Is It Safe for Dementia Patients to Eat Mushrooms?

Edible mushrooms are neither a plant nor an animal. They are categorized as Fungi that either grow above the ground or beneath. Typically, edible mushrooms grow in cooperation with other plants and soil. They are totally natural, and there’s nothing inorganic about them. But are edible mushrooms safe for Dementia patients? Let’s see what the research says.

A Japanese study concludes that the consumption of edible mushrooms is associated with a lower risk of incident dementia. 13,230 individuals, all older than 65 participated in this study. All participants were Japanese, from Ohsaki city. They compared the incidence of dementia in both, the people who ate mushrooms, and the ones who didn’t. The ones who consumed mushrooms were less likely to suffer from Dementia. 

Does lion’s mane mushroom help memory?

lion’s mane mushroom
image credit: wikimedia

From research, it is clear that the consumption of edible mushrooms is safe for people with Dementia. Note that I am talking about mushrooms that you get in the supermarket and grocery stores. 

You will be glad to know that there’s a special type of mushroom that aids memory in people who are likely to suffer from Dementia in the future— or the ones who have recently started showing signs of cognitive decline. I am talking about the famous Lion’s mane mushroom.

Lion’s mane is not a brand. It is a type of mushroom that has a fur-like thing on its surface that resembles a Lion’s mane. Some people call them Golden monkey mushrooms. 

They are also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake, due to their Japanese origins. This mushroom is popularly used as a medicinal herb in oriental Asian countries. Moreover, it is sold as a health supplement in the US and some parts of Europe. 

An Italian study says that regular consumption of Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) can improve recognition memory in people of all ages. The study suggests that due to the consumption of mushrooms, there’s an increase in neurogenesis in the hippocampus and cerebellum. 

Lion’s mane Alzheimer’s research

A lot of research has been done to learn about the positive and negative effects of Lion’s mane mushroom consumption on a dementia patient’s health. 

You will see a lot of nutritional supplement brands selling products with Lion’s mane as the primary ingredient. They promise great results, hence I thought it would be interesting to go through the research itself.  

A study done by Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas says that positive neurocognitive and neurobiological effects are seen in mice fed with Lion’s mane mushrooms. 

However, they did not see any improvement in mice with tau and beta-amyloid (Aβ) proteins in their brains— the proteins responsible for neurodegeneration of the brain in people with Dementia. 

The study also confirms that consumption of Lion’s mane mushrooms can ease anxiety to a great degree in mice with Dementia-like symptoms.  

To conclude, Lion’s mane mushrooms can be a good nutritional supplement for someone experiencing early on stage Dementia, but they are certainly not a cure for Dementia. They may slow down cognitive decline in some patients. 

Lion’s mane dosage for Alzheimer’s

I think it is best to consult a doctor before consuming lion’s mane mushrooms as a health supplement. The doctor will tell you the dosage as well. You can go through this article by if you want more information. 

Andrew Weil, M.D. approves 

Andrew Weil, M.D.

The celebrity doctor Andrew Weil says— in an article — that the studies done to find the efficacy of mushrooms as an alternative medicine to treat Dementia are valid. He says, in addition to Lion’s mane mushrooms, one should also add reishi mushrooms to their diet. 

Research suggests that reishi mushrooms have anti-cancer properties. They also improve cognitive ability. Andrew Weil, M.D. has always been a big fan of mushrooms, and he believes regular people should add mushrooms to their diet, whether they have Dementia or not. 

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