Lion's mane mushrooms are a great medicinal mushroom for supporting your brain function and overall health.
It has been used in Asia for thousands of years, long before it was discovered in medieval Europe. It has been recognized as one of the world's most potent fungi.
It is used as a key component in numerous traditional Asian remedies, and its benefits have been well documented by scientific studies. The mushroom is typically ingested as a tea or in capsule form.
All About Lion's Mane Mushroom's Health Benefits
Improve Brain Function
Hericenones and erinacines, two chemicals found in lion's mane mushrooms, have been shown in laboratory studies to promote the proliferation of brain cells.
Lion's mane supplement effects on cognitive performance in middle-aged and elderly people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have been examined in prior studies. According to the Mayo Clinic, MCI is the transitional state between age-related cognitive loss and the more severe decline associated with dementia.
Those who took four 250-milligram (mg) tablets of lion's mane three times a day for 16 weeks had significantly improved cognitive performance compared to those who did not. Yet, after participants stopped taking the supplements, the benefits vanished as well.
Taking three 350-mg capsules of lion's mane daily for 49 weeks led to considerable improvements in brain health in persons with moderate Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in June 2020 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Still, more study is required.
Support Digestive Health
Evidence suggests that the properties of lion's mane help the digestive system. Lion's mane may be useful for preventing ulcers because it inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can have harmful effects on the lining of the stomach.
Lion's mane may also help prevent ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, two inflammatory bowel illnesses.
Relieve Depression and Anxiety
The anti-inflammatory effects of lion's mane can aid with mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
A study was published in 2019 in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in which lion's mane was administered to overweight and obese patients suffering from mood issues for eight weeks. These patients not only reported a reduction in depressive and anxious symptoms, but also a marked improvement in the quality of their nightly slumber.
Increases in a protein called pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor (proBDNF) were also found in the blood samples. proBDNF is thought to be crucial to maintaining healthy brain function and mental outlook.
Additionally, four cookies containing 0.5 grams of powdered lion's mane were given to women with nonspecific health problems and disorders once a day for four weeks in a previous study. By the study's end, ladies who were given lion's mane cookies reported fewer symptoms of irritation and anxiety than those who were given placebo cookies.
The antioxidant properties of lion's mane mushrooms may contribute to the prevention or treatment of cancer.
According to the findings of an in vitro study, lion's mane extracts may have therapeutic potential against human leukemia.
There are a number of unusual substances in lion's mane that may be effective against cancer.
Polysaccharide HEFP-2b, a component in lion's mane, was found to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in a petri dish study published in August 2020 in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.
Peptides in lion's mane have shown promise in treating lung cancer in vitro, according to a study published in Food and Function Journal in May 2020. Studies have shown that these peptides can fight against free radicals (carcinogenic chemicals) and hence cause the death of malignant lung cells.
Take Control of Diabetes
There is preliminary evidence that lion's mane can help diabetics manage their condition by reducing both high blood sugar levels and related symptoms like nerve pain.
Many chemicals in lion's mane were discovered to inhibit alpha-glucosidase activity in vitro, according to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in November 2020.
This suggests that lion's mane may have an effect on blood sugar levels similar to that of a class of antidiabetic drugs called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (AGIs). StatPearls reported in July 2022 that AGIs reduce the amount of glucose absorbed from the digestive tract after a meal.
Lion's mane, however, should be approached with caution by those with diabetes who are already taking medicine to reduce their blood sugar levels. It is thought that lion's mane may have an adverse interaction with diabetes medications, resulting in dangerously low blood sugar. Therefore, always consult your doctor.
More and more people are turning to lion’s mane as a health supplement, and it's easy to see why. The lion's mane mushroom is powerful when it comes to health benefits.
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