Hericium erinaceus is an all-powerful mushroom that appears to treat anything from diabetes to anxiety.
But can this mushroom aid in weight loss?
Human research on this topic is lacking, but several animal studies suggest that the answer is yes!
Read on for more information on how lion’s mane mushrooms can help you lose weight.
What is Lion’s Mane?
The lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an edible mushroom that grows on hardwood trees. Thanks to its many benefits, this fungus is regarded as one of the healthiest mushrooms you can add to your diet, and is widely used in alternative medicine to prevent and treat various ailments.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Research on the health benefits of lion’s mane indicates this fungus may promote nerve regeneration through the production of nerve growth factor proteins, and hence repair brain cells. It appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood sugar levels, provide anti-inflammatory effects, as well as improve cognitive functions and brain health.
Some of the lion’s mane mushroom benefits include:
- reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
- reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
- improves overall neuronal health and brain function through hippocampal neurogenesis
- lowers blood glucose and aids in diabetes treatment
- promotes neurite outgrowth by stimulating nerve growth factors
- alleviates symptoms of sleep disorders
- improves mental functions and protects against memory loss in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, and has the potential to fight cancer
- improves digestive health and prevents stomach ulcers
- provides antioxidant activity and improves immune function
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in nervous system injuries and neurodegenerative autoimmune disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease
Lion’s Mane Spiritual Benefits
Lion's mane mushrooms seem to provide a plethora of spiritual benefits. These mushrooms enhance brain function, aid in depression and anxiety relief, and alleviate brain fog. Shaolin monks in ancient China used the lion's mane mushroom in daily practice to improve their concentration. They believed it increased their "Qi," a mystical, energetic life force.
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
There are no long-term side effects of lion’s mane, and centuries of use in alternative medicine suggest that lion’s mane is completely safe to consume. However, you should be cautious of taking medicinal mushrooms, including Hericium erinaceus, if you are on blood thinners.
Since this mushroom prevents blood clots, lion’s mane could interact with medication that has the same effect (such as Aspirin, Heparin, and Warfarin) and slow down coagulation and wound healing. Thus, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before you start taking lion’s mane if you take anticoagulants.
What Causes Weight Gain and Obesity?
Obesity is an excessive accumulation of fat in the body that can cause health issues such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Due to an increase in fast food consumption and sedentary lifestyles, weight gain and obesity are becoming quite common in developing countries (over 40% of people are considered obese).
The main causes of weight gain are:
- fast food consumption
- a sedentary lifestyle
- food addiction and binge eating
- certain medications
- mental health disorders
Health Issues Associated With Weight Gain
Some of the most common health risks associated with obesity are:
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- sleep apnea
What Mushroom Helps With Weight Loss?
Many medicinal mushrooms can aid in weight loss and weight management. Functional mushrooms—such as lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps—are an incredible source of plant-based proteins. They are low in calories and keep you satiated for a long time without spiking your blood glucose levels.
A 2018 study examined the anti-obesity effects of edible mushrooms. The results show that mushrooms can stimulate weight loss and have protective effects against obesity-related hypertension and dyslipidemia (an imbalance of cholesterol and triglyceride levels).
What Does Lion’s Mane Do for the Body?
Hericium erinaceus provides an abundance of benefits for the body. This mushroom contains 35 calories and 2.5 grams of protein in a serving (about 100 grams). It’s a great source of iron and potassium, making it a great addition to your post-workout meals.
Regular consumption of lion’s mane can reduce weight gain, especially during menopause, according to a 2017 animal study. It also has protective effects against chronic inflammation, which is common in obese people.
Lion’s Mane and Weight Loss
According to a 2014 in vitro study, lion’s mane appears to improve lipid metabolism and reduce weight gain in mice fed high-fat diets. The mice were given an aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus for 28 days.
Results show that lion’s mane improved lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet by modulating metabolic gene expression. In particular, Hericium erinaceus activated PPARα receptors, which are known to regulate glucose transport, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism.
Lion’s Mane and Menopause
Weight gain is one of the most common menopausal symptoms. A Japanese double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at the effects of Hericium erinaceus dietary supplements on menopausal women.
This mushroom seems to reduce several symptoms common in menopause, such as anxiety and depression. Though weight loss was not examined in this study, depression in menopausal women often results in overeating and weight gain, and lion’s mane may mitigate these effects by alleviating symptoms of depression.
Lion’s Mane and Chronic Inflammation
Obesity, and especially excess visceral body fat can lead to chronic inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can cause many health issues, such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.
Lion’s mane mushrooms are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Thus, in addition to aiding in weight loss, Hericium erinaceus can also alleviate chronic inflammation and prevent various illnesses caused by excess fat.
What We Know to Date About Lion’s Mane and Weight Loss:
Here’s what we can conclusively say about Hericium erinaceus and weight loss:
- According to several animal studies, lion’s mane can aid in weight loss by improving lipid metabolism.
- Lion’s mane can help menopausal women maintain a healthy weight, as well as prevent many symptoms of menopause that are linked to weight gain.
- Hericium erinaceus has anti-inflammatory effects and appears to alleviate symptoms of chronic inflammation, a common issue in obese people.
- More human studies are needed to uncover the underlying mechanisms of lion’s mane and its anti-obesity properties.
- Given that there are no downsides to taking lion’s mane, its low cost, and high availability, it may make sense to include this fungus into one’s diet as a way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Are You Interested in Taking Lion’s Mane to Lose Weight?
If you want to take lion’s mane to lose weight or prevent weight gain, we have a solution for you—our healthy mushroom granola.
In addition to lion’s mane mushrooms, our granola contains hyperconcentrated extracts of two more incredibly healthy fungi—chaga and cordyceps.
The granola is vegan, gluten-free, and made completely out of delicious, clean ingredients. Who knew your morning dose of lion’s mane could be this tasty?
How Much Lion’s Mane Mushroom is in Forij Granola?
Forij granola uses a high-quality lion's mane mushroom extract made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.
One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated lion's mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than a regular lion’s mane mushroom supplement. Therefore, you get as much potency as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg lion’s mane mushroom powder, all in one bowl of granola.
Lion’s Mane Dosage for Weight Loss
An optimal dosage of lion’s mane for weight loss will depend on what supplement you’re taking and whether you’re used to taking adaptogens. For best results, follow the instructions provided by the brand and increase the dosage slowly over time. If you’re taking Forij granola, one serving of granola in the morning is all you need to reap the benefits of lion’s mane.
Lion’s Mane and Weight Loss FAQ
How long do you have to take lion's mane to see results?
That depends on what you’re taking the mushroom for. You can notice the short-term effects of lion’s mane after just a few days. You’ll likely feel less anxious and more energized within the first two weeks of taking lion’s mane extracts. However, to reap the long-term benefits of this fungus, you should be taking it consistently for at least a few months.
What is the optimal lion’s mane dosage for depression?
However, there is no perfect lion’s mane supplements dosage that will absolutely alleviate anxiety and depression in everyone.
While some people report taking 750-1000 mg daily, others take up to a couple of spoonfuls of lion’s mane mushroom powder (around 5000 mg) to feel the calming effect of Hericium erinaceus.
Does reishi make you lose weight?
Yes, the reishi mushroom does appear to have anti-obesity properties, at least in animals. A 2015 animal study concluded that Ganoderma lucidum can reduce obesity in mice by acting as a prebiotic and modulating the gut microbiota.
Can lion's mane make you depressed?
No, there is no scientific evidence to suggest taking Hericium erinaceus will make you depressed. On the contrary, research suggests that bioactive compounds found in the fruiting bodies of lion’s mane may alleviate symptoms of depressive disorders.
Should I take lion's mane in the morning or at night?
Mornings and early afternoons are the best times to take lion’s mane supplements. This adaptogenic mushroom can have a stimulating effect on the brain and improve focus and memory, so it can be beneficial to take it before you start your work day.
If you take a lion’s mane mushroom supplement late in the day, its stimulating effects can interrupt your sleep and cause restlessness.
Does lion's mane lower testosterone?
Hericium erinaceus does not appear to lower testosterone. On the contrary, lion’s mane may increase testosterone levels, especially in people who naturally have lower levels of testosterone. Many adaptogenic mushrooms have the potential to improve testosterone levels in the body, which could lead to muscle growth and an increase in overall energy.
Does lion's mane make you sleepy?
Lion’s mane won’t make you sleepy, but this mushroom may improve sleep disorders with long-term use, especially if they are related to mental health issues.
For example, according to a 2019 study, compounds found in the fruiting body of Hericium erinaceus improved sleep disorders in patients affected by overweight or obesity.
After taking lion’s mane for 8 weeks, participants reported improved mood (lower levels of anxiety and depression), and improved sleep quality.
This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment information.