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A Review of Mushrooms for Brain Health: 5 Products in 2024

Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries for their perceived benefits. As of now, we are learning more about them because emerging scientific research is shedding light on their potential therapeutic properties and mechanisms of action.

Some data suggest that mushrooms could be beneficial for one’s brain. In this article, we will explore this notion in more detail and look over a few mushrooms for brain health products that are, in our view, worth considering.

Best mushroom supplement for brain health: product shortlist

  1. FOCL — best mushroom gummies for brain health support
  2. Real Mushrooms — best affordable mushrooms for brain health
  3. Oweli — best brain health supplement with a wide range of mushrooms
  4. Mind Lab Pro — best mushrooms for memory and focus
  5. Nooceptin — overall best mushroom supplement for brain health

Criteria we follow for choosing the best mushrooms for brain health

CriteriaDescription
Mushroom typeIncludes science-backed mushrooms
Additional ingredientsMay also support brain health
Manufacturing GMP-compliant or/and FDA-registered
Price$0.50-$2.57 per serving
  • Mushroom type. We picked products that include mushrooms that have been evaluated by scientific research and showed possible benefits for brain health. However, it is important to understand that, although promising, the data on medicinal mushrooms is currently scarce.
  • Additional ingredients. We analyzed the product’s label carefully to understand what benefits it may potentially deliver. Our preference leaned towards products that include a variety of additional ingredients that promote brain health.
  • Manufacturing. We looked for products that adhere to strict manufacturing standards. Manufacturing in FDA-registered and GMP-compliant facilities could indicate that the company produces products containing no industrial contaminants such as heavy metals.
  • Price. We calculated the price per serving to roughly estimate how much these products would cost you daily.

Best mushroom supplements for brain health: overview

After analyzing several products on the market, we picked a few mushroom supplements that may be good for brain health.

1. FOCL — best mushroom gummy supplement for brain health support

FOCL Better Brain Gummies

If you are seeking the best mushrooms for brain health, consider these FOCL gummies as an excellent choice. One FOCL gummy contains 300 mg of lion's mane mushroom extract. As of now, lion’s mane is one of the most extensively researched medicinal mushrooms for neuroprotective properties.

Moreover, it includes extracts from cordyceps and reishi, two mushrooms that are increasing in popularity for possible benefits for brain health.

This supplement is produced in a GMP-certified facility within the United States, guaranteeing rigorous manufacturing standards.

One jar of this FOCL supplement is priced at $39.00 and contains 30 gummies. As the manufacturer recommends taking 1 gummy per day, this product would cost you $1.30 daily.

2. Real Mushrooms — the best affordable mushrooms for the brain

Real Mushrooms lions mane supplement bottle

Real Mushrooms is a renowned medicinal mushroom company that offers comparably lower-priced but high-quality products. This supplement features organic lion’s mane mushroom extract and delivers 1000 mg per serving.

Although this Real Mushrooms product does not contain any other active ingredients, it is worth considering if you are seeking to introduce mushrooms into your routine because lion’s mane is one of the most studied medicinal mushrooms out there.

In addition, Real Mushrooms products are made from fruiting bodies rather than mycelium. As a result, this particular Real Mushrooms product is expected to boast a higher concentration of active beneficial compounds compared to mycelium-based counterparts.

A bottle containing 120 capsules is currently priced at $29.95. The recommended serving of this product is 2 capsules per day, which amounts to $0.50 per day.

3. Oweli — best brain supplement with a wide range of mushrooms

Oweli-10-shrooms-comm-supp

10 SHROOMS by Oweli provides a combination of ten different types of mushrooms in one supplement.

The main mushroom extracts in this supplement complex are lion’s mane, cordyceps, shiitake, and reishi. Emerging evidence from preclinical studies suggests that lion’s mane, cordyceps, and reishi may have neuroprotective properties.

Moreover, the proprietary blend includes other mushrooms such as turkey tail and maitake extracts which may be beneficial for immune system support.

Besides mushrooms, this Oweli product does not include any other active ingredient.

The official Oweli website asserts that their product undergoes third-party testing. Moreover, it's worth noting that 10 SHROOMS are produced in FDA-registered and cGMP-compliant facilities, suggesting the supplement's adherence to stringent manufacturing quality criteria.

One bottle (60 capsules) of this Oweli product is priced at $49.99. As one serving is 2 capsules, this supplement comes to $1.67 per day.

4. Mind Lab Pro — top mushrooms for memory and focus

Mind Lab Pro comm

If you are seeking for best mushroom for memory and focus, this Mind Lab Pro supplement is worth considering.

In addition to other ingredients that may be associated with brain health, including citicoline, l-theanine, and vitamins B6, B9, and B12, Mind Lab Pro features 500 mg of organic lion’s mane extract per serving.

Lion’s mane is seen as the first choice among people exploring medicinal mushrooms for memory and focus. A few clinical trials on supplementation with lion’s mane extract have suggested that this mushroom could be beneficial for cognitive function. Although presently there is a limited amount of studies, and most of them were conducted on animals only, the lion’s mane takes the prize as being the most researched mushroom for brain health.

One bottle of this product is priced at $69.00. Each bottle contains a monthly supply of 60 capsules. By following the recommended dosage of 2 capsules per day, you would spend $2.30 on this supplement per day.

5. Nooceptin — best mushroom for brain health overall

Nooceptin-nootropics-bottle-comm

Nooceptin is a popular brain supplement that contains a diverse range of ingredients, including lion’s mane — one of the most renowned mushrooms for brain health.

The emerging studies suggest that several compounds in lion’s mane may have neuroprotective properties, enhance cognitive function, and improve mood and sleep. As of now, lion’s mane is one of the most researched mushrooms for brain health.

One serving of this product delivers 400 mg of lion’s mane extract from the fruiting body. Supplements made from fruiting bodies are seen as more potent compared to mycelium-derived products.

The remaining six active ingredients in Nooceptin are additional compounds potentially advantageous for brain function, e.g., citoline, l-theanine, and Panax ginseng extract.

As of now, one bottle of 60 capsules of Nooceptin is priced at $77.00. As one serving is 2 capsules per day, a daily dose of Nooceptin is $2.57. You can opt for a bundle purchase and save in the long run.

Comparing the top mushroom supplements for cognitive function

BrandMushroom typeAdditional beneficial ingredients ManufacturingPrice per bottlePrice per serving
FOCLLion’s manem cordyceps, reishiNoneGMP-compliant facilities $39.00$1.30
Real MushroomsLion’s mane NoneNSF-certified facility$29.95$0.50
OweliLion's mane, cordyceps, shiitake, and reishi, and othersNoneFDA-registered, cGMP-compliant facilities $49.99$1.67
Mind Lab ProLion’s maneCiticoline, Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola rosea, N-Acetyl-L-tyrosine, Maritime pine bark extract, L-theanine, vitamins B6, B9, and B12FDA-registered, GMP-compliant facilities$69.00$2.30
NooceptinLion’s maneCiticoline, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa monnieri, L-theanine, Ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng FDA-registred facilities$77.00$2.57

* — If purchasing one bottle or without a subscription.

While some individual active ingredients in dietary supplements may have been studied for their potential benefits discussed in this article, their interactive effects, as well as the safety and effectiveness of the overall formulation has not been fully established.

What mushrooms are the best for brain health?

There is a wide range of mushrooms promoted for brain health. Below, we will present the most popular ones and what research studies say about them.

Lion’s mane

As of now, Lion's mane is the most scientifically supported mushroom for brain health. It is the only mushroom that has been studied on humans concerning brain health.

For instance, a small study on older individuals with mild cognitive impairment concluded that daily supplementation with Lion’s mane was helpful in improving cognitive performance. There are a few other studies proposing benefits for cognitive functioning, including improved speed of performance in younger participants.

In addition to brain and cognitive health, one clinical trial showed that supplementing with lion's mane extract for eight weeks during a low-calorie diet in obese or overweight individuals was associated with enhanced mood and sleep, suggesting that this mushroom may have a positive effect on mental health as well.

Reishi

Although there are no clinical studies on humans for brain health, Reishi is also considered to be one of the medicinal mushrooms that could be beneficial for brain health. This idea is supported by a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease that suggests that polysaccharides extracted from reishi may have a positive effect on neurogenesis — a process during which new neurons are formed.

It has been postulated that Reishi could have neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, more research data is needed to confirm this, especially in humans.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is another mushroom that is commonly found in brain supplements. Right now, the research on Cordyceps is scarce, especially for brain health. However, one study on mice suggests that polypeptides from this mushroom may improve learning and memory impairment. The authors of the study postulate that it works by preventing damage from oxidation, and protecting the nervous system.

Chaga

It has been postulated that Chaga may have antioxidant properties which, in turn, may be beneficial for brain health.

One animal study on mice has suggested that Chaga extract may improve learning and memory in amnesic mice. This improvement is thought to be connected to the antioxidant qualities of the chaga mushroom.

The benefits of mushrooms for brain health

As the practice of using mushroom-based supplements, also known as mushroom stacking, is rising in popularity, many are left wondering whether medicinal mushrooms can help brain function.

As of now, certain types of mushrooms are associated with improvement in brain health — although scientific research on them is in its infancy. For example, the majority of evidence supporting the positive effects of mushrooms on brain health is derived from studies conducted on cells or animals only.

Below we will go into more detail about the proposed medicinal mushroom benefits for brain health.

Cognitive function

Cognitive function is a broad term and includes various abilities such as memory, attention, problem-solving, and decision-making. Some medicinal mushrooms could potentially support some of these abilities.

Mushrooms that have been studied and showed promising results for cognitive function include lion’s mane, chaga, and cordyceps, although only lion’s mane was studied on humans. More research is needed to establish the full extent of their cognitive benefits.

Neuroprotection

It has been postulated that some medicinal fungi may carry neuroprotective properties. This could be possible because of certain bioactive compounds found in medicinal mushrooms such as erinacines and hericenones found in lion’s mane.

Other mushrooms are also linked to neuroprotective properties. Although the research is very limited, and scientists are not ready to draw conclusions, early mouse models show that supplementation with Reishi could reduce cognitive decline. This is seen, for example, in a study that analyzed reishi's effects on mice with Alzheimer’s disease.

Mental health support

Some limited data suggests that medicinal mushrooms could be useful in supporting mental health. Just like with other indications, there is little scientific data on mushroom usage and mental health, but what is available suggests that they may be introduced as adjunctive interventions.

For instance, the lion's mane mushroom was used in a clinical trial to assess its impact on sleep and mood while on a caloric-restrictive diet. The study included 77 overweight or obese participants and showed better outcomes for people taking lion’s mane compared to placebo, meaning they self-reported improvement in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.

Although mushrooms for anxiety and depression have been attracting people’s attention not without a reason, more scientific data is needed to fully grasp their benefits. It is best to consult your primary healthcare provider if you are planning to use mushrooms for mental health support or any other indication.

Other health benefits of medicinal mushrooms

Mushrooms for the brain may offer other benefits. Below we outlined a few of the most eminent ones.

Improve immune function

According to early studies, some medicinal mushrooms could have positive effects on the immune system.

For example, reishi mushroom is rich in several active compounds, such as ganoderic acid, that may stimulate immune system defense responses. Turkey tail is also popular for this indication as they are both believed to potentially boost the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and support the activity of cells responsible for eliminating infections.

Improve energy and endurance levels

Medicinal mushrooms are often included in nootropic supplements as they are believed to help increase energy levels. Although scientific research is still lacking, certain studies suggest some mushrooms may possess this property.

For instance, cordyceps is linked to improved endurance. Some scientific research suggests that it may improve oxygen uptake, fatigue resistance, and tolerance to high-intensity exercises.

Support digestion

Medicinal mushrooms are also finding application in the realm of digestive health.

Chaga is the most popular one when it comes to this indication, although further research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness and potential benefits in this area.

Contraindications and side effects to consider

Mushrooms for brain health are usually considered to be safe. However, they may also cause side effects, especially if taken in larger doses. Keep in mind that we still lack human trials to fully understand the possible side effects of medicinal mushrooms.

Here are some of the most commonly mentioned side effects that some individuals may have from mushrooms for brain health:

  • Digestive stress
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness

Also, keep in mind that the side effects will highly depend on the mushroom type.

It is best to avoid medicinal mushrooms if you are pregnant, have any underlying conditions or allergies to mushrooms. Moreover, it is always worth consulting with your doctor before starting any supplement, including mushroom-based ones.

What to consider before buying mushrooms for the brain?

Presently, scientists are still trying to answer: are mushrooms good for your brain? Certain mushrooms have been studied by scientists and shown positive effects. However, there is still too little data to conclude their effectiveness for brain health as most studies were not actually conducted on humans but on animals or cells.

If you decide to try mushrooms for brain, you should consider the factors mentioned below to find the most suitable products for you.

  • Mushroom type. Certain mushrooms have been studied for brain health. For example, lion’s mane is the most widely studied mushroom for this indication and has undergone human clinical trials. Other mushrooms may be promoted using data from animal and cell studies.
  • Mushroom part. Mushroom supplements are made from either the fruiting body (the part that grows above ground) or mycelium (the underground root system of the fungus). While mycelium-derived products may be cheaper (as they are easier to produce), extracts from fruiting bodies will be more potent as they contain more active ingredients.
  • Other ingredients. There are plenty of brain supplements to choose from on the market. They oftentimes feature a wide range of active ingredients and thus can deliver various benefits depending on their formula. However, products that contain a huge range of ingredients may also be more expensive than their minimal ingredient counterparts.
  • Personal goals. Different mushrooms will deliver different benefits, thus it is important to understand your goals. For example, it could be said that one of the best mushrooms for memory is lion’s mane because right now it is the most studied one.

Best mushrooms for brain health — conclusion

The field of medicinal mushrooms and their potential benefits for brain health is both intriguing and constantly evolving. While centuries of traditional use have laid the foundation for their interest, emerging scientific research is shedding light on their possible benefits.

In this article, we have explored the potential mushrooms may have for brain health and highlighted five products that, in our opinion, stand out as worthy options for those seeking to explore mushroom-based products.


Find out other products that could be beneficial for your brain health and mental state

Best brain supplements that could potentially offer benefits for memory, sleep quality, and cognitive performance.

Best focus and concentration supplements reviewed by our team.

Best over-the-counter nootropics that may aid performance, increase focus and alertness.

Best anxiety supplements that may help to manage stress.


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