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Hericium erinaceus, Lion's Mane, Monkey's Head, Houtou (infrequent)
The only human study currently used a dose of 1g (96%) Yamabushitake extract, three times a day (totaling 3g)
It may be best to take Yamabushitake with meals.
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The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (excluding animal/petri-dish studies) to tell you what effect Yamabushitake has in your body, and how strong these effects are.
|Grade||Level of Evidence|
|A||Robust research conducted with repeated double blind clinical trials|
|B||Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled|
|C||Single double blind study or multiple cohort studies|
|D||Uncontrolled or observational studies only|
|Level of Evidence ||Effect||Change||Magnitude of Effect Size ||Scientific Consensus||Comments|
An improvement in cognition has been seen in older adults with cognitive decline; no evidence to support usage in youth at this moment in time
Decreases in anxiety noted, this may be secondary to menopausal symptom reduction
Decrease in depressive symptoms has been noted, which may be secondary to attenuating menopausal symptoms
|C||Symptoms of Menopause|
A reduction in menopausal symptoms has been noted with yamabushitake consumption
No significant effects on sleep quality
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Yamabushitake is a mushroom that grows on old or dead broadleaf trees, and is consumed in Japan and China without harmful effects.
The mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) contains:
Sialic-acid binding lectin
Sterols, such as ergosterol and beta-sitosterol.
Polysaccharides, named HEF-P and belonging to the beta-glucan family; which can be broken down into four polysaccharides The percentage of polysaccharides in the fruiting bodies seems to be around 20%, with 18.59% found with an ethanol extraction.
The total phenolic content of Yamabushitake appears to be in the range of 10.20 ± 2.25mg GAE/g with the hot water extract, which appears to be up to 5-fold higher than oven cooked levels () and either methanolic or freeze-dried fruit bodies.
Yamabushitake has been shown in vitro to increase the mRNA expression for Nerve-Growth Factor in astrocytes, a neuronal protein important in neurogenesis and cognitive decline, as well as preserving and organizing cholinergic neurons. Secretion of NGF from astrocytes was also increased in vitro with Yamabushitake at 100ug/mL, although benefits were dose dependent (this concentration hit statistical significance).
Isolated hericinones failed to increase NGF, and NGF appeared to be increased through JNK signalling pathways to ultimately phosphorylate c-Fos. The Erinacines or other compounds are thought to be the agent that increases NGF production and secretion in vivo. at 5% of the diet.
Through the above mechanisms, Yamabushitake appears to protect rats against cognitive decline caused by β-amyloid pigmentation at the same 5% of the diet seen previously.
An analogue of the Hericenones, called 3-hydroxyhericenone, has been implicated in preserving neurons from death induced by endoplasmic reticulum stress. This mechanism of action is also seen with various benzene compounds in Yamabushitake.
It has also been shown, in vitro, to enhance myelination (production of myelin sheath) of neurons, which may be downstream of NGF.
One human study using 3g of 98% Yamabushitake powder (in capsule form) showed significantly improvements on a rating scale of dementia in persons suffering from general cognitive decline. The supplement increased cognition relative to control, and the degree of improvement increased with time; however, 4 weeks after cessation saw the start of a decline back to normal despite still being significantly elevated above control.
Anxiety and Depressive symptoms have also been reduced in humans fed 2g of Yamabushitake, via cookies, over the course of 4 weeks. There was a significant difference between groups on the measurements of concentration and irritability, favoring the Yamabushitake group.
In one study conducted in rats, Yamabushitake water extract was able to promote neuronal regrowth after crushing injury. Rats that had a gluteal nerve damaged (purposefully) during surgery were able to walk better after ingestion of water containing the extract of the fruits. Two doses used in this study were 10 or 20mL per kg bodyweight daily, but the exact mg or mmol dose was not recorded; the two doses, however, did not differ between each other. This was conducted as a follow-up to an in vitro study suggesting neuronal growth from Yamabushitake, which showed no toxic symptoms.
Yamabushitake is associated with increasing the rate of repair of flesh wounds when the water extract is applied to the wound.
Yamabushitake extract appears to have anti-inflammatory properties by reducing the inflammatory response from macrophages induced by LPS. It decreased nuclear translocation of nF-kB and c-Jun N-terminal kinase in a dose dependent manner, with the chloroform fraction being more potent than the ethanol or water fractions.
In a study on rats in which wounds had the water extract of Yamabushitake added to them, healing rate was accelerated and less immune cells were found in the wound.
An isolated polysaccharide, HEF-AP Fr II (of the beta-glucan family) has been shown in vitro to enhance a macrophages actions by potentiating the amount of NO release, and TNF-a as well as IL-b release. These studies were done with incubation at 1000ug/mL, and the molecular mass appears to be a mere 13kDa.
Additionally, Yamabushitake extract appears to stimulate production of macrophages and T cells in vitro.
These results suggest that Yamabushitake may stimulate the immune system and modulate the signals sent out by immune cells; however, a lack of studies limit conclusions.
Hericenone B has been shown to exert anti-platelet actions by inhibiting signalling from collagen through α2/β1 to release arachidonic acid; the mechanism appears to be potent but specific in tested rabbits.
Additionally, Yamabushitake appears to be an ACE inhibitor and may reduce blood pressure. However, it was shown to be less potent than other mushrooms such as Ganoderma Lucidum The IC50 value of this reaction was 0.580+/-0.023.
An upregulation of PPARa mRNA was not noted and its agonism was not noted in vitro, but the downstream protein mRNA such as Acad1, Srebf1, and Slc27a1 (amongst others) were significantly elevated.
Body weight gain was attenuated in the groups fed Yamabushitake at 2g/100g dietary intake, by 30% in the hot water extract group and 42.4% in the ethanolic extract group. With significant differences in hepatic and mesenteric adipose build-up, but not epididymal tissue.
A lowering of Triglyceride levels was also noted, with more benefits seen in the ethanol extract (89.3mg/dl) compared to the hot water extract (112.7mg/dl) at a dose of 2g per 100g dietary intake, with control at 122.5mg/dl. A similar trend was noted in the liver TG stores in regards to the previous study, and another study using an isolated compound (exo-polymer) in Yamabushitake noted drastic lowering LDL by 45.4% and increasing of HDL by 31.1%, in addition to lesser artherogenic markers in rats. These results were dose dependent, with the most drastic seen at 200mg/kg but some improvements seen at 50mg/kg. These drastic reductions in lipoproteins, however, were seen with the mushroom's mycelium and not the fruiting body which many other studies use.
Toxicology studies in rats suggest that doses up to 5g/kg bodyweight are safe in rats when given as MUNOPHIL, which is a combination of Yamabushitake and Panax Ginseng. The percentage of this compound by weight that is Yamabushitake was not listed.
There has been one case study of a 63 year old man who suffered acute respiratory failure, and the excess lymphocytes in his lungs showed high reactivity to Yamabushitake daily for 4 months in dosages commonly bought. The connection between the two, when rated, is seen as a 'probably' connection.
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