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What is Lion’s Mane Mushroom? Benefits and Side effects

Lion’s mane mushrooms, also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake, are large, white, shaggy mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane as they grow.They have both culinary and medical uses in Asian countries like China, India, Japan and Korea.

Ayushi Raina
Lion;s Mane Mushroom
Lion;s Mane Mushroom

Lion's mane mushrooms, also known as yamabushitake, are big, shaggy white mushrooms that develop to resemble a lion's mane. In Asian nations like China, India, Japan, and Korea, they are used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Raw, cooked, dried, or steeped as a tea, lion's mane mushrooms are delicious. Their extracts are frequently found in over-the-counter health products. Many people compare its flavor to crab or lobster, describing it as "seafood-like." Bioactive compounds found in lion's mane mushrooms have positive benefits on the body, particularly the brain, heart, and stomach.

Firstly, let us talk about the health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom and their extracts:

May Protect Against Dementia

The ability of the brain to develop and establish new connections decreases with age, which may explain why many older individuals' mental competence deteriorates. Hericenones and erinacines, two unique chemicals found in lion's mane mushrooms, have been proven to increase the development of brain cells in studies.

While no studies have examined whether the lion's mane mushroom might help those with Alzheimer's disease in humans, it does appear to improve mental performance. In a trial of older people with mild cognitive impairment, eating 3 grams of powdered lion's mane mushroom daily for four months enhanced mental performance considerably, but the advantages vanished after supplementation was stopped.

However, it's worth remembering that the majority of the study was done on animals or in test tubes. As a result, further human research is required.

Protects the Digestive Tract from Ulcers

Ulcers can occur in the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, among other places in the digestive tract. Overgrowth of a bacterium called H. pylori and damage to the mucous membrane of the stomach, which is commonly caused by long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are two primary causes of stomach ulcers.

By preventing the growth of H. pylori and preserving the stomach lining from damage, lion's mane extract may protect against the formation of stomach ulcers. In addition, animal research revealed that lion's mane extract was more efficient than standard acid-lowering medicines at preventing alcohol-induced stomach ulcers – with no harmful side effects.

In other parts of the intestines, lion's mane extract can decrease inflammation and prevent tissue damage. They may even aid in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Overall, evidence shows that lion's mane extract may help prevent ulcers from developing, but additional human studies are needed.

Assists in the Treatment of Diabetic Symptoms

By increasing blood sugar control and decreasing some of these side effects, the lion's mane mushroom may be useful for diabetes treatment. The enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which breaks down carbs in the small intestine, is one method that the lion's mane reduces blood glucose.

When this enzyme is inhibited, the body is unable to efficiently digest and absorb carbs, resulting in decreased blood sugar levels. Lion's mane extract may decrease diabetic nerve discomfort in the hands and feet in addition to reducing blood sugars.

But further research is needed to know how it may be utilized in humans.

Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation

Many modern diseases including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, are thought to be caused by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals found in lion's mane mushrooms may aid to decrease the severity of certain diseases.

In fact, one study that looked at the antioxidant capacities of 14 different mushroom species discovered that lion's mane had the fourth-highest antioxidant activity and that it should be regarded an excellent source of antioxidants in the diet.

Lion's mane mushrooms have been found to lower the amount of inflammation generated by fat tissue, which may assist to minimize some of the health issues linked with obesity.

Does it pose any Side-effects?

The negative effects of the lion's mane mushroom or its extract have not been studied in humans, although they appear to be quite harmless. Even at doses as high as 2.3 grams per pound of body weight per day for one month or lower levels for three months, rats showed no deleterious effects.

However, because it is a fungus, anyone who is allergic or sensitive to mushrooms should avoid the lion's mane. People who have been exposed to lion's mane mushrooms have reported difficulties breathing and skin rashes, which are most likely allergies.

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