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< class="article__title title lions-mane-testosterone-effect-can-it-raise-t-levels"> Lion's Mane Testosterone Effect: Can It Raise T Levels?>
Lion's Mane Testosterone Effect: Can It Raise T Levels?
Jul 03, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Lion's Mane Testosterone Effect: Can It Raise T Levels?

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    A rising star in the holistic health field, Dr. Sony Sherpa has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Although she started writing on Nature’s Rise one year ago, her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine.

  • |
  • 9 min read

Testosterone plays a vital role in developing and maintaining male physical characteristics, such as muscle mass, bone density, body hair growth, and the production of sperm. It also regulates sexual function, mood, cognitive function, and overall sense of well-being in both men and women.

Lion's Mane has an indirect yet beneficial effect on testosterone. The mushroom blocks testosterone conversion into DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) and activates the hypothalamus, which influences testosterone production. In addition, Lion's Mane fights conditions that negatively impact testosterone levels, including diabetes, obesity, and insomnia. 

In the following section, we will look deeper at Lion's mane testosterone effects. Then, we will answer all the frequently asked questions about Lion's Mane and testosterone. 

Does Lion's Mane Increase Testosterone?

Does Lion's Mane Increase Testosterone?

Currently, no scientific evidence suggests that Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) can directly stimulate testosterone production in humans. However, Lion's Mane has other health benefits that could indirectly support hormonal balance and help with testosterone production. Below we have listed five ways Lion's Mane boosts testosterone levels indirectly. 

1. Stimulates Hypothalamic Hormones

Lion's mane neurogenesis activities promote the growth and development of nerve cells by stimulating Nerve Growth Factors (NGF)(1) and brain-derived Neurotrophic Factors (BDNF). These vital proteins act on the hypothalamus, the brain area regarded as the body's hormone-production plant, helping humans regulate certain hormones, including testosterone. 

The hypothalamus is located deep in your brain and is the main link between the endocrine and nervous systems. Therefore, the positive effects of Lion's Mane on testosterone may be due to its work on stimulating hypothalamic neurogenesis. 

2. May Block Testosterone Conversion

Testosterone is initially produced as an inactive hormone that needs to be converted into an active form. The enzyme 5 alpha-reductase converts this inactive male sex hormone to the active form, dihydrotestosterone or DHT.

Lion's Mane blocks testosterone conversion to DHT, leading to underutilization. However, if you use the proper Lion's Mane dosage, the underutilization is so insignificant that it shouldn't cause side effects like low sex drive and libido. 

However, this potential side effect of Lion's Mane could be an advantage for men suffering from male pattern baldness. DHT blockers are a clinically proven treatment for hair loss. In women, natural supplements that block DHT may improve the symptom of unwanted facial hair (hirsutism), often associated with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Read More: Learn More About Lion’s mane effect on DHT.

3. Improves Sleep Quality

Improves Sleep Quality

One research study(2) determined that skipping sleep reduces the testosterone levels of a young man by the same amount as aging 10 to 15 years. Another study conducted in 2014(3) determined that sleep disorders often cause a reduction in testosterone levels. 

Luckily, when added to foods, Lion's Mane supplement improves sleep quality. In addition, this benefit can help increase testosterone production. The improved testosterone production could reduce the risk of depression and provide other health benefits for both males and females.  

4. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Several animal studies(4) have shown that the Lion's Mane mushroom can lower blood glucose levels in diabetic and normal mice. High blood glucose levels can lead to low testosterone levels in the human body. 

Studies in 2013 determined(5) that glucose ingestion was associated with a significant decrease in testosterone. So the fact that Lion's Mane helps control blood sugar levels means that the mushroom can also help keep testosterone levels in the human body from plummeting

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5. Helps With Weight Loss

A research study conducted in 2014(6) confirmed that moderate obesity decreases total and free testosterone levels due to suppression of the HPT axis. 

Fortunately, studies in rats and mice(7) have concluded that Lion's mane mushroom extract boosts fat metabolism and lowers triglyceride levels. In addition, the fact that Lion's Mane facilitates weight loss means that the medicinal mushrooms can help boost testosterone levels in overweight people.

FAQs About Lion's Mane Testosterone

Does Lion's Mane Lower Testosterone?

No scientific evidence suggests that Lion's Mane mushroom lowers testosterone levels in humans. In fact, some evidence has indicated that it may positively affect testosterone levels.

The mushroom influences the activity of the hypothalamus, which can, in turn, encourage testosterone production. Moreover, the mushroom can fight conditions that often lower testosterone levels, including diabetes, obesity, and poor sleep. While the mushroom does not directly increase testosterone levels, the correct dose of these fungi can put more testosterone in the bloodstream. 

Can I Take Lion's Mane Every Day?

Lion's Mane is generally considered safe for most people to take daily. However, as with any supplement or medication, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional before beginning a new regimen, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications. 

Additionally, it is essential to note that the dosage and frequency of Lion's mane use vary from one person to the other. Therefore, following the instructions on the label or as advised by a healthcare professional is recommended.

Does Lion's Mane Give You Energy?

While it is not traditionally known for its energizing properties like caffeine, some people who use Lion's Mane supplements report experiencing improved mental clarity, focus, and alertness, which may indirectly contribute to an increased sense of energy. 

Lion's Mane contains compounds such as hericenones and erinacines, which have been shown to stimulate the growth and repair of nerve cells in the brain. This may lead to improvements in cognitive function, including memory, learning, and attention, all of which could make you feel energetic. 

Read More: See how Lion's Mane promotes memory.

Does Lions Mane Increase Dopamine?

Some evidence suggests that Lion's Mane mushroom may increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in several essential functions, including motivation, reward, and movement. It is also involved in regulating mood and cognitive function. 

Several studies have shown that Lion's Mane mushroom contains compounds that can increase the activity of enzymes involved in dopamine synthesis. This can result in increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain associated with decision-making and cognitive function. 

What Time Of Day Should You Take Lion's Mane?

No specific time of day is recommended for taking Lion's Mane mushroom supplements as it may vary based on individual preferences and needs. For example, some people prefer taking it in the morning to help improve focus and productivity throughout the day. In contrast, others prefer taking it at night to help promote relaxation and better sleep quality. 

However, it's important to note that some people may experience mild side effects, such as stomach discomfort, when taking Lion's Mane on an empty stomach. Therefore, taking it with food or after a meal may be best to minimize the risk of experiencing these side effects.

Read More: See our detailed guide on the best time to take mushrooms.

Key Takeaways

There is not enough scientific evidence regarding Lion's mane testosterone effects. However, anecdotal evidence does suggest that the mushroom may influence the production of testosterone by positively impacting the activity of the hypothalamus and fighting conditions like diabetes, obesity, and poor sleep. 

In addition to its benefits on conditions that affect the production of the male sex hormone (testosterone), Lion's Mane also fights inflammation, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, etc. The mushroom also boasts many essential nutrients, including vitamins (like vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B12), minerals like calcium, protein, and more. This makes Lion's mane mushroom species a perfect addition to the diet of both men and women. 

Have you used Lion's mane mushrooms? Did you use it as powders or capsules or cook it? What were the effects of the mushroom product on your testosterone levels? Let us know in the comments. 

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  1. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (1)  
  2. Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy MenFREE, (2)
  3. The relationship between sleep disorders and testosterone in men, (3)    
  4. Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats, (4) 
  5. Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism, (5)  
  6. Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management, (6)
  7. Hypolipidaemic Effect of Hericium erinaceum Grown in Artemisia capillaris on Obese Rats, (7)

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