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 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.
Does Lion's Mane Lower DHT?
Anecdotal evidence suggests Lion's mane may prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT, indicating that Lion's mane could effectively lower DHT. But unfortunately, there are no human studies to support this claim.
Moreover, no academic research links Lion's mane to known DHT blockers, a drop in testosterone, or a decrease in 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.
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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.
Read More: See how Chaga mushrooms improve hair health in males and females.
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.
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. Additionally, people with low blood pressure should be aware that Lion's Mane can lower it and consult a healthcare provider before taking it.
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 negative 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. This means that Lion's mane supplements could be ideal for people dealing with DHT's side effects, including hair loss.
Regardless of 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.
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