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Best Mushroom for Parkinson's Disease


Parkinson's disease is a debilitating and chronic condition affecting the brain. Patients suffer from loss of motor control and an abundance of tremors in their hands, arms, legs, and head. Parkinson's disease can also cause slurred speech, stiffness in the body, and changes in posture.

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but there are treatments to help manage symptoms. Treatments include medication, surgery, and deep brain stimulation. Most medications work by replacing dopamine or blocking its breakdown. However, some medications come with side effects such as involuntary muscle movements, depression, or hallucinations.

Recent research has focused on the potential health benefits of mushrooms. In this article, we will take a look at different mushrooms that have shown promising results in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease.


Key Takeaways

  • Mushrooms have shown promising results in clinical trials for managing neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. They contain beneficial compounds such as B vitamins, ergothioneine, and antioxidants that contribute to brain health and protect against oxidative damage and inflammation.
  • Reishi mushrooms have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the brain, helping combat inflammation and oxidative stress, which are associated with Parkinson's disease. Lion's mane mushrooms have neuroprotective properties and can stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF), which is crucial for neuron health, learning, and memory. 
  • Mushrooms are not a treatment for any medical condition. Always consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplement. 


Mushrooms for Brain Health

Mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins. They contain niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid, which are important for regulating the nervous system. Vitamin D is essential for brain function. It plays a major role in the part of the brain that regulates cognitive function.

They are great for your brain health because they’re rich in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential for keeping your mood, memory, and cognition in check. In fact, a deficiency in this important vitamin can lead to dementia.

One study found that people with Alzheimer’s disease were more likely to have low vitamin B12. Another study found that taking a vitamin B complex supplement improved memory, cognition, and other mental processes in patients with Alzheimer’s.

Our bodies become less efficient at absorbing vitamin B12 from food as we age. It’s recommended that adults get 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 a day, but some experts believe this amount is too low.

In addition to increasing your intake of foods rich in vitamin B12 (like mushrooms), you might consider taking a supplement or finding a multivitamin product that offers 100% of the recommended daily value for vitamin B12 or more.

Mushrooms contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative damage by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and contribute to aging and disease. Ergothioneine can help reduce inflammation in the brain. This can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, and they can help protect your body from oxidative stress, which can lead to premature aging of cells and disease. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from the body by binding them with oxygen, so they become harmless molecules that don’t.

Below, find some of the benefits of taking the best mushroom for Parkinson’s disease.

Manage Neurodegenerative Diseases

Mushrooms have been making the news recently for their potential to help boost brain health. Several recent studies have shown that they can protect your brain from damage and even delay or prevent the onset of certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

At first, mushrooms may seem like a strange addition to your grocery list — they lack any color of their own and are very low in calories. But when it comes to nutritional value, mushrooms make up for their meager appearance with a number of impressive compounds that can help protect your brain and manage neurodegenerative diseases.

The two most prominent mushrooms for brain health are lion’s mane and cordyceps.

It may be a surprise to learn that mushrooms have a long history as cognitive enhancers. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), many different mushrooms were used medicinally as far back as the 3rd century AD.

In TCM, lion’s mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is considered a “superior herb” due to its ability to induce “a calm alertness” while also helping with memory and concentration. In ancient China, it was believed that consuming this mushroom would increase one’s life span. In Japan, lion’s mane is called yamabushitake, meaning “mountain priest mushroom,” and is still consumed today for longevity.

Likewise, cordyceps sinensis increases brain function by helping the body produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to improve mental clarity and concentration. The physical benefits of cordyceps include increased stamina and endurance during exercise.

Potent Anti-oxidative and Anti-inflammatory Activity

Mushrooms have been used worldwide for thousands of years as food and medicine. Unfortunately, despite their long history, there is still much that science does not know about them. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that mushrooms can confer health benefits on humans when consumed.

For instance, these amazing fungi are high in antioxidants, which play an essential role in brain health. Antioxidants are a group of compounds that protect against oxidative stress, a process that damages cells and is associated with many brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Likewise, mushrooms contain compounds called polysaccharides, which have been shown to stimulate immune responses in the body. Although the exact mechanisms by which they do this are not fully understood, they appear to be powerful immune system modulators.

Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth

Neurodegenerative disorders are a group of diseases associated with the progressive loss of neuronal function and the eventual death of the cells. The neurodegeneration can be limited to one specific area (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease) or more widespread, as in Alzheimer's disease.

Stimulation of neurite outgrowth has been widely recognized as a potential strategy to improve the outcome of neurodegenerative disorders. An surprisingly, mushrooms are used in traditional medicine to promote brain health.

Results showed that mushroom polysaccharides significantly increased cell viability, stimulated neurite outgrowth, inhibited inflammatory response, reduced oxidative stress levels, and promoted antioxidant capacity in the co-cultures.

Source of Ergothioneine

According to a new study, a naturally occurring antioxidant could be key to fighting off brain degeneration.

Researchers found that by increasing the intake of an antioxidant called ergothioneine, they improved cognitive abilities in mice in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. 

The findings of the US-based study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggest that ergothioneine may help stave off the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Ergothioneine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in mushrooms, pork, and chicken liver.


Best Mushroom for Parkinson's Disease

Currently, no medications can entirely stop Parkinson’s disease. This disorder results from the neurons in your brain that produce dopamine being slowly destroyed. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps with movement and coordination in your body.

Without this dopamine, you start to experience tremors, rigid muscles, slow movement, and poor balance. The effects of this disease can be devastating to someone’s life. Some people with Parkinson’s disease may end up having to retire from work early or even have trouble taking care of themselves at home.

While scientists have not yet been able to pinpoint exactly why some people develop Parkinson’s and others do not, they have started to see a connection between the use of pesticides and other toxins and the development of this disease. Another factor is genetics, as people with a family history of Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop it.

Fortunately, nature has some great mushrooms that may help us combat Parkinson’s disease and some of its symptoms.


If you're like most people, you've probably never heard of the Ganoderma mushroom. But this "medicinal mushroom" could be your best defense against Parkinson's disease.

Researchers have found that Parkinson's is caused by inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction. And reishi mushrooms are nature's answer to all three.

Reishi mushrooms contain hundreds of bioactive compounds that exert powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the brain. Plus, they have been shown to improve mitochondrial function in the brain while protecting and repairing neurons (brain cells).

Here are three ways reishi can protect your brain from Parkinson's:

Beats Back Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Inflammation and oxidative stress are at the root of virtually every chronic disease, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. The culprits are free radicals — highly reactive molecules that cause damage by attacking healthy cells in the body. This is called oxidative stress.

The good news is that medicinal mushrooms like reishi contain antioxidants that neutralize free radicals before they can do any damage. In fact, reishi contains more than 150 different types of bioactive compounds with strong antioxidant properties!

These include polysaccharides (beta-glucan), triterpenes (ganoderic acid), and peptidoglycans.

Boosts Brain Cell Production

In Parkinson's patients, reduced dopamine levels lead to a decline in motor and cognitive function. But studies show that reishi can help boost the production of brain cells that produce dopamine.

Fights Neuroinflammation

    Neuroinflammation is when immune cells invade the brain and cause inflammation in response to harmful proteins or other triggers. It occurs during the early stages of Parkinson's disease, but there's also evidence that it continues throughout the progression.

    We know for sure that neuroinflammation is extremely harmful to brain cells — so much so that it can actually lead to their death. And what we don't want when trying to prevent or slow down a disease like Parkinson's is more dead brain cells.

    Fortunately, one of reishi's most important benefits is its ability to fight inflammation. In fact, reishi has been used for thousands of years in Asia as an anti-inflammatory treatment for conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and arthritis.

    And many studies are backing up reishi's anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to deactivate inflammatory molecules and reduce the secretion of inflammatory mediators by immune cells.

    Lion’s Mane

    Lion's mane for Parkinson's has been shown to have powerful neuroprotective properties, with one study showing that they can stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF).

    This is a protein found in the brain and spinal cord. It's responsible for the health of neurons and plays an important role in learning and memory.

    NGF levels begin to decline as we age. This is a major contributing factor in degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


    Final Thoughts

    There are many good options for using mushrooms that are being studied for their potential to help patients with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's. 

    Take the time to research different brands, but hopefully, this guide will have given you an excellent place to start.

    And, of course, always consult with a professional before taking any supplement.

    VYU Blog Disclaimer

    The information provided on the VYU blog is intended solely for informational and entertainment purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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