Lion’s mane mushrooms are edible mushrooms that have been used in traditional Chinese medication for centuries. These mushrooms have been used to treat different health problems and their many health benefits are the reason why they have become so popular around the world in recent years. Lion’s mane mushrooms contain bioactive substances that have lots of benefits to the heart, brain, digestive system, and the rest of the body. In this article, we will explore these and more health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms.
Helps Reduce Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Due to how fast life is moving in many parts of the world, as many as a third of all people experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, or both. There are many causes of depression and anxiety including stress and chronic inflammation. Lion’s mane mushroom extracts can help to reduce high levels of inflammation, which in turn reduces stress and depression.
Additionally, lions mane mushrooms help the brain process emotional responses better by improving the functionality of the hippocampus. By doing so, these extracts help reduce depression and anxiety in people taking them.
Improving Digestion and Gut Health
Lion’s mane mushrooms have been used for centuries to improve digestion and gut health, but no one understood how they did this. Research has proven that lion’s mane extracts or supplements act as prebiotics, encouraging the growth of “good” gut bacteria. Lion’s mane mushrooms also reduce tissue damage caused by inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Lastly, lion’s mane mushrooms can help treat intestinal and gastric ulcers caused by Helicobacter Pylori bacteria. Lion’s mane mushrooms discourage the growth of these bacteria, which weaken the stomach lining, thereby leading to your stomach acid causing bleeding and perforations in the stomach or intestines.
Reducing Heart Disease Risk
There are lots of risk factors for heart disease including high triglyceride levels in the blood, obesity, a tendency to have blood clots, and high levels of oxidized cholesterol in the system. By influencing some of these factors and risks, lion’s mane mushrooms can reduce the risk of heart disease.
One way it does this is by improving fat metabolism, which leads to lower triglyceride levels, thereby reducing one of the risks. By helping with fat metabolism, lion’s mane mushrooms can also help you lose weight, helping to reduce obesity.
Lion’s mane mushrooms also contain hericenone B, a compound that can reduce blood clots thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Managing and Reducing The Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to control blood sugar(glucose) levels. Because of this, the levels of glucose in the blood are often too high. Lion’s mane mushrooms help the body regulate blood sugar thereby helping reduce side effects of high sugar levels including nerve and kidney damage as well as vision loss.
Lion’s mane mushrooms are thought to do this by blocking the activity of the alpha-glucosidase enzyme. This enzyme breaks down carbohydrates in the small intestines. When its activity is impaired, the body digests fewer carbohydrates which results in lower blood glucose levels.
Boosting the Immune System
A strong immune system protects the body from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. A weak immune system predisposes us to lots of illnesses and health conditions. Lion’s mane mushroom increases the activity of the intestinal immune system. This immune system protects us from pathogens that enter the body through the digestive system. These benefits are thought to be due to the changes lion’s mane mushrooms make to the bacterial makeup of the digestive system.
Potential Protection Against Dementia
The reason why our mental functioning gets worse as we age is due to the slowing down of our brain’s ability to form new connections. Lion’s mane mushrooms contain compounds known as medicines and hericenones. Both of these classes of compounds have been shown to stimulate brain cell growth.
It is these compounds that give lion’s make mushrooms the ability to reduce the onset of degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. In some studies, lion’s mane mushroom extracts were used to slow down memory loss as well as repair damage caused by plaques that cause Alzheimer’s.
The nerve regenerative properties of lion’s mane mushrooms can help explain some of its brain-boosting properties.
Lion’s mane mushrooms are very beneficial due to all of their medicinal properties. Their combination of properties gives them the ability to treat certain diseases as well as prevent the onset and progression of certain diseases. All of these above benefits and many others are the reason why everyone should consider taking lion’s mane mushroom extracts or supplements.