi Publishing Corporation
  4. Gregory J, Vengalasetti YV, Bredesen DE, Rao RV. Neuroprotective Herbs for     the Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. Biomolecules. 2021 Apr     8;11(4):543. DOI: 10.3390/biom11040543. PMID: 33917843; PMCID:     PMC8068256.    
  5. Johnson, Brian, Zaidel, DW, Dr. What is the best time of day to take Lion’s Mane? https://www.vagarights.com/best-time-to-take-lions-mane/
  6. Younis, N , Online Survey for Patient Outcomes On Hericium erinaceus, Pharmacogn J. 2020; 12(3): 519-525, DOI : 10.5530/pj.2020.12.79, https://www.phcogj.com/article/1140
  7. Chen, S., Chang, C., Yang, M., Chen, S., Soni, M., & Mahadevan, B. (2022).     Subchronic toxicity and genotoxicity studies of Hericium Erinaceus     β-glucan extract preparation. Current Research in Toxicology,     3, 100068. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crtox.2022.100068
  8. Abdullah N;Ismail SM;Aminudin N;Shuib AS;Lau BF; “Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and Ace Inhibitory Activities.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21716693/.
  9. Improving Effects of the Mushroom Yamabushitake … – Wiley Online Library. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.2634

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