Obesity and extreme weight gain are becoming significant problems in the United States. According to the CDC(1), the prevalence of obesity jumped from 30.5% to 41.9% between 1999 and 2020. During this period, the prevalence of severe obesity also increased from 4.7 percent to 9.2 percent.
Luckily, more people in the United States realize the health benefits of losing excess body fat. With fad diets failing for a lot of people trying to eliminate the excess body weight long-term, they are turning to healthier dietary supplements—Lion's mane mushroom is a supplement that has been doing wonders for adults and kids trying to lower their body weight.
Below we will talk about using Lion's mane for weight loss and how it may help. We will also explore some scientific evidence that links Lion's mane and weight loss. So let's get right to it!
Why Are People Using Lion's Mane Mushrooms for Weight Loss?
Weight loss is a complicated and emotional journey. Despite what the wellness industry might have you believe, there are no quick fixes, magic pills, or miracle cures for weight loss. Instead, losing weight requires dedication to a plan that supports long-term healthy habits, including diet and exercise.
When you have a hard time shedding those extra pounds, even when you're doing everything right, it can be incredibly frustrating. However, for people struggling to win their battle with weight loss, Lion's mane extract or powder represents some good news!
Lion's mane, also called Hericium erinaceus, is a functional and edible mushroom revered for its many health-boosting properties. The mushroom, native to the cold forests of the Northern hemisphere, has been used for eons in traditional Chinese medicine.
While most people are just discovering the many health benefits of Lion's mane supplements, some people—especially in Asia—have known for centuries that if they eat Lion's mane mushrooms, they can fight different health complications and improve their overall well-being.
The mushroom appears to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body and improve overall brain health. Today, one more thing you will discover as one of the benefits of Lion's mane is that this mushroom aids in weight loss.
Medicinal mushrooms like Lion's mane are an incredible source of plant-based proteins. They are also low in calories, keeping you full for a long time. Emerging evidence also suggests they can stimulate weight loss and protect against the side effects of being overweight or obese. Below, let's take a deeper look at why more people are leveraging Lion's mane medicinal mushrooms to shed extra body weight.
Lion's Mane Mushroom Weight Loss Benefits
Hericium erinaceus provides generous benefits for the body that can contribute to weight loss. Let's explain how Lion's mane mushroom extract helps you maintain a healthy body weight long-term.
It Has a Low Calorie Count
The first reason that makes the health benefits of Lion's mane powder effective is that the products from the mushroom boast a low calorie count. So whether you use Lion's mane mushroom recipes for cooking the raw mushroom or a packaged product, you can always be sure that eating Lion's mane mushrooms does not put unnecessary calories in your body.
Each serving of Lion's mane mushroom (about 100 grams of the functional fungus) contains a mere 35 calories. So, whether consuming fresh Lion's mane mushrooms or Lion's mane organic mushroom powder, implementing a calorie deficit in your nutrition becomes easier because you won't have to worry about excess sugar or unnecessary calories. In addition, a calorie deficit increases your rate of weight loss.
Lion's Mane Extracts Boast High Protein Content
Lion's mane mushroom powder and Lion's mane extracts go beyond the low calories to provide nutrients that keep you full for longer. Not only are the medicinal mushrooms low in calories, but they are also packed with proteins. Research suggests that consuming more protein reduces the food we consume daily and at night.
A research study conducted in 2004(2) concluded that diets and foods higher in the amount of protein increase satiety. With increased satiety, most people consume less food, which, in turn, reduces the number of calories they put in their bodies. This further helps increase the rate at which they shed excess body weight.
Lion's mane provides 2.5 grams of proteins/100 grams, which reduces craving and the desire for late-night snacking. It can also help maintain weight loss by reducing appetite and hunger levels. This can be particularly useful for those looking to lose weight naturally.
Lion's Mane Promotes Better Sleep
If you are trying to lose weight, enjoying enough sleep every night is exceptionally vital. Research information has connected sleep disorders to reduced metabolism function, which can lower the potential for weight loss.
Poor sleep often affects the balance between hunger and satiety hormones. Poor sleep reduces the satiety hormones and increases the hunger hormones.
This often forces people to eat more food than they need for their daily functions. The surplus calories are converted into fat, which results in weight gain.
When people take Lion's mane before bed, they increase their ability to enjoy a deep restful sleep. This balances the hunger hormones, ensuring that people do not overeat. This helps with weight loss.
What Does the Research Say?
Apart from its nutritional value, we also have sourced some scientific evidence that points toward Lion's mane mushroom weight loss benefits. Human studies and studies conducted on animals find Lion's mane mushrooms very effective when it comes to helping people shed extra body weight. Below, we will look at the scientific evidence on why you lower your body weight when you eat Lion's mane at the right time.
2018 Study on Lion's Mane Weight Loss
A 2018 study examined the anti-obesity(3) effects of edible mushrooms. The results of the study showed that mushrooms could stimulate weight loss.
They can also have protective effects against obesity-related hypertension and a condition where there is an imbalance of cholesterol and triglyceride levels (which is called dyslipidemia). Based on this research study alone, it is easy to see that Lion's mane appears to go beyond weight loss to eliminate other risks often associated with high body weight.
2014 Study on Lion's Mane Extract Weight Loss Benefits
Likewise, in an in vitro study from 2014(4), researchers examined the influence of Hericium erinaceus on lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet. The hot water and alcohol extract of Lion's mane mushroom were given for 28 days, which resulted in a significant decrease in body weight gain, fat weight, and fat levels in the blood and liver.
This suggests that taking Lion's mane tea could help you speed up the rate at which you lose weight—it could help you reach the doctor recommended body weight much sooner.
These results suggest that Lion's mane mushroom extracts improve mouse lipid metabolism by modulating metabolic gene expression. In particular, Hericium erinaceus activated PPARα receptors, which are known to regulate insulin sensitivity, glucose transport, and lipid metabolism. The mushroom could potentially provide similar effects on humans, although the research is limited at the moment.
Health Benefits of Using Lion's Mane mushroom Extract for Weight Loss
1. You Fight Inflammation
There is an association(5) between increased weight gain and growing inflammation. Obesity is a complex disease linked with an increase in several inflammatory markers, leading to chronic low-grade inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can cause many health issues, such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
Lion's mane mushrooms are well known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. This means not only can the mushroom alleviate chronic inflammation that is associated with excess fat, but it can also prevent various illnesses.
2. You Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
Research has shown that high body weight is a leading precursor of diabetes. A research study conducted in 2018(6) determined that obesity increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the complications of the disease. Another study(7) conducted one year earlier (in 2017) also established a connection between obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Lion's mane has diabetes benefits—these benefits come from the mushroom's ability to lower body weight, eliminate obesity, and help lower blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, the mushroom lowers body weight, which increases the body's response to insulin, which helps with improving blood sugar control.
By improving your blood sugar control, Lion's mane mushroom boosts your immune system and reduces your risk of nerve damage and other diabetes complications.
3. You Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
Research has established a connection between obesity and Alzheimer's disease. A research study conducted in 2020(8) determined that people who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease at some point in their life.
Another research study conducted in 2018(9) also established a connection between obesity and dementia. The study determined that people with excess body weight were at a much higher risk of developing dementia than those with healthy body weight.
One of the best mushrooms for brain health, Lion's mane fights mild cognitive impairment by reducing body weight. However, the mushroom also goes beyond reducing body weight to fight other precursors of dementia—for example, its antioxidants fight radical damage, which may increase the risk of dementia.
4. You Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Weight gain resulting from bad lifestyle choices has been connected to an increased risk of cancer in both men and women. According to the CDC(10), obesity increases your risk of up to 13 cancers, including cancers of the ovary, breast, uterus, kidney, etc. Obesity may also result in an increased risk for colon cancer.
Lion's mane offers cancer benefits—it aids in prevention and treatment. When it comes to prevention, one of the things that makes the mushroom effective is that it can fight weight gain and promote weight loss.
5. You Reduce Your Risk of Parkinson's Disease
Research conducted in different countries—humans and rats—has suggested a link between Parkinson's disease and obesity. In addition, a research study conducted in 2022(11) determined that people with abdominal obesity were at an increased risk of Parkinson's disease.
Lion's mane offers Parkinson's disease benefits. The mushroom's benefit for Parkinson's disease starts with its ability to fight body fat. However, taking Lion's mane also protects brain cells beyond fighting body weight.
Parkinson's disease is generally a result of the loss of nerve cells. Lion's mane neurogenesis benefits prevent nervous system injuries, with the mushroom supplements reducing the risk of losing nerve cells.
6. You Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Health Issues
Weight gain is often associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular health issues. Numerous research studies have shown a connection between obesity and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
A research study conducted in 2019(12) determined that obesity increased the risk of cardiovascular health problems like coronary heart disease and heart failure. Another research study conducted in 2012(13) determined that obesity increased the risk of high blood pressure, which further increased the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
A third research study conducted in 2021(14) showed more proof that obesity is a leading cause of increased cardiovascular disease risk.
A practical alternative medicine, Lion's mane mushroom goes beyond lowered blood sugar levels to fight obesity and other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease. The nutrients and bioactive ingredients—like erinacines and hericenones—in the mushroom can help you avoid taking heart health drugs in the future.
7. You Reduce Your Risk of Depression
One of the significant major risk factors for depression is obesity. A research study conducted in 2012(15) determined a high prevalence of depression among teenagers with obesity.
Obesity tends to distort body image and can make some people feel unloved. This can trigger both depression and anxiety.
However, with Lion's mane fighting obesity, overweight people can restore ideal body weight and enjoy high energy while eliminating depression and anxiety. It is also worth pointing out that Lion's offers depression benefits that result from the mushroom helping balance happy hormones in the body.
8. You Increase Testosterone Levels
Research has proven that obesity is connected to reduced testosterone levels. A research study conducted in 2014(16) determined that due to decreased sex hormone binding globulin caused by insulin resistance, moderate obesity primarily lowers total testosterone levels. In addition, free testosterone levels are also reduced because the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis is suppressed in more severe obesity.
Lion's mane offers testosterone benefits. One of the ways that a lion's mane supplement raises testosterone levels in men is that it lowers body weight. Moreover, by reducing body weight, the mushroom fights other diseases affecting testosterone levels, including diabetes and heart conditions.
How Long Do You Have To Take Lion's Mane To See Results?
Most medicinal mushrooms (including Lion's mane) do not show immediate results as actual medications do. This is because the bioactive compounds present in the fungi need to slowly build up in the system for the effects to be seen. This would generally take around 2 weeks, after which the desired results can be seen.
Apart from the duration, the mushroom's effects also mainly depend on how consistently you take it. It is therefore recommended to take Lion's mane mushroom persistently for a minimum of 2 weeks to see results.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Lion's Mane?
Little is known about the side effects of Lion's mane mushroom or its extract, as no human studies have examined it. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the medicinal mushroom is safe. Even limited toxicology studies investigating possible adverse effects have found that it is likely safe.
Based on animal studies, no adverse effects have been noted, even at doses as high as 2.3 grams per pound (5 grams per kg) of body weight per day for one month.
That being said, there are a few things to consider if you want to consume Lion's mane mushrooms for weight loss:
- Those who are sensitive or allergic to mushrooms should avoid Lion's mane.
- Some people have experienced skin rashes or difficulty breathing after exposure to Lion's mane mushroom.
If you suspect you may end up dealing with side effects, talking to a health care professional can help determine whether the mushroom will be safe for you. Professional medical advice can also help you determine the best Lion’s mane dosage for you.
Can Lion's Mane Help With Weight Loss?
Based on the results of animal studies, Lion's mane mushrooms can aid in weight loss by improving lipid metabolism. It can also alleviate symptoms of chronic inflammation, a common issue in obese people, via its anti-inflammatory effects.
How Does Lion's Mane Make You Feel?
Lion's mane is a medicinal fungus, and not a magic mushroom. It does not contain naturally occurring psychedelics that can alter your state of mind.
Instead, it can help reduce anxiety and make you feel calmer due to its anxiolytic properties, which have been demonstrated in several scientific studies.
Several direct and indirect pieces of evidence point to Lion's mane weight loss effects. These mushrooms are low in calories and an excellent source of plant-based proteins.
Additionally, it can improve fat metabolism and combat inflammation, which are implicated in excess body weight. Try the mushroom today if you struggle to keep the extra body fat at bay.
- Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease, (1)https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
- The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15466943/
- Anti-Obesity Effects of Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6278646/
- Yamabushitake Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) Improved Lipid Metabolism in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet, (4)https://academic.oup.com/bbb/article/74/7/1447/5940067
- Obesity and inflammation: the linking mechanism and the complications, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5507106/
- Obesity and diabetes—Not only a simple link between two epidemics, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220876/
- Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: Two Diseases with a Need for Combined Treatment Strategies - EASO Can Lead the Way, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741209/
- Higher risk of dementia in English older individuals who are overweight or obese, (8)https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/49/4/1353/5861491?login=false
- Obesity trajectories and risk of dementia: 28 years of follow-up in the Whitehall II Study, (9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805839/
- Obesity and Cancer, (10)https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/obesity/index.htm
- Waist circumference and risk of Parkinson’s disease, (11)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41531-022-00353-4
- Obesity paradox in cardiovascular disease: where do we stand?, (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6503652/
- Relationships between Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases in Four Southern States and Colorado, (13)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250069/
- Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association, (14)https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000973
- The Relationship Between Obesity and Depression Among Adolescents, (15)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3749079/
- Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management, (16)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955331/