Aloha Mālama 'Ohana, Benjamin here, hitting you with a little brain food! Coming from a background in the hard sciences, I tend to not believe the hype. This is especially true around health-trends until I see proof backed by science...and I mean real science. Not just what your bio-hacker tech-bro friend felt one day. Anecdotes & individuals testimonies are great, but at the end of the day, I believe it's healthy to remain skeptical until there is quantitively measurable, data driven proof. I once heard the intellectual Sam Harris say "The plural of anecdote is not data." Turns out this is a misquote, but nonetheless, I appreciate the sentiment.
One of the big reasons I'm a fungi fanatic is because mushrooms have loaaaadddds of solid scientific studies that follow the gold standard tests that are double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized (fancy words for being "Valid AF"). Today, in celebration of our new Lion's Mane tincture, I’m highlighting a clinical study conducted in 2009 on non-other than our beloved Lion’s Mane mushroom, and its effect on preventing cognitive decline in a group of 50 to 80 year-old women & men.
A 2009 study took a group of 50 to 80 year old women and men with mild cognitive impairment in order to study the effects of ingesting Lion’s Mane. The group of subjects were randomized into two 15-person groups. One group was given three grams of Lion's Mane per day, while the second group was given a placebo, or non-active, tablet.
Neither the group, nor the researchers, were told which group was taking the active and non-active tablets to ensure there was no bias in data collection (This is what is called a double-blind trial design). Individuals ingested their tablets daily for 16 weeks and were evaluated on their cognitive function at set intervals. The cognitive function tests continued a few weeks post-injestion period to track if the effects continued after use.
The subjects all had two weeks of preliminary examination to provide a baseline for their cognitive function, which was determined using the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS-R). The HDS-R is a question-and-answer based test that starts as simple as asking age and the day or year, but quickly ramps up to more challenging tasks such as recounting digits presented by tester in reverse order, recalling the name of objects in a specific order presented by the tester, and other challenging memory tests.
At weeks 8, 12, and 16 of the trial, the Lion’s Mane ingesting groups had “significantly increased scores on cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group”. Even more, each testing week, the test scores increased with each passing week showing the Lion’s Mane actually had an increasing effect over time! This means the effects actually exponentially increase with use, at least to a degree. Interestingly, four weeks after the test group stopped taking the Lion's Mane, the improvements had significantly dwindled.
The results are in! The Lion’s Mane ingesting groups had “significantly increased scores on cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group”
Even in amounts as little as 3 grams per day (which is about 1-2 teaspoons of our powder or 3 droppers of our tincture...justttttt saying) subjects had "significant increases" in their cognitive function. Even more interestingly, the effect actually increased more over time, suggesting that more use created exponentially more results.
It’s unclear just how soon the effects began, as the first measurement was done at 2 months of use, about halfway through the study. (Makes me want to ask all of our faithful users when you first noticed effects?). Either way, it was clear that each measurement period there were positive results for the experimental group, especially when compared to the control group.
What has been your experience with Lion's Mane? Leave us a note in the comments!
Still haven't tried? Give it a shot and let us know!