Mushroom compound enhances memory and nerve growth

Credit: Unsplash+

What if eating a certain kind of mushroom could make your brain stronger and help you remember things better?

This isn’t a fairy tale, but a real discovery by researchers at The University of Queensland.

The team, led by Professor Frederic Meunier from the Queensland Brain Institute, found that compounds from the Hericium erinaceus mushroom, also known as the ‘lion’s mane’ mushroom, can help brain cells grow and improve memory.

These mushrooms have been used in traditional Asian medicine for hundreds of years, but the team wanted to study them to see if they could prove their benefits scientifically.

Mushrooms and Memory

In their tests, the researchers found that the lion’s mane mushroom had a big impact on the growth of brain cells and memory improvement.

They found that the compounds in the mushroom helped neurons (brain cells) grow projections, which they use to connect to other neurons.

By using super-resolution microscopy, a type of very detailed imaging, the researchers discovered that the mushroom extract and its active compounds significantly increased the size of growth cones.

These are important for brain cells to sense their surroundings and establish new connections with other neurons in the brain.

The Implications of the Discovery

According to co-author Dr. Ramon Martinez-Marmol, this discovery could be used to develop treatments for neurodegenerative cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

These disorders are conditions where the brain cells start to lose their function over time.

The researchers’ goal was to identify natural compounds that could reach the brain and regulate the growth of neurons, which could result in improved memory formation.

Dr. Dae Hee Lee from CNGBio Co, who collaborated on the research project, said the lion’s mane mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a long time to treat various ailments and maintain health.

This research helps explain how the compounds in lion’s mane mushrooms work and their effects on brain function, particularly memory.

This understanding could lead to new treatments for cognitive disorders and ways to improve memory.

The findings were published in the Journal of Neurochemistry.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.