5 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

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Picture: Kier In Sight 

Most people see mushrooms as a delicious and nutritious addition to a meal or its main component. You might make mushroom risotto, mushroom soup, or even stuffed mushrooms. With so many varieties, the options are endless. However, this white, shaggy fungus has both culinary and medical uses and can be prepared in a variety of ways. You may be surprised to learn about some of its many health benefits below. 

Dementia Protection

You might have even more reason to tuck into lion’s mane gummies when you learn that these mushrooms might protect against Alzheimer’s disease. While most studies performed have been in test tubes and on animals, researchers have been intrigued by the promise they show for reducing memory loss symptoms and preventing neuronal damage. One study in adults with mild cognitive impairment even found that consuming three grams of powdered lion’s mane every day for 16 weeks improved mental functioning. 

Nervous System Injury Recovery

No studies into nervous system injury recovery have yet involved human participants, but what researchers have found in animal studies has them seriously considering the value of lion’s mane. When rats with nervous system injuries were given a lion’s mane mushroom extract, their recovery time was reduced by as much as 41%. They also found that the mushroom extract was able to stimulate the growth of nerve cells and repair them. 

Cancer-Fighting Potential

We develop cancer when our DNA becomes damaged, and cells start dividing and replicating out of control. We have a few practical ways to manage many cancer types, but scientists haven’t stopped looking into new management techniques. 

Surprisingly, lion’s mane mushrooms look promising in this regard. When the mushroom extract was mixed with human cancer cells in a test tube, the cells died faster. Another animal study showed that the extract was able to slow the spread of cancer. When it was used on mice with tumors, the mushrooms were deemed more effective than traditional cancer medications and even had fewer side effects. 

Anxiety and Depression Symptom Relief

Anxiety and depression are widespread issues affecting millions of people worldwide. There can be many causes and treatment options, but there might be potential for lion’s mane mushrooms to be one of them. In animal studies, lion’s mane extract improved how the hippocampus functioned, which is the part of the brain that processes emotional responses and memories. These same studies also determined that the mushroom extract could regenerate brain cells. 

Immune System Boosting Potential

We rely on our immune systems to protect us from disease-causing pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. The weaker your immune system is, the more likely you might be to develop illnesses. 

Current animal research suggests that lion’s mane mushrooms might be able to boost immunity by changing gut bacteria that stimulate the immune system. When mice were injected with a lethal amount of salmonella bacteria, those that received lion’s mane extract in their daily diet lived almost four times longer than those that didn’t. 

Research into lion’s mane mushrooms still has a long way to go, but it’s clear to see from current studies that there’s something extraordinary about this fungus that may impact our healthcare in the future.