Yamabushitake, known as the Lion's Mane Mushroom, is a dietary mushroom that can be a supplement. It appears to be a promising cognitive enhancer and immunomodulator. In traditional Chinese medicine this mushroom has long been considered a medicinal mushroom and a study showed that some compounds in the mushroom, like threitol, D-arabinitol, and palmitic acid may have antioxidant effects, may regulate blood lipid levels and may reduce blood glucose levels. Yamabushitake has been noted to increase mRNA expression of nerve-growth factor (NGF) in isolated astrocytes to around 5-fold that of control at 100-150ug/mL of the ethanolic extract in a concentration dependent manner, with no efficacy noted in the water extract. When testing hericenones C-E, none were found effective in the range of 10-100ug/mL and inhibiting JNK signalling appears to prevent yamabushitake from acting (with p38 MAPK, PKA, PKC, and MEK not being involved). Yamabushitake ethanolic extract appears to increase NGF mRNA levels, and this has been confirmed following oral administration to mice. An increase in NGF mRNA has been detected in the hippocampus, but not cortex, of mice given 5% of the diet as yamabushitake for a period of seven days to around 1.3-fold of control. Secretion of NGF from astrocytes has been noted to be increased with 150ug/mL of the ethanolic extract but not 50-100ug/mL while isolated erinacines (A-C) are known to stimulate NGF secretion at 1mM concentrations, with a potency greatly exceeding that of adrenaline at the same concentrations. When looking at neurons specifically, yamabushitake appears to promote neuronal prolongation and formation of myelin. It has also been shown, in vitro, to enhance myelination (production of myelin sheath) of neurons, which may be downstream of NGF. Yamabushitake also appears to protect rats against cognitive decline caused by β-amyloid pigmentation at the same 5% of the diet seen previously. A human study used an oral dose of 1,000mg Yamabushitake (96% purity extract) thrice daily for a cumulative total of 3,000mg extract. While it is unknown if this is the optimal dose or not, it appeared to be effective. As the water soluble extract seems to be less potent than other fractions, it may be best to take Yamabushitake with meals if in supplemental form. Another human study using 3g of 98% Yamabushitake powder (in capsule form) showed significant improvements on a rating scale of cognition. The supplement increased cognition relative to control, and the degree of improvement increased with time; however, 4 weeks after cessation saw the start of a decline back to normal despite still being significantly elevated above control. There was a significant difference between groups on the measurements of concentration and irritability, favoring the Yamabushitake group. Long-term safety and effects of withdrawal seem to be unknown. If itchy skin occurs, this may be related to an increase in nerve growth factor (NGF) and unless accompanied by signs of allergy should be benign.
50% Polysaccaride content.
- Improves cognitive ability in individuals.
- Regenerates peripheral nerves.
- Stimulates nerve cell growth factor in an in vitro experiment with human astrocytoma cells.
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