Lion's Mane Is A Girl's Best Friend
As we age, we all go through a lot of changes. How these changes impact our bodies and minds often depend on factors like heredity and gender. For women, menopause represents a significant time of change. Our hormone levels fluctuate, impacting everything from mood to our weight. Our energy levels may decrease and our sleep is often interrupted. It can be a challenging time.
We each have to find solutions that work for our unique circumstances. I like to start with a natural approach to health issues. Finding the right solutions can be overwhelming. There are tons of options out there: herbal supplements; diets; meditation; acupuncture. The list is long and often very confusing. And that’s before you even begin to explore the mainstream pharmaceutical options!
"Fortunately, I found a natural option with incredible health benefits - Lion’s Mane."
This shaggy, pom-pom like mushroom is amazing! According to renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, it may be the first “smart” mushroom. Scientists have been researching its neurological benefits for several years now. They’ve found it supports nerve regeneration which can help with cognitive ability and focus. Just as exciting are the additional benefits this fungus can bring to women experiencing menopause. Here are some of them:
Combats Depression and Anxiety
Researchers conducted a four-week study on women with menopausal symptoms such as depression and anxiety. They found that the group treated with Lion’s Mane extract saw a decrease in their symptoms and an increase in sleep quality. Lion’s Mane has been found to reduce inflammation, which plays a role in depression.
Improves Cardiovascular Health and Metabolism
In a study designed to mimic menopause, mice given Lion’s Mane experienced decreased fat tissue, total cholesterol, and leptin. In another study, mice on a high-fat diet were treated with Lion’s Mane resulting in decreased body weight gain, fat weight and blood and liver triglyceride levels.
May Lower High Blood Glucose
In laboratory studies, Lion’s Mane was found to reduce blood glucose levels in both normal and diabetic mice by nearly fifty percent. The mushroom was also shown to increase glucose tolerance in diabetic mice.
Helps with Fatigue
Research on mice found that Lion’s Mane extended their exhaustive swimming time, meaning they were able to swim for longer periods of time than mice who did not receive the mushroom. Scientists believe Lion’s Mane increases the glycogen content in tissue and decreases antioxidant enzyme activity, reducing fatigue.
Good for the Skin
Lion’s Mane appears to have anti-aging effects on the skin. Polysaccharides found in the mushroom enhance antioxidant enzyme activities and increase collagen levels according to research conducted with rats.
As we age, we produce Lipofuscin, a waste product that accumulates in our cells. This waste product contributes to cell atrophy. Polysaccharides in Lion’s Mane have been found to significantly reduce lipofuscin content. Lion’s Mane exhibited anti-aging properties in research conducted on human cell cultures.
May Increase Bone Density
Estrogen decreases dramatically as we reach menopause. This hormone protects our bones and with the reduction in estrogen comes an increased risk for bone loss and osteoporosis. The polysaccharides in Lion’s Mane have been found to improve bone density.
Supports Circadian Rhythms
Menopause can impact our quality of sleep. In studies of mice, Lion’s Mane extracts were found to decrease wakefulness at the end of the active phase. Furthermore, some components of Lion’s Mane can advance the sleep-wake cycle.
Research supports the positive impact this mushroom has for women experiencing menopause. We need further research to determine if starting earlier on a regimen of Lion's Mane could reduce or halt the onset of the typical symptoms associated with menopause.
So, how do you get the health benefits of Lion's Mane? It's a delicious edible mushroom with a taste similar to lobster or shrimp. Recent studies point to an increased benefit in consuming it raw, unlike with most other mushrooms. Consider adding some to a smoothie. If you don’t have access to fresh Lion’s Mane, supplements are another way to add it to your daily regimen.
However you do it, find a way to incorporate Lion’s Mane into your life. You’ll be glad you did!