Taking lion’s mane for ALS: Hericium Erinaceus helps

Lion’s mane is a staple of alternative medicine and one of the the healthiest mushrooms in the world. One of its many benefits is its ability to repair damaged nerve cells and promote neurite growth. This can be incredibly beneficial in the management of ALS. Let’s dive into the benefits of lion’s mane for ALS.

What are the health benefits of lion’s mane?

What are the negative effects of lion’s mane?

How do lion’s mane mushrooms help ALS?

Can lions regenerate brain cells?

Does lion’s mane repair neurons?

How do I get the lion’s mane for ALS?

How much mane should I get for ALS?

How much lion’s mane is in AdaptogenShroomsgranola?

To learn more about this amazing fungus, check out our lion’s mane mushroom guide.

What are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

The adaptogenic lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) has long been used in alternative medicine. It grows best in temperate to cool climates and is native to North America, Northern Europe and Asia.

To learn more about how lion’s mane and other adaptogenic mushrooms work, read our detailed explanation of fungi adapters.

Health benefits of lion’s mane

The health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms range from reducing inflammation and oxidative stress and boosting the immune system to managing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

In clinical trials on the effects of Hericium erinaceus on neurodegenerative health conditions, this mushroom:

  • improved cognitive impairments associated with Alzheimer’s disease;
  • alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
  • appeared to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis
  • helped overall cognitive health and prevented cognitive decline in healthy individuals

If you would like to learn more about the beneficial effects this key alternative medicine can have on various health conditions, read our article on the health benefits of lion’s mane.

Side effects of lion’s mane

Supplementing with lion’s mane mushrooms has no long-term negative effects. If you are new to adaptogens, you may experience some stomach discomfort, bloating, or diarrhea at first, but these side effects should subside after a few days.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare progressive motor neuron disease. It affects the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement such as walking, chewing and speaking. In recent years, due to ALS awareness efforts, ALS research has become more prominent, but there is still no cure for this disease.

How does lion’s mane mushroom help ALS?

As of 2023, there has been no ALS clinical research involving lion’s mane mushrooms. However, clinical tests on the effects of lion’s mane on neurite outgrowth and nerve repair show promising results in using this mushroom to manage ALS symptoms. Lion’s mane appears to help relieve muscle twitching, cramps, stiffness, and muscle weakness, which are common symptoms of ALS.

Lion mane neurogenesis study

Lion’s mane appears to promote neurogenesis by increasing the production of nerve growth factors (NGF).

One in vitro study suggests that one of the properties of the lion’s mane mushroom is its ability to promote neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. Bioactive compounds isolated from Hericium erinaceus fruits significantly increased the presence of nerve growth factor proteins in these cells.

Human clinical trials (such as double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Hericium erinaceus on mild cognitive impairment) show promising results, but the body of evidence is not strong enough to say that lion’s mane promotes nerve cell growth and regeneration in humans.

To learn more about the effects of lion’s mane on neurite outgrowth, see our article on the effects of lion’s mane mushrooms on neurogenesis.

Lion's Mane for ALS

Lion’s Mane Study for Nerve Repair

ONE Animal study 2011 examined the potential of lion’s mane mushrooms for nerve repair. In this study, rats with peripheral nerve damage were given an oral extract of the fresh fruits of lion’s mane.

The results show that recovery of function was significantly faster in rats given lion’s mane extracts than in the control group, as measured by gait analysis.

Although more research is needed on human nerve fiber injuries, this study suggests that the activity of the aqueous extract of lion’s mane prevents further injury and accelerates nerve healing, at least in animal nervous systems.

Lion’s mane motor neuron disease benefits

Health conditions such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other motor neuron diseases are caused by progressive damage to nerve cells. Lion’s mane appears to promote the growth and regeneration of nerve cells through the production of nerve growth factors (NGF). This effect is responsible for the apparent benefits of lion’s mane for motor neuron diseases.

Although there is no cure for most motor neuron diseases, there are ways to slow their progression and even repair some of the damage caused by the condition. That’s where the lion’s mane comes in. This mushroom appears to have the opposite effect on the brain as neurodegenerative diseases, making it a promising adaptogen for the management of motor neuron disease.

How you can start taking lion’s mane for ALS

If you want to start taking lion’s mane to treat ALS, you should start with the best supplement on the market. And, at the risk of sounding biased, us medicinal mushroom granola it has exactly what you are looking for.

Our granola contains a high-quality, ultra-concentrated lion’s mane extract that contains all the beneficial compounds found in this mushroom (including those you can’t get from eating fresh lion’s mane).

The granola is vegan, gluten-free, made with nutritious ingredients and delicious. What more could you want from a breakfast bowl of granola?

 AdaptogenShroomssuperfood granola

Lion’s Mane Dosage for ALS

The exact one lion’s mane mushroom dosage for ALS varies from person to person. If you are new to adaptogens, it is best to start with a dose of 750-1000 mg, to avoid digestive discomfort. Once you get used to lion’s mane, you can increase the dose to 2000 mg or more until you are happy with its results.

How much lion’s mane is in AdaptogenShroomsGranola?

AdaptogenShroomsgranola uses high-quality lion’s mane extracts made from whole grains 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 mushroom extract, which is eight times more concentrated than regular lion’s mane nutritional supplement. 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 for ALS

Can lion’s mane cause nerve damage?

No, lion’s mane does not cause nerve damage. This mushroom appears to help prevent nerve damage associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, and aids in nerve repair. Lion’s mane also relieves neuropathic painwhich is a common symptom of nerve damage.

Does the lion’s mane create new nerves?

While lion’s mane doesn’t grow new nerves on its own, it does seem to stimulate our brains to grow nerves. Contrary to popular belief, the human brain grows new nerve cells throughout its life, and medicinal lion’s mane mushrooms appear to aid in this process.

Does lion’s mane work immediately?

The full effects of Hericium erinaceus should be felt within the first two weeks taking lion’s mane supplements. However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Try different doses of lion’s mane until you find what makes you feel good, and you’ll notice its many benefits within a month or so.

Who Shouldn’t Get Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

Although most people are safe to use lion’s mane, it has some contraindications. If you have a history of allergies or are allergic to mold, yeast, or other fungi, you should use lion’s mane or another adaptogenic mushroom with caution.

Certain medications, such as diabetes medications, may also interact with lion’s mane. If you are taking medications that may interact with lion’s mane, you should consult your doctor for medical advice before taking Hericium erinaceus.

What does lion’s mane cure?

No mushroom, including lion’s mane, can cure a disease by itself. However, this mushroom appears to help treat many health conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus can also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, improve the immune system, and even relieve symptoms of mental conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Does Lion’s Mane Increase Dopamine?

Although medicinal lion’s mane mushrooms do not appear to increase dopamine, they do appear to stabilize dopamine levels in animals. This effect is likely behind the beneficial effects that lion’s mane can have on depression.

ONE Animal study 2018 investigated the underlying mechanisms of the antidepressant effects of lion’s mane mushroom extract in mice. The findings suggest that when the mice were stressed, their dopamine levels dropped.

Their dopamine levels stabilized after taking lion’s mane extracts, despite changes in stress levels. This suggests that lion’s mane may be responsible for increasing dopamine levels, although more human research is needed to fully understand the benefit of this lion’s mane.

Can lion’s mane be taken long term?

Taking lion’s mane mushrooms long-term is not only completely safe, but extremely beneficial. Long-term benefits of lion’s mane, such as improved cognitive function and the ability to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, become more apparent the more you use this mushroom.

Is addiction to lion’s mane possible?

No, even if taken daily, Lion’s mane mushrooms are not addictive. Even if you take high doses of lion’s mane, you will not experience side effects or withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it, but you will stop getting its benefits.

When is ALS Awareness Day?

ALS Awareness Day is June 21.

Resources

  1. Lai, PL (2013). Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 15(6), 539–554. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30
  2. Zhang, CC (2015). Chemical constituents from Hericium erinaceus and their ability to stimulate NGF-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 25(22), 5078–5082. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2015.10.016
  3. Mori, K. (2009). Improving effects of Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research, 23(3), 367-372. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2634
  4. Wong, KH (2011). Peripheral nerve regeneration after rat peroneal nerve crush injury by aqueous extract of medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bul.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neq062
  5. Chiu, CH (2018). Hericium erinaceus mycelium enriched with erinasin A produces antidepressant effects through modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β signaling in mice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(2), 341. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020341

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