Lion’s Mane Mushroom is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine. It is still used in China to treat a wide variety of ailments, from cognitive decline to reduced immune system function.
But Lion’s Mane Mushroom is no longer only found in the East. Today, it is increasingly found in nootropic supplements alongside the likes of citicoline.
So is there some substance to the claims of the traditional health practitioners? Is Lion’s Mane Mushroom a good supplement for memory and cognitive function? Let’s take a quick look at the research and find out.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom benefits – The evidence
Some exciting new research has emerged showing that Lion’s Mane Mushroom might have a substantial positive effect on memory function.
Researchers have discovered that Lion’s Mane Mushroom triggers the release of a compound called Nerve Growth Factor in humans. Nerve Growth Factor is a neurotrophic factor, which means it regulates the growth and maintenance of new brain cells – your synapses, neurons, dendrites, and so on. More NGF means more neuron proliferation, faster synapse growth, more dendrite branching, and more efficient brain cell maintenance.
Obviously, if you have more dendrite branches, your synapses can communicate more effectively. More effective and efficient synapse communication will inevitably mean more raw brain power! This, coupled with better maintained and more numerous neurons, would mean a drastically improved brain.
The practical benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom use include:
- More effective learning
- Better working memory function
- Improved memory retention and recall speed
Lion’s Mane Mushroom dosage
What is surprising from the studies is that you don’t need a large amount of Lion’s Mane to raise NGF levels. Most studies find that 250-500mg per day is sufficient to increase circulating NGF levels in the brain, and thereby increase neurogenesis.
If you’re looking for something to promote good brain function as you get older, then use around 500mg of good quality Lion’s Mane Mushroom per day.
If you want to achieve total brain optimization, then couple 300-500mg of Lion’s Mane with other nootropics that enhance different aspects of cognition.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom side effects
The clinical trials looking at Lion’s Mane Mushroom do not regularly report significant side effects.
In fact, we haven’t seen a single study in which notable side effects resulted from Lion’s Mane Mushroom use.
We think it’s therefore fair to say that Lion’s Mane Mushroom is safe to use in sensible doses for periods of up to 12 weeks (the length of most trials).
Is Lion’s Mane Mushroom a good nootropic?
Yes, yes it is. Lion’s Mane Mushroom is a fantastic nootropic which can produce deep, lasting improvements in physical brain structure. This makes it markedly different to other natural nootropics which work primarily by changing brain chemistry in the short term.