Depression

Many patients taking Hericium erinaceus report increased feelings of well-being and reduction in depression was reported in a clinical trial with 30 women given 2g/day1. Ganoderma lucidum has traditionally been been considered to have beneficial effects on mental status and anti-depressive effects were noted in a clinical trial of 48 breast cancer patients given 3g/day G. lucidum spore powder2,3.

The ability of mushroom polysaccharides to help rebalance the immune system away from a Th2 dominant immune state suggests that they may also have a role to play in the treatment of depression, where elevations in pro-inflammatory cytokines have been shown to be involved in the development of depression-like behaviour in pre-clinical and clinical populations4-7.

CLINICAL NOTE
H. erinaceus fruiting body (3-5g/day) or mycelial biomass (2-3g/day). Patients taking G. lucidum spore and spore oil products often also report improvement in mental outlook. 2-5g broken spore powder or 500-1,000mg spore oil.

REFERENCES
1. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Hayashi C, Sato D, Kitagawa K, Ohnuki K. Biomed Res. 2010 Aug; 31(4): 231-7.
2. Antidepressant-like effects of a water-soluble extract from the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia in rats. Matsuzaki H et al. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Dec 26;13:370.
3. Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer- Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial. Zhao H, Zhang Q, Zhao L, Huang X, Wang J, Kang X. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Epub 2011 Dec 10.
4. From inflammation to sickness and depression: when the immune system subjugates the brain. Dantzer R., O’Connor J. C., Freund G. G., Johnson R. W., Kelley K. W. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2008;9:46–56.
5. Evidence for a cytokine model of cognitive function. McAfoose J., Baune B. T. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2009;33:355–366.
6. Inflammation and its discontents: the role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of major depression. Miller A. H., Maletic V., Raison C. L. Biol. Psychiatry, 2009;65:732–741.
7. Neuroplastic changes in depression: a role for the immune system. Eyre H, Baune BT. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012 Sep;37(9):1397-416.