Nootropics are a growing category of supplements that millions of people are taking to improve their memory, cognition, and mood. But like all supplement types, nootropics have been infiltrated by fraudsters and fakers.
That’s why I sat down to give you the real deal about a popular nootropic ingredient, Lion’s Mane mushrooms. We’ll break down what the science says, and whether it holds up in products.
History of Medicinal Mushrooms
People have been using herbs and other natural remedies for centuries. In fact, according to the University of Minnesota, humans have based nearly their entire idea of medicine on herbs and plants.
Recently, a study published in the National Library of Medicine looked at the benefits of the entire mushroom category.
They found that certain species have benefits for the immune system, hormones, and even displayed the potential to repair damaged nerves. This opens the possibility for treatment in everything from physical nerve damage to repairing the brain.
In the world of mushrooms for health, the Lion’s Mane may be king of the fungal jungle. According to a website focused on Alzheimer’s research, there is evidence that this particular mushroom has incredible uses for patients with cognitive impairment.
They even refer to studies that say Lion’s Mane may be able to increase the molecular function of nerve growth.
As far back as 2013 scientists confirmed that Lion’s Mane does indeed promote Nerve Growth Factor, though they weren’t able to determine the long-term benefits after treatment. This is an important distinction, because that means that Lion’s Mane is not curing cognitive impairment permanently; it only means that for as long as participants in the study took Lion’s Mane, they saw results.
Lion’s Mane in Popular Nootropics
While this isn’t a review of any specific products, we do like to steer people in the right direction when it comes to quality products. Primarily this is because there are products out there that claim to have certain ingredients while really containing a lesser version of a similar compound.
Case in point, many supplements say “ginseng” on their label, which could mean the incredibly beneficial Asian Red Ginseng, or the almost inert American Ginseng.So we dug into a few nootropic makers that we trust, and looked for a good representation of Lion’s Mane in their ingredients. We came up with Mind Lab Pro and Thesis. Both are excellent manufacturers of highly rated nootropics.
Lion’s Mane has a ton of research to back up its use as a brain supplement. But keep in mind that it is not a cure for any disease. If you’re taking it to complement any prescribed medications, absolutely consult your physician.
No matter why you’re taking it, always check the producer of the supplement to make sure they’re a trustworthy company.