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Our Discoveries About Mushrooms And Alzheimer's Treatment
Aug 21, 23
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Our Discoveries About Mushrooms And Alzheimer's Treatment

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 9 min read
Our Discoveries About Mushrooms And Alzheimer's Treatment

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, characterized by impairments in thinking, memory, and behavior. You are not alone if diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia. Dementia affects an estimated 47 million individuals globally today.

It is natural to feel a range of emotions after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's or similar dementia. While there is no cure, prevention, or treatment for Alzheimer's or dementia, some FDA-approved drugs are used to treat symptoms. Your lifestyle has an impact on improving your memory, preventing Alzheimer's and memory loss, and influencing the causes of Alzheimer's disease. And because your diet is so crucial to your brain's health, you might want to include mushrooms!

But what is the link between eating mushrooms and Alzheimer's? Eating mushrooms, exceptionally functional mushrooms is one of the finest methods to fuel your brain for more incredible memory. Medicinal mushrooms are high in vitamins, minerals, and bioactive chemicals, shown in tests to aid memory and cognitive function.

Let’s explore the best mushrooms for Alzheimer's and how to add these superfood fungi into your holistic lifestyle.

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, degenerative brain disorder that gradually damages memory, thinking skills, and the capacity to do the most basic tasks. It is the leading cause of dementia in older adults. While dementia becomes more common as people age, it is not a normal component of the aging process.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 55 million individuals worldwide have dementia, with Alzheimer's disease accounting for 60-70% of cases. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, which means it worsens over time.

Treatment cannot cure the condition, but it can delay its progression.  With present treatment unable to prevent the sickness, millions more people could be affected by this devastating condition.

Brain cells die progressively in Alzheimer's disease. This is referred to as neurodegeneration. Their connections disintegrate, preventing brain parts from interacting with one another. This breakdown produces changes in emotion and behavior, including despair, rage, restlessness, memory, reasoning, and thinking loss.

The Mushroom Connection to Brain Health

The Mushroom Connection to Brain Health

Now what’s the link between Alzheimer's and mushrooms?

Mushrooms provide new hope for Alzheimer's disease treatment. Functional mushrooms may give an additional preventative treatment for Alzheimer's and dementia by increasing nerve growth factor (NGF)(1), decreasing neuroinflammation, and boosting neuron repair.

Some mushrooms have even been demonstrated to lower oxidative stress and increase cognitive function and memory. Mycological support could benefit many people who want to improve their general brain health.

Furthermore, they may help minimize the incidence of moderate cognitive impairment (MCI). This memory impairment is frequently a precursor to Alzheimer's while still causing some of the disease's symptoms, such as poor memory, communication difficulty, and physical orientation.

Now let’s look at the scientific basis behind mushrooms Alzheimer's benefits.

Mushrooms and Their Impact on Alzheimer's

Mushrooms and Their Impact on Alzheimer's

In a 2019 study(2), Singapore researchers sought 663 participants over 60 to investigate the brain-mushroom relationship in MCI. They discovered that people who ate one to two servings of mushrooms per week had a 43 percent lower risk of MCI than those who ate less than one portion. Those who consumed more than two pieces of mushrooms reduced their risk by 52%. Mushrooms have the potential to change how we treat cognitive-degenerative disorders significantly.

But what qualities do these mushrooms make them such good brain food? The following are the main bioactive compounds:

Mushrooms are packed with antioxidants

As we age, free radicals accumulate in nerve cells. Studies on the brains of Alzheimer's patients have discovered indicators of oxidative stress, indicating that the body has been attempting to combat free radical damage. Getting extra antioxidants appears to be a positive thing.

Mushrooms are high in antioxidants(3), which are due to the bioactive substances found in them. Ergothioneine, which protects mitochondrial components from oxidative damage, is primarily found in medicinal mushrooms.

Fungi are rich in Vitamin D

One of vitamin D's functions is to support the brain. Most of us acquire vitamin D from the sun and foods such as cheese, fatty fish, and egg yolks. However, it is also available in mushrooms! Mushrooms are the only substantial source of vitamin D in the produce section, as no other fruits or vegetables contain enough to be called important.

There is an association between vitamin D(4) and Alzheimer's disease. Several studies have found that persons with Alzheimer's disease have low vitamin D levels. According to one study, those with very low vitamin D levels are twice as likely(5) to develop Alzheimer's.

Mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties

Neuroinflammation(6) appears to be a crucial early occurrence in Alzheimer’s disease, according to growing research. Mushrooms aid in the prevention of disease progression by combating inflammation. The anti-neuroinflammatory action will make it easier to use mushroom-derived medicines to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Notable Mushrooms for Alzheimer's

Super mushrooms such as Lion's Mane, Chaga, Maitake, and Cordyceps are popular among health enthusiasts for boosting intestinal balance. Because of their nootropic properties, they are likely to be utilized to assist in managing Alzheimer's disease symptoms.

Lion’s mane mushroom

Lion’s mane mushroom

Lion's mane is high in nootropic substances, including hericenones and erinacines, stimulating brain cell growth and increasing memory. According to research, taking Lion's mane mushrooms(7) in tiny amounts for three months improves mental functioning.

Cordyceps mushrooms

Cordyceps mushrooms

Cordyceps, mainly found in mountain areas, improves blood flow to injured brain cells. It lessens the adverse effects of aging and the risk of age-related cognitive impairment. Chronic stress causes brain inflammation which damages memory and increases the risk of cognitive diseases. This mushroom has a calming effect on the mind and improves memory(8).



The antioxidant content of maitake mushrooms is significant, directly improving brain and cognitive health. Because studies suggest that antioxidants may assist lower oxidative stress, there is reason to believe that they may also protect cognitive functions such as memory. A polysaccharide bioactive component found in Maitake mushroom(9) extracts has been demonstrated to improve learning and memory deficiencies considerably.

Chaga Mushroom

Chaga Mushroom

Chaga mushrooms are high in antioxidants(10), which are essential for brain health. The brain is vulnerable to oxidative stress, linked to cognitive loss and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. It protects the cells and helps to protect the brain from neurodegeneration by balancing the antioxidant system.

Precautions and Considerations

Medicinal mushrooms are generally regarded as safe for use. However, it may trigger allergies in some sensitive individuals. Always consult with a healthcare provider before using mushrooms as a therapeutic approach.

FAQs About Mushrooms And Alzheimer's

Can Mushrooms Replace Conventional Treatments For Alzheimer's?

Medicinal mushrooms should be used alongside conventional treatments for Alzheimer’s. There are not intended to replace them.

Can I Take Mushrooms Every Day?

Medicinal mushrooms are safe for daily use. In fact, since the effects of the mushroom increase when taken consistently, everyday use is encouraged.

Does Mushrooms Interact With Medications?

Some medicinal mushrooms may interact with blood thinners or blood sugar-lowering medications. So, if you want to try mushroom supplements, talk to your doctor first to ensure they won't create adverse effects or interfere with any other medications you're on.

Key Takeaways

When you or someone you care about has Alzheimer's, you may be willing to try anything to treat it and keep it from worsening. But if a natural vitamin can aid with Alzheimer's and memory loss, that's the icing on the cake!

We know what you eat affects your brain health, but how do mushrooms and Alzheimer's add up? Medicinal mushrooms have been shown to improve memory and cognitive function and decrease disease symptoms.

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Nerve Growth Factor: A Focus on Neuroscience and Therapy, (1) 
  2. The Association between Mushroom Consumption and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study in Singapore, (2) 
  3. Antioxidant Activity of Mushroom Extracts/Polysaccharides—Their Antiviral Properties and Plausible AntiCOVID-19 Properties, (3) 
  4. The beneficial role of vitamin D in Alzheimer's disease, (4) 
  5. Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease, (5) 
  6. Multiple Metabolites Derived from Mushrooms and Their Beneficial Effect on Alzheimer’s Diseases, (6) 
  7. Improvement of cognitive functions by oral intake of Hericium erinaceus, (7) 
  8. Improvement of Learning and Memory Induced by Cordyceps Polypeptide Treatment and the Underlying Mechanism, (8) 
  9. A Maitake (Grifola frondosa) polysaccharide ameliorates Alzheimer's disease-like pathology and cognitive impairments by enhancing microglial amyloid-β clearance, (9) 
  10. Antioxidant effect of Inonotus obliquus (10)

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