Lion's Mane Mushrooms Cancer Fighting Possibilities

Joe Kolb

Lion’s mane mushroom extract is packed full of antioxidants. Among various other benefits, these properties also help to prevent against cancer. While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done, preliminary studies seem promising.

In some studies where lion’s mane extract has been infused with human cancer cells, it has been reported that the cancer cells die off at a faster rate. Additionally, lion’s mane was shown to slow down the spread of lung cancer in mice by 69% in another study. So far, it has been found that lion’s mane has positive results fighting against liver, colon and gastric cancers in animal studies. Furthermore, it is reported that this extract may be therapeutic for those with leukemia.

We do not make any claims that it can cure any disease and do not recommend using it instead of doctor recommended treatments. Our statements are for educational purposes. 

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2896861/ - A Novel Lectin with Antiproliferative and HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitory Activities from Dried Fruiting Bodies of the Monkey Head Mushroom Hericium erinaceum

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26547693 - A new cerebroside from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus and its applicability to cancer treatment.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21779573 - Mechanism of Hericium erinaceus (Yamabushitake) mushroom-induced apoptosis of U937 human monocytic leukemia cells.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24631140 - Anticancer potential of Hericium erinaceus extracts against human gastrointestinal cancers.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25306354 - Isolation and identification of aromatic compounds in Lion's Mane Mushroom and their anticancer activities.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15737684 - Selective induction of apoptosis in murine skin carcinoma cells (CH72) by an ethanol extract of Lentinula edodes.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23668749 - Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) mushroom extracts inhibit metastasis of cancer cells to the lung in CT-26 colon cancer-tansplanted mice.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24631140 - Anticancer potential of Hericium erinaceus extracts against human gastrointestinal cancers.

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Lion's Mane Mushroom Extract May Protect Against Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Joe Kolb

Research shows us that lion’s mane contains two important compounds, hericenones and erinacines. These properties promote the growth of brain cells and have been found to protect against memory loss. Additionally, lion’s mane mushroom extract has been shown to help prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which collect in the brains of those afflicted by alzheimer’s disease. While the majority of this research was performed using animal subjects, a study using older adults with mild cognitive disabilities found that consuming 3 grams of lion’s mane extract everyday for four months improved their overall mental state. These results also relate back to this mushrooms positive effects regarding nerve growth. .

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16371948 - Neural plasticity in the ageing brain.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24266378 - Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21383512 - Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27350344 - Erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer's disease-related pathologies in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133811/ - The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4895996/ - High molecular weight of polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus against amyloid beta-induced neurotoxicity

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18844328 - Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.

 

 

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Should my mushroom supplements be organic?

Joe Kolb
Ideally, yes, you will want your product to be certified organic. This ensures you are receiving a high quality product. Unfortunately, “natural” does not mean organic, so make sure you look for products like ours that are certified organic.

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Where is your mushroom supplement manufactured?

Joe Kolb
Although most of us here in the states love to buy locally, medicinal mushrooms are rarely naturally cultivated in North America. This is simply because it would be too expensive, since they are not native to this region. A majority of mushrooms come from Asian countries with China producing over 85% of the world’s mushrooms.

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Is there any information listed about the product’s specific medicinal properties?

Joe Kolb
If so, make sure the company can back up it’s claims with documentations and test results. Most medicinal mushrooms contain high levels of polysaccharides, which are known as beta-D-glucans. Others, like the reishi also contain triterpenoid compounds. These components are what many of the mushroom’s benefits are derived from, so it’s important to know what levels that your supplement offers.

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Is your mushroom supplement in powdered form or an extract?

Joe Kolb
While powdered mushroom supplements are still light years better than those that are mycelium grown on grain, they are still not quite as potent as supplements in extract form. Historically, practitioners of traditional eastern medicine would boil down the body or scerlotia of the mushroom in order to concentrate the medicinal properties. Occasionally, alcohol is added to the process for mushrooms such as chaga or reishi since they possess properties that are not water soluble. Generally speaking, if you are looking for the strongest form of medicinal mushrooms, your best option will be to look for an extract.

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What about products that are a combination between mushroom and mycelium?

Joe Kolb
If this is the case, make sure you find out what percentage of the product is actually mushroom and what percentage is mycelium. Some companies claim that this combination makes their product unique, however, at the end of the day naturally cultivated mushrooms still possess more nutrients than their lab grown mycelium counterparts.

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Is the supplement composed of actual mushroom, or is it made of mycelium?

Joe Kolb

This is probably one of the most important pieces of information to find out, since it directly affects the quality of the product. Mycelium grown on grain is a cheap way to mass produce mushroom supplements, however these products do not have the same benefits as naturally cultivated mushrooms. Make sure your product label shows that it is made of real mushroom, not mycelium. Most companies will be honest about mentioning whether it is a mycelium grown on grain product, however, some packaging may be confusing and designed to make you think it is a natural mushroom product when in fact, it is not. To be safe, do your due diligence and thoroughly research the products, and their manufacturers before taking them. This goes for any supplement, not just medicinal mushrooms.


Surprisingly, the FDA states that mycelium products cannot be labeled as mushrooms (Compliance Policy Guide, Section 585.525.). However, some companies defy this regulation.

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