Lion’s mane is an edible mushroom with many health benefits. It is a nootropic superfood that can modulate the immune system and provide many other health benefits. In this post, you will find 24 proven and potential benefits of Lion’s Mane, and all the different ways in which this mushroom can improve your wellbeing.
Lion’s Mane is an edible mushroom with medicinal properties. This fungus is known by many other names, including Hedgehog Mushroom, Monkey’s mushroom, Bear’s Head, Old Man’s Beard, Yamabushitake (Japanese), Houtou (Chinese) and Hericium erinaceus (Latin)
It has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine throughout history. It is also commonly consumed in many other Asian countries such as Korea and India
Components and extracts of Lion’s Mane have proven antibiotic, anticancer, neuroprotective, fat- and glucose-lowering effects. This mushroom also protects against stomach ulcers, improves anxiety, cognitive function, and depression, and has anti-fatigue and anti-aging properties
All of these beneficial effects are based on three important properties of this mushroom: it decreases inflammation, acts as an antioxidant, and stimulates the immune system
1) Lion’s Mane Improves Brain Function
In 50- to 80-year-old Japanese men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, Lion’s Mane improved cognitive function. However, cognitive function decreased again after the termination of the treatment, and therefore continuous intake may be necessary (R).
2) Lion’s Mane Enhances Nerve Regeneration
Lion’s Mane has nerve regenerating capability and enhances nerve growth in animal models, both in the brain and throughout the body
Lion’s Mane promotes nerve regeneration after limb injury in rats
3) Lion’s Mane May Help in Alzheimer’s
Levels of acetylcholine (Ach), a chemical that helps nerve cells communicate, normally decrease with age. However, in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, levels of Ach can drop by as much as 90 percent. Many of the drugs that are currently used to treat this disease work to increase Ach levels.
In a mouse model of Alzheimer’s, Lion’s Mane improved cognitive function and the brain cholinergic system function. It enhanced both acetylcholine(Ach) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT, an enzyme that produces acetylcholine) concentrations in the blood and in the hypothalamus.
In mice with Alzheimer’s, Lion’s Mane prevents the loss of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory.
In a similar setting, Lion’s Mane decreased the amyloid beta plaque burden in the brain. The plaque contributes to brain degradation in patients with Alzheimer’s.
It was shown that Lion’s Mane components protect neurons from amyloid beta -induced neurotoxicity.
4) Lion’s Mane May Help in Parkinson’s
In a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, treatment with Lion’s Mane reduced dopaminergic cell loss and attenuated motor deficits, suggesting that Lion’s Main can slow down progression of Parkinson’s Disease.
5) Lion’s Mane Combats Depression and Anxiety
In a four-week study, menopausal symptoms such as loss of concentration, irritability, palpitations and anxiety significantly decreased when treated with Lion’s Mane extract. This alleviation of symptoms also improved sleep quality.
Amycenone, a Lion’s Mane component had antidepressant effects in mice.
6) Lion’s Mane Boosts the Immune System
Compounds found in Lion’s Mane improve immune function by enhancing both cell-mediated and humoral immunity. This mushroom activates macrophages and NK cells.
Lion’s Mane polysaccharides increase T cells and macrophage levels in mice.
Lion’s Mane also induces the maturation of human dendritic cells (antigen-presenting immune cells), which might reinforce the host innate immune system. Maturation of dendritic cells is an important process in the initiation and regulation of immune responses.
7) Lion’s Mane May Prevent Scarring
In rats, wounds treated with Lion’s Mane extract scarred less and contained more collagen.
8) Lion’s Mane Has Anti-Cancer Properties
As early as 1992, studies reported that components of Lion’s Mane showed high antitumor activity. These components prolonged the longevity and reduced the mortality of animal hosts.
Lion’s Mane promotes the Th1 response, which is important for fighting tumors.
Lion’s Mane polysaccharides also activate macrophages, and it is known that macrophages participate in the defense against tumor cells.
Lion’s Mane inhibits blood flow to cancer cells and migration of tumor cells to other organs (metastasis). In mice, Lion’s Mane extracts induced cancer cell death and inhibited metastasis to the lungs.
9) Lion’s Mane Protects Against Bacteria
Lion’s Mane promotes the anti-bacterial immune response. In mice infected with a lethal dose of Salmonella typhimurium, Lion’s Mane extended lifespan and protected against liver damage.
10) Lion’s Mane Inhibits HIV Activity
A lectin found in Lion’s Mane inhibits HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activity, which is important for the HIV virus to expand.
11) Lion’s Mane Decreases Inflammation
In mice with acute gut inflammation, Lion’s Mane improved symptoms and decreased intestinal bleeding.
In rats with brain injury, Lion’s Mane extract reduced infarct volume and decreased the levels of inflammatory cytokines.
12) Lion’s Mane Has Antioxidative Qualities
Lion’s Mane possesses anti-oxidative qualities that prevent oxidative stress-related diseases. Consumption of the boiled mushroom can eliminate peroxides and remove harmful iron ions.
13) Lion’s Mane Improves Cardiovascular Health and Metabolism
Similarly, in mice on a high-fat diet, Lion’s Mane decreased body weight gain, fat weight, and blood and liver triglyceride levels
In ovariectomized mice (a menopause model), Lion’s Mane decreased fat tissue, total cholesterol, and leptin
Cholesterol-lowering effect of Lion’s Mane may be related to increased bacterial short chain fatty acid production in the large intestine, and the accelerated rate of degradation of cholesterol to bile acids, or the reduced ability to absorb fat.
Lion’s Mane also exerts anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages and prevents or ameliorates fat tissue inflammation associated with obesity.
14) Lion’s Mane May Lower High Blood Glucose
Lion’s Mane also increased glucose tolerance in diabetic mice.
15) Lion’s Mane May Help with Diabetic Neuropathy Pain
16) Lion’s Mane Improves Circulation
Lion’s Mane alcohol extracts can prevent blood clots. A component called hericenone B found in the mushroom inhibits human and rabbit platelet aggregation caused by collagen.
Alcohol extracts of Lion’s Mane inhibit the production of excess blood vessel cells in rats. Excess blood vessel cells contribute to atherosclerosis(thickening of the arteries).
17) Lion’s Mane May Protect the Gut
Lion’s Mane extracts protect against alcohol-induced stomach lining injury and ulcers in rats.
18) Lion’s Mane Inhibits H. pylori Growth
Lion’s Mane inhibited the growth of H. pylori in several laboratory studies.
19) Lion’s Mane May Protect the Liver
A component of Lion’s Mane protects mice from chemically induced liver damage.
20) Lion’s Mane May Help with Fatigue
In mice, Lion’s Mane extended the exhaustive swimming time, increased tissue glycogen content and antioxidant enzyme activity, and decreased biochemical parameters related to fatigue, including blood lactic acid, ureanitrogen, and malondialdehyde.
Lion’s Mane increases the flying ability in flies.
21) Lion’s Mane Can Be Good for the Skin
Lion’s Mane has anti-aging effects on the skin. Polysaccharides found in this mushroom enhance antioxidant enzyme activities and increase collagen levels in aged rat skin.
22) Lion’s Mane is Anti-aging
Lipofuscin is a waste product of human and animal aging metabolism. It is constantly accumulating in as cells age, contributing to cell atrophy (wasting). In both mice and flies, Lion’s Mane polysaccharides significantly reduced lipofuscin content.
On the other hand, superoxide dismutase (an enzyme that converts reactive oxygen species O- into oxygen or O2) decreases significantly with age. Lion’s Mane polysaccharides can increase the activity of superoxide dismutase in the brain and the liver (R).
Lion’s Mane exhibited anti-aging properties in human cell cultures.
23) Lion’s Mane May Increase Bone Density
Lion’s Mane polysaccharides improved bone density and bone strength in rats.
Moreover, Lion’s Mane compounds inhibited the production of osteoclasts, cells that break down bone tissue, in the laboratory.
24) Lion’s Mane May Help Adjust Circadian Rhythms
Lion’s Mane extracts decreased wakefulness at the end of the active phase in mice. Furthermore, some components of Lion’s Mane can advance the sleep-wake cycle (R).
Safety and Side Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom
A couple of studies showed that in rats, administration of Lion’s Mane extracts and individual components caused no adverse effect on the behavior, body weight or blood works.
However, in humans, a single case of allergic contact dermatitis , and one case of acute respiratory failure associated with this mushroom were registered.
Lion’s Mane may stimulate Th1 immune response, so you should avoid it if you suffer from Th1-dominant autoimmune problems.
There is a coffee made with lion mane. You can include this in your daily life. I actually just order my first order of this coffee. i hope you like this post
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