Hericium erinaceus Supplement Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects


Cognitive Function and Memory

  • A pilot study found that a single dose of H. erinaceus improved speed of performance on a cognitive test in healthy young adults.[1]
  • Animal studies suggest H. erinaceus may enhance neurite outgrowth and neuronal health, potentially improving cognitive function.[4][5]

Mood and Stress

  • The same pilot study observed a trend towards reduced subjective stress after 28 days of H. erinaceus supplementation in healthy adults.[1]
  • A study in overweight/obese individuals found H. erinaceus improved mood and sleep disorders.[2]

Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects

In vitro studies show H. erinaceus exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may protect neurons from oxidative stress and inflammation.[4]

Neuroprotective Potential

Compounds in H. erinaceus like erinacines and hericenones have demonstrated neuroprotective effects against Alzheimer's disease pathology in animal models.[3]

Blood Sugar Control

Animal research suggests H. erinaceus may help regulate blood sugar levels, which could be beneficial for diabetes management.[5]

While promising, most human studies on H. erinaceus have been small pilot trials. Larger clinical trials are needed to confirm these potential benefits and establish optimal dosages.[1][3]

Recommended Dosage for Lion's Mane Mushroom Supplements

Cognitive Benefits and Brain Function

  • A single dose of 1.8g (three 350mg capsules containing 5mg/g erinacine A) was found to improve cognitive performance acutely in young adults.[5]
  • Daily doses of 3g (four 250mg capsules containing 96% dry powder, three times a day) for 16 weeks improved cognitive function in patients.[1]

General Health Maintenance and Antioxidant Effects

  • Daily doses of 250mg to 1000mg powdered extract or 1000mg to 3000mg in tablet form are commonly recommended.[1]
  • Up to 5000mg of raw fruiting bodies per day may be used when consumed as food.[1]

Specific Conditions like Anxiety, Depression, or Neuropathy

Dosages ranging from 500mg to 5000mg per day, taken in divided doses, have shown benefits in some studies.[3][4]

While Lion's Mane is generally considered safe, even at higher doses, it's advisable to start with lower dosages (250-750mg per day) and gradually increase as needed. Consulting a healthcare professional, especially if taking medications or having underlying conditions, is recommended to determine the appropriate dosage.[2]

Potential Side Effects of Lion's Mane Mushroom Supplements

Allergic Reactions

Some individuals with mushroom allergies may experience allergic reactions like skin rashes, breathing difficulties, or throat swelling when taking Lion's Mane supplements.[1][3] If you have a known mushroom allergy, it's advisable to avoid Lion's Mane or consult a doctor before use.

Gastrointestinal Issues

In one clinical study, mild side effects like abdominal discomfort and diarrhea were reported with Lion's Mane supplementation.[4]

Potential Interactions

  • Diabetes medications: Animal studies suggest Lion's Mane could lower blood sugar levels, potentially leading to hypoglycemia when combined with diabetic drugs.[3]
  • Blood thinners: Due to its anticoagulant properties, Lion's Mane may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs.[3]

Other Precautions

  • Pregnancy/breastfeeding: Safety during pregnancy and lactation has not been established, so it's recommended to avoid Lion's Mane supplements in these cases.[3]
  • Before surgery: Lion's Mane may need to be stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery due to its potential to affect blood clotting.[3]

Overall, Lion's Mane mushroom is considered relatively safe for most people when taken at recommended doses. However, those with mushroom allergies, taking certain medications, or having specific medical conditions should exercise caution and consult their doctor before supplementing with Lion's Mane[1][3][4].