Lion’s mane mushroom, also known as Hericium erinaceus, is a type of medicinal mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Recently, it has gained popularity in the West due to its potential health benefits, particularly as an extract.
Lion’s mane mushroom extract is derived from the fruiting body of the mushroom and contains various bioactive compounds, including polysaccharides, erinacines, and hericenones. These compounds have been shown to provide a range of benefits for both the brain and body.
May Improve Cognitive Function
Lion’s mane mushroom extract has been shown to have neuroprotective properties that may help improve cognitive function. Studies have suggested that it may enhance memory and learning by increasing nerve growth factor (NGF) production, which is essential for the growth and maintenance of neurons in the brain.
One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that lion’s mane mushroom extract improved cognitive function in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. Another study conducted in humans found that taking lion’s mane mushroom extract for four weeks improved cognitive function in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.
May Promote Nerve Regeneration
Lion’s mane mushroom extract contains erinacines and hericenones, which have been shown to promote nerve growth and regeneration. These compounds may help repair damaged nerves and improve nerve function.
One study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms found that lion’s mane mushroom extract improved nerve regeneration in rats with sciatic nerve injuries.
May Boost The Immune System
Lion’s mane mushroom extract contains polysaccharides, which have been shown to enhance immune function by increasing the activity of immune cells. These compounds may help boost the body’s natural defenses against infections and diseases.
One study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences found that lion’s mane mushroom extract increased the production of immune cells in mice.
May Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Lion’s mane mushroom extract contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that lion’s mane mushroom extract reduced inflammation in mice with ulcerative colitis.
May Improve Mood & Reduce Anxiety
Lion’s mane mushroom extract has been shown to have anxiolytic effects, meaning it may help reduce anxiety and improve mood. This may be due to its ability to increase NGF production, which is essential for maintaining healthy neurons in the brain.
One study conducted in mice found that lion’s mane mushroom extract reduced anxiety and depression-like behaviors.
Lion’s mane mushroom extract is a promising natural supplement that may provide a range of health benefits. It may improve cognitive function, promote nerve regeneration, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve mood and anxiety.
While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of lion’s mane mushroom extract, the available evidence suggests that it may be a useful supplement for promoting overall health and well-being.