Since most people do not have time to forage for Lion's Mane mushrooms, health-conscious individuals opt for Lion's mane supplements. However, Lion's mane supplements are not created equal—some are more potent than others, guaranteeing more health benefits.
Choose supplements combining the fruiting body and mycelium, certified organic, double extracted, have zero or minimal fillers, and have the right concentration of bioactive ingredients. Most manufacturers will have these details on their product labels, making getting a product that offers maximum benefits easier.
To avoid low-quality Lion's Mane supplements, carefully analyze products. Look for supplements that have the potential to fight inflammation, depression, and anxiety and boost energy levels while supporting the immune system. This detailed guide will take a deeper look at the qualities of the best Hericium Erinaceus supplements.
Guide on What To Look For When Buying Lion's Mane
1. High-Quality Supplements Combine Mycelium and Fruiting Body
The fruiting bodies sit above the ground, while mycelium is the root-like underground structure. The fruiting body contains Hericenones, whereas the mycelium contains Erinacines.
Research studies have demonstrated that both bioactive compounds have beneficial effects on neuronal health(1), promoting the regeneration of brain and nerve cells. Therefore, the best Lion's mane supplement carries Hericenones and Erinacines. So, when buying Lion's mane supplements, look for those produced using a combination of the fruiting body and the mycelium.
Read More: is mycelium safe to eat?
2. Pay Attention to the Extraction Ratio
The extraction ratio refers to the amount of raw material (in this case, Lion's Mane mushroom) used to produce a given amount of extract in a supplement. For example, an 8:1 extraction ratio means it took 8 kilograms of Lion's Mane to produce 1 kilogram.
Lion's Mane extracts with ratios of 10:1, 12:1, or 20:1 are available, but the 8:1 extract is the highest possible ratio without adding fillers to stabilize the powder form. Higher ratios are unstable and require fillers, which the best brands avoid.
The Lion's Mane 8:1 and 1:1 extracts differ in extraction methods and potency.The 8:1 contains more ethanol-soluble compounds but fewer water-soluble compounds, while the 1:1 is simply hot water processed. As a result, the 8:1 is more potent, but not necessarily eight times more so. It has more potent cognition-enhancing effects but fewer immune and general health effects than the 1:1.
Therefore, to boost immunity and general health, eliminating the risk of tumor growth, the 1:1 mushroom powders may be a better option. However, to boost memory and clarity, increase nerve growth factor (NGF) production, or fix issues with your mind and mood, the 8:1 ratio may be a better source of bioactive ingredients.
Read More: See how Lion's Mane promotes neurogenesis and NGF production.
3. Double-Extracted Hericium Erinaceus is More Potent
The many active compounds in lions mane mushroom extracts must be extracted for the body to access them. The compounds may be water-soluble (triterpenes) or alcohol-soluble (beta-glucans). Therefore, Lion's mane mushroom supplement can be extracted:
- With hot water
- Alcohol like ethanol
- The two processes
The best Lions mane mushroom supplement is usually double extracted (with water and alcohol). Double extraction is the standard method used by top-rated brands.
A double-extracted Lion's mane mushroom product will have the right bioactive compounds to offer maximum health benefits. For example, it will promote weight loss, fight cholesterol, and treat diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels in check.
Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights diabetes.
4. Check Beta Glucans and Polysaccharide Content
The best Lion's mane supplements will have a beta-glucan content of at least 25%. Additionally, a good extract should contain only about 35% polysaccharides (a form of starch).
It is worth noting that lower-quality Lions Mane mushroom extracts may have starches to improve the taste, containing up to 55% polysaccharides. So when you buy Lion's Mane mushrooms to enhance your brain and nervous system, ensure polysaccharide content is not above the beta-glucan range by more than 10%.
The percentage of beta-glucan in Lion's mane mushrooms is essential as this is one of the primary compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom extract. For example, human studies have shown(2) that beta-glucans improve cognitive function and the health of the brain cells, fighting mental disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
Read More: See how Lion's mane extract fights Alzheimer's disease.
5. Raw Mushroom Should Be USDA-Certified Organic
The best mane powder is prepared from organically grown Lion's Mane. Therefore, before buying Lion's Mane mushrooms and their supplements, look for certified organic and grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
You should also ensure the product has been created sustainably, using non-GMO ingredients. Avoid anything not certified organic, as this could harm your overall health. The best manufacturers will always have a certification on their labels indicating their powder, tincture, or capsule is free from GMO ingredients.
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6. Confirm It Has Minimal Fillers
The best quality Lion's mane supplements will not have grains or grain starch as the primary or secondary ingredient. This is because these ingredients do not carry any health benefits.
For this reason, avoid mushroom products with grains as a central component of the Lions mane supplement. The non-beneficial grains and fillers include mycelial biomass and rice.
7. Absence Of Heavy Metals
The term "heavy metals" refers to any metallic chemical element with a relatively high density and is poisonous or toxic even at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include:
The best Lion's Mane product will not have heavy metals. In addition, the best brands will always test their products to ensure they only supply beneficial compounds and zero toxins or poisonous compounds.
FAQs About What to Look for When Buying Lion's Mane
What Is The Best Form Of Lion's Mane To Take?
The best form of Lion's Mane depends on personal preferences and health goals. Lion's Mane is available in various forms, including capsules, powders, tinctures, and teas, all of which appeal to different consumers.
Lion's mane capsules and powders are the most common forms, with capsules being more convenient and easy to use. Lion's mane powders can be added to drinks or foods, allowing for more versatility in consumption.
Tinctures and teas may offer a more traditional approach and be helpful for those who prefer herbal remedies. These forms of Lion's Mane boast the same nutrients—including protein and minerals—and bioactive ingredients, meaning they have the same health benefits.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Lion's Mane?
Lion's Mane mushroom is generally considered safe, with rare side effects. However, when taking higher doses, some individuals may experience mild digestive symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or stomach discomfort.
Additionally, some people may experience allergic reactions to mushrooms, including Lion's Mane, which can range from mild to severe. People allergic to mushrooms should avoid Lion's Mane and related supplements. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements or if any adverse reactions occur.
Should I Take Lion's Mane Every Day?
Lion's Mane supplements are generally safe for most people and can be taken daily as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, the frequency and dosage of Lion's Mane supplements depend on individual health goals, overall health, and lifestyle factors.
Moreover, some people may benefit from taking Lion's Mane supplements daily, while others may find it beneficial to take them intermittently or as needed. The recommended dosage for Lion's Mane supplements varies depending on the form and brand. Therefore, following the instructions provided on the product label or as a healthcare professional recommends is essential.
Is Lions Mane Better In Morning Or Night?
No specific time of day is recommended for taking Lion's Mane supplements. The best time to take Lion's Mane may vary depending on individual preferences and lifestyle factors.
Some people may prefer taking it in the morning to help improve focus and concentration throughout the day. Others may like taking it in the evening to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
Read More: See our guide on the best time to take Lion's Mane.
How Much Lions Mane Should I Take Daily?
The recommended dosage for Lion's Mane extract varies depending on the form and brand. Therefore, following the instructions provided on the product label or as a healthcare professional recommends is essential.
The typical daily dosage for Lions Mane mushroom extract ranges from 500 mg to 3000 mg, depending on the concentration of active compounds and the desired health benefits. Start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it to determine the optimal dosage that works for you.
Read More: See our detailed guide on Lion's mane dosage.
When purchasing Lion's mane mushroom extracts, pick products made from mushroom fruiting bodies, double extracted, certified organic, and analytically tested for purity and potency. The mushroom supplement should also have a high percentage of beta-glucan content and have non-GMO ingredients.
A Lion's mane supplement that ticks all these checkboxes will be the best quality. However, you must also ensure that you get your Lion's mane mushroom products from reputable producers. This will reduce the risk of receiving substandard Lions mane mushroom supplements.
Have you tried purchasing Lion's Mane before? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments.
- Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924982/
- Three Different Types of β-Glucans Enhance Cognition: The Role of the Gut-Brain Axis, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8927932/
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