Does Lion’s Mane Help With Dementia?

When it comes to preventing and alleviating the symptoms of dementia, lion’s mane mushrooms are second to none. Here’s what the latest research says Hericium erinaceus and dementia.

What are the benefits of Hericium erinaceus?

Are there any negative effects of lion’s mane?

What is dementia?

Can Lion’s Mane Help Dementia?

Does the lion’s mane revive the nerves?

Does lion’s mane help memory?

Can lion’s mane reverse Alzheimer’s?

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

What is the best way to take lion’s mane for dementia?

What are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are a type of adaptogenic mushroom with a unique shaggy appearance reminiscent of a lion’s mane. These fungi grow in Europe, Asia and North America. Thanks to the many benefits they provide, lion’s mane mushrooms are considered among them the healthiest mushrooms you can eat.

Health benefits of lion’s mane

Research on the health benefits of lion’s mane shows that the mushroom has significant potential to promote neurogenesis, prevent nerve damage, as well as relieve dementia, depressive symptoms, and nerve pain—among other properties for brain health.

The beneficial effects of Hericium erinaceus include:

  • relief from anxiety and depressive disorders
  • improving cognitive function
  • protection against Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • reducing inflammation
  • neuropathic pain relief
  • fighting various forms of cancer through apoptosis of cancer cells
  • improving immune health
  • repair of nervous system injuries
  • lowering blood sugar levels
  • reducing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

The spiritual benefits of lion’s mane

Lion’s mane mushrooms have incredible spiritual benefits. Shaolin monks in ancient China used this fungus centuries ago to improve their concentration. New clinical research confirms that lion’s mane is able to improve focus and memory, as well as relieve the symptoms of many mental health problems.

Side effects of lion’s mane

Centuries of use of lion’s mane in traditional medicine and recent research suggest that Hericium erinaceus is completely safe for consumption. The only negative effect you may experience is an upset stomach if you are not used to adaptogenic mushrooms. To avoid this side effect, start with a lower dose of lion’s mane and work your way up.

Addiction to the lion’s mane

There is no risk of addiction when taking lion’s mane. Even if you take this mushroom for a long time and at a high dose, you will not experience addiction or dependence on lion’s mane, as it has no psychoactive effects.

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a collection of symptoms that occur in a few related types of neurodegeneration. All types of dementia are defined by an impaired ability to think, remember, or make decisions that interferes with the ability to perform daily activities.

Types of dementia

The main types of dementia are:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Frontal temporal dementia
  • Mixed dementia

Dementia symptoms

Symptoms of dementia include:

  • memory loss
  • confusion and poor judgment
  • to wander and get lost often
  • difficulty speaking and expressing thoughts
  • difficulty reading and writing
  • problem with responsible money management

Does Lion’s Mane Help Dementia?

Yes, according to recent clinical studies, lion’s mane appears to protect against dementia and even alleviate the symptoms of this degenerative condition.

The lion’s mane is one of the best mushrooms for brain functionthanks to the bioactive compounds found in the mycelia of Hericium erinaceus that promote neurogenesis and provide a multitude of neurohealth properties.

Lion’s Mane Neurogenesis

Hericium erinaceus appears to promote neurogenesis (the formation of new nerves). Lion’s mane mushrooms contain ericeones and erinacins, biological compounds that may be beneficial for the brain.

Studies have shown that the mushroom has two important sets of compounds that support brain health: stimulators of nerve growth factor proteins and stimulators of brain-derived neurotrophic factors.

Nerve growth factor, or NGF for short, is a protein that helps regenerate and maintain neurons. Compounds found in lion’s mane, such as erinasin A, were shown to increase NGF synthesis in rats. Mycelia enriched with erinacins appear to have an overall positive effect on the central nervous system, stimulating the growth of new brain cells and preventing cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Brain-derived neurotrophic proteins also play an important role in cognitive health. They promote the survival of nerve cells by helping the maturation and growth of these cells. A 2021 study looked at the effects of lion’s mane compounds on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF for short). A western blot analysis showed that H. erinaceus increased the production of BDNF proteins.

The lion’s mane and memory

Research shows great potential in terms of using the lion’s mane to enhance memory.

A study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushroom investigated the effects of lion’s mane on spatial memory in transgenic mice. The animals were fed a lion’s mane supplement for two months. Although there were no significant changes in spatial memory in the mice, their recognition memory was improved.

Another animal study looked at the effects of lion’s mane mushrooms on memory and cognitive deficits in mice. The mushroom prevented short-term spatial and visual recognition memory impairments.

Although more research is needed, these findings suggest that lion’s mane mushrooms may be useful in improving cognitive function.

Neuroprotective properties of lion’s mane

A 2016 study looked at the effects of lion’s mane extracts on neurological health. The ethanol extract showed promising neuroprotective properties in mice.

More specifically, polysaccharides found in mushroom fruit bodies reduced nerve cell damage caused by neurotoxic chemicals.

Although more research is needed, this study shows that lion’s mane has great neuroprotective potential.

Lion's den for dementia

The lion’s mane and mild cognitive impairment

Hericium erinaceus appears to be quite beneficial in repairing cognitive problems and may even improve mild cognitive impairment.

A double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study examined its effects on mild cognitive impairment in Japanese adults. The age of the subjects ranged from 50 to 80 years. Half of the participants in the Japanese study were given lion’s mane supplements for 16 weeks, while the other half were given a placebo.

Participants taking the mushroom extract showed increased scores in their cognitive function. These significant increases suggest that lion’s mane supplements have the potential to prevent neuronal damage and help brain function.

Lion’s mane dementia study

A small human study published in 2008 looked at the effects of Hericium erinaceus on cardiovascular dementia. This study included seven patients who were given 5 grams of lion’s mane mushroom powder per day for six months.

After six months, six of the seven participants had significant improvements in their cognitive ability, and all seven showed significant improvements in functional independence (being able to do everyday tasks on their own).

These results are promising, and more human research is certainly needed to further examine the anti-dementia potential of lion’s mane.

Lion’s den and Alzheimer’s

Lion’s mane appears to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, according to animal and human studies. This fungus appears to reduce inflammation and biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (such as amyloid plaques).

A 2020 study looked at the effects of lion’s mane supplements on early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study lasted 52 weeks and consisted of two parallel groups. Both groups showed symptoms of early Alzheimer’s.

The results suggest that lion’s mane mushroom extract significantly improved cognitive function in participants taking the Hericium erinaceus supplement. Participants experienced no side effects, suggesting that the mushroom is safe and well-tolerated for Alzheimer’s patients.

Another recent study reached a similar conclusion. The 2021 animal study examined the effects of polysaccharides found in lion’s mane mycelium on oxidative stress, nerve regeneration, and neuronal health. The compounds significantly improved cognitive behavior in mice. The mushroom reduced oxidative stress in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease by regulating calcium levels in the brain.

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

Here’s what we know so far about the effects of lion’s mane on dementia:

  1. Lion’s mane is one of the best adaptogenic mushrooms to eat for brain health.
  2. Ericinones and erinacins, compounds found in Hericium erinaceus, appear to promote neurogenesis.
  3. Lion’s mane has been shown to improve spatial and visual recognition memory, at least in animals.
  4. Clinical application of Hericium erinaceus appears to prevent mild cognitive impairment and provide neuroprotective properties.
  5. Animal and human studies show that lion’s mane mushrooms can reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
  6. A small human study suggests that 5 mg of Hericium erinaceus per day may significantly improve symptoms of cardiovascular dementia.
  7. More human research is needed to fully understand the underlying mechanisms of lion’s mane and its effects on dementia.
  8. Since there are no downsides to taking lion’s mane, its relatively low cost and high availability, it may make sense for dementia patients and those who want to prevent dementia to include this fungus in their diet.

Interested in getting Lion’s Mane?

If you want to take lion’s mane mushrooms to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of dementia, you can do so with the delicious medicinal mushroom granola.

In addition to an ultra-concentrated extract of lion’s mane, our granola contains extracts of Cordyceps mushrooms and chaga mushrooms.

Granola is vegan, gluten-free, packed with nutrients and delicious. What more could you want in a breakfast bowl of cereal?

Mushroom  AdaptogenShroomsgranola

Lion’s Mane Dosage for Dementia

If you are taking lion’s mane mushroom supplements to prevent dementia, 1000-2000 mg per day should be enough. For dementia patients, a higher one lion’s mane dosage up to 5000 mg per day is suggested to slow the progression of this disease.

How much lion’s mane is in AdaptogenShroomsGranola?

AdaptogenShroomsgranola uses a high quality lion’s mane extract made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our double extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans and alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our brewing process breaks down the indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to extract far more of these compounds than conventional processes.

One serving of granola provides us with 250 mg of ultra-concentrated lion’s mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than regular lion’s mane tinctures and supplements. So you get as much power in lion’s mane as you would if you were taking a 2000mg mushroom powder supplement, all in a bowl of granola.

Frequently asked questions about lion’s mane and dementia

Does the lion’s mane cross the blood-brain barrier?

The blood-brain barrier protects your brain from certain toxins found in the blood. Sometimes, however, this barrier doesn’t let compounds through that may be beneficial to your brain.

However, ericeones and erinacins, bioactive compounds in many mushrooms, including lion’s mane, can cross the blood-brain barrier quite easily. These beneficial compounds include nerve growth factors (NGF) that can provide many benefits, including protection against brain injury, nerve regeneration (neurogenesis), and myelination.

How do you test for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

Amyloid plaques are the most common pathological feature of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These proteins accumulate in the brain and kill neurons, causing the various symptoms of the disease.

The Hasegawa Dementia Scale-Revised is a cognitive function scale used to determine whether a person has dementia. This nine-question scale can also determine the stages of dementia and its severity. Those with dementia have significantly lower scores on the cognitive function scale compared to those without signs of dementia.

Can lion’s mane cause brain fog?

No, lion’s mane does not cause brain fog. In fact, this mushroom is one of the best mushrooms you can get to relieve brain fog. Lion’s mane provides a natural boost of energy and helps with many illnesses that are symptomatic of brain fog (such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD).

Can lion’s mane be taken long term?

Yes, lion’s mane can be taken long term. The beneficial effects of this fungus become more pronounced the longer you take it, so it is advisable to take Hericium erinaceus for at least a month or two to reap its full benefits.

Does lion’s mane work immediately?

You will feel certain effects of lion’s mane, such as its energy-boosting properties, within the first few days of taking Hericium erinaceus. However, it takes about a month or more for the lion’s mane to be fully functional. Of course, the more you take this fungus, the more benefits you will reap.

Can you have too much lion’s mane mushroom?

No, you can’t have too much lion’s mane. However, that doesn’t mean you have to take a bunch of supplements every day. Instead, choose a high-quality way to get this fungus into your diet (like AdaptogenShroomsgranola) and, if you want the taste of lion’s manetry cooking with it.

How does a lion’s mane make you feel?

Lion’s mane can make you feel calmer and more focused. The mushroom will likely improve your mental clarity, meaning you’ll be able to focus on cognitive tasks for longer. It won’t get you high, but it will relieve mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, making you feel happier overall.

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