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Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion's Mane

Today’s doctors encourage their patients to eat healthy. A nutritious diet prevents health conditions and improves well-being. Lion’s mane mushrooms are a recommended meal component.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are so-called due to their pom-pom-like appearance. They grow on tree stumps in Europe, Asia, and North America. They have long been used to promote wellness in Chinese medicine.

Today’s nutritionists recognize lion’s mane benefits, but not all its effects are positive. This article will review the potential effects of lion’s mane mushroom and how the mushroom works in the body to produce various results.

How Does Lion’s Mane Work?

Lion’s mane contains several bioactive compounds that contribute to the benefits it provides. They include:

Hericenones and Erinacines: Hericenones are in the mushroom’s fruiting body. Erinacines are in the mycelia or roots. They work together to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) in hippocampus brain cells. NGF improves neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

Hericenone B may also prevent blood clots and increase blood flow to reduce dementia. Lion’s mane may also boost myelination which increases the speed at which information is transmitted between neurons.

Beta Glucan: Some studies have revealed that beta-glucan may have an antitumor effect. It may activate macrophages in the immune system and support neuro-generation in the central nervous system. The compound may also lower cholesterol.

Mood Improving Effects: Animal studies found that lion’s mane can restore reduced serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the hippocampi to provide anti-depressant effects. However, it is unclear which mechanism the lion’s mane uses to produce these effects.

Lion’s Mane Benefits

  • Could Lower Risk of Cognitive Decline: The compounds in lion’s mane could form new neural connections to counter cognitive degeneration that leads to various forms of dementia.
  • Supports Mood Health: Animal studies reveal that lion’s mane increases serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine to reduce depression.
  • May Speed Recovery from Nervous System Injuries: Lion’s mane may stimulate the growth and repair of nerve cells to speed recovery from nervous system injuries that affect the brain, spinal cord, and other nerves.
  • Protects Against Ulcers: Lion’s mane may protect the stomach lining and reduce the growth of H. pylori to decrease the risk of ulcers in the digestive tract.
  • Lowers Risk of Heart Disease: Animal studies suggest that lion’s mane may increase fat metabolism and lower triglyceride levels to decrease the risk of heart disease.
  • May Help Manage Blood Sugar: Lion’s mane may improve blood sugar management and reduce some of the side effects of diabetes.
  • May Manage Inflammation and Oxidative Stress: Lion’s mane contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress which contribute to chronic disease.
  • Supports Immunity: The mushroom may increase activity in the intestinal immune system to protect the body from pathogens that cause disease.

Lion’s Mane Side Effects

Lion’s mane is mostly safe, but it can produce negative effects in people with allergies and those who take excessive doses. Side effects include skin rashes, difficulty breathing, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

Lion’s mane produces various effects due to how it works when it enters the body. Not all effects are positive, but the benefits greatly outweigh the downsides. Research suggests that adding this mushroom to your daily routine can produce potential health benefits.

Interested in learning more about medicinal mushrooms? Read more about the best lion’s mane supplement.