Appearing on hardwood trees all over the world shaped more like a snowball than a typical mushroom, lions mane is a truly unique species of mushroom. They are frequently consumed in supplement form being most famous for brain supporting benefits, but has other uses as well.
Lions mane has two bioactive compounds - hericenones and erinacines that have been found to support the growth, maintenance, and longevity of brain cells in some studies. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is essential for the brains cholinergic system and lions mane was shown to promote the growth and differentiation of neurons by inducing NGF synthesis in nerve cells.
These same NGF effects could also protect the brain from neural damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, supporting mental functioning and offsetting long term memory loss. In a placebo controlled trial, lions mane was shown to be effective in improving mild cognitive impairment.
Typically the hype around lions mane surrounds cognitive function and neurotropic action, however the benefits reach farther than there.
Gut health is another emerging focus for overall wellness. Lions mane has been shown to be supportive of the stomach and digestive tract. It may help reduce the impact of inflammatory bowel diseases and help reduce the development of ulcers. This could be related to lions mane high antioxidant activity and its impact on inflammatory markers. In lab studies it was shown to inhibit the overgrowth of some intestinal bacteria possibly protecting the stomach, but more studies on humans need to be completed.
Other animal studies have reviewed additional bioactive and antioxidant compounds in lions mane and its ability to support heart disease, diabetes, nervous system injury, cancer and the immune system. Like many mushroom compounds as more human research comes out lions mane could evolve into a fantastic all around health and wellness supporting ingredient.
Our Essence Active Greens contains lions mane as part of its Adaptive Mushroom Blend.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.