Lion’s Mane is an edible mushroom with a long history of medicinal use. It has become popular as a nootropic after research showed it to increase levels of nerve growth factor in humans. Higher levels of NGF are linked to an increase in the growth rate of neurons.
- Stimulates the nerve growth factor 
- Improves cognitive ability 
- Stimulates myelination – helps prevent neurodegenerative autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis 
- May be helpful for treating dementia.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s Mane is an edible mushroom of the tooth fungus group. It has a wide history of use in Ancient Chinese medicine, and recent studies have shown it to be a powerful antioxidant as well as being able to help regulate blood lipid and glucose levels. Lion’s Mane is also frequently used as an ingredient in Chinese cuisine.
Recent research has shown Lion’s Mane Mushroom to boost levels of nerve growth factor in the brain. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a small protein which plays a vital role in the growth and maintenance of certain neurons. Because Lion’s Mane raises NGF levels, it is an excellent supplement for long-term cognitive health.
Medical Uses of Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane has seen a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, and recent research has shown it to have significant medical value. Lion’s Mane is a powerful anti-oxidant and can help regular blood glucose and lipid levels.
It has also been shown to be effective in treating dementia related cognitive decline, as well as gastric ulcers and esophageal carcinoma.
Using Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane is best taken as a daily supplement for the promotion of long-term cognitive health. The boost it provides to NGF means that more brain cells will be created and existing neurons will be healthier. Lion’s Mane is most commonly sold in capsules, and is available fairly cheaply.
Dosing Lion’s Mane
The average dose is 500mgs taken daily. However, doses people decide to take tend to vary. Effects are extremely subtle and dosing higher than 500 mg a day is unlikely to provide more pronounced benefits.
How Does Lion’s Mane Work?
Lion’s Mane’s effects on the human brain revolve around the way it effects the nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is a protein that stimulates the production nerve growth in the human brain. The NFG protein has a hard time passing through the blood-brain barrier causing the amount of NFG in our brain to diminish over time. This leads to slower nerve production as we age and when NFG levels become too low can even lead to an assortment of neurodegenerative diseases. The lion’s mane nootropic comes into play because it contains two molecules small enough to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Once these molecules pass through the barrier they stimulate the growth of NGF proteins causing an increase in the rate at which brain cells are grown.
Safety and Side Effects of Lion’s Mane
The lion mane’s mushroom is regarded is completely safe with virtually no toxicity. There has never been a reported overdose. Mild fatigue is the only side effect consistently reported.
Lion’s Mane FAQ
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Lion’s Mane. If you have a question that’s not on this list, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer it for you.
Low levels of NGF have been linked to health problems including psychiatric disorders, Acute coronary symptoms, and metabolic syndromes. Because Lion’s Mane improves levels of NGF, it is ideal as a long-term supplement for overall mental health.
What are some noticeable studies performed on Lion’s Mane Mushroom?
Multiple studies have indicated that Lion’s Mane Mushroom stimulates the nerve growth factor. In other words, this nootropic helps you make brain cells quicker. One study performed on rat adrenal nerve cells showed improved nerve cell growth and neurite extension.  Another study tested the effects of four different edible mushrooms on human brain cells. Among the four mushrooms, only the H. erinaceus promoted the neuron growth factor. The extract also promoted the secretetion of protein from 1321N1 cells. 
After the discovery that Lion’s Mane promoted the NGF, a study was conducted by the same organization to determine how much the nootropic improved cognitive abilities. Thirty subjects were randomized into two 15-person groups. One group was given a placebo and the other group was given the lion’s mane extract. Even though there were no differences between the groups cognitive test scores after week 4, the group that received the extract scored significantly higher after weeks 8, 12, and 16. After intake of the extract stopped, the scores returned to normal. 
One last study was conducted in search for a substance that could provide regulatory and proctective effects on the normal myelination as well as stimulating action after myelin damage. This is important because the myelin sheaths which are wrapped around axons support, protect, and feed the nervous system. Damage to myelin sheaths can result in a wide variety of neurodegenerative autoimmune diseases. When H. erinaceus was introduced to in vitro cells it was observed that myelination began much earlier and occurred at a quicker rate when compared to the control cells. It also demonstrated a regulatory effect on the process of myelin genesis.