Does Lion's Mane Work?
When you think of Lion's Mane, you’re probably thinking about isn’t the king of the jungle. Not this one: it’s a functional mushroom. They are touted as a brain-boosting superfood, but does Lion's Mane work? What does it actually do?
Lion’s Mane is a shaggy, white mushroom that is classed as an adaptogen. Adaptogens help the body adapt to physical and mental stressors. Lion’s Mane is also thought to act as a nootropic. Nootropics are compounds thought to have a positive effect on cognitive function. Lion’s Mane has been used for over 2000 years, starting in the mountainous regions of Asia. It grows on different tree species and was used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a tonic for supporting health and longevity. Buddhist monks were said to drink Lion’s Mane tea as a tonic to increase their focus during meditation.
Lion’s Mane History
Lion’s Mane was traditionally used in Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms associated with stress, memory, and concentration. More recent studies have echoed this, with Lion's Mane being used in studies for the prevention and treatment of dementia. While the studies are ongoing, using Lion's Mane for memory, energy, and focus is becoming very popular. It’s a natural nootropic, which means it has an effect on your mental performance.
Powderful’s Top 8 Lion’s Mane Questions!
Here are the Top 8 Questions that Powderful customers ask about Lion’s Mane!
What is Lion’s Mane good for?
Lion's Mane is full of compounds called hericenones and erinacines, which are studied for their effect on brain cells, cognitive function immune function, mood, anti-inflammatory pathways, and antibacterial action. While human studies are ongoing, users report changes in memory and focus, a feeling of calm, and more.
As with all herbal ingredients, the strength and effects vary depending on the quality of the mushroom. Powderful uses high-quality Lion’s Mane sourced here in the USA!
As with all functional mushrooms, Lion’s Mane mushrooms are packed with antioxidants. It ranks in fourth place for antioxidant activity among 14 different mushroom species.
Lion’s mane also contains beta-glucan polysaccharides. This type of polysaccharide is common in mushrooms and has immune-boosting properties.
So, does Lion's Mane work?
Let's break that down into the purported benefits of Lion's Mane!
Does Lion’s Mane help focus and memory?
Recent studies show that lion’s mane mushrooms improve cognitive function in mice, especially memory. It is theorized that Lion's Mane stimulates the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which is a small protein that plays a role in the brain’s ability to change its structure (neuroplasticity) and move functions from damaged parts of the brain to undamaged parts.
1. In one study, lion’s mane extract reduced amyloid-beta plaques (the plaque that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients) and increased NGF.
A small, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 2009 on 50 to 80-year-old Japanese men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.
One group took 250mg of lion’s mane extract 3 times a day for 4 months while the other group took a placebo. Those who took the lion’s mane “showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group.” These benefits stopped when the participants stopped taking the Lion's Mane.
2. This is a very exciting new study! Researchers from The University of Queensland have discovered the active compound from Lion's Mane that boosts nerve growth and enhances memory.
Professor Meunier from the Queensland Brain Institute said the team had identified new active compounds from the mushroom, Hericium erinaceus:
“Pre-clinical testing found the lion’s mane mushroom had a significant impact on the growth of brain cells and improving memory. Laboratory tests measured the neurotrophic effects of compounds isolated from Hericium erinaceus on cultured brain cells, and surprisingly we found that the active compounds promote neuron projections, extending and connecting to other neurons. Using super-resolution microscopy, we found the mushroom extract and its active components largely increase the size of growth cones, which are particularly important for brain cells to sense their environment and establish new connections with other neurons in the brain.”
So does Lion's Mane work? For cognitive function, it seems the evidence is heading that way!
Does Lion’s Mane help with mood?
Lion’s mane mushrooms may also help with mood. An animal study found that lion’s mane extract promotes Hippocampal Neurogenesis which controls our good moods and emotions.
In another study, 30 women ate cookies that contained lion’s mane extract or a placebo. After 4 weeks of daily intake, those who consumed the Lion’s Mane cookies reported feeling less irritated and anxious.
So does Lion's Mane work? For mood, it seems there is positive scientific data but more studies are needed.
Does Lion’s Mane support the immune system?
Like other functional mushrooms, research shows lion’s mane mushrooms can support your immune system! Mushrooms are high in beta-glucans, compounds that are thought to benefit the immune system. A healthy gut is crucial for our immune system. The intestinal tract protects us from pathogenic bacteria. While we know beta glucans are beneficial for gut health, more human studies are needed to assess if other compounds in Lion's Mane could have an positive effect on the immune system.
Is Lion’s Mane safe?
Lion's Mane is considered safe. It is an edible mushroom and as long as you have no allergies or medical conditions which would restrict its use, it is safe. You should always check with your doctor before adding new supplements to your diet if you are under medical supervision or on medication, or pregnant.
So, Does Lion's Mane Work?
It would seem from the recent studies that Lion's Mane is safe, and may indeed have beneficial effects on your health. Powderful is a great way to get 450mg of Lion's Mane, as well as 3 other mushrooms, adaptogens and Zinc into your daily routine!
Use it as a coffee alternative to help you reduce your caffeine intake.
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