Lion's Mane is a medicinal mushroom known for its potential health benefits, including its potential role in combating hair loss. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone responsible for hair growth and loss.
Research suggests that Lion's Mane may help reduce DHT-related hair loss by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to DHT. In addition, Lion's Mane may also promote hair health through enhanced blood circulation, antioxidant properties, and boosting nerve growth factor (NGF) production.
Testosterone is converted to its active form—dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. DHT plays a crucial role in male pattern baldness, as it can cause hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop producing hair. It also affects prostate health, as it can stimulate the growth of prostate cells. However, too much DHT can lead to an enlarged prostate and other prostate-related issues.
Interestingly, anecdotal evidence supports that Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) can block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. This suggests that Lion's mane extract could prevent hair loss and fight other side effects of DHT.
However, most studies investigating the effects of Lion's mane mushroom extract on the sex hormone testosterone and DHT are animal-based. Therefore, there is a significant lack of proven evidence on the Lion's Mane DHT effect in humans (men and women).
This guide will closely examine the relationship between Lion's mane mushroom and DHT. Moreover, we will also discuss whether Lion's Mane lowers or increases testosterone production.
Understanding DHT and Hair Loss
What is DHT: Definition and Function
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone derived from testosterone, a male sex hormone, but it is also in women in smaller amounts. DHT plays a significant role in the development of male reproductive organs and the regulation of certain hormones.
It is important to note that DHT is more potent than testosterone and is responsible for muscle and sexual function as well. However, when it comes to hair growth and hair loss, DHT can have adverse effects.
Role Of DHT In Hair Growth And Hair Loss
DHT binds to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and weaken over time. This leads to a shortening of the hair growth cycle, ultimately resulting in hair thinning and loss.
While some hair loss is typical, excessive DHT can lead to significant thinning or even baldness. Scientific evidence has shown that(1) using a DHT blocker can help reduce hair loss by preventing DHT from binding to hair follicles.
Factors Contributing To DHT-Related Hair Loss
Genetics plays a crucial role in determining an individual's sensitivity to DHT. For example, some people inherit hair follicles that are more susceptible to the effects of DHT, leading to hair loss.
Hormonal imbalances, such as an overproduction of the hypothalamic hormone, can contribute to an increase in DHT levels. This can accelerate hair loss in individuals who are already genetically predisposed.
Interesting Read: See the top mushrooms that promote hormonal balance.
As we age, the body's natural ability to lower testosterone levels and block DHT decreases. This can result in an increase in DHT levels, which can contribute to hair loss.
Lifestyle factors, such as poor diet, stress, and lack of exercise, can contribute to hormonal imbalances and exacerbate hair loss. Incorporating a healthy lifestyle and using natural DHT blockers like Lion's Mane and other medicinal mushrooms can help promote hair growth and health.
Lion's Mane Mushroom: A Potential Solution for DHT-Related Hair Loss:
Lion's Mane and Its Effects on DHT
One possible mechanism by which Lion's mane mushrooms may help combat DHT-related hair loss is by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone to DHT, and by blocking its activity, Lion's mane extract may help reduce DHT levels in the body. However, unfortunately, there are no human studies to support this claim.
Moreover, no academic research links Lion's Mane medicinal mushrooms to known DHT blockers, a drop in testosterone, or decreased libido. In addition, the precise relationship between Lion's Mane and 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, mediating testosterone's effects on muscle mass and sexual function, is still unknown.
Does Lion's Mane Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is one of the most common side effects of having too much DHT in the body. Since anecdotal evidence suggests that Lion's Mane could work as a DHT blocker, this indicates that Lion's Mane products could also fight hair thinning on the scalp.
However, until this is scientifically proven, no evidence supports that adding Lion's Mane products to your diet can help you fight a condition like alopecia. However, Lion's Mane will undoubtedly provide protein, minerals, vitamins, and bioactive compounds that promote brain health and overall wellness.
DHT blockers like Rogaine, finasteride, and minoxidil fight balding and a receding hairline in both men and women. Therefore, when taking Lion's mane mushrooms, you may want to combine them with these pharmaceutical medicines that have been scientifically proven to block dihydrotestosterone production. Also, add a high-quality shampoo and conditioner to avoid alopecia and crown hair loss.
Does Lion's Mane Increase Testosterone?
One common question among people new to medicinal mushrooms is, does Lion's Mane affect hormones?
Lion's mane mushrooms may boost the production of hormones by stimulating hypothalamic neurogenesis. This enhances the growth of nerve cells and nerve regeneration, particularly in the hypothalamus.
Compounds found in Lion's Mane stimulate the synthesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and nerve growth factors (NGF). This, in turn, controls the synthesis of hypothalamic hormones (such as growth hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormones, vasopressin, and others, including testosterone).
No evidence supports that Lion's mane lower testosterone levels—the evidence available, though anecdotal, suggests that the mushroom increases testosterone levels. This indicates that the properties of Lion's Mane could boost your sex drive in cases where lowered libido results from low testosterone levels.
This, however, calls for more investigation into how this traditional Chinese medicine affects hormones. While studies involving animals like mice may be available, human studies would help people better understand how Lion's Mane affects testosterone production.
Additional Benefits Of Lion's Mane For Hair Health
Enhanced Blood Circulation
Lion's mane mushrooms may help promote healthy blood circulation, essential for delivering nutrients to hair follicles and supporting hair growth. Because of its ability to improve blood circulation, Lion's Mane can even improve blood pressure in people with hypertension.
The antioxidant properties of Lion's mane extract can help protect hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. This may contribute to improved hair health and reduced hair loss.
Boosting Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Production
Lion's mane mushrooms stimulate NGF production, supporting nerve health and well-being. While more research is needed, increased NGF production could also contribute to healthier hair growth.
Interesting Read: See how Lion's Mane neurogenesis helps with NGF production.
Incorporating Lion's Mane into Your Hair Care Routine:
Incorporating Lion's Mane mushrooms into your hair care routine can be done through various supplement options, which can be tailored to your preferences and lifestyle.
Lion's Mane capsules are a convenient and easy-to-use option. They provide a standardized dose of Lion's Mane extract, making it simple to monitor your daily intake. Be sure to follow the recommended Lion's Mane dosage instructions the manufacturer provides.
Lion's Mane powders can be easily mixed into your favorite smoothies and beverages or sprinkled on your meals. This versatile option allows you to effortlessly incorporate Lion's Mane into your diet.
Lion's Mane tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts that can be taken under the tongue or mixed into beverages. Tinctures offer rapid absorption and can be an effective way to experience the potential benefits of Lion's Mane for hair health.
In addition to supplements, Lion's Mane mushrooms can be applied topically to promote hair health.
Create a nourishing hair mask by mixing Lion's Mane powder with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, honey, or aloe vera. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp, leave it on for 20-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. This can help provide your hair with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Shampoos and Conditioners
Look for shampoos and conditioners that contain Lion's Mane extract as an active ingredient. These products can help to cleanse and nourish your hair while delivering the potential benefits of Lion's Mane directly to your hair follicles.
Tips For Choosing High-Quality Lion's Mane Products
Choosing high-quality options is essential when selecting Lion's Mane products for your hair care routine. Consider the following tips:
- Opt for products made from the fruiting body of the Lion's Mane mushroom, as this part contains the highest concentration of active compounds.
- Look for products that use dual extraction methods (water and alcohol extractions), as this process ensures a broader range of beneficial compounds are present in the final product.
- Choose products from reputable manufacturers with transparent sourcing and production practices. This will help ensure you're getting a high-quality, contaminant-free product.
- Read product reviews from other users to gauge the effectiveness and quality of the Lion's Mane product you're considering.
Boost Your Brain Health With Our 100% Organic Lion's Mane Powder - Claim Your 10% Discount Now!
Other Natural Remedies for DHT-Related Hair Loss
In addition to Lion's Mane mushroom, several other natural remedies have been studied for their potential to address DHT-related hair loss. Some of these alternatives include:
Saw Palmetto is a small palm tree native to the southeastern United States. It has been traditionally used for various health issues, including urinary tract problems and hair loss.
Research indicates that(2) Saw Palmetto can work as a natural DHT blocker by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT. This may help slow down hair loss and promote hair regrowth in individuals with DHT-related hair loss.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is derived from the seeds of the pumpkin and has been used for its various health benefits. Rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols, pumpkin seed oil is believed to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase and reduce the production of DHT. Studies have shown that(3) pumpkin seed oil may help improve hair growth and thickness in individuals experiencing hair loss.
Green tea, derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, is well-known for its numerous health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, particularly catechins, which have been shown to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase and reduce DHT production. Drinking green tea regularly or applying it topically to the scalp may help prevent hair loss and promote growth.
Interesting Read: See our hand-picked morning energy drinks.
Pygeum bark, derived from the African cherry tree (Prunus africana), has been used in traditional African medicine for various health issues, including urinary problems and hair loss. Pygeum bark contains compounds that may inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase and block the production of DHT, potentially helping to reduce hair loss and promote hair regrowth.
Potential Benefits Of Lion's Mane Mushroom
If you are not new to the holistic health space and have explored mushrooms before, you probably know the health benefits of Lion's Mane are numerous. This functional fungus may promote neuron regeneration and lower heart disease risk while enhancing cognitive abilities. The mushroom's ability to boost cognitive abilities also allows it to fight sleep disorders and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
Additionally, it may provide benefits such as weight loss by decreasing blood sugar levels and improving digestion. Other potential uses include reducing anxiety and depression symptoms, promoting cell death in cancer cells, fighting inflammation and oxidative stress, and strengthening the immune system.
FAQs About Lion's Mane DHT
Does Lion's Mane Lower Dopamine?
There is no evidence to suggest that Lion's Mane lowers dopamine levels. However, some studies suggest that Lion's Mane may raise dopamine levels by promoting the growth of dopamine-producing neurons.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in several bodily functions, including movement, mood, and motivation. Therefore, the potential dopamine-boosting effect of Lion's Mane may benefit individuals with conditions such as depression, anxiety, and Parkinson's disease, which are associated with dopamine dysfunction. The mushroom may facilitate the treatment of these conditions.
Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights Parkinson's disease.
What Are Lion's Mane Effects On Testosterone?
There is currently limited scientific research on the effects of Lion's Mane on human testosterone levels. However, some animal studies have suggested that Lion's Mane may positively affect testosterone levels.
It's important to note that animal studies may not necessarily translate to humans, and more research is needed to determine the effects of Lion's Mane on testosterone levels in humans. Additionally, no evidence suggests that Lion's Mane negatively impacts testosterone levels.
When Should You Not Take Lion's Mane?
One group of people who should avoid Lion's Mane are those with an allergy to mushrooms, as an allergic reaction can be dangerous. Another group to be cautious of these mushrooms is those taking blood thinners, as Lion's Mane can have anticoagulant effects that may interfere with these medications.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also be cautious about taking Lion's Mane, as there is limited research on the effects of this mushroom during these periods. Finally, those who have scheduled surgery should discontinue the use of Lion's Mane at least two weeks before the operation due to its anticoagulant properties.
Is It Good To Take Lion's Mane Every Day?
Lion's Mane is considered safe for regular consumption.Most studies have used Lion's Mane for up to 16 weeks, with no adverse effects reported. Some people take Lion's Mane every day to continually experience its potential cognitive and health benefits.
However, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medication. Additionally, if you notice adverse side effects or a decrease in efficacy, consider taking a break from using Lion's Mane or adjusting the dosage.
There is insufficient scientific information to determine whether or not Lion's Mane affects testosterone or DHT levels. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that Lion's Mane can boost testosterone levels and block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Therefore, Lion's Mane supplements could be ideal for people dealing with DHT's side effects, including hair loss.
Despite Lion's Mane's effect on DHT and testosterone, the mushroom is a beneficial addition to everyone's diet. The mushroom fights weight gain and encourages neurite outgrowth, which can help repair brain cells and prevents nerve damage.
The fungus boosts gut health and prevents chronic conditions like diabetes and cancer. It also encourages the quick healing of nervous system injuries and improves memory.
Have you used Lion's Mane mushrooms before? Did the mushroom fight the side effects of DHT? Let us know the results of using this functional mushroom in the comments below.
- Treatment options for androgenetic alopecia: Efficacy, side effects, compliance, financial considerations, and ethics, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9298335/
- Natural Hair Supplement: Friend or Foe? Saw Palmetto, a Systematic Review in Alopecia, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33313047/
- Beneficial effects of pumpkin seed oil as a topical hair growth promoting agent in a mice model, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823528/