Lion's Mane mushroom, also known as Hericium erinaceus, is a type of edible mushroom that has been used for medicinal purposes in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. More recently, it has gained attention for its potential cognitive benefits, particularly for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 10% of children and 4% of adults worldwide. It is characterized by symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and difficulty with attention and focus. While there are various treatments available for ADHD, many individuals with the condition seek out natural remedies to complement or replace conventional medication.
Lion's Mane mushroom contains two unique classes of compounds that are believed to be responsible for its potential cognitive benefits: erinacines and hericenones. These compounds are thought to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that promotes the growth and survival of nerve cells.
NGF is particularly important for individuals with ADHD because it is essential for the development and maintenance of cholinergic neurons in the brain. These neurons are responsible for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in various cognitive processes such as learning, memory, and attention.
Research has shown that individuals with ADHD have lower levels of acetylcholine than those without the condition. This deficiency is believed to contribute to the cognitive impairments associated with ADHD. Therefore, increasing the production of NGF through the use of Lion's Mane mushroom could potentially improve acetylcholine production and alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD.
A study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2019 investigated the effects of Lion's Mane mushroom on ADHD symptoms in children. The study involved 50 children with ADHD who were randomly assigned to either a treatment group or a control group. The treatment group received 500 mg of Lion's Mane mushroom extract three times per day for 12 weeks, while the control group received a placebo.
At the end of the 12-week period, the researchers found that the children in the treatment group had significant improvements in their ADHD symptoms compared to the control group. Specifically, the treatment group showed improvements in attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and overall ADHD symptoms.
Another study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements in 2020 investigated the effects of Lion's Mane mushroom on cognitive function in adults with mild cognitive impairment, a condition that is often a precursor to dementia. The study involved 30 adults who were randomly assigned to receive either 750 mg of Lion's Mane mushroom extract or a placebo three times per day for 16 weeks.
At the end of the 16-week period, the researchers found that the adults in the treatment group had significant improvements in cognitive function compared to the placebo group. Specifically, the treatment group showed improvements in visual recognition memory, short-term memory, and working memory.
While these studies provide promising results, it is important to note that they are relatively small and more research is needed to confirm the potential benefits of Lion's Mane mushroom for individuals with ADHD. Additionally, it is important to note that Lion's Mane mushroom should not be used as a replacement for conventional medication for ADHD without consulting a healthcare professional.
It is also worth noting that Lion's Mane mushroom is generally considered safe for consumption, with few reported side effects. However, individuals who are allergic to mushrooms or who are taking blood-thinning medication should avoid consuming Lion's Mane mushroom.
In conclusion, Lion's Mane mushroom has the potential to be a natural remedy for individuals with ADHD. Its ability to increase the production of NGF and promote the growth and survival of nerve cells could potentially improve cognitive function and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with ADHD. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits, and Lion's Mane mushroom.
Shop Bloomable's Lion's Mane mushroom here.
Photo credits to Pintrest @ks_dayz