April 30, 2010
Power boost your memory supplement with a fungus
We're all concerned about Alzheimer's and memory loss. Fortunately, researchers have proven that supplements can go a long way toward preventing and even stopping the progression of memory loss. As you may know, I think whole foods are the best way to prevent most problems. But memory loss is one area where supplements are absolutely essential.
I've received lots of terrific feedback on Advanced Memory Formula. I take it myself and can remember names better (I've always been weak on names - but not science). Well, there's a new kid on the block that I must tell you about. New research suggests it is a great addition to your memory loss supplements.
Japanese research found that a class of compounds in the mushroom Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceum) are great for treating memory loss. They discovered that Lion's mane can actually induce production of a vital protein in your body called nerve growth factor (NGF). This protein has the ability to regrow neurons, maintain them, and organize them functionally.
A lack of NGF is one of the major causes of Alzheimer's disease.
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NGF doesn't work if you take it orally. It can't cross the blood-brain barrier. So the secret is to stimulate NGF within the brain. To do that, you have to take a nutrient that has compounds small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier. Lion's mane has non-polar compounds called erinacines. Non-polar molecules (like organic petrochemicals) can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. And research shows that these molecules stimulate NGF in cultured astrocytes (non-neuronal brain cells).
To see if it works in humans, researchers did a study in Japan on 50 patients. All were elderly and suffered from various neurodegenerative diseases, diabetic neuropathy, spinal cord injury, etc. Seven of the patients also suffered from various dementias.
The researchers gave each patient five grams of dried Lion's mane mushroom per day in their soup for six months. They evaluated them before and after the treatment period for their physical abilities for daily self-maintenance. Six of the seven demented patients had improvements in their perceptual capacities. All seven had improvements in their ability to maintain themselves.
A more recent study followed 30 subjects between the ages of 50 and 80. All of them had mild cognitive impairment. Each of them took 1,000 mg of dry Lion's mane powder in capsules three times daily for 16 weeks. During the intake period, their cognitive function increased! However, within four weeks after they stopped taking the supplement, they regressed. There were no adverse effects.
Lion's mane mushroom extract may be a breakthrough in providing you with a God-made molecule that can enhance nerve growth factor and improve your brain function. It can likely regenerate brain cells, improve memory function, stimulate NGF, improve mental clarity, muscle coordination, and your immune system.
I don't see any downside, except that if you don't continue it, you might regress to where you were. So, if you try it, I'd suggest staying on it. Please let me know how it works for you. It might be an excellent addition to Advanced Memory Formula. The best Lion's mane product I've seen is Amyloban 3399, by Mushroom Wisdom. You can buy Amyloban 3399 from many health food stores and on the Internet. I suggest following the label directions of two capsules, three times daily. That about matches the dose used in the Japanese studies.
Yours for better health and medical freedom,
Ref: Townsend April 2004; Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72.