There has been quite a bit of hype around lion’s mane mushrooms potential for improving memory as it’s the most popular nootropic among its fellow functional mushrooms. We took a closer look at what science says about the effects of lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) has on memory. We were really surprised by what we found from the clinical studies. Here are our findings about lion’s mane mushroom for memory.
Does Lion’s Mane Mushroom Improve Memory?
From the studies and data we dig into below, we can say that lion’s mane mushroom improve memory, attention, and general cognitive function. Although research into lion’s mane and memory in human trials is still being done, available studies appear to support the fact that lion’s mane may improve memory quite dramatically. Furthermore, studies of lion’s mane and Alzheimers disease appear to suggest that this mushroom might even be capable of recovering cognitive functions lost due to the affliction.
Both animal and human studies of the effects of lion’s mane on cognitive functions appear to indicate that lion’s mane may have some quite positive effects for memory. A Japanese study examined the effects of mycelium from lion’s on learning and memory deficits caused by the amyloid-b2535 peptide in mice.
Mice were fed diets that contained lion’s mane for 23 days. Results showed that consumption of lion’s mane prevented the deterioration of visual recognition and short-term spatial memory. A study published in International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms reached similar results.
In that study, researchers examined the spatial memory in mice given dietary supplements containing lion’s mane. The mice were given tasks, such as the Novel Object Recognition Test and Y-maze tests, before starting to consume the lion’s mane. After taking lion’s mane for 2 months, the mice performed significantly better on these tasks, probably because of hippocampal neurogenesis occurring from the use of lion’s mane.
What We Know to Date About Lion’s Mane for Memory
Heres what we know so far about lion’s mane mushroom and memory:
- Animal studies show lion’s mane extract might reverse memory loss in patients with dementia and Alzheimers.
- Lion’s mane appears to boost neurogenesis in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in learning and memory.
- An animal study suggests that it may also reduce symptoms of brain fog, which may, in turn, enhance memory and learning abilities.
- Lion’s mane appears to enhance memory and learning abilities, and reduces the deterioration of cognition, in mice.
- A Japanese study indicates that lion’s mane improves cognitive functions, including memory, in humans, too.
More studies on humans are needed to unravel the basic mechanisms underlying lion’s mane and its effects on memory. Given the lack of side effects of taking lion’s mane, its low cost, and high accessibility, it might make sense to incorporate the mushroom into ones diet as a means of improving your memory and other cognitive functions.
How Does Lion’s Mane Support Brain Health?
Lion’s manes’ protective effects on brain are well documented, particularly from studies with animals. Both anecdotal and study-based data appear to indicate that lion’s mane supplements may benefit brain fog, whether caused by stress, mental health issues, chronic illnesses, or a lack of sleep. A 2018 animal study examined the effects of lion’s mane extract on symptoms of anxiety and depression, including brain fog. The results suggested that Hericium erinaceus appears to reduce those symptoms, once again, promoting the growth and regrowth of brain cells.
Lion’s Mane and Cognitive Function in Human Studies
A Japanese double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigated Hericium erinaceus effects on cognitive functions, including memory, in humans. In this double-blind clinical trial, a test group was given capsules containing the lion’s mane mushrooms for 12 weeks, and the control group was given a placebo. Both groups were tested for visual retention and verbal learning, and for their overall psychological condition. After taking lion’s mane for 12 weeks, the testing group showed significant increases both in visual retention and verbal learning, whereas the control group did not.
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