The prevalence of hypertension is rising worldwide(1) due to the increase in the aging population and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, inactive lifestyle, and poor dietary choices. Lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications, can help lower blood pressure levels to optimal ranges and reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. So, if you have high blood pressure levels or want to maintain healthy blood pressure, adding Lion's mane mushrooms to your diet may help.
Hericium Erinaceus, or Lion's mane mushroom, is a superfood fungus used both as a mushroom and medicine in many parts of the world. The anti-oxidant potential of Lion's mane mushroom has heart health benefits like lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
However, there is also a lot of conflicting information on the internet about whether or not Lion's mane mushroom increases blood pressure. Some say that they do, while others claim that this is unsupported by any proof.
So, what is Lion's mane blood pressure effect? And what is the relationship between Lion's mane and high blood pressure? Read on to find out.
What Effect Does Lion's Mane Have on Blood Pressure?
The bioactive ingredients in Lion's mane mushroom extract carry numerous benefits. One of those benefits helps in treating the symptoms associated with high blood pressure.
Read More: See all the health benefits of Lion's mane mushrooms.
Regarding treating high blood pressure, Lion's mane mushroom appears to be an Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, much like several antihypertensive medications that help relax the arteries and veins to lower blood pressure. It also combats oxidative stress and reduces the fat levels in the blood, both associated with elevated blood pressure.
Below we will look at the research on Lion's mane mushroom's antihypertensive effects and debunk myths regarding its ability to increase blood pressure.
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Lion's Mane Mushroom Blood Pressure Effects
The bioactive compounds in Lion's mane have been linked to helping lower blood pressure. Here are some Lion's mane high blood pressure decreasing mechanisms:
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
Few scientific studies have explored the link between Lion's mane and blood pressure.
Lion's mane shows ACE inhibitory activity, according to this paper published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine(2) journal. Here, selected culinary and medicinal mushrooms were evaluated for their anti-oxidant and ACE inhibitory activities, including Lion's mane mushrooms.
In this in vitro study, mushrooms were extracted by boiling them in water for 30 minutes, and the anti-oxidant capacity was measured using several assays. Hericium Erinaceus showed a relatively high anti-oxidant index. Likewise, it also showed ACE inhibitory activity. The Lion's mane mushroom's effect on high blood pressure was more pronounced than most other mushrooms used in the research study.
Read More: How does Lion's mane compare to other mushrooms? Learn about Lion's mane and cordyceps.
2. Combats Oxidative Stress
Hypertension is an oxidative stress-related disease. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential in maintaining the integrity of the vascular wall; hence, they could be part of the mechanism that leads to high blood pressure.
Several studies have demonstrated the anti-oxidant potential of Lion's mane mushrooms. A 2019 study(3) found that Hericium Erinaceus mushroom surpasses hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative damage.
Read More:Which option is better for fighting oxidative stress? Should you take Lion's mane powder or extract?
3. Decreased Blood Cholesterol Levels
One method of treating hypertension is by reducing the number of lipids in the plasma, which can delay the onset of diabetes.
Researchers observed Lion's mane mushroom's capacity to decrease cholesterol levels in obese rats in a 2013 study(4). Researchers gave a Lion's mane mushroom extract in seven test groups of rats fed a high-fat diet. As a result, it worked for the rats, as evidenced by decreased lipid and cholesterol levels.
Lion's Mane Fights Common Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often associated with various risk factors—and luckily, Lion's mane mushroom can help treat these risk factors. Below, we will look at how Lion's mane may prevent hypertension by fighting associated risk factors.
Lion's Mane Fights Diabetes
According to the CDC(5), diabetes affects about 1 in 10 Americans—the condition affects more than 37.3 million Americans, and the number is expected to continue growing. More surprising is that about 1 in 5 people with diabetes do not know they have the condition.
Several research studies have linked diabetes with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. For example, in a study conducted in 2018(6), researchers determined that type 2 diabetes was a leading risk factor for developing high blood pressure in the future. An article published by Johns Hopkins Medicine(7) noted that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure than people who do not have diabetes.
Luckily, Lion's mane fights diabetes—the mushroom aids in treating the condition and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in people at a higher risk. Research studies have confirmed the benefits of Lion's mane mushrooms on diabetes.
For example, in a study conducted in 2013(8), researchers used rats to analyze how Lion's mane specifically fights diabetes. In the study, researchers induced type 2 diabetes in the rats using streptozotocin. The researchers then fed the diabetic rats a diet containing extracts of Lion's mane for 28 days. At the end of the research period, the researchers analyzed the effects the medicinal mushroom had on insulin and blood glucose levels.
The administration of a Lion's mane extract resulted in a significant drop in blood glucose levels and an increase in insulin levels. The researchers concluded that the mushroom might be an effective treatment option for people with diabetes. By helping lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, Lion's mane mushroom can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Read More: See how Chaga mushroom fights diabetes.
Lion's Mane Fights Stress
Lion's mane mushroom rose to fame because of its ability to fight brain health issues, including mild cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and anxiety. The last two—depression and anxiety—are often a result of prolonged stress and tend to increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Read More: See how Lion's mane fights depression.
A research study conducted in 2019(9) analyzed the relationship between stress and the risk of developing high blood pressure. The researchers analyzed 1829 participants who did not have high blood pressure at baseline. Each follow-up of the study subjects characterized their high blood pressure in three categories—low, moderate, or high perceived stress.
During the follow-up period, 48.5% of the study subjects developed high blood pressure. However, the researchers noticed that only 30.6% of those with low perceived stress developed hypertension, 34.6% of those with moderate perceived stress developed high blood pressure, and 38.2% of those with high perceived stress developed hypertension. The study concluded that people with high stress were at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
Luckily, Lion's mane is an adaptogen mushroom. The mushroom helps people adapt to stress, reducing the risk of developing complications like high blood pressure. Lion's mane products fight anxiety and boost sleep, allowing the body to rest and recover from day-to-day stressors—this results in a much healthier lifestyle and reduced risk of developing high blood pressure.
Read More: Learn how Lion's mane mushroom fights anxiety.
Lion's Mane Fights Obesity
Obesity is a growing challenge in the United States. According to the CDC(10), more than 41.9% of the adult population in the United States is obese. This number is expected to grow as more Americans adopt sedentary lifestyles and consume unhealthy foods.
Research confirms that obesity is a leading risk factor for various health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. For example, a research study conducted in 2016(11) noted that an undeniable relationship exists between high blood pressure and obesity.
Another research study conducted in 2017(12) analyzed the relationship between high blood pressure and obesity. The researchers determined that systolic blood pressure increased by four mmHg per 4.5 kilograms of additional body weight. In the 19,841 study subjects involved in a study, the prevalence of high blood pressure in both men and women increased with increasing body mass index. The study noted that obese younger adults had a five times higher risk of developing hypertension than individuals within the healthy body weight range.
Various research studies have analyzed Lion's mane's weight loss benefits. For example, in one research study(13), researchers analyzed Lion's mane's influence on the metabolism of lipids in mice consuming a high-fat diet. The researchers gave the mice alcohol and hot water extract of Lion's mane mushroom. The Lion's mane mushroom significantly decreased body weight gain, fat weight, and fat levels in the blood and liver.
By reducing the risk of obesity—and facilitating weight loss—Lion's mane mushroom minimizes the risk of developing high blood pressure. This benefit, in turn, improves overall heart health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Read More:See how Chaga tea promotes weight loss.
Lion's Mane Improves Sleep Quality
While most people may be familiar with the adverse effects of poor sleep on cognitive health, most people do not understand that poor sleep may also cause high blood pressure. What's surprising is that the CDC notes more than 70 million Americans(14) deal with chronic sleep problems—this suggests that many people in the United States are at risk of developing high blood pressure due to sleep problems.
A research study conducted in 2018(15) analyzed the impacts of poor sleep on blood pressure. The research study concluded that poor sleep and insomnia increase blood pressure.
Another research study conducted in 2019(16) analyzed the impacts of poor sleep on blood pressure. In the study, 300 women and men aged between 21 and 74 with no history of heart problems were used as study subjects.
For two days, participants wore portable blood pressure cuffs. The cuffs took participants' blood pressure at random intervals of 45 minutes throughout the day and overnight. Participants wore actigraphy monitors (wristwatch-like devices that measure movement to help determine their "sleep efficiency," or the amount of time spent in bed sleeping soundly) at night.
Those with poor sleep efficiency had higher blood pressure during that sleepless night. The next day, they also had higher systolic blood pressure (the top number in a patient's blood pressure reading).
The CDC(17) has also written an article confirming that poor sleep leads to an increased risk of high blood pressure. The CDC notes that when you have sleep problems, your blood pressure stays higher for longer.
Luckily, Lion's mane mushroom improves sleep quality. Taking Lion's mane mushroom before bed reduces stress and anxiety, leading to a restful night. Moreover, research studies have also analyzed the direct impact of Lion's mane mushrooms on sleep quality.
For example, one study(18) on a group of college students with poor sleep habits investigated the effects of one of the best medicinal mushrooms on sleep-related issues. This 4-week pilot study looked at the effects of Lion's mane mushroom administration on sleep problems.
With the use of Lion's mane at night, eight study participants reported fewer insomnia symptoms and improved sleep quality. They also reported a reduction in anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and depression symptoms after consuming the mushroom extracts. This study confirmed that Lion's mane is one of the best medicinal mushrooms for dealing with sleep issues—not just among students but also among the general public.
How to Take Lion's Mane Mushroom For High Blood pressure?
Supplements containing Lion's mane are available in many forms, including powder, capsules, liquid extracts, and tablets. People often consume Lion's mane mushroom powder or capsules as they can take these on the go. However, if you have some time to spend in the kitchen, you can always use Lion's mane mushroom recipes to prepare a meal that improves your blood pressure levels and overall immune system.
Anyone thinking about taking Lion's mane mushroom supplements should speak to a doctor first because dosages differ depending on age and medical history. Also, it's crucial to follow all the packaging instructions.
What Is The Dosage Of Lion's Mane Mushroom?
The exact dose of Lion's mane mushroom for elevated blood pressure has not been determined. However, many recommend Lion's mane dosage between 500-3000 mg daily as a dietary supplement. Some experimental studies have used dosages as high as 5 g.
Remember that different people react differently to this traditional Chinese medicine. Therefore, talking to a healthcare professional can help you determine the dosage that guarantees maximum health benefits without increasing the risk of side effects.
FAQs About Lion's Mane Blood Pressure
Is Lion's Mane Good For High Blood Pressure?
Studies have shown that Lion's mane mushroom may exhibit effects similar to ACE inhibitors, a common antihypertensive medication. The mushroom can lower blood pressure, reducing the risks often associated with this condition.
Moreover, Lion's mane Hericium Erinaceus is very effective in fighting risk factors that often make blood pressure management harder. For example, in people with diabetes, Lion's mane will reduce blood glucose levels reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Lion's Mane?
Lion's mane seems to be relatively safe. But, there is little information on its side effects. Some studies have reported mild gastrointestinal discomfort with Lion's mane mushroom use. However, when you use a high-quality Lion's mane product—and take the proper dosage—you do not have to worry about side effects.
Read More: Wondering how to get high-quality Lion's mane products? Learn what to look for when buying Lion's mane.
Is Lion's Mane Good For Your Heart?
Lion's mane mushroom lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Human and animal research suggests that the mushroom also fights obesity and diabetes. By eliminating the risk factors for heart problems, the mushroom removes the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Does Lion's Mane Mushroom Extract Interact With Medications?
Lion's mane mushrooms may interact with drugs that slow blood clottings, such as anticoagulant and anti-platelet medication. Also, suppose you are using anti-diabetic medications. In that case, you may want to be extra careful when using Lion's mane mushrooms—combining Lion's mane mushroom extract with your diabetic medications could cause hypoglycemia if you are not mindful of the dosage.
Read More: Learn more about Lion's mane drug interactions.
Can Lion's Mane Mushrooms Cause High Blood Pressure?
Lion's mane mushroom does not elevate blood pressure levels. Instead, studies have found that it may help lower it. It is for this reason many people are using Lion's mane as an alternative treatment for hypertension.
Few scientific studies have explored Lion's mane blood pressure benefits. This could be attributed to its anti-oxidant and ACE inhibitory activity. If you plan to incorporate Lion's mane into your healthy lifestyle, speak with a healthcare provider before use.
Have you used Lion's mane before? What benefits did you enjoy? We would love to hear more about your experience with Lion’s mane—leave us a comment below.
- The global epidemiology of hypertension, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7998524/
- Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities, (2) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21716693/
- Lion's Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Suppresses H2O2-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia, (3)https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/8/8/261/htm
- Hypolipidaemic Effect of Hericium erinaceum Grown in Artemisia capillaris on Obese Rats, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3714447/
- The Facts, Stats, and Impacts of Diabetes, (5)https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/diabetes-facts-stats.html
- Hypertension and diabetes: co-prediction and time trajectories, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877818/
- Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, (7)https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/diabetes/diabetes-and-high-blood-pressure
- Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3852124/
- Association Between High Perceived Stress Over Time and Incident Hypertension in Black Adults: Findings From the Jackson Heart Study, (9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6898810/
- Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease, (10)https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
- Obesity and hypertension, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5038894/
- Association of obesity with hypertension, (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5599277/
- Yamabushitake Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) Improved Lipid Metabolism in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet, (13)https://academic.oup.com/bbb/article/74/7/1447/5940067
- About Our Program – Sleep and Sleep Disorders, (14)https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_us.html
- Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Blood Pressure and Endothelial Inflammation in Women: Findings From the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network, (15)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220553/
- Sleepless nights linked to high blood pressure, (16)https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190604131159.htm
- How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health?, (17)https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sleep.htm
- The effects of Hericium erinaceus (Amyloban® 3399) on sleep quality and subjective well-being among female undergraduate students: A pilot study, (18)https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276152143
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