How Mushrooms Help Cognitive Function

by Sara Banta | May 26, 2024 | AHP News, brain health supplements, Supplements

Mushrooms have been recognized for their diverse health benefits in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries, but they are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity. This renewed interest is partly due to the significant decline in cognitive function observed across all age groups in recent years. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, brain fog, dementia, and Alzheimer’s have seen a notable increase over the past decade, sparking greater interest in exploring the potential cognitive benefits of mushrooms.

Conditions Associated with Cognitive Decline

There are several conditions associated with cognitive decline that affect brain health, memory, mood, and overall wellness. These include:

    • Neurodegenerative Disorders: Diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s progressively damage nerve cells in the brain, leading to cognitive decline, memory loss, and impaired motor function.
    • Stroke: When blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked or reduced, brain damage occurs, resulting in symptoms such as paralysis, speech difficulties, and cognitive deficits depending on the severity and location of the stroke.
    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Head trauma disrupts normal brain function, ranging from mild concussions to severe brain damage. TBIs can cause cognitive impairments, memory issues, mood changes, and altered behavior.
    • Chronic Stress: Prolonged exposure to stress can harm brain health, causing structural changes like hippocampal shrinkage and cognitive impairments. Chronic stress also raises the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and mood disorders.
    • Mental Health Disorders: Conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia affect brain function by altering brain chemistry, neural activity, and brain structure, impacting cognitive processes, emotions, and behavior.
    • Sleep Disorders: Sleep problems like insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy can impair cognitive function, mood, and overall well-being. Disrupted sleep patterns compromise memory consolidation, attention, and decision-making abilities, emphasizing the importance of good sleep habits for brain health.

Causes of Cognitive Decline

how alcohol contributes to cognitive decline
Alcohol and Cognitive Decline | Image ©️ Sara Banta Health

There are various causes of cognitive decline—some unavoidable, but many that can be managed or prevented. These include:

  • Substance Abuse: Persistent drug and alcohol abuse can profoundly impact brain health, leading to neurochemical imbalances, brain structure changes, cognitive decline, and increased vulnerability to mental health disorders.
  • Chronic Stress: Our modern world’s unprecedented levels of chronic stress, driven by financial pressures, political uncertainties, and global concerns, significantly contribute to heightened stress levels that can affect cognitive function. 
  • Dietary Factors: Excessive intake of processed foods and sugar can elevate blood sugar levels, resulting in mood swings, ADHD, and cognitive decline. Diets high in carbohydrates can trigger brain inflammation, potentially leading to conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Degradation of Food Supply: Processed foods, vegetable oils, glyphosate, fluoridated water, and GMOs negatively impact brain function. GMOs in non-organic produce disrupt gut health, impair detoxification, weaken the immune system, and contribute to cognitive impairment.
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome: This condition weakens intestinal walls, allowing foreign particles into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation. It disrupts neurotransmitter production in the gut, contributing to cognitive issues.
  • Oxalates: Found in certain “healthy” foods like spinach and almonds, oxalates can accumulate in tissues and organs, causing cognitive impairments like sleep disturbances and mood disorders.
  • Sulfur: Disrupted detox pathways from glyphosate and spike protein infiltration can lead to brain and body inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia when consuming sulfur-containing foods.
  • Amyloid Proteins: Amyloid proteins in conventionally raised meats, chicken and pork can disrupt gut health, potentially leading to autoimmune conditions and cognitive fog, and contributing to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Histamines: Excessive histamine responses can cause headaches, digestive issues, and irregular heartbeat when consuming histamine-rich foods.
  • Spike Protein Impact: The spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus not only causes infection but also worsens health conditions, including mental health disorders, insulin resistance, and heightened histamine reactions, which can impact overall brain health.

How Mushrooms Can Help Improve Cognitive Function

Mushrooms, particularly varieties like Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) and Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), have been studied extensively for their potential cognitive benefits. Here’s how mushrooms may help improve cognitive function:

    • Neuroprotective Effects: Mushrooms contain bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, antioxidants, and hericenones (found in Lion’s Mane) that can protect brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. These benefits are crucial in combating cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
    • Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Stimulation: Lion’s Mane mushroom, in particular, has shown to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein vital for the growth, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells. By increasing NGF levels, Lion’s Mane may aid in the regeneration and repair of damaged neurons, potentially enhancing cognitive function and memory.
    • Enhanced Brain Connectivity: Research suggests that Lion’s Mane mushroom extract may promote the formation of new neural connections in the brain, leading to improved cognitive function, learning, and memory. Compounds like hericenones and erinacines found in Lion’s Mane are believed to mediate these effects.
    • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Chronic brain inflammation is linked to cognitive decline and age-related cognitive disorders. Mushrooms, especially Reishi, possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce brain inflammation, preserving cognitive function and potentially preventing cognitive decline.
    • Improved Mood and Stress Reduction: Certain mushrooms like Reishi contain compounds with anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) and mood-enhancing effects. By reducing stress and anxiety, these mushrooms indirectly contribute to improved cognitive function and mental clarity.
    • Antioxidant Activity: Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which combat harmful free radicals and protect brain cells from oxidative damage. By reducing oxidative stress, mushrooms support overall brain health and cognitive function.

Importance of the Quality of Mushrooms

mold in mushroom supplements
Mushroom Mold, often found in poor quality supplements

The quality of mushrooms used in herbal remedies and plant medicine is crucial for their effectiveness. Many herbal products derive from low-quality mushrooms grown in depleted soils, which compromises their healing potential.

Additionally, some herbal formulas may contain mold and bacteria, undermining their therapeutic benefits and potentially causing inflammation and immune system strain. Furthermore, food, water, and mushrooms carry “life force” or unique informational patterns that can either support or degrade health, which makes it even more essential to know where you are getting your mushrooms from.

Quality is determined by the integrity of the informational pattern within the herb and the preservation of its “life force” or “qi”, essential for transmitting this information to the body. Herbal practices direct this life force through different meridians, influencing specific organs and glands based on principles like the “five elements” in Chinese medicine.

Preserving the herb’s informational integrity and life force relies on factors like soil conditions, natural cultivation methods, and proper harvesting timing. Optimal conditions enhance mushroom quality. Furthermore, the integrity of the herb’s life force, or qi, is maintained through careful harvesting, drying, and processing, ensuring the herb retains its potency.

In essence, herbs lacking in informational integrity and life force, such as dried, brown, sun-scorched leaves, offer minimal medicinal value as their qi dissipates and informational patterns deteriorate. Therefore, prioritizing high-quality mushrooms cultivated and processed with care is essential to harnessing their full therapeutic potential.

My Go-To Mushroom Supplement

As a supplement expert and having studied supplements for over 10 years, I am meticulous about ingredient quality. I also don’t want to take 4 different types of mushroom supplements. I wanted one powerful mushroom supplement. This is why I developed Accelerated Cogniblast®, my go-to mushroom supplement.

Accelerated Cogniblast®

Accelerated Cogniblast® combines the most powerful mushrooms for cognition.
All ingredients are rigorously inspected for mold, bacteria, and other pathogens known to be present in mushroom supplements, with ancient ayurvedic herbs and modern smart nutraceuticals known for cognitive enhancement.

The benefits from Cogniblast ingredients include:


    • May help enhance mood
    • Heightened focus
    • Boosted ATP production
    • May help reduce symptoms of anxiety
    • May help improve circulation
    • Support with reduced stress and anxiety symptoms
    • Potential increase in energy levels

Furthermore, Accelerated Cogniblast® is enhanced with proprietary scalar frequencies programmed to:

    • Release emotional and physical shock from the body
    • Improve overall brain health
    • Enhance memory function
    • Detoxify halogen toxins from the pineal and pituitary glands
    • Decalcify the pineal, pituitary, and hypothalamus

The Mushrooms in Accelerated Cogniblast®

Reishi Mushroom

reishi mushroom growing in natural environment
Reishi mushroom

Reishi, with a history spanning over 4000 years, is revered as a mushroom renowned for its therapeutic properties. It is celebrated for its ability to boost cognitive function, improve emotional and mental balance, and strengthen the immune system. Additionally, Reishi is associated with enhancing lung, heart, and liver functions.

Lion's Mane

lions mane mushroom
Lion's Mane Mushroom

Considered a modern cognitive enhancer, Lion’s Mane is esteemed for its unique capacity to promote brain flexibility and overall brain health. Studies suggest that Lion’s Mane elevates Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) levels, offering protection against degenerative brain disorders associated with memory decline. Apart from enhancing memory and concentration, Lion’s Mane shows promise in alleviating irritability and anxiety while strengthening the immune system.

Cordyceps Sinensis

Cordyceps Sinensis Mushroom

Cordyceps mushroom strengthens both the body and mind at a foundational level. Regarded as a “Jing” tonic in Chinese Medicine, cultured Cordyceps combines both “Yin and Yang” elements, making it safe for long-term use by individuals of all backgrounds. It is recognized as a “life-reinforcing” tonic, reputed for building sexual and physical vitality, mental acuity, and supporting immune function.

Cordyceps Militaris

Cordyceps Militaris mushroom
Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom

Known for enhancing vitality and endurance, Cordyceps Militaris is valued for its natural compounds that improve oxygen availability in the blood, thereby augmenting cerebral oxygenation. This makes it an ideal choice for athletes seeking a natural energy boost to enhance performance. Moreover, Cordyceps Militaris is believed to enhance learning and memory capabilities.

Combined with additional powerful ingredients, taking Accelerated Cogniblast® means you don’t need to take any additional mushroom supplements, everything you need is available in one supplement.

In summary, clinical studies have shown mushrooms to be a powerful ally in the search for optimal health and adding them to your supplement routine may very well boost your cognitive function.

Sara Banta

Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.

sara banta blog

Hi, I’m Sara Banta!
I’m a certified natural supplement expert, podcaster, Health Coach, and natural wellness expert. Each week I publish articles on the latest in cutting-edge health supplements and natural health solutions. I also interview leading experts across a wide range of health topics to transform your body, mind & spirit. I’m also the Founder of Accelerated Health Products. Join my mailing list and receive 10% off your first order.