Bodybuilding.com’s newest line of plant-based supplements features a certified organic coffee with an infusion of organic lion's mane and chaga mushroom powder. The coffee itself is a ground dark roast arabica bean with lower acidity, smooth texture, and flavor notes of berries and chocolate.
Lion's mane, scientifically known as hericium erinaceus, is a culinary and medicinal mushroom with potential neuroprotective and antioxidant properties for brain health. Lion’s mane has gained recent popularity because a double blind placebo human study of mild Alzheimer patients showed improvement on activities of daily living with better biomarkers while taking a daily lion’s mane supplement (1). In other scientifically rigorous human trials confirmed that lion’s mane mushrooms helped individuals improve their cognition scores on various tests (2)(3).
Although the exact mechanism has not been discovered yet, Lion’s mane does have many beneficial bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides like beta-glucan which can help maintain normal blood glucose and cholesterol levels in the body; terpenoids such as hericenones and erinacines which have been found to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis (4)(5)(6).
Chaga mushroom, scientifically known as inonotus obliquus, is a hardened, irregularly fungus that grows primarily on birch trees (7). It has been used in eastern alternative medicine for centuries to help with inflammation, infections, gut health, and mental fatigue (8). While western scientific research is starting to show that chaga has a wide variety of potentially beneficial compounds such as polyphenols, melanin, triterpenoids, and polysaccharides.
Various in vitro studies demonstrated that polysaccharides could potentially enhance the immune response by exerting a protective effect against oxidative stress and inflammation and may have potential merit as a medicinal food to combat diabetes (9)(10)(11). Various in vivo animal studies, chaga mushroom extract exhibited a potential anticancer activity as well exhibited broad-spectrum antiviral activity (12)(13). In a mice study, administration of chaga extract was found to possibly regulate gut microbiota composition and diversity of healthy gut profile (14). Lastly, in multiple animal studies researchers found that the chaga has great potential to minimize physical fatigue and mental fatigue of exercising mice (15)(16).