Skip to main content

Back to Topics



Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Boost Brain Health

March 30, 2023
  • Lion’s mane mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.
  • A new study looked at how the compounds in these mushrooms affect brain cells.
  • There are some early indications that lion’s mane might have cognitive benefits.

Mushrooms: everyone’s favorite fungus.

Around the world, mushrooms are enjoyed for their culinary uses. They’re an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and they’re also heart-healthy food thanks to their low amounts of sodium, fats, and cholesterol.

And, in the case of Hericium erinaceus—commonly referred to as lion’s mane mushrooms for their shaggy appearance—they might just be brain food, too.

In a studyTrusted Source recently published in the Journal of Neurochemistry, researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia teamed up with scientists in South Korea to investigate how the compounds in lion’s mane mushrooms might affect brain cells.

The idea isn’t completely novel; traditional medicine practices throughout Asia and India have been known to use lion’s mane mushrooms for hundreds of years. Researchers wanted to use modern techniques to determine what benefits these mushrooms might have on brain cells, and there were some encouraging results.

But before you start putting together a new and delicious mushroom-centric diet, let’s take a closer look at how the study was conducted, what it found, and what experts recommend.

How lion’s mane mushrooms may help improve memory

In this study, scientists were specifically looking to find whether the compounds naturally found in these mushrooms could cause neurons, the primary type of cell in your brain, to grow and form new connections.

If this could be accomplished, one of the effects might include improved memory.

The researchers started by extracting a compound called N-de phenylethyl isohericerin (NDPIH) from the mushrooms. Once isolated, NDPIH, as well as its derivative, hericene A, were tested in a lab.

The tests were performed using neurons from the hippocampus. This region of the brain is believed to be responsible for learning and forming memories. Read more:

Follow Us