So you want to buy a Lion’s Mane supplement.
How do you know which product to choose?
Read on to learn tips on what to look for when buying Lion’s Mane.
Importance of Quality
Functional products have exploded in popularity in Western culture over the past decade or so. Because of this, many amazing products have appeared on shelves all over North America.
However, this new popularity comes at a cost. Many companies have mass-produced low-quality products to capitalize on the functional mushroom trend.
Why does that matter?
Like with other products, low quality is, well, not as good. This is especially true for supplements.
If you were to consume a low-quality product, you will not get nearly as many benefits as a high-quality counterpart. Plus, the potential side effects may be more likely to occur and more intense.
In other words, a high-quality product is a more effective and safe product.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
As a functional mushroom, Lion’s Mane has distinct benefits.
Did you know it’s classified as a nootropic? That means these fungi are a natural source of brain power!
An overview of Lion’s Mane benefits include:
- Improved cognitive function
- Lessens the effects of mental health like anxiety & depression
- Contains antioxidant properties
Qualities to Look for When Buying Lion’s Mane Supplements
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of evaluating a product’s quality. Here we will discus six ways to find the best product.
1. What is Included in the Product?
To start with, we recommend looking at the ingredients in your supplement.
One of the most obvious differences between products is if the product is made of the fruiting body or the mycelium of the mushroom.
The biggest difference of fruiting bodies vs mycelium is the concentration. Fruiting bodies have a higher concentration of beneficial compounds compared to mycelium.
Another thing to consider when it comes to ingredients is what the product contains besides Lion’s Mane.
The majority of mushroom supplements contain only one type of fungi. However, some products, like ours, have other ingredients added to complement the mushroom. These include, but are not limited to, vitamins, other functional mushrooms, and adaptogenic botanicals.
No matter what, you should read the ingredients list to ensure you know exactly what the supplement contains.
2. How is it Grown?
The environment in which Lion’s Mane grows can change the quality of the final mushroom.
One growing method is finding these fungi in the wild and harvesting them. The benefit is that you don’t have to grow the mushrooms yourself.
There are two main downsides to this method. One disadvantage is you have no control over how many mushrooms there are or where they grow. The other is that fungi absorb everything from their environment, including potentially harmful substances for humans.
The other option is to grow the Lion’s Mane in a lab. This method allows you to control everything about the mushroom’s growth process.
Due to the high level of control, finding products where the mushrooms are grown in a lab is recommended.
3. Where is it Sourced From?
Another important part to consider is where the ingredients are sourced from.
There are two different sources of ingredients: domestic and international.
By sourcing domestically, you obtain mushrooms that were grown somewhere in a lab in North America.
On the other hand, sourcing internationally means you’re getting mushrooms from another country, usually China.
As long as the source company has strict regulations regarding quality control, it doesn't matter if the mushrooms are sourced domestically or internationally.
4. How is it Extracted?
Lion’s Mane, like all functional mushrooms, has to undergo mushroom extraction to get the beneficial compounds
There are three main types of extraction: hot water, alcohol, and dual. Each method has its pros and cons.
For example, hot water is best for extracting beta-glucans, while alcohol is best for certain mushrooms, like Reishi.
Depending on what you want in your product, it’s important to research the extraction method the company uses.
5. Does it Follow Production Regulations?
As mentioned above, quality control is vital during the production process. These regulations ensure both a high quality and safe product.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a set of requirements for dietary supplements. One thing to note is that the FDA does not “approve” these products for safety and effectiveness as they reserve that right only for pharmaceuticals.
Despite this, you should only consider products that were manufactured in an FDA-registered facility that adheres to FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). These guidelines ensure that there is a general standard among these facilities and their products.
In Canada, Health Canada must approve any dietary supplements before they can be commercially sold. Instead of the FDA GMP, Canada has the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR).
NHPR ensures that any related products are high quality, effective, and safe.
6. How is the Product Evaluated?
After the manufacturing process, the product should be tested. Various tests can certify products in certain categories, including:
Other tests can be done to ensure the purity, potency, and composition of a product. These take place in certified laboratories. If the product passes the tests, they receive a Certificate of Analysis (COA) which means the product meets the customer’s expectations.
Finding a High-Quality Lion’s Mane Supplement
So now that you know what to look for, where are some stores that have Lion’s Mane supplements?
We have 4 different supplements containing Lion’s Mane that each correspond to a different need. The four products are:
- WAKE for morning energy (tincture)
- ELEVATE for mood enhancement (tincture)
- THINK for cognitive clarity (powder)
- DEFEND for daily immune support (capsules)
Armed with the knowledge from this article, shopping for Lion’s Mane supplements should be a breeze. If you’d like to check out our Lion’s Mane products, visit our online store and see the quality difference!