Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a medicinal mushroom known for its potential cognitive and nerve health benefits. While research on the direct impact of Lion's Mane on testosterone is limited, some studies suggest that it could positively affect hormone balance, potentially supporting testosterone production.
Lion's Mane blocks testosterone conversion into DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) and activates the hypothalamus, influencing testosterone production. In addition, Lion's Mane fights conditions that negatively impact testosterone levels, including diabetes, obesity, and insomnia.
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 well-being in both men and women.
To incorporate Lion's Mane into your diet for overall wellness and testosterone production, consider using supplements or whole food sources. However, always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your routine.
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.
Understanding Testosterone: Factors Affecting Testosterone Levels
Testosterone plays a crucial role in the body, responsible for various functions, including muscle growth, increased body hair, and sexual development. In addition, it is a growth hormone that influences the development of male secondary sexual characteristics and is also essential for the overall well-being of both men and women.
Factors affecting testosterone levels can range from age to lifestyle and even certain health conditions. A lower testosterone level can manifest in symptoms such as lowered libido, decreased sex drive, and reduced muscle growth. As a result, there is growing interest in medicinal mushrooms, such as Lion's Mane and reishi mushrooms, for their potential health benefits and impact on hormone balance.
Lion's mane mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and they are known for stimulating nerve cell production and improving cognitive function. The chemical composition of lion's mane mushrooms sets them apart from other medicinal mushrooms, potentially offering unique benefits to those who consume them.
Some studies suggest that lion's mane mushrooms may not lower testosterone, as with other medicinal mushrooms. Instead, they could potentially have a positive effect on hormone balance. However, it is essential to note that research is limited, and more extensive studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Does Lion's Mane Increase Testosterone?
No scientific evidence suggests that Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) can directly stimulate human testosterone production. 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 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 polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Read More: Learn More About Lion's mane effect on DHT.
3. 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.
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 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 in overweight people.
How to Incorporate Lion's Mane into Your Diet for Testosterone Support
Now that you know Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) has the potential to support testosterone production, you may want to know how to use Lion's Mane. Luckily, there are various ways to incorporate these functional fungi into your diet for optimal results.
Lion's mane supplements are available in capsules, powders, and extracts.These are convenient options for those who wish to harness the beneficial effects of Lion's Mane without consuming it in its whole form.
A general dosage recommendation is 500-3000 mg per day; however, following the specific dosage on the product label or consulting a healthcare professional for personalized guidance is essential.
Cook Your Lion's Mane
Whole, dried, or cooked lion's mane mushrooms can be found in some grocery stores or online. Adding them to your meals can provide a natural source of the adaptogenic mushroom while enjoying its culinary benefits.
While anecdotal evidence suggests that lion's Mane may not lower testosterone, noticing changes in your hormone balance might take some time. Give your body ample time to adjust to adding lion's Mane to your diet. Remember that research on lion's Mane and testosterone support is limited, but its potential benefits for brain cells and nerve regeneration make it a promising option to explore.
Additional Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels Naturally
While the potential benefits of Lion's Mane for testosterone support are promising, it's essential to consider other natural approaches to boost testosterone. Combining these methods with lion mane consumption may yield more significant results.
Regular physical activity, especially resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), has been shown to boost testosterone. Incorporate various exercises into your routine to promote overall health and hormone balance.
Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is vital for maintaining optimal hormone levels, including testosterone. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support your body's natural hormone production.
Chronic stress can negatively impact testosterone. Implement stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and yoga to help manage stress and maintain hormone balance.
Eat Foods That Support Testosterone Production
Consuming a balanced diet with key nutrients can support testosterone levels. Include foods high in zinc (oysters, red meat, poultry), vitamin D (fatty fish, egg yolks, fortified foods), and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts) to ensure your body has the necessary building blocks for testosterone synthesis.
Limit Intake of Testosterone-Lowering Substances
Certain foods and substances can negatively impact testosterone levels. Limit your consumption of alcohol, excessive sugar, and processed foods, as they can contribute to reduced testosterone production.
FAQs About Lion's Mane Testosterone
Does Lion's Mane Lower Testosterone?
No scientific evidence suggests that Lion's Mane lower testosterone in humans. However, 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, including diabetes, obesity, and poor sleep. While the mushroom does not directly increase testosterone, the correct dose of these fungi can put more testosterone in the bloodstream.
Can I Take Lion's Mane Every Day?
Lions 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 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.
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.
- Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/
- Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy MenFREE, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/
- The relationship between sleep disorders and testosterone in men, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955336/
- Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3852124/
- Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22804876/
- Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955331/
- Hypolipidaemic Effect of Hericium erinaceum Grown in Artemisia capillaris on Obese Rats, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3714447/