Benefits of Lion’s Mane
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
The benefits of lion’s mane have been known for many generations, and the mushroom is mainly used to support cognitive and digestive health and metabolism.
Lion’s mane can be consumed in various ways, such as raw or cooked, as tea, or in the form of a dietary supplement like Maximum Mind. As modern science continues its studies, it is proving ever more how valuable the benefits of lion’s mane can be, notably as a nerve growth factor (NGF) enhancer, as discussed more comprehensively in this post about multiplying neurons in adults.
Here are a few of the proven health benefits of lion’s mane.
Fights Against Alzheimer’s and Dementia
As we get older, our brain’s ability to wire new connections weakens over time. Lion’s mane can be beneficial to preventing neurogenerative diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s by two critical compounds found in the mushroom, hericenones, and erinacines.
Both hericenones and erinacines have been shown to protect and boost brain function, as well as stimulate the natural production of nerve growth factors (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain and throughout the nervous system. NGF and BDNF are proteins that help grow new cells and maintain existing ones.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia cause brain cells to die off quickly since both interfere with the brain’s ability to repair and heal itself. Most of the damage to brain cells is caused by the beta-amyloid protein, which forms plaques around nerve cells in the brain, causing other proteins to attach to them. This can permanently prevent communication between neurons.
Research on lion’s mane shows that erinacines slow the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques, which may help slow the progression of memory loss from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
A study published in Drugs of the Future on seven patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia studied the effect of lion’s mane. Each patient was given 5 grams of powdered lion’s mane in their soup every day for six months. 6 out of 7 patients could perceive more information simultaneously, while all seven patients showed improvements in functional independence . Unfortunately, the nature of the extract used is not mentioned in the study. Arguably we can assume a middle-of-the-road 20% beta-glucan extract.