While there is no definitive answer, studies indicate that 2-11g/day of Lion’s Mane may provide health benefits (for example, to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression). Lion’s Mane coffee, beverages and cereals often contain only a fraction of this amount, are so are unlikely to be an effective means of supplementation. In this article, we’ll discuss the dosage found to be effective in different studies, and provide some details on what to look out for when purchasing. Lion’s Mane mushroom supplements.
Table of Contents
- How much Lion’s Mane a day to take?
- Should I buy only “fruiting body”?
- When should you take Lion’s Mane?
- Is Lion’s Mane a Nootropic?
- Does Lion’s Mane make you sleepy?
- Is Lion’s Mane psychedelic?
- What happens if I take too much lion’s mane?
- Is mushroom coffee good for you?
How much Lion’s Mane a day to take?
Taking 2,000mg/day of powdered fruiting body (or 11,000 mg/day via Amyloban 3399 tablets) for four weeks has been shown to provide antidepressive and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.
The daily amount of Lion’s Mane supplemented in research studies varies greatly. However, there are some consistencies from which we may draw conclusions on what would be a reasonable dosage. Two studies (a research study and a medical case study) relied on the exact same dosage: 6 Amyloban 3399 tablets per day. The remaining studies involve 2,000-3,000 mg/day.
A reasonable starting point for supplementation, based on these studies which were focused on cognitive benefits, would be 2,000 mg/day at a minimum, or 6 Amyloban 3399 tablets per day, for at least four weeks. Nearly all studies below evaluated the participants after four weeks or more, so it can be reasoned that the effectiveness of the supplement may not be noticeable until sufficient time has passed.
|Supplement & Dose||Effect|
|3,6g/day of A.V.D. reform capsule||Lowered anxiety after 8 weeks among 77 overweight/obese subjects (Vigna, 2019).|
|2g/day of powdered Fruiting Body||Improved concentration, irritability, and anxiety for 12 women after 4 weeks (Nagano, 2010).|
|3g/day of air-dried and powdered fruiting body||Improved cognition for Japanese seniors (50-80 years old) after 16 weeks. (Mori, 2009)|
|11.7g / day of Amyloban 3399||Case Study: Enabled 86 year old Japanese man to score significantly better on dementia test, after 4 weeks. It is also believed to have ultimately cured his depression, for which he had been treated with six different antidepressants throughout his life, with varying side-effects (Inanaga, 2014).*|
|–||After 4 weeks male mice demonstrated enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis, and out-performed control mice for tests on depression and anxiety (indicating anti-depressant and anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety, effects of the H. erinaceus) (Ryu, 2018).**|
*The antidepressants the patient used included clomipramine/Anafranil, trimipramine/Surmontil, amitriptyline/Elavil, setiptiline/Tecipul, fluvoxamine/Luxor, and paroxetin/Brisdelle.
**No details on the type of H. erinaceus supplementation used. 60 mg/kg/day were used for mice, but this is not readily applicable to humans.
Should I buy only “fruiting body”?
It depends on which health-boosting properties you’re interested in. For overall health benefits, look for 100% fruiting body (from hot water extract). For cognitive benefits, prioritize alcohol-extracted liquid grown mycelium and/or fruiting body. Avoid mycelium supplements with grain or ‘biomass’, as these are diluted and the concentration of health-promoting compounds is unknown.
When browsing Lion’s Mane products, you may notice an emphasis on the “fruiting body” of the mushroom. The fruiting body refers to the visible, edible, part of any mushroom. The mycelia refers to the roots. Given the marketing’s emphasis on fruiting body, it seems like that may be the more desirable part of the mushroom. But is this true?
The fruiting body is what people are most familiar with and it’s what people have historically used for medicinal purposes. Traditional Chinese medicine and east Asian uses of Lion’s Mane would be limited to the fruiting body, as the mycelium itself would be inaccessible. Just imagine trying to dig out the large and delicate mycelium from a naturally budding Lion’s Mane mushroom, that may be entwined in the tree or Earth.
The fruiting body provides numerous health benefits, because it’s rich in beta glucans which have anti-cancer, immuno-modulating, antioxidant and neuroprotective activities (Khan, 2013). The fruiting body is also rich in hericenones, compounds which boost nerve growth factors (NGF) that may benefit cognition.
But not all of Lion’s Mane’s health-boosting properties are in the fruiting body of the mushroom alone. The mycelium contains compounds with antioxidant and antifungal activities (Lu, 2014). It also contains unique compounds that are unavailable in the fruiting body, erinacines. These can induce the biosynthesis of NGF and so offer neuroprotective benefits (Chang, 2016; Zhang, 2015). Erinacine A may be an especially potent source for this, as its been observed to increase NGF and its effects, leading to improved behavior for rats and mice in studies (Li, 2018). Up until 2021, it had been unknown if erinacine A could cross the blood-brain barrier or be absorbed into the blood capillaries. A recent study on rats has put this case to rest. Researchers found that the erinacine A in H. erinaceus mycelia can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (Tsai, 2021).
It’s clear now that both the mycelium and fruiting body have health-boosting properties. So, the problem isn’t mycelium, but rather the fact that most products containing mycelium are largely diluted.
A mushroom mycelium is an intricate network of branching hyphae, strands of tissue growing outwards seeking nutrients and water. Mycelium is grown within some kind of medium, or carrier material. Rice is a common choice (Jones, 2018). This mycelium product, for example, is grown in brown rice. By its very nature, mycelium cannot be easily separated from the material in which it grows. When it comes time for processing, grain and mycelium are both ground up into the mushroom powder. Thus, products with ‘biomass’ or grain in the label may have a significant portion of the original carrier material, thereby diluting the therapeutic benefits.
Liquid-grown mycelium is advantageous for this reason, but it can be hard to find.
When should you take Lion’s Mane?
Take Lion’s Mane any time of day. There is no proven benefit to taking it in the morning. If taking large quantities, consider splitting it up into 2-3 doses throughout the day.
A quick search online will inform you that it is advantageous to take Lion’s Mane in the morning for its “nootropic” effects, but this claim has no compelling evidence behind it. Below, we break down the facts on why it doesn’t matter at what time of day you take this supplement, but that you may choose to alter your consumption based on any side-effects you experience.
Studies on Lion’s Mane do not place emphasis on what time of day the supplements are consumed by participants (Nagano, 2010; Vigna, 2019). Thus, we have no evidence as to what time of day may deliver better results. Some studies dictated that participants should break up the dosage, although it remained up to the participants to decide when to take the doses. For example, in Okamura, 2015, 6 tablets were self-administered via 2-3 doses throughout the day.
Now, if there was compelling evidence that Lion’s Mane offers immediate mind-boosting effects, then the time of day would matter. But this isn’t the case. Although some people report that Amyloban 3399 (standard extract of H. erinaceum) increases alertness and reduces drowsiness, there’s no known immediate effects of Lion’s Mane (Inanaga, 2012).
You may experiment with taking your Lion’s Mane supplement at any time of the day that suits you. If you experience side-effects (such as nausea), you may try taking it after meals and/or before sleeping. Side-effects are not widely reported, but some participants in one study reported that they experienced abdominal discomfort, nausea, and skin rash (Li, 2020).
Is Lion’s Mane a Nootropic?
Lion’s Mane can be considered a nootropic because it encourages the biosynthesis of nerve growth factors (NGF), which enhance cognitive performance through their nootropic action (Inanaga, 2012).
Nootropics refers to the class of “smart drugs” that improve thinking, learning, and memory. Many people using nootropics may be already relatively healthy but are seeking an additional “boost” to their mental capabilities. Nootropics can be used both those who have issues with learning or memory (as is the case in old age with dementia) or by those who wish to use it as a preventative method. Nootropics include rescription drugs (such as Adderall, for the treatment ADHD) as well as traditional medicinal plants (Lion’s Mane) (Russo, 2005; Malík, 2022).
Contrary to some information online, it doesn’t matter what time of day you take a supplement for nootropic benefits (whether in the morning or afternoon). Nootropics work over the long-term, and most don’t reveal any immediate effects after a single dosage. This explains why the majority of studies involving Lion’s Mane evaluate the effectiveness after 4-8 weeks (Malík, 2022).
Does Lion’s Mane make you sleepy?
No, Lion’s Mane shouldn’t make you sleepy.
Based on the limited research available, there are no indications that Lion’s Mane induces sleepiness. If it does help with sleep, it is presumably because the user is more awake during the day and going to sleep at a regular time, enabling healthy sleep patterns to form (Inanaga, 2012).
One study examining the impact of Lion’s Mane on sleep found no significant difference in the sleep quality index (a standardized measure for the quality of sleep over 1 month) for those taking 2,000 mg/day of powdered fruiting body versus control (Nagano, 2010).
Given that the evidence for Lion’s Mane long-term influence on sleep is minimal, we can stand to reason that its short-term influence is not substantiated. There’s no reason to believe it’ll make you sleepy.
Is Lion’s Mane psychedelic?
Psychedelic refers to the class of hallucinogenic drugs that have mind-altering effects, which expand consciousness and alter the user’s perception of reality. Many plants and fungi have psychedelic effects. The mushroom extract, psilocybin, is particularly well known as a psychedelic agent, and the mushrooms containing it are colloquially referred to as magic mushrooms (Lowe, 2021).
Lion’s Mane mushrooms do not contain psilocybin, so they are not psychedelic. Lion’s Mane will not get you high. This is based on the fact that no studies or reports on the mushroom reveal any psychedelic properties.
Check out our in-depth article discussing how Lion Mane makes you feel.
What happens if I take too much lion’s mane?
Given the high concentration at which lion’s mane supplementation is evidenced to work, you may be worried about over-dosing, or that it may be toxic at some concentration. Several studies on rats reveal that even in large quantities (upwards of 5g/kg/day) no adverse effects are observed, indicating that even at these large quantities, the mushroom possesses no toxic properties (Park, 2008; Li, 2014; Lakshmanan, 2016).
For reference, 5g/kg/day for mice would be 15,000 mg/kg/day for humans, this corresponds to 1,000 g/day for a 150 lb (68 kg) person (Nair & Jacob, 2016). The studies examining relatively large doses, >10g/day, are nowhere near these upper limits. These findings assure us that lion’s mane is safe to consume, even in large quantities.
Is mushroom coffee good for you?
Most studies observing the health benefits of Lion’s Mane involve 2g/day, so products with significantly less than this (250mg/serving, for example) may not have much health impact. Consider the quantity and quality of H. erinaceus in the products you buy.
The effectiveness of Lion’s Mane on health (particularly in the realm of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety) is evaluated based on doses of at least 2,000 mg/day. We simply don’t have the evidence to support that consuming any less than this amount may provide short or long-term health benefits. Beware of products (like mushroom coffee) that contain significantly less than 2 grams per serving, as these tend to be exorbitantly priced.
Also be careful to examine the ingredients. For example, the Mushroom Hot Chocolate Blend by Om provides 2 grams of mushroom blend, but it consists of several mushroom powders and includes their mycelia, which, as discussed above, reduces the concentration. Both Om and Four Sigmatic carry better products with significantly higher concentrations, which may be better alternatives to these beverages.
Your best bet is to purchase Lion’s Mane powder or supplements directly, as this is generally the most cost-effective route. Always review the quantity and type of H. erinaceus before purchasing to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Our 3-point buying guide may help you.
Lion’s Mane has been observed to positively influence health (by reducing depression and anxiety) after four weeks of daily supplementation with 2,000mg/day, or 11,000 mg/day via Amyloban 3399 tablets. You may benefit from purchasing supplements made only of fruiting body, as these are more concentrated than those diluted with mycelium and corresponding filler material. Although Lion’s Mane is a nootropic, it is not associated with any immediate, mental effects. Some side-effects have been reported, which may be reduced by taking it with meals.
Disclaimer | We strive to provide you the most reliable up-to-date information regarding natural health remedies, but we are not medical professionals. All content on this page and site is for informational and educational purposes. It is advisable to first consult with a medical professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. Best of luck to you on your journey for better health!