Researchers have conducted several studies exploring the impact of Lion’s Mane on different health-related issues, mainly related to mental health and neurological functions.
Here we look at some of the studies that have occurred so far. Please note this is a growing section which I plan to update regularly.
Mori, K. et al. (2009) conducted one of the earliest studies on Lion’s Mane, finding it exhibited neuro-regenerative properties. The study focused on the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF) in human astrocytoma cells. Which may also help people with Dementia.
NGF is crucial for specific neurons’ maintenance, survival, and growth. NGF creates deeper connections that enhance a person’s meditations. This research concluded that the compounds hericenones and erinacines found in Lion’s Mane stimulate the synthesis of NGF, suggesting a potential role in treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Cognitive Improvement in Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients
In a 2009 double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial by Mori, K. et al., older adults with mild cognitive impairment were given Lion’s Mane or a placebo for 16 weeks.
The group taking Lion’s Mane showed significantly improved cognitive function compared to the placebo group. However, these benefits disappeared once the participants stopped taking the supplement.
Potential Antidepressant Effects
A 2015 study by Zhang, C.C. et al. demonstrated that Lion’s Mane could have antidepressant effects. The study showed that the polysaccharides in Lion’s Mane have anti-fatigue and antidepressant effects in mice, suggesting possible therapeutic applications in treating depressive disorders.
The authors attribute these effects to inhibiting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory response, common factors associated with depression.
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Another study by Kim, S.P. et al. (2011) demonstrated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of extracts from the fruiting body of Lion’s Mane mushrooms.
The authors concluded that the extracts could be a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Impact on Gastric Ulcers
A study conducted by Wang, M. et al. (2013) examined the protective effects of Lion’s Mane on ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in rats.
Their findings suggested that Lion’s Mane extract could protect against gastric ulcers by preserving the antioxidant enzymatic system.
Potential Anti-Cancer Properties
Li, I.C. et al. (2014), in their study, highlighted the potential anti-cancer properties of Lion’s Mane. They found that polysaccharides from Lion’s Mane induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human gastric cancer cells.
These findings indicate that Lion’s Mane may have potential therapeutic effects against gastric cancer.
Effect on Glucose Metabolism
Research conducted by Mori K. et al. (2015) suggested that the intake of Lion’s Mane mushrooms could be beneficial for managing diabetes.
Their study showed that the mushroom positively affected glucose metabolism in mice, indicating potential use in managing diabetes in humans.
Role in Enhancing Gut Health
A study by Sheng X. et al. (2017) showed that Lion’s Mane mushrooms could enhance gut health. The polysaccharide content in Lion’s Mane was found to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, thus contributing to a healthier gut microbiome.
Effects on Anxiety and Depression
Nagano, M. et al. (2010) conducted a study on menopausal women and found that Lion’s Mane consumption reduced anxiety and depression symptoms.
The women consumed cookies containing Lion’s Mane for four weeks. They reported less anxiety, depression, and improved concentration, suggesting that Lion’s Mane could be a functional food to reduce these symptoms.
Protective Effects on Liver
A study by Zhang Z. et al. (2016) found that the polysaccharides from Lion’s Mane could protect against alcohol-induced liver damage in mice. The study suggested that Lion’s Mane might serve as a functional food for liver protection.
Potential Role in Osteoporosis Prevention
A study by Zhang, J. et al. (2017) suggested a potential role for Lion’s Mane in osteoporosis prevention. The study found that extracts from Lion’s Mane can promote osteoblastic cell proliferation and increase the production of bone morphogenetic protein-2, which plays a significant role in bone formation.
Impact on Immune System
A 2018 study by Ren Y. et al. suggested that Lion’s Mane mushroom could modulate the immune system. The study found that the polysaccharides extracted from Lion’s Mane increased the activation of macrophages (Immune cells that engulf and digest pathogens) in mice, suggesting an enhanced immune response.
Again, these studies show promising evidence of Lion’s Mane’s potential benefits, but more research is needed to confirm these effects, especially in human trials. It is also critical to consult a healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen.