Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord and can lead to various symptoms, including movement, balance, and vision problems. It's a lifelong condition, and due to the nature of the disease, it can sometimes cause severe disability.
How Lion’s Mane Could Help With MS
What is MS?
What Causes MS?
MS primarily happens when our immune system mistakes our brain and nerves as "enemies." Researchers are still on the fence about why this happens, but they agree it's a combination of genes and environmental factors.
The primary symptoms associated with MS include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Problems with mobility (i.e., walking, climbing, getting up, etc.)
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling sensations all over the body
- Balancing problems (frequent falls)
- Cognitive problems, especially brain fog
There's currently no cure for MS, but several treatments are available to manage symptoms. These include steroids, symptom-specific treatments, and therapy. Research also suggests mushrooms like Lion's Mane may have the potential to become a natural option for MS treatment.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
Lion's Mane is a species of edible mushroom native to Asia, Europe, and North America. The name comes from its appearance, which can be described as large, white, and fuzzy.
Lion's Mane can support brain function as a supplement, categorising it as a nootropic. This is due to the mushroom's ability to boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). These two proteins are what the brain uses to produce new brain cells while also strengthening existing ones.
How Can Lion’s Mane Help With MS?
Myelin sheaths are a protective layer of fat and protein that protect our nerves from electrical impulses.
MS is a demyelinating disease, which means it attacks the myelin sheaths or the cells that sustain it in our central nervous system. When our myelin sheaths are damaged, nerve impulses slow down or even stop, leading to neurological problems, some of which are common symptoms of MS, including loss of balance and muscle weakness.
Lion’s Mane promotes nerve growth and remyelination, the process where new myelin sheaths are produced. Research suggests remyelination helps manage symptoms associated with MS.
In one research study, rats with severe nerve injury were given lion's mane extract and compared to a control group. The rats treated with lion's mane extract showed improvements, particularly in nerve cell regeneration, and better immune system activity compared to control. 
The mushroom owes its remyelination properties to two active compounds: hericenones and erinacines.
Hericenones and erinacines
Lion’s mane isolate hericenones and erinacines. These two are responsible for stimulating NGF synthesis and BDNF release.
Both compounds are potent for brain health because they readily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), or the semipermeable “wall” that serves as a layer of protection against toxins. The BBB only allows vital nutrients, and hericenones and erinacines are included.
The two active substances are also suggested to be behind why lion’s mane can help protect against common neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, depression, brain ageing, and Parkinson’s disease. 
What Are Other Benefits of Lion’s Mane?
Other than potentially managing symptoms of MS, lion's mane has been cited to help lower heart disease, reduce overall inflammation, and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. [3-5]
Choosing The Right Lion’s Mane
Hericenones & Erinaceus are components unique to Lion's mane mushroom, and responsible for its cognitive health benefits. In particular, hericenones are found in the fruiting body, whereas Erinaceus is found in the mushroom's mycelium. A dual extract is thus required to benefit from both.
How to Use Lion's Mane?
The recommended dose is 1/2 tsp or 6 capsules daily (each capsule containing 500mg). The dose can be split in two or taken all at once.
Lion's mane should not be used by Asthmatic individuals.
If you have a mushroom allergy, you should not use mushroom extracts. Caution is advised if using mushrooms along with blood thinning medication.
In conclusion, MS is a potentially debilitating disorder caused by damaged nerves, with symptoms including loss of balance, poor visual health, brain fog, and chronic fatigue. There are no known cures for the disease yet, but there have been breakthroughs in symptom management. Researchers have also looked at natural alternatives like lion’s mane to help with MS symptoms. Lion’s mane contains hericenones and erinacines, both of which have been shown to repair damaged myelin sheaths caused by MS. This is why it’s important to choose lion’s mane supplements that isolate these two compounds to reap their benefits not just for MS, but also for other health benefits including cardiovascular health and immunity.
Research about lion’s mane’s potential as MS treatment is still in its infancy, but current studies have been very promising.
"My wife uses this powder each day. Added to her fruit smoothie. She was diagnosed with MS 6 years ago, and she thinks that Lions Mane helps."
"Been using Lion’s mane for about 12 months it appears to be helping with some of the affects of MS . Excellent service provided by Antioxi with lots of good advice thanks"
What to look out for when choosing a mushroom supplement?
Choosing a good quality mushroom supplement can be a daunting task, as there are many options available in the market. However, there are a few key things to consider when selecting a high-quality mushroom supplement.
Our mushrooms undergo various safety tests such as heavy metals and pesticides tests ensuring they are safe for you to consume.
We source our mushrooms from farms that are certified organic within the EU and USDA Organic Certification Programs. We also perform multiple lab tests on all mushrooms for purity, heavy metals, and pesticides.
Third Party Lab Reports
Our Mushroom Extracts are third party tested by Eurofins UK. The test shows the active ingredient testing of the mushrooms, ensuring they meet clinical grade benchmarks.
1. Wong KH, Naidu M, David RP, Bakar R, Sabaratnam V. Neuroregenerative potential of lion's mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review). Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012;14(5):427-46. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushr.v14.i5.10. PMID: 23510212.
2. Li IC, Lee LY, Tzeng TT, Chen WP, Chen YP, Shiao YJ, Chen CC. Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines. Behav Neurol. 2018 May 21;2018:5802634. doi: 10.1155/2018/5802634. PMID: 29951133; PMCID: PMC5987239.
3. Hiwatashi K, Kosaka Y, Suzuki N, Hata K, Mukaiyama T, Sakamoto K, Shirakawa H, Komai M. Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) improved lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(7):1447-51. doi: 10.1271/bbb.100130. Epub 2010 Jul 7. PMID: 20622452.
4. Abdullah N, Ismail SM, Aminudin N, Shuib AS, Lau BF. Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:464238. doi: 10.1155/2012/464238. Epub 2011 Jun 18. PMID: 21716693; PMCID: PMC3118607.
5. Rebar AL, Stanton R, Geard D, Short C, Duncan MJ, Vandelanotte C. A meta-meta-analysis of the effect of physical activity on depression and anxiety in non-clinical adult populations. Health Psychol Rev. 2015;9(3):366-78. doi: 10.1080/17437199.2015.1022901. Epub 2015 Jul 3. PMID: 25739893.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your healthcare plan.
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