Can Lion’s Mane Cure Cancer?

What are the health benefits of lion’s mane?

Can lion’s mane cure cancer?

Lion’s mane and leukemia

Lion’s mane and gastrointestinal cancer

Lion’s mane and lung cancer

Lion’s mane and breast cancer

How can you get lion’s mane for cancer?

What is Lion’s Mane?

The lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an edible mushroom known as one of the healthiest fungi in alternative medicine. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and is still popular for its brain-boosting benefits. Lion’s mane grows mainly in northern Europe, Asia and North America.

Health benefits of lion’s mane

Research on the benefits of lion’s mane mushroom shows that this fungus has the ability to promote the production of nerve growth factors and repair nerve cells. It appears to relieve symptoms of dementia, mood disorders, and neuropathic pain, as well as improve overall cognitive function.

Some of the beneficial effects of Hericium erinaceus:

  • reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • improves cognitive functions and overall brain health
  • protects against mild cognitive impairment and memory loss in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • reduces inflammation and nerve pain
  • encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
  • improves digestive health
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • reduces inflammation and provides antioxidant action
  • provides protective effects for the nervous system and reduces the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis

Bioactive compounds found in lion’s mane

The Hericium erinaceus mushroom provides an arsenal of healthy bioactive compounds, including:

  • polysaccharides
  • beta-glucoxlan
  • digestive enzymes
  • encephalitis
  • prebiotic fibers
  • ericenones and erinacins

While many of these compounds are just beginning to be understood by science, some are known to have profound effects. For example, the ericiones, found in the fruiting bodies of the lion’s mane, and the erinacins, found in the mycelium of the fungus, they have incredible neurotrophic potential.

Can Lion’s Mane Cure Cancer?

Hericium erinaceus is one of the few medicinal mushrooms with the potential to help treat a variety of cancers, including leukemia, breast cancer and bladder cancer.

Aromatic compounds found in lion’s mane shown to induce cancer cell apoptosismeaning they encourage the death of cells affected by cancer.

Cerebroside E, a compound found in the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus, has been shown to be particularly beneficial in the treatment of cancer. ONE 2015 study concluded that cerebroside E inhibited angiogenesis (the formation of new blood cells) in cancer cells and promoted cancer apoptosis.

The lion’s mane and leukemia

Although more human studies are needed, cellular research suggests that lion’s mane mushroom supplements could support leukemia treatment.

ONE study of human cells looked at the effects of lion’s mane on leukemia cells. The results show that Hericium erinaceus mushroom extracts have therapeutic potential against leukemia, as both the aqueous and ethanolic extracts help cancer cell apoptosis.

Lion’s mane and gastrointestinal cancer

Lion’s mane has been shown to have anti-cancer potential when it comes to various cancers of the digestive system.

ONE 2014 study concluded that lion’s mane extracts could protect against colon and stomach cancer, especially when used in combination with traditional cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy and radiation).

The lion’s mane and stomach cancer

ONE study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms examined the effects of Hericium erinaceus on precancerous human gastric cells.

Polysaccharides isolated from lion’s mane mycelia have been shown to be effective in preventing the progression of gastric cancer.

Thus, a lion’s mane mushroom supplement could prevent gastric cancer from forming and slow its growth if it does.

Lion’s mane and colon cancer

Lion’s mane polysaccharides could also be beneficial in the treatment of colon cancer. According to a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Biological Macromoleculesthe polysaccharide HEFP-2b, a bioactive compound contained in lion’s mane mushrooms, has the potential to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.

These results could be related to the ability of lion’s mane to arrest the cell cycle in S phase (before mitosis or meiosis), although more research is needed to fully understand this mechanism.

Lion's mane for cancer

The lion’s mane and lung cancer

Studies published on the effects of Hericium erinaceus on lung cancer show great potential in terms of both apoptosis of lung cancer cells and inhibition of metastasis.

Lion’s mane and lung cancer apoptosis

According to a study published in the 2020 issue of the Food and Function Journal, peptides found in lion’s mane could help treat lung cancer. These peptides have the ability to scavenge free radicals and induce apoptosis in human lung carcinoma cells.

Inhibition of lion’s mane and lung cancer metastasis

In addition to inducing apoptosis of lung cancer cells, lion’s mane can inhibit lung cancer metastasis.

One animal study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry examined the effects of lion’s mane on colon cancer cells that had metastasized to the lungs.

The results show that lion’s mane mushroom extracts have the potential to inhibit the metastasis of cancer cells to the lung, at least in mice transplanted with CT-26 colon cancer.

Mice given lion’s mane extract were 69% less likely to develop lung cancer metastasis than those not given this mushroom.

Lion’s mane and breast cancer

Although research on lion’s mane and breast cancer is still in its infancy, the results are encouraging.

ONE 2021 in vitro study examined the antitumor effects of this medicinal mushroom on estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) human breast adenocarcinoma cells.

ER+ breast cancers develop in response to the hormone estrogen and make up about 80% of all breast cancers.

The results indicate that an aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus could be a strong candidate for the treatment of ER+ breast cancer due to the apoptotic properties of this mushroom.

What can we definitively say about the lion’s mane and cancer?

Here’s what we know so far about Hericium erinaceus and cancer:

  1. Bioactive compounds found in lion’s mane encourage apoptosis of cancer cells, according to several cell studies.
  2. A study on the effects of lion’s mane on leukemia shows promising results.
  3. Lion’s mane shows potential when it comes to treating various gastrointestinal cancers, including stomach and colon cancer.
  4. According to human cell and animal studies, Hericium erinaceus could help treat lung cancer and prevent colon cancer from metastasizing to the lungs.
  5. Lion’s mane could help treat ER+ breast cancer, according to a 2021 in vitro study.
  6. More human studies are needed to investigate the underlying mechanisms of lion’s mane and its effects on cancer.
  7. Given that there are no downsides to taking lion’s mane, its relatively low cost and high availability, it may make sense to include this functional food in one’s diet as a way to prevent cancer or help treat it.

Are you interested in Taking the lion’s mane for cancer?

If you want to start taking lion’s mane as a way to prevent or treat cancer, why not have it in your morning bowl of cereal?

 AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola

AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola contains ultra-concentrated extracts of lion’s mane, cordycepsand chaga mushrooms. The granola is vegan, gluten-free and made with organic ingredients.

You can choose from three delicious flavors: cinnamon, sunflower cocoa and vanilla almond. Or get a pack with all three flavors if you want to start your morning with a little variety.

Frequently asked questions about lion’s mane and cancer

Who shouldn’t get a lion’s mane?

Lion’s mane is generally safe for everyone. However, if you are prone to allergies – especially to mold, yeast and other fungi – you should be careful when taking any adaptogenic mushroom, including lion’s mane.

Some people also choose to avoid these adaptogenic mushrooms during pregnancyalthough there is no evidence that lion’s mane supplements cause any harm to the fetus or mother.

How fast does the lion’s mane work?

This depends on why you are taking the mushroom. You can notice it short term effects of lion’s mane after just a few days. You will likely feel less anxious and more energetic within the first two weeks of taking lion’s mane mushroom extracts. However, to reap the long-term benefits of lion’s mane, such as its antioxidant activities, you need to take it consistently for at least a few months.

Does the lion’s mane get you high?

No, the lion’s mane cannot reach you high. This mushroom does not contain psychoactive compounds, such as psilocybin, which are responsible for the mind-altering properties of magic mushrooms. So while you may notice mental benefits like improved clarity and brain function, you don’t have to worry about psychedelic effects when taking lion’s mane.

Are there any negative effects of lion’s mane?

Although there is no research on the risks and side effects of this mushroom, anecdotal evidence and centuries of use suggest that The lion’s mane has little, if any, negative effects.

For example, people who are not used to adaptogenic mushrooms may experience digestive problems such as diarrhea and bloating.

However, these side effects should subside once your body gets used to the medicinal mushroom, and you can always lower the dose you take to reduce these negative effects.

Should you get lion’s mane every day?

Yes, if you want to reap the full range of benefits that lion’s mane provides, you should take this functional mushroom every day. Fortunately, with so many ways to get the lion’s mane-capsules, teas, fortified foods and fresh mushrooms, to name a few – you’re unlikely to run out of options.

What time of day should you get the lion’s mane?

It is best to take lion’s mane in the morning, either before or with your breakfast. That way, the energizing and memory-enhancing benefits of Hericium erinaceus will help you thrive during work hours.

Can I get the lion’s mane with the reishi mushroom?

Yes, you can get lion’s mane with any medicinal mushroom, including reishi mushrooms. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is better than the sum of its parts, so you’ll likely get more benefits from lion’s mane if you take it with other adaptive fungi.

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