Can Lion’s Mane Treat Depression and Increase Dopamine?

We read dozens of clinical trials for the lion’s mane mushroom and depression. Good news: Hericium erinaceus does seem to help with depression in many people.

Let’s dive into the details.

What is depression?

Does Lion’s Mane Increase Dopamine?

Does lion’s mane help with depression?

How do I get the lion’s mane?

What is Lion’s Mane?

The lion’s mane mushroom it has been lauded for centuries for its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to heal seemingly anything Alzheimer’s disease to Diabetes.

Hericium erinaceus it has many names such as lion’s mane, monkey head mushroom and bearded tooth mushroom.

The health beneficial properties of this adaptogenic mushroom have made it a popular choice among those looking for an alternative to traditional medication or a way to improve their stress management.

The lion’s mane looks unique among mushrooms because of its ice-like teeth hanging from the central stem. It is a saprotrophic mushroom, meaning it feeds on dead tree trunks.

Potential Benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms

Research on therapeutic potential of the 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 potential benefits of lion’s mane mushroom:

  • reduces anxiety and depression
  • improves cognitive functions and overall brain health
  • protects against mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
  • reduces inflammation and nerve pain
  • encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
  • improves gut health
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • reduces inflammation
  • reduces the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis

Bioactive compounds found in lion’s mane mushrooms

Lion’s mane mushrooms contain bioactive compounds such as:

  • polysaccharides
  • polypeptides
  • beta-glucoxlan
  • prebiotic fibers
  • digestive enzymes
  • Hericenones
  • hedgehogs

What is depression?

Depression is a common mental illness that affects the way you feel, think and act. This condition can be acute and caused by external conditions, or chronic and with no apparent cause.

People who have a family history of mental illness appear to be at increased risk of depression, as well as those who take certain medications or struggle with alcohol or drug abuse. However, depression can appear without a clear cause, at any stage of life and with varying intensities.

The prevalence of depression in adults

According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses, with around 5% of adults suffering from some form of the illness. It is more common among men and adults over 60 and is a leading cause of mental health-related disability.

Symptoms of depression

Depression symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. While some may feel more irritable, others may feel completely numb. Some sleep more or eat more and others don’t sleep or eat at all. However, there are some common symptoms of depressive disorders, such as:

  • loss of interest in daily activities
  • feeling helpless or hopeless
  • sleep changes
  • changes in appetite
  • loss of energy
  • concentration problems

The lion’s mane and dopamine

The main goal of lion’s mane mushrooms is to keep your body in a state of homeostasis, whether that means lowering your sugar levels or increasing your dopamine levels. Here’s how medicinal mushrooms can stabilize dopamine and how dopamine affects depression.

Does Lion’s Mane Increase Dopamine?

A 2018 study looked at the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of Hericium erinaceus in mice. The results suggest that when the mice were under stress, their dopamine levels decreased.

However, when taking the lion’s mane, their dopamine levels stabilized, even though there were no changes in their anxiety levels. This suggests that lion’s mane could be responsible for increasing dopamine levels, although further research is needed in humans.

The Effects of Dopamine on Depression

A study published in the Journal of Neural Transmission looked at the effects dopamine can have on depression and concluded that while a lack of dopamine may not be the only cause of depression, it certainly contributes. The successful use of antidepressants with dopaminergic effects confirms this fact and warrants further research.

Can lion’s mane relieve symptoms of depression?

Treating depressive disorders with traditional medication has its own set of problems, as these medications often have a number of side effects. That’s why researchers are beginning to look into alternative treatments for depressive disorders and other mental health issues—with adaptogenic mushrooms of particular interest.

One of the many medicinal benefits of lion’s mane appears to be its ability to relieve depression.. While not much is known about the mechanisms underlying this mushroom’s ability to alleviate symptoms of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, human and animal research on the subject is certainly promising.

Therapeutic potential of lion’s mane in depressive disorders

Research on the antidepressant effects of lion’s mane shows that this mushroom significantly improves depressive disorders and could be used as an alternative to traditional antidepressants.

Japanese study considered its implications Hericium erinaceus on depressive symptoms in menopausal women. After taking a lion’s mane supplement for 4 weeks, these women reported feeling less depressed than they did at the start of the trial, while women taking a placebo reported no improvement in their symptoms.

Can Neurogenesis Relieve Depression?

Studies suggest that erichenones and erinacins, compounds found in the lion’s mane mushroom, may be able to stimulate brain-derived nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophic factor (BDNF) proteins. Through the production of NGF and BDNF proteins, lion’s mane appears to aid in neurogenesis and proper development of nerve cells.

Hippocampal neurogenesis and depression

Neurogenesis, particularly of the hippocampus, appears to be one of the mechanisms underlying lion’s mane’s ability to alleviate symptoms of various mental health problems, such as anxiety (for more information, see lion’s mane and stress article) and depression.

The hippocampus is particularly sensitive to stress and may play a central role in depressive disorders, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Therefore, an increase in nerve cells in this region could be associated with less severe symptoms of depression, as well as fewer cases of this mental illness.

Lion’s Mane and Hippocampal Neurogenesis

An animal study examined the mechanisms behind Hericium erinaceusability to reduce anxiety and depressive behaviors in adult mice. The results show that the mushroom appears to promote hippocampal neurogenesis.

The mice given lion’s mane extract for 4 weeks showed less signs of anxiety and depression from their counterparts and the number of hippocampal nerve cells increased significantly.

The lion’s mane, stress and depression

Researchers are beginning to look more closely at the mechanisms underlying lion’s mane’s ability to help treat depression.

ONE 2018 Taiwanese animal study considered its implications Hericium erinaceus enriched with erinacin on dopamine and serotonin production in stressed mice. The study concludes that lion’s mane “could be an attractive agent in the treatment of depressive disorders.”

Stressed mice have lower levels of feel-good neurotransmitters

In the Taiwan study, a control group of mice (those not given Hericium erinaceus) showed significant decreases in dopamine and serotonin production after exposure to stressors. As we all know, dopamine and serotonin are “feel good” neurotransmitters. Low levels of these are associated with depression, while high levels are associated with… feeling great.

Thus, exposure to constant stress made these mice more prone to depression. No surprise there.

Perhaps even more concerning, “interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels were increased” in the control group after prolonged stress. (IL)-6 and (TNF)-α are cytokines that signal an inflammatory response from the immune system. Elevated levels of both are generally associated with increased inflammation in the body.

Inflammation plays a valuable role locally—for example, in healing a wound—but is bad when it is widespread and/or chronic in the body’s tissues.

Lion’s mane extract relieves the symptoms of stress

In the Taiwanese study, mice given lion’s mane extract responded to prolonged stress quite differently than the control group.

While “good” neurotransmitters decreased and inflammatory cytokines increased in the control group of stressed mice, The reverse was true for mice given lion’s mane extract.

Not only were serotonin and dopamine levels higher in the lion’s mane group, but the inflammatory response was lower than the control group.

What can we say definitively? The lion’s mane and depression

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

  1. According to human and animal studies, lion’s mane has the potential to be a natural treatment for depression.
  2. An animal study suggests that the mechanisms behind lion’s mane’s antidepressant properties could be linked to its ability to promote neurogenesis.
  3. Stress often contributes to depression by increasing inflammation and decreasing “feel good” neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
  4. Lion’s mane helps mice de-stress better by keeping dopamine and serotonin higher and reducing inflammation. We can assume it can do the same for humans.
  5. More human studies are needed to reveal the underlying mechanisms of lion’s mane and its effects on depression.
  6. Since there are no downsides to taking lion’s mane, its relatively low cost and high availability, it may make sense to include this fungus in one’s diet as a way to reduce symptoms of depression.

I’m interested in Taking the lion’s mane for depression?

If you’re interested in taking lion’s mane for depression, why not have it in a great breakfast bowl of granola?

 AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola

Us AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola contains an ultra-concentrated extract of lion’s mane, as well as cordyceps and chaga mushrooms. The extract contains 10-15 times the beneficial nutrients of a regular mushroom powder.

But don’t worry if you’re not a fan of mushrooms, as you won’t be able to spot them in our granola. Our three delicious flavors are delicious and taste nothing like mushrooms!

Frequently asked questions about lion’s mane and depression

Is lion’s mane beneficial for bipolar disorder?

Recently, researchers have expressed great interest in alternative medicine as a way to treat many mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. And although lion’s mane is in no way a substitute for traditional medication, research shows It could help treat bipolar disorder due to its dietary lithium content.

Are lion’s mane supplements safe to consume?

Include lion’s mane in your diet it is safe and can be quite beneficial. This mushroom contains a multitude of benefits and many praise it for its antioxidant activities and ability to improve cognitive functions and relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

How Much Lion’s Mane Should I Take for Depression?

You should be taking more than 1000 mg of lion’s mane per day if you are taking it for depression. However, if you are new to taking adaptogenic mushrooms, you may want to start with a lower dose, as lion’s mane can upset the stomach if you are not used to taking it.

How does a lion’s mane make you feel?

Taking lion’s mane can make you feel energized and focused, and it can also calm you down if you’re prone to feeling anxious. Because of its invigorating properties, you should avoid taking lion’s mane late in the day, even if you are taking it for insomnia and better sleep quality, as it can make you feel restless and unable to fall asleep.

Does lion’s mane help with brain fog?

Yes, research shows that lion’s mane can improve symptoms of brain fog. Lion’s mane supplements have been reported to be effective in treating brain fog caused by migrainesinsomnia, depressive disorders and Lyme disease after only a few weeks of regular use.

ONE 2018 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at the effects of lion’s mane extract on symptoms of depression, including brain fog. The results suggest that the medicinal mushroom extract improved these symptoms by promoting the growth and regeneration of brain cells in the brain of an adult mouse.

Does lion’s mane increase testosterone?

Yes, lion’s mane appears to increase testosterone levels, especially in people who have naturally lower testosterone levels. Many adaptogenic mushrooms have the potential to improve testosterone levels in the body, which could lead to muscle growth and an increase in overall energy.

What are the side effects of lion’s mane?

Although there are no clinical studies on it lion’s mane side effects, centuries of use in traditional Chinese medicine and anecdotal evidence suggest they are perfectly safe to consume. However, if you are concerned about possible side effects or have experienced adverse effects with other fungi, consult your health care professional before starting to take lion’s mane.

How long does it take to feel the effects of lion’s mane?

Usually, you can wait feel the effects of lion’s mane after about two weeks regular use. However, don’t be discouraged if it’s been over two weeks and you still don’t notice any difference. Increase the dose slightly and maintain it, and the changes will surely come.

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