Much has been written about the cognitive benefits (nootropic) of taking Lion’s Mane mushroom extract (hericium erinaceus). After all, Lion’s Mane has been a staple of Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, and Buddhist monks are known to use the mushroom in powdered form to improve focus and enhance the meditative state.
Now, a team of researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia decided to put those claims to the test – they embarked on a scientific study to determine the potential effect of Lion’s Mane on brain cells.
They discovered that Lion’s Mane mushrooms improved brain cell growth and memory in pre-clinical trials*. This study has since been published in the prestigious Journal of Neurochemistry.
Using super-resolution microscopy on cultured brain cells, the team found that compounds isolated from Lion’s Mane increased the size of growth cones. Growth cones are structures in the brain that feel their way through tissue, looking for very faint chemical signals towards specific neural connections.
The research team believes that the bioactive compounds from Lion’s Mane could help regulate the growth of neurons and improve memory formation.
According to the study’s co-author, Dr. Ramon Martinez-Marmol, the discovery had “applications that could treat and protect against neurodegenerative cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
If you’re interested in some real-world, anecdotal experiences of taking Lion’s Mane as a supplement, you can read about the potential benefits of Lion’s Mane in our customer survey.
* Hericerin derivatives activates a pan-neurotrophic pathway in central hippocampal neurons converging to ERK1/2 signaling enhancing spatial memory (Journal of Neurochemistry)
Image credit: University of Queensland
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