Lion's Mane as a life extender
Supplements with an extract of the mushroom Hericium erinaceus - also known as Lion's Mane - may prolong life. This is suggested by animal studies published by the research department of Taiwanese manufacturer Grape King Bio [grapeking.com.tw] in PLos One.
Supplements with extracts from Lion's Mane have a nootropic effect in human studies and, according to animal studies, make athletes fitter. Those interesting ergogenic effects are the work of the erinacines in Lion's Mane.
The researchers initially experimented with fruit flies. They mixed a mycelium extract of the mycelium from Lion's Mane through the growth medium of the flies, and saw that this made them live 32 percent longer. [Figure] [Second Figure]
In a second series of experiments, the researchers gave Lion's Mane to mice for 13 weeks. To SAMP8 mice, to be precise, a strain of lab mouse which ages faster than other types of lab mouse.
If the mice in the experimental groups had been adult humans, they would have received 750, 1500 or 3000 milligrams of Lion's Mane extract daily.
The mice that did not receive extracts lived for 13-14 months. The mice that received a low, medium or high dose of Lion's Mane extract daily lived an average of 15, 16 or 16 months respectively. So we are talking about an increase in the average lifespan of up to 23 percent.
The researchers don't waste many words on the possible mechanism of action of Lion's Mane, except that analysis of the liver of the mice showed that the extract reduced the concentration of TBARS [a marker for free radical activity], and at the same time increased the activity of endogenous antioxidants such as catalase, SOD and GPx.
"This study demonstrates that erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelia can be a candidate to prolong life expectancy by reducing oxidative stress and increasing antioxidant defenses", write the researchers. "However, further biochemical investigations of the mycelia constituents may be needed to assess the efficacy and the underlying mechanism of its action for the elongation of lifespan."
PLoS One. 2019 May 17;14(5):e0217226.
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