Four Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s Mane is a mushroom with a long history of use in Asian culture. It’s been used in Traditional Chinese medicine, as well as in India, Japan, and Korea.
This mushroom has been used over the years for its many different health properties, and is widely known for its benefits to cognitive health, the immune system and our gut health.
Lion’s Mane Overview:
Its scientific or latin name is Hericeum erinaceus, but it is most often referred to as Lion’s Mane, primarily due to its “mane-like” surface formed by the fruiting bodies. It looks like a white, shaggy pom pom mushroom growing off hard wood trees in a forest!
Lion’s mane contains a number of different bioactive compounds, including:
- aromatic compounds
- and polysaccharides
Lion’s Mane mushroom is also rich in amino acids, fiber, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as many minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Recent research indicates that Lion’s Mane mushroom has many potential benefits, such as neuroprotection, antioxidant, cardiovascular-protective, and immune-supportive activities.
1. Brain Health
Another benefit of Lion’s Mane often found in research is its neuroprotective benefits and overall promotion of brain health.
For starters, a double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial on individuals with mild cognitive impairment found that those who supplemented with 250mg of Lion’s Mane for 4 months had significantly higher scores in brain function as compared to placebo.
Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in women found that those who supplemented with Lion’s Mane daily had significantly lower depression scores as well as improved sleep quality, compared to placebo. This suggests that lion’s mane may be beneficial for reducing depression and anxiety.
One other study found that the bioactive diterpenoids in Lion’s Mane stimulate nerve-growth factor synthesis, and another study found that hericenones, erinacerin, and other bioactive compounds stimulated NGF synthesis twice as much in rat cells compared to control.
2. Antioxidant Effects
Lion’s Mane mushroom is known for its strong antioxidant properties.
These antioxidant effects have a carryover for daily health, given the role that oxidative stress has on many conditions.
As one example, an extract made from Lion’s Mane was given to diabetic rats for a month. It was discovered that the rats had lower glucose levels, increased insulin, and decreases in blood lipid levels.
All of this was accompanied by an increase in various antioxidative enzyme activity, including glutathione peroxidase and catalase, as well as a rise in glutathione and a reduction in malondialdehyde.
Another animal study found that an extract of Lion’s Mane reduced diabetic neuropathic pain, which was associated with a significant increase in antioxidant levels.
Other studies have shown that an isolated extract made from Lion’s Mane was able to support liver health. This is thought to be due to its antioxidant effects.
Overall, this suggests the potential for Lion’s Mane to reduce oxidative stress in the liver and other areas of the body and thus improve various health conditions.
3: Heart Health
Lion’s Mane mushroom is also known to support cardiovascular health. In part, this is due to its antioxidant effects mentioned above. However, other specific mechanisms come into play as well.
Rats who were fed an isolate made from Lion's Mane mushroom had significantly lower amounts of total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, and atherogenic index scores, as well as increased levels of HDL, when compared to rats given the control diet, according to one study.
Other research has found that phytochemicals found in Lion’s Mane were able to reduce platelet aggregation. Given the role platelet aggregation in blood vessels plays in those diseases, Lion's Mane may be able to prevent heart disease and stroke.
Finally, research on 10 different kinds of mushrooms revealed that Lion's Mane reduced angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity. Lion's Mane, like Reishi, did not have as much of an effect as other mushrooms. Nonetheless, given its ACE-inhibitory effects, it still has anti-hypertensive potential.
4: Immune Support
Lion’s Mane also helps to support a healthy immune system.
Research on polysaccharides found in Lion’s Mane found that it stimulated the secretion of cytokines, reduced endocytosis, and increased the expression of molecules important for antigen presentation.
The results of another study in white shrimp showed that Lion’s Mane supplementation increased disease resistance and many immune-related indicators, such as phenoloxidase activity, with smaller particle sizes being more effective owing to higher bioavailability.
Finally, an animal study found that Lion’s Mane supplementation helped to increase innate immune response activity. Lower overall mortality was seen in the group that took Lion’s Mane supplements.
How To Add Lion’s Mane to Your Diet:
Lion’s Mane is rarely found in grocery stores or health food stores in its whole form, but it is commonly available as a whole-food dietary supplement.
At Rainbo, we sell Lion’s Mane in our brain power formula. This supplement gives you a daily dose of Lion’s Mane in an easy-to-take tincture.
This formula is designed to improve your brain function.
Get back clarity and focus in your workday by taking our Lion's Mane supplement!
Check out our Mushroom Productivity Bundle as well, which combines Lion's Mane and Cordyceps for those looking to boost brain and energy prowess throughout their day with the support of mushrooms.
Lion's Mane mushroom has been used in Asia for thousands of years due to its various health benefits. Recent studies have begun to back up much of this ancient knowledge.
Specifically, it is now known that Lion’s Mane is possibly effective for boosting brain/cognitive health, increasing antioxidant activity, supporting heart health, and boosting the immune system.