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Lion's Mane contains several unique bioactive compounds not found in other medicinal mushrooms; in particular the NGF- and BDNF-inducing compounds. Those are the main reason most people choose Lion's Mane as a supplement.
Those compounds are part of the class of alcohol-soluble terpenes and meroterpenes (compounds which are part terpene and part polyphenol). Oddly enough not a single Lion's Mane supplement optimised for those compounds existed. Until now.
In Oriveda's L+ the emphasis is on exactly those compounds and their percentage and bioavailability is guaranteed. Unlike other vendors we do not focus on beta-glucan or polysaccharides; for beta-glucan (immune-modulation) Oriveda has formulated a dedicated product; CCCE®.
Click here to see our authorized 'Supplement Facts' label with all relevant specifications.
If you buy a Lion's Mane supplement because it lists a high level of beta-glucans (or polysaccharides) you are not spending your money wisely. It is more logical to look for a Lion's Mane supplement that specifies/guarantees Lion's Mane-specific compounds, right?
As said, in Lion's Mane the quality markers are terpenes in particular; this group contains the NGF- / BDNF-inducing compounds in Lion's Mane. Those compounds are known as hericenones (present in the fruiting body only - mero-terpenes) and erinacines (only found in the mycelium - di-terpenes).
Until now over 30 of these compounds have been identified in Lion's Mane. It is impossible to test for all of those because with only a few exceptions no reference material exists (to use as a standard to test against). To get around this limitation Oriveda tested for terpenes and polyphenols as a group.
What also sets Oriveda's L+ apart as a unique product is that it is the first and only Lion's Mane alcohol extract. Only an alcohol extract contains a noteworthy amount of terpenes because these compounds are strictly alcohol-soluble. When we were developing L+ we have tested dual extraction as well but the level of terpenes was at best only 1/10th of what we have now. In particular the mycelium had a very low yield of less than 0.1%. A dual extract would have meant a compromise.
Then there is the fact that Oriveda's L+ contains both fruiting body and pure mycelium. There are no other Lion's Mane products on the market containing pure mycelium, which is a major -and surprising- omission because the mycelium contains the most important NGF-inducers; erinacines (their NGF-promoting effect is up to 4 times stronger when compared against hericenones according to research).
The mycelium used was cultivated in liquid substrate, formulated using the latest research in order to produce a very high level of erinacines. It is the first time this technique was used succesfully outside a research facility.
After repeated alcohol extraction (to squeeze out all active compounds) comes the drying phase. We did not use the common freeze drying or spray drying to produce the final powder, but vacuum drying. This drying phase alone alone takes over 7 days to complete, but the final product is 100% uncompromised Lion's Mane extract, free of additives or flow agents.
It should be obvious Oriveda's L+ is a better choice than a liquid alcohol 'tincture' because in such products the main element is alcohol, not Lion's Mane. If you would allow the alcohol to evaporate the remaining deposit equals maybe 1 gram of powdered extract. Such products also do not / cannot guarantee any bioactives. Also see our FAQ for more info about tinctures and such.
Science has been researching medicinal mushrooms for decades. Below we've listed the main targets in Lion's Mane research*.
Take notice: this list should not be interpreted as a list of medical claims ! For an extensive background click here ( page opens in new window ).
A shared property of all hot-water extracted medicinal mushrooms is said to be immune-modulation: research has been investigating their potential to normalize our natural resistance against diseases for many decades. Although undeniable proof has not yet been presented the outcome of research is promising.
In particular water-soluble beta-glucans triggered the interest of scientists: in the EU several health-claims based on beta-glucans have been ratified in the past years by the EFSA. Beta-glucans are e.g. thought to help with immune support and with normalizing of cholesterol levels.
Given that our immune system is the core of our health this is a very important subject - allergies, infections, auto-immune diseases and many old-age problems are all immune-related.
Two terms are applicable here:
• adaptogenic (helping us to adapt to the never-ending assaults on our health)
• BRM (a natural Biological Response Modifier - stimulating the body's natural defense mechanisms without any side effects).
Medicinal mushrooms do not cure or heal, they help the body to heal itself.
Traditionally hot water-extracted Lion's Mane was used to treat peptic ulcers and chronic gastritis.
Most people are carriers of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria in their stomach. This bacteria is mostly harmless until a compromised immune system allows it to cause inflammations, which in due time can lead to peptic ulcers or worse. By supporting the immune function Lion's Mane can help to prevent these ulcers, and its anti-inflammatory properties might help to cure them. This traditional application has been tested in vivo and in vitro mainly.
Ulcers that are caused by damaged mucosal layers in the gastro-intestinal tract can also benefit from Lion's Mane.
We quote from a recent research study: "The aqueous extract of H. erinaceus protected gastric mucosa against ethanol-induced injury. The protection was shown to be dose dependent [...] protection was significant at the maximum dosage at 400mg/kg."
The full article can be read here.
There are indications that mushroom extracts that are rich in beta-glucans can be benificial for diabetics.
We quote from a recent research article (in vivo research): "[Administration of a Lion's Mane hot water extract for 28 days] resulted in a significant decrease in serum glucose level and a significant rise in serum insulin level. [The] treatment attenuated lipid disorders."
The full article can be read here.
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a secreted protein that is important for the growth, maintenance, survival and regeneration of nerve cells, and is considered critical for their survival. Without it, these nerve cells / neurons will die, causing both cognitive and motoric problems. The discovery of the NGF was in the 1950s, and the scientists responsible received the Nobel Prize in 1986 for this, when the importance of the NGF was finally aknowlegded. NGF prevents or reduces the degeneration of nerve cells such as caused by neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's) and aging.
Lion's Mane was found to contain a class of compounds that stimulate the production of NGF, indirectly stimulating nerves to regrow. These compounds are all alcohol-soluble terpenes, and are seperated in Hericenones (found mainly in the fruiting body) and Erinacines (found mainly in the mycelium)
These are so far the only active substances found in natural products that can induce the production of the NGF. These bioactives therefore might have great potential for -indirectly- repairing neurological damage, improving intelligence (cognition) and reflexes and, even more significant, preventing and treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
We quote from a recent clinical trial (duration: 16 weeks) performed with 50- to 80-year-old Japanese men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment: [...] At weeks 8, 12 and 16 of the trial, the [Lion's Mane] group showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group. The [Lion's Mane] group's scores increased with the duration of intake.[...] The results obtained in this study suggest that [Lion's Mane] is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment."
The full article can be read here.
The NGF inducing bioactives in Lion's Mane also appear to work on other areas of the brain, including areas that are related to Rett syndrome and bipolar disorder. Menopausal problems also include a mental element. Stress and/or anxiety are usually a precipitating factor in all of these and might negatively affect the levels of NGF.
We quote from a recent clinical trial (2010; duration: 4 weeks) performed with 30 women in the menopausal age: [...] "Concentration", "irritating" and "anxious" tended to be lower than the placebo group. Our results show that HE intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety and these results suggest a different mechanism from NGF-enhancing action of H. erinaceus.[...]".
The full article can be read here
There are no known noteworthy side effects. Some very sensitive people might experience mild side effects, due to their genetic wiring.
However, just like with other medicinal mushrooms, because Lion's Mane has immune-balancing properties, it should not be used together with immune-suppressants, like those prescribed after a transplant.
The blood sugar lowering effects can cause fatigue in those that are highly susceptible. In general these people are also very susceptible to e.g. caffeine and alcohol, or are diabetic. Taking the extract together with a sugar-containing liquid can neutralise this effect.
Hericium erinaceus, Lion's Mane, anti-diabetic, NGF (Nerve Growth Factor), immune support, anti-anxiety, anti-gastritis, anti-ulcer
Immunological effects of 39 mushroom supplements compared. [source]