Recently, a popular podcast episode brought lion's mane and cordyceps mushroom briefly into the mainstream as renowned mycologist Paul Stamets touted the impressive benefits of each. Between healing brain cells, balancing immune systems, and protecting honey bee bees from parasites, Stamets argued convincingly that mushrooms are a particularly special brand of organism. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the interview, however, was the sense that there was much more to come. In truth, science is only beginning to grasp the potential that mushrooms hold for balancing the human body's critical processes, including inflammation, nerve regeneration, and oxidation. Here is some of what we know so far:
Inflammation: A Confusing Process
For over a century, the scientific community has been baffled by the prevalence of diseases and ailments in which inflammation, the body's natural response to foreign pathogens, turns against the body itself. This process can be especially damaging when critical bodily functions are involved. When inflammation occurs in the brain, for example, it can cause symptoms like:
- Brain fog
- Sleep problems
In some cases, these can be more debilitating than the trauma or infection that led to the inflammation in the first place. Over the long term, there is evidence to suggest that chronic brain inflammation can cause Alzheimer's and dementia. In short, while inflammation is a necessary process for the body to protect itself, keeping your system's inflammation at a minimum is essential for long-term health.
Several major studies have suggested that cordyceps mushroom can significantly reduce inflammation, making it a useful supplement. Studies on mice in laboratory settings have even revealed anti-asthma benefits, although these were less significant than more common asthma treatments.
Antioxidants and Balance
While many coffee and chocolate manufacturers proudly list plentiful anti-oxidants as a compelling reason for customers to continue consuming vast quantities of their products, most people don't understand why anti-oxidants are necessary. Essentially, anti-oxidants are compounds that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals fight infections and are necessary. Too many free radicals, however, can cause serious damage. This is why your body needs to maintain a balance of anti-oxidants. Supplements of lion's mane, cordyceps mushroom, and other mushrooms may have a measured beneficial effect on anti-oxidants without the concentrated effect of some supplements.
Mushrooms and Neurogenesis
Although reduced brain inflammation can facilitate neural communication, it cannot repair damaged neural structures. Perhaps the most intriguing of all the mushroom benefits discovered in the past two decades has been lion's mane mushroom's ability to reduce memory loss in cognitively impaired individuals who take it as a supplement. While much more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of lion's mane, its potential for neurogenesis makes it an ideal companion supplement to cordyceps mushroom.
Choosing the Right Health and Brain Support Supplements for You
Obviously, your choice of supplement should reflect your particular needs and desires. Stress Support and Serene Support are two excellent supplements for reducing stress, which can promote a cascade of benefits in other areas. Brain, energy, and immune support supplements with lions mane, cordyceps mushroom, and other proven ingredients can address more targeted areas of concern. As always, your decision to incorporate any supplements into your diet should be made in collaboration with your primary care physician.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease.*