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Is It Safe to Take Lion's Mane Every Day | UK

by Hamza Jamal |

You wake up, grab a drink, pee (probably) and take some lion's mane. Sounds a decent routine, but consuming lion's mane or anything else you don't know much about every day will always leave a nagging question in your head: is it safe?

The good news is that when you put on your science glasses and deep dive into lion's mane, it's rare for side effects to crop up in human or animal studies. It appears as safe as coffee or tea when taken responsibly.

The Scientific Evidence

When taken orally in typical doses, lion's mane appears to be well-tolerated with a low risk of side effects. The few human trials conducted to date have reported only mild, transient side effects:

  •         In a 49-week trial in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease [1], 1050 mg/day of an erinacine A-enriched lion's mane extract led to abdominal discomfort, nausea, and diarrhoea in 8% of participants. The effects subsided within a few days.
  •         One case report reports an acute allergic reaction [2], including hives and gastrointestinal symptoms, in an individual after consuming fresh lion's mane mushroom. However, the same individual did not react to a lion's mane extract upon skin testing, so purification plays a role.
  •         A 16-week double-blind-placebo Japanese study [3] monitored the effects of taking four 250 mg tablets per day. Lab tests showed no adverse effect of Yamabushitake (the Japanese name for lion's mane).

In the case where there was an acuta allergic reaction to the raw mushroom, it's crucial to know that vybey Lion's Mane uses "Lion's Mane Mushroom Fruiting Body Extract 10:1", meaning the extract is standardised to contain 10 times the number of active compounds found in the original mushroom fruiting body.

This is achieved through an extraction process that removes unnecessary compounds and concentrates the desired active ingredients—and this is the difference: the active ones have minimal side effects.

There are also a few animal trials:

  •         A 13-week rat toxicology study [4] found no adverse effects from daily dosing of up to 2625 mg/kg of erinacine A-enriched lion's mane mycelium (the vegetative part of the fungus), which is equivalent to around 180 times the typical human dose.
  •         In the Martínez-Mármol et al. study [5], mice were fed either a crude lion's mane extract (A1) at doses of 100 or 250 mg/kg/day, a purified hericene A fraction (A2-C2) at 5 mg/kg/day, or the nootropic drug piracetam at 400 mg/kg/day for 31 days. The study reported no adverse effects or toxicity from the lion's mane treatments.

Lion's mane dosage in human trials ranges from 1-3 grams/day of crude powder to 1050 mg/day of more concentrated extracts standardised for erinacines - terpenoid compounds believed to be the critical neuroactive constituents.

A crucial note is that the typical supplement dosage is 200-500 mg, 1-3 times daily. However, there is not yet clear clinical evidence for the optimal therapeutic dose, so suppliers usually say' 2-3' or '3-4' capsules daily.

This preliminary safety data is promising, but more research into longer-term human clinical trials monitoring for adverse effects, would help further characterise the safety profile of lion's mane, especially for daily use.

The Potential for Side Effects

Lion's mane is considered safe and well-tolerated by clinical studies, but some individuals may experience side effects from:

  •         Hericenones and erinacines - terpenoid compounds believed responsible for lion's mane's nootropic effects. They may cause mild side effects such as digestive discomfort, nausea, or headaches in some people.
  •         Polysaccharides - Lion's mane contains complex polysaccharides, such as beta-glucans, which could cause digestive side effects like bloating, gas, or diarrhoea, especially when consumed in high doses.
  •         Mushroom allergens - Some individuals may be allergic to mushrooms, including lion's mane. Mushroom allergens can cause symptoms ranging from mild (e.g., itching, rash, or digestive issues) to severe (e.g., difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis).

The Benefits of Taking Lion's Mane Every Day

Now that we've established that lion's mane is a safe supplement according to the latest scientific evidence, what are its benefits?

Cognitive enhancement

Lion's mane contains bioactive compounds like hericenones and erinacines that can stimulate the growth of new neurons and increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports brain cell health and function.

Studies [6] have shown that daily supplementation can improve cognitive function, mental speed, and flexibility in people of all ages.


The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of lion's mane may protect the brain from oxidative stress, which is a key factor in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, apraxia, and dementia.

Mood improvement

Studies [7] suggest that lion's mane extracts have anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects, possibly by restoring depleted levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain, with these compounds playing a crucial role in mood regulation.

Immune system support

Lion's mane contains a protein called HEP3 with strong immunomodulatory effects [8]. It can reduce inflammation by modulating the gut microbiome and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria - this may be particularly helpful for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

Better sleep

A study on overweight and obese individuals [9] found that supplementation with lion's mane extract for 8 weeks significantly improved sleep disorders, with the effects persisting even after a 2-month washout period.

Summing Up

Animal and human studies and trials show mild or no adverse effects of taking lion's mane every day. The most severe reactions are from taking the raw mushroom, with extracts being safer according to the scientific evidence.

vybey Lion's Mane is available in powder and capsule form – both are vegan and contain only Lion's Mane Mushroom Fruiting Body Extract 10:1 with no additional ingredients, aside from the capsule, which is made from HPMC cellulose.

You can also take lion's mane as an ingredient of vybey Complete Meal Powder, the perfect meal replacement shake for busy lifestyles.