Lions Mane Improves Brain Fog / Cognitive Issues

“Lion’s mane is a mushroom that has been used for centuries in the east to enhance the nervous system. Recently it has been discovered that this is because lion’s mane increases the production of Nerve Growth Factor. NGF is responsible for determining the rate at which new brain cells are produced. A Nobel Prize was awarded for this discovery because no other substance is known to cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the production of NGF. Six months of supplementation with lion’s mane is proven to produce a significant improvement in nearly every measure of mental function in people with dementia. In a literal sense, you have more brains when you supplement with lion’s mane.” … ating-ngf/

Folks are using Lions Mane as a study aid because it improves memory, it supports the immune system, is a powerful anti-oxidant, helps fight against Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, depression as well as support NGF.
superfoods-for-superhealth.c … -mane.html

For those of you who have followed the Alex Miller theory he proposes the idea that Propecia reduces allopregnanolone which can lead to demyelination (viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2577&p=84677#p84677

We are starting to learn from other sources that Propecia dramatically reduces allopregnanolone in the body and has become a widely discussed topic on internet forums.


and … ol2003.pdf

and … l9-09.html lists a number of studies relating to allopregnanolone.

From the links, we understand that allopregnanolone is required for the myelination process and a healthy central nervous system. Progesterone is being used by members on this board to stimulate allopregnanolone, however Lions Mane has been clinically shown to support myelination. … ve-damage/


The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro.

You will also find a post below from another board which openly supports Lions mane for NGF. … our-brain/

Lion’s mane (hericium erinaceus) is one of the edible mushrooms widely distributed in Japan and China. I’ve been seeing it for sale in grocery stores, so I decided to see if had any remarkable benefit.

Nerve growth factor (NGF) belongs to a family of proteins that play a part in maintenance, survival and regeneration of neurons during adult life. As we age, NGF declines, resulting in less efficient brain functioning. In mice, its absence leads to a condition resembling Alzheimer’s disease. In 1986, two scientists won a Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine for the discovery and isolation of NGF. Since its discovery, researchers have been interested in ways of enhancing the uptake of NGF. Because NGF is unable to cross the blood brain barrier, it cannot be administered as an oral drug. Accordingly, scientists directed their attention to finding bio-active chemicals with a low molecular weight that could penetrate the BBB and could be taken orally to induce synthesis of NGF in the brain.

Enter lion’s mane. A class of compounds called hericenones in lion’s mane has been discovered to stimulate production of NGF, causing neurons to regrow:

Study: The Inducer of the Synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor From Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Other compounds in lion’s mane are also believed to be bio-active. A fat-soluable fraction isolated from lion’s mane, called Amyloban, was found to protect against endoplasmic reticulum stress and/or oxidative stress dependent neuronal cell death caused by toxic beta amyloid peptide:

Patent Application: Anti-dementia substance from hericium erinaceum and method of extraction … z0rXhksYYy

Beta amyloid peptide is the main component of plaque that develops in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients, causing destruction of neurons as it progresses. So far, Amyloban has been found to contain bio-active dilinoleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (DLPE) benzoate compounds:

Study: Dilinoleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine from Hericium erinaceum protects against ER stress-dependent Neuro2a cell death via protein kinase C pathway.

Study: An endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-suppressive compound and its analogues from the mushroom Hericium erinaceum.

Study: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-suppressive compounds from scrap cultivation beds of the mushroom Hericium erinaceum.

The question remains, has it been tested in humans or animals? It turns out it has been tested. A study at a Chinese pharmaceutical university compared a lion’s mane extract standardized to contain hericenones and Ambyloban with a common Alzheimer’s drug. One hundred rats were injected with with beta amyloid peptide to create an Alzheimer’s type dementia. The rats were then divided into groups to receive either lion’s mane extract or the drug once a day for four weeks. At four weeks, an assessment of learning and memory related behavior was made for seven days.

Results showed that rats given the the extract performed a water maze test equally to or better than those given the Alzheimer’s drug, depending on dosage. Sacrificing the rats after the examination, it was found the rats who received the lion’s mane extract produced significantly more NGF.

Study (in Chinese): Anti-dementia effects of a low polarity fraction extracted from Hericium erinaceum

A clinical study using lion’s mane was conducted to investigate its effectiveness against dementia in a rehabilitation hospital in Japan.

Study: Compounds for dementia from Hericium erinaceum … 0&p_IsPs=N

Results showed that after six months of taking lion’s mane, six out of seven patients experienced improvements in their overall functional independence measure. In particular, three bedridden patients were able to get up to eat meal after administered.

Study: Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: A double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial.

It was observed that the lion’s mane group’s score increased with the duration of the intake, and four weeks after terminating the supplement, their scores decreased significantly. Laboratory tests showed no adverse effects of lion’s mane.

These studies are very encouraging!

How To Buy Your Lion’s Mane

What I’ve learn’t from Longecity is there are two options, you can buy in bulk and create your own Lion’s Mane supplement (which will cost less) or buy a product that comes with all the ingredients that you need. Remember, not all Lions Mane products are equal and will depend on either the extraction process or whether the product contains fruiting bodies and the mycelium (both is best).

Option One

A combination of fruit bodies and mycelium used for the best Lion’s Mane.

Healthy Village and Mushroom Man have bulk fruit bodies, and Myco Essentials and MRL have bulk mycelium.

and … oducts.htm

Option Two

Fungi Perfecti’s liquid product contains a good extract of both fruit bodies and mycelium, so it’s more convenient. Swanson’s capsule product is unextracted fruit bodies, and a fairly decent price. Fungi Perfecti’s Host Defense contains unextracted mycelium, and the Eclectic Institute product is a good mycelium-only extraction.

If you like spending money, the Amyloban 3399 product is $90 a bottle, and is standardized by a company with an eminent doctor of mycology on staff. Aside from the standardized amount of hericenone, it has no benefit over eating 1.5g of fruit body powder, and costs about 25x as much.

Product Links … ucts_id=82 … ions+maine … 21455?at=0 … /2920?at=0 … a748e43a26

NGF interacts with receptors, so it may be subject to tolerance in much the same way as other drugs. For a timescale of using LM look to the studies mentioned above. There are also lots of experiences shared by LM users on just do a search for Lions Mane.

From what I’ve learn’t, LM users have different experiences for some it works within days, others weeks or a month or two. Also, not everyone gets the best from the standard 1gram dose, some use 2 or 3 grams per day or every other day. Daily dosing - I heard that LM doses are best split 3 times per day, first on an empty stomach, then after a mid-day meal then 1-2 hours before bedtime.

The best products have already been researched by those from Longecity so we have the right options to start with. Another point is the different types of LM and whether folks respond better to LM containing fruit bodies or mycelium or both. To read posts on LM at Longecity see link …

For those already using progesterone then I’d be tempted to start with a 1 gram dose of LM, it’s going to be interesting to see how well the two work together in supporting myelination and improving cognitive health. Fungi Perfecti’s liquid seems ideal to begin with as it has both the fruits and the mycelium.

Taking Lion’s Mane is not just about re-leaving brain fog but also about supporting the process of myelination, in other words the health of the mylene sheath which is essential for proper functioning of the central nervous system and something that maybe be impaired from using Propecia.

There is no research on the interaction of Lion’s Mane with prescription medications, so check with your doctor before combining it with medications to make sure it’s safe for you.

Hey Andy, I’m going to tell you why I don’t think this is where the issue is just as ideas for you to consider but please do what you feel is best of course.

If this was a CNS problem or a brain issue that needed repair then it would be very unlikely that many of us feel almost 100% normal on some days or weeks randomly. Right now I can take a combination of low dose progesterone, some tongkat ali, Zinc and Maca and feel horny, have personality, memory zest for life etc, if I add in a few days sun with this then I’m really feeling good.

If it were a brain issue then these things most likely wouldn’t help.

BFB My experiences with hormones are that they take weeks to build up or diminish and don’t just switch on or off, the endocrine system prefers a stable environment which is why hormone supplements are best taken daily rather than sporadically. The brain on the other hand is something I see as an electrical circuit containing many switches capable of being turned on or off in an instant. This concerns me when men say they feel great one minute and rubbish the next, hormones don’t react so quickly but synapses in the CNS do.

I feel our answers lie with the neurologists and not the hormone Dr’s who so far have been unable to grasp our situation. Unfortunately, CNS issues are not very well understood by the general medical community, it’s fringe medicine in the UK. This is why we shouldn’t be waiting on studies.
I don’t feel that progesterone makes us better, but rather the process that it triggers in the brain and the CNS. The science is there to support this and the research shows that propecia has affected our allopregnanolone levels, which is exactly what we are manipulating with progesterone. I’m sure we will find the answers before the doctors do, because we are willing to be creative and open minded about our treatment options.

have you noticed any improvements with progesterone?

I’m 3 weeks in but yes I think a lot clearer, I’m more outgoing, more like my old self in that way, the anxiety seems to have decreased about 15% so far. As a long term treatment I don’t know yet.


if NGF is solution then why not Gingko Biloba

RESULTS:Compared with diabetic group, the behaviour and body weight (P < 0.05) and the concentration of blood glucose (P < 0.05) were significantly improved and the escape latency of Morris water maze test (P < 0.05) was significantly shortened, while the platform searching score was significantly increased (P < 0.01) in EGB treated group; The pathological changes of hippocampus neurons were significantly attenuate by EGB treated; The expression of NGF and NT-3 in hippocampus neurons were significantly increased which assayed by Western blotting and RT-PCR respectively (P < 0.05) in EGB treated group.

EGB may improve the learning and memory ability of diabetic rats the mechanism may be attributed to its improvement of the expression of NGF and NT-3 and reducing apoptosis in hippocampus neurons.

The studies point towards Lions Mane and the research backs up the mushroom for stimulating NGF, unfortunately it’s quite expensive. I don’t think LM is the solution but more a necessity for supporting myelination, ask yourself how your body is feeding the mylein sheath now that propecia has blunted our neurosteriods. Low allopregnanolone is found in MS patients and those with CNS problems. LM is the way forward for me. I twitch all the time so I’d like to see if taking LM stops this.

Sexually, I feel no better on Progesterone but it’s only been 3 weeks. The SSRI’s I’m on haven’t helped which is why I’m looking at other ideas from the anxiety post I put up.

Today I’m starting my Lions Mane supplements which I’ve split over 3 doses.

First on an empty stomach - 500mg Host Defence, Lions Mane, mycelium
Second after evening meal - 500mg Swanson Full Spectrum, fruit body
Third an hour before bedtime - 500mg Host Defence, Lions Mane, mycelium

This regime gives me LM from mycelium and fruit body, which gives me an ideal balance.
I believe LM from mycelium is the more important of the two and high quality LM supplements tends to contain more mycelium.

The goal is to support NGF as previously mentioned, I’m expecting this regime to take up to 3 months before I notice any improvement.

Despite strong research supporting Lions Mane from my own experiences I now believe that it’s a DHT inhibitor and should avoided if you have PFS.

For neuroprotection GB seems a more agreeable supplement.

Neuroprotective effects of Ginkgo biloba extract

Or maybe your brain dead from RSO.

There’s just no need for this. Channel the time and energy spent typing these negative posts that pollute the forum towards meditation or constructive information sharing. Moderators??? Why are we allowing the infighting?

Hi Andy,

Have you continued this procedure? What are your findings so far?


Hi gham

I’m fairly sure the LM reduced my libido, the immediate benefits inc lower anxiety and improved cognitive/memory function. Apart from the neuro protective benefits it could hinder our progress if it’s affecting DHT.

Ya, I don’t care about libido. I just want my brain back.

So, you think it might be more harmful than helpful in the long run? I just bought some, so I might try it for a week or so. Sounds like it wasn’t a cure-all for you.

Also, I was wondering, are there any negative impacts from taking pregnolone for an extended period of time? I hope it’s not like propecia and a crash or something. When I take very small amounts of it, it seems to help.

I’ve been using it for 3-4 months. It helps a bit for intellectual work, and it doesn’t seem to affect me sexually. But I have to say that essiac makes a bigger difference for mental sides, although in that case, it does seem to affect libido. I have no idea why it helps, but I am functional with it and I even feel a tingling in my brain, so it apparently has some effect there.

Another thing you might want to try for mental function is pycnogenol.

Pregnolone has worked for me in doses of 100mg or 50mg which I took for about 9 months Mon-Fri with the weekend off, I know some guys who take it 3 days on and 1 day off. Preg helped with memory loss, I’ve stopped to work on another protocol. It depends where you are with your PFS, I have very low T so I need all the DHT I can find. You could try nootropics … fectively/

Oh, I didn’t realize you were suppose to stop taking it for a couple days and then start up again. Have you ever stopped taking it for a long period of time, like a month? If so, was there a crash?

essiac and pycnogenol are new to me.

I’ve been off a month, I haven’t crashed with preg I’m sure it just tops up your current levels. Dr Hertoghe writes about Preg in his book, it’s the mother hormone, although it didn’t do a lot for me.

Ya, it feels “feminine” somehow when you take it. It’s weird, but that’s what it feels like to me.

I was saying in a different post, that towards the end of the day I seem to get a “brain fry flare up”. I tried taking a very small amount of melatonin (like dust shavings, or a very small shard) and it seems to offset it a bit. It makes you tired, but it’s better than the brain fry feeling.

I’m still waiting on the lions mane. I’ll report back once I start taking it. Prob won’t have much of an effect, but who knows.