This medicinal super mushroom has attracted attention in the scientific community for its ability to boost learning and memory ability, protect against cognitive decline (AKA Alzheimer's Disease) and reduce symptoms of anxiety + depression. Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane helps stimulate Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) production. This snazzy neuropeptide helps power up the brain’s cognitive abilities by increasing memory ability and learning.
Brandalise, F., Cesaroni, V., Gregori, A., Repetti, M., Romano, C., Orrù, G., . . . Rossi, P. (2017). Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,2017, 1-13. doi:10.1155/2017/3864340
Conclusion: “Overall, our data show that H. erinaceus supplementation for two months has influential effects on wild-type mice, increasing glutamatergic synaptic drive novelty exploration behaviour and recognition memory in hippocampus”
Lai, P., Naidu, M., Sabaratnam, V., Wong, K., David, R. P., Kuppusamy, U. R., . . . Malek, S. N. (2013). Neurotrophic Properties of the Lions Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 15(6), 539-554. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30
Conclusion: “In conclusion, the aqueous extract of H. erinaceus contained neuroactive compounds which induced NGF-synthesis and promoted neurite outgrowth in NG108-15 cells. The extract also enhanced the neurite outgrowth stimulation activity of NGF when applied in combination. The aqueous preparation of H. erinaceus had neurotrophic but not neuroprotective activities.”
Rossi, P., Cesaroni, V., Brandalise, F., Occhinegro, A., Ratto, D., Perrucci, F., . . . Savino, E. (2018). Dietary Supplementation of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms,20(5), 485-494. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.2018026241
Conclusion: “Thus, oral supplementation with H. erinaceus yields specific and selective improvements in recognition memory without altering spatial working memory, which supports the hypothesis that recognition memory can be modeled as a dual process. In this model, the perirhinal cortex supports the recognition of individual items as part of a circuit involved in familiarity with an encountered stimulus, whereas the hippocampus supports recollected associations and relationships between stimuli.”
Mori, K., Ouchi, K., & Hirasawa, N. (2015). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lions Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms,17(7), 609-618. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i7.10
Conclusion: “Our findings indicate the possibility that H. erinaceus exerts anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages through the inhibition of TLR4-JNK signaling and prevents or ameliorates adipose tissue inflammation associated with obesity.”
Mori, K., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009). Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research,23(3), 367-372. doi:10.1002/ptr.2634
Conclusion: “ The Yamabushitake group's scores increased with the duration of intake, but at week 4 after the termination of the 16 weeks intake, the scores decreased significantly. Laboratory tests showed no adverse effect of Yamabushitake. The results obtained in this study suggest that Yamabushitake is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment.’
Zhang, J., An, S., Hu, W., Teng, M., Wang, X., Qu, Y., . . . Wang, D. (2016). The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model. International Journal of Molecular Sciences,17(11), 1810. doi:10.3390/ijms17111810
Conclusion: “Consistent with previous studies, the present research clearly confirmed the neuroprotective effects of HE in cells and an Alzheimer's Disease mouse model, as demonstrated by a decrease in cell viability caused by strongly ameliorated neurotoxin, nuclear and mitochondrial apoptotic alterations, and abnormal behavior in mice. To our knowledge, this is the first confirmation of the neuroprotective effects of HE in l-Glu-induced DPC12 apoptotic cells, and a chemical drug (d-gal and AlCl3)-induced AD mouse model.”
Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research,31(4), 231-237. doi:10.2220/biomedres.31.231
“ Each of the CES-D and the ICI score after the HE intake was significantly lower than that before. In two terms of the ICI, "insentive" and "palpitatio", each of the mean score of the HE group was significantly lower than the placebo group. "Concentration", "irritating" and "anxious" tended to be lower than the placebo group. Our results show that HE intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety and these results suggest a different mechanism from NGF-enhancing action of H. erinaceus.”
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Cordyceps Militaris is an edible (when cooked) mushroom that is now safely and effectively cultivated, which seems to have various positive metabolic effects in humans due to its wide range of novel polysaccharides and because of the compound Cordycepin.