Lion’s Mane Mushroom may help to relieve mild symptoms of depression and anxiety (up to one-third of people living in developed countries experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. While there are many causes of anxiety and depression, chronic inflammation could be a major contributing factor. Research has found that Lion’s Mane mushroom extract has anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in mice. Other studies have found that it can also help regenerate brain cells and improve the functioning of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotional responses) support recovery from nervous system injuries (the nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and other nerves that travel throughout the body. These components work together to send and transmit signals that control almost every bodily function. Injuries to the brain or spinal cord can be devastating. They often cause paralysis or loss of mental functions and can take a long time to heal. However, research has found that Lion’s Mane mushroom extract may help speed recovery from these types of injuries by stimulating the growth and repair of nerve cells. In fact, lion’s mane mushroom extract has been shown to reduce recovery time by 23–41% when given to rats with nervous system injuries).
Lion’s Mane Mushroom can help to protect the digestive tract (ulcers are capable of forming anywhere along the digestive tract, including the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. They are often caused by two major factors: overgrowth of a bacteria called H. pylori and damage to the mucous layer of the stomach that’s often due to long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Lion’s Mane extract may protect against the development of stomach ulcers by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori and protecting the stomach lining from damage. Additionally, an animal study found that Lion’s Mane extract was more effective at preventing alcohol-induced stomach ulcers than traditional acid-lowering drugs — and without any negative side effects. It can also reduce inflammation and prevent tissue damage in other areas of the intestines and therefore may help treat inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
Lion’s mane Mushroom may support heart health (major risk factors for heart disease include obesity, high triglycerides, large amounts of oxidised cholesterol and an increased tendency to get blood clots. Research shows that Lion’s Mane extract can influence some of these factors and reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies in rats and mice have found that lion’s mane mushroom extract improves fat metabolism and lowers triglyceride levels. One study in rats fed a high-fat diet and given daily doses of lion’s mane extract observed 27% lower triglyceride levels and 42% less weight gain after 28 days. Since obesity and high triglycerides are both considered risk factors for heart disease, this is one way that lion’s mane mushrooms contribute to heart health. Studies have also found that Lion’s Mane extract can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Oxidised cholesterol molecules tend to attach to the walls of arteries, causing them to harden and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, reducing oxidation is beneficial for heart health. What’s more, Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain a compound called hericenone B, which can decrease the rate of blood clotting and lower the risk of heart attack or stroke).
Lion’s Mane Mushroom may help to lower blood sugar levels (Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body loses the ability to control blood sugar levels. As a result, levels are consistently elevated. Chronically high blood sugar levels eventually cause complications like kidney disease, nerve damage in the hands and feet and vision loss. Lion’s Mane mushroom may be beneficial for diabetes management by improving blood sugar control and reducing some of these side effects. One way that it lowers blood sugars is by blocking the activity of the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which breaks down carbohydrates in the small intestine. When this enzyme is blocked, the body is unable to digest and absorb carbs as effectively, which results in lower blood sugar levels).
Lion’s Mane Mushroom may help to lower inflammation and protect against oxidative stress (chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are believed to be at the root of many modern illnesses. Research shows that Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may help reduce the impact of these illnesses. In fact, one study examining the antioxidant abilities of 14 different mushroom species found that Lion’s Mane had the fourth highest antioxidant activity and recommended it be considered a good dietary source of antioxidants. Several animal studies have found that Lion’s Mane extract reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in rodents and may be especially useful in the management of inflammatory bowel disease, liver damage and stroke.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms may also help to reduce some of the health risks associated with obesity, as they have been shown to decrease the amount of inflammation released by fat tissue) help to boost immunity (a strong immune system protects the body from bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing pathogens. On the other hand, a weak immune system puts the body at a higher risk of developing infectious diseases. Research shows that Lion’s Mane mushroom can boost immunity by increasing the activity of the intestinal immune system, which protects the body from pathogens that enter the gut through the mouth or nose. These effects may partly be due to beneficial changes in gut bacteria that stimulate the immune system.