What Are Nootropics?

 Nootropic has become a trending buzzword in recent years, with publications like Time, GQ, Goop and others featuring many articles around this word. But what are Nootropics? Are they legal, do they work, will they work for me, and why are so many people talking about them? Well, let us tell you more about Nootropics.

 

What are Nootropics & How do Nootropics Work?

Although they may feel like a new health fad, natural Nootropics such as Lion’s Mane, Ashawanga, and Ginkgo Biloba have been used for thousands of years. 

Nootropics are popular compounds or supplements that enhance an individual’s cognitive performance. Recent studies have shown that they work to increase several different types of mental functions, such as memory, creativity, and attention. (1)

So for those of us who struggle to remember our acquaintance’s name at the grocery store, need help to stay focused on that particularly mundane task, or struggle to calm our nerves after a stressful day of Zoom meetings, Nootropics could be the help we’ve been looking for?

To break it down scientifically, Nootropics help to open up the small veins and arteries in the brain. These natural compounds help to increase blood circulation while also working to improve oxygen flow. (2)

In essence, these supplements are helping your brain achieve what David Goggins would call “Peak Performance”; they’re boosting brain function while also making your brain healthier. (3)

 

Lion’s Mane: 

Natural Nootropics such as Lion’s Mane have a long history of being used to help with a number of ailments; the first written record of them was from the fourth century BC. During this time, Lion’s Mane was believed to support longevity and vitality. (4)

Chinese Buddhist Monks would add Lion’s Mane powder to their tea believing that it helped maintain their focus throughout mediation and increase their brainpower. (5)

Recent studies have shown that Lion’s Mane increases brain performance by stimulating the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a protein that promotes the growth and function of nerve cells. (6)

Read more about Lion’s Mane HERE.

 

Ashawanga

But the list of natural Nootropics options doesn’t just end at Lion’s Mane, the use of Ashawanga, a small flowering shrub, can be traced back to 6,000 BC in India where it was first used to refresh the system and increase lifespan. 

Research has indicated that this little shrub has shown great promise in controlling cortisol levels which in turn helps regulate stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety; it can also combat fatigue and boost stamina. (7)

Studies have shown ashwagandha to be an effective Nootropic that helps improve general memory, reaction time, attention and performance during tasks.(8)

So next time you find yourself exhausted at 2 pm, dreading that next meeting, stressed about that next impending project, or overthinking a conversation you had four days ago as you try to sleep, consider adding some Ashawanga into your routine. 

 

Ginkgo Biloba: 

Another natural Nootropic that has been a big topic of conversation amongst nutritionists and herbalists is Ginkgo Biloba. A plant that has been used in traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years; Its health benefits are thought to come from its potent antioxidant levels that provide protection against oxidative cell damage. (9)

What does oxidative cell damage mean and why does it matter? Well, first a free radical is an unstable atom that can damage cells, causing illness and aging. When free radicals enter the body, they can cause large chain chemical reactions with other molecules. This reaction, known as oxidation, can damage vital cells, including DNA and proteins. (10)

Additionally, research has shown a positive correlation between Ginkgo Biloba and treating people with ADHD, and general anxiety disorder.(11)

 

Conclusion

Lion’s Mane, Ashawanga and Ginkgo Biloba are only a few natural Nootropics. Other natural Nootropics include; Caffeine, Panax Ginseng, L-Theanine, Curcumin, Creatine Rhodiola Rosea and there are many more.

These substances have been used for centuries to help boost brain function, increase memory, decrease stress and help individuals live longer and healthier lives. So, the next time you’re walking in nature, think about all of the powerful plants underneath your feet or above you in the trees. 

If you’re looking to add some of these brain-boosting ingredients into your everyday life, Spore Life Sciences has you covered. You can find Lion’s Mane, Ashwagandha, and Gingko Biloba in a variety of our Functional Mushroom Formulations! Check out Mike’s Mushroom Mix, Focus Performance, or Men’s Vitality Mix to learn more. 

 

 

 


References:

(1)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5021479/

(2) https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-are-nootropics-brain-supplements/ 

(3) https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-are-nootropics-brain-supplements/ 

(4) https://www.superbatter.com/post/the-story-of-the-lions-mane-mushroom#:~:text=Buddhist%20monks%20were%20said%20to,China%20and%20Yamabushitake%20in%20Japan.

(5) https://www.superbatter.com/post/the-story-of-the-lions-mane-mushroom#:~:text=Buddhist%20monks%20were%20said%20to,China%20and%20Yamabushitake%20in%20Japan.

(6) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/

(7) https://monq.com/blogs/thinking/ashwagandha-history-and-importance-of-a-powerful-nootropic#:~:text=Ashwagandha’s%20history%20can%20be%20traced,known%20ancient%20tradition%20of%20medicine.&text=Then%2C%20it%20was%20considered%20to,the%20system%20and%20improved%20lifespan.

(8) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28471731/

(9) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263105#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

(10)  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652 

 (11) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263105#benefits

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: Top Five Health Benefits

Nature is incredible because there are so many ways it can help our bodies and minds. One species of fungi that has many renowned health benefits is the Lion’s Mane Mushroom. The Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus) is an impressive, shaggy white mushroom that looks like a white Lion’s Mane, making it obvious where its current name comes from. Also known as Hou Tou Gu or Yamabushitake, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms have five key health advantages:

  • Memory Support
  • Brain Fog Reduction
  • Stress Relief
  • Repair Nerve Damage 
  • Reduction of Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

 

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are a powerful mushroom that can improve your productivity, focus, and overall well-being and can typically be found in North America and Asia. They stand out for their unique appearance, which consists of a clump of white pines that sway with the slightest movement, and most importantly, have been highly revered for centuries because of their many health benefits.

Initially, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms were most commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance overall health, increase mental clarity, and reduce stress; Chinese monks even used it for making tea to boost their brainpower. Today, many individuals are still only just discovering the many healing powers and health benefits of this nootropic, so let’s get into the top five health benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. 

 

Memory Support

Struggling to find the proper words or always losing your train of thought? Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are renowned for helping those who are struggling with cognitive functions, such as memory. Furthermore, preliminary studies have shown that Lion’s Mane Mushrooms may have the potential to improve symptoms of dementia, as it can prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which accumulate in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease.[1] In another study that consisted of older people with mild cognitive impairment, consuming three grams of powdered Lion’s Mane Mushrooms daily for four months enhanced brain function significantly, but the advantages vanished after supplementation was stopped.[2]

 

Brain Fog Reduction

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms have the ability to help with brain fog through two essential compounds known as hericenones and erinacines. These compounds directly act in your hippocampus and as a result, they can regenerate the neural links and build new neurons. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms also has the ability to decrease inflammation, which is associated with conditions known to cause brain fog. As the neural cells regenerate and inflammation decreases, brain fog can begin to diminish.[3]

 

Stress Relief

Through its antioxidant properties, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms have proven to be a very potent ingredient used to aid in the reduction of stress and create tranquility in the body and mind. Several early studies have found that Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract decreased inflammation and oxidative stress and may be particularly beneficial to help control inflammatory bowel disease, liver damage, and stroke.[1] 

 

Repair Nerve Damage

Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane Mushrooms can build and repair neuronal pathways, synapses, and neurons within the brain. In turn, making your mind sharper and speeding up the process of repairing nerve damage.[7]

A study in 2011 showed an increased rate of recovery after peripheral nerve injury in those who took Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract versus those who did not. Study results showed that those who took Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract began to see improvement by day four, while those who did not still saw no signs of improvement during the same timeframe. By day 14, those who took Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract had a 50% improvement rate and a more comprehensive recovery than the group that had not.[7]

 

Reduction of Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which produce a combined effect to potentially reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression.[3]

In a 2015 study, mice that consumed Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract had fewer depressive symptoms. This, according to the researchers, is due to the extract’s anti-inflammatory properties. The findings of a 2018 animal study back this up, with the authors concluding that these mushroom extracts may contain agents useful for treating depression.[4]

Another study reveals that Lion’s Mane Mushrooms may aid with depression and anxiety. For the trial, 30 menopausal women ate either Lion’s Mane Mushroom or a placebo cookie every day for four weeks. According to the findings of this study, women in the Lion’s Mane Mushroom group were less irritated and anxious, and they had less difficulty concentrating than those in the placebo group.[5]

 

Conclusion

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms have been shown to help build new neuronal links within the brain and as a result, improve cognitive functions. As well, recent studies have suggested an increase in a protein called BDNF, which enhances the brain’s mental capacity and health.[6] With that said, if you are looking for a natural way to enhance mental clarity, reduce stress, and improve overall cognitive function, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms can be the perfect addition to your supplement regime. You can find Lion’s Mane Mushroom in our Focus Performance, Mike’s Mushroom Mix, and Men’s Vitality Mix Functional Mushroom Formulations.

 

 

 

References:

[1] Julson, E. (2018, May 19). 9 health benefits of Lion’s mane mushroom (plus side effects). Healthline. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lions-mane-mushroom 

[2] Koichiro, M., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009, March 23). Improving effects of the mushroom yamabushitake (hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy research : PTR. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18844328/ 

[3] Shields, T. (2021, May 25). Mushrooms and focus: Beating Brain fog with lion’s mane. FreshCap Mushrooms. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://learn.freshcap.com/tips/mushrooms-and-focus-beating-brain-fog-with-lions-mane/  

[4] Leanord, J., & Carter, A. (2018, October 22). Lion’s mane mushrooms: Benefits and side effects. Medical News Today. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323400 

[5] Wong, C. (2020, March 9). The health benefits of this medicinal mushroom. Verywell Mind. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-lions-mane-89474 

[6] Lim, LW., Wong, KH., Fung, ML., Chong, PS. (2019, December 25). Therapeutic Potential of Hericium Erinaceus for Depressive Disorder. NCBI. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982118/ 

[7] Wong, K.-H., Naidu, M., David, P., Abdulla, M. A., Abdullah, N., Kuppusamy, U. R., & Sabaratnam, V. (2011, August 11). Peripheral nerve regeneration following crush injury to rat peroneal nerve by aqueous extract of medicinal Mushroom Hericium Erinaceus (bull.: FR) pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae). Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176599/ 

Hit Your Stride in the Bedroom & the Boardroom

Over time, our passions can wane. Passion in our career, in our relationships, or in athletics. Although there are several causes, low testosterone levels can be the culprit. Hormones rule us, which can affect everything from our bedroom prowess to our energy levels in the gym.

How do you bring back your fire? You could rekindle passion and energy with a blend of functional mushroom and plant extracts designed to naturally boost your testosterone levels. Our formulation experts at Spore Life Sciences have crafted: Men’s Vitality Mix – a powerful, all-natural blend containing mushroom and plant compounds designed with YOU in mind.

Powered by Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane mushroom extracts along with KSM-66 Ashwagandha®, and Tribulus plant extracts, our Men’s Vitality Mix blend is a sure-fire way to synergize the potential of each ingredient and boost your overall performance.

Our plant and mushroom blend was formulated by the latest scientific research on men’s biology. Created to help you harness the all-natural benefits from this unique formulation, which includes:

  • Increase in testosterone levels
  • Boost in fat loss
  • Increase in muscle growth
  • Decrease in tissue damage
  • Increase sperm count
  • Improve sperm motility

The Science Behind Our Men’s Vitality Mix Supplement:

KSM-66 Ashwagandha® Plant Extract

KSM-66 Ashwagandha® (‘KSM-66®’) is a specific blend of ashwagandha plant extract, supplements based on KSM-66® have many health benefits for men is that have been extensively studied. Ample scientific research demonstrates how KSM-66® improves testosterone levels, reproductive health, muscle strength and recovery, and mood.

In one placebo-controlled study, 46 men consumed either a placebo or KSM-66® capsules. After 3 months of daily ingestion, there was a 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume and 57% increase in sperm motility for the KSM-66® group. The improvement in these parameters was minimal in the placebo-treated group. Furthermore, a significantly greater improvement and regulation were observed in serum testosterone levels with the KSM-66® treatment as compared to the placebo.

In a separate clinical study, KSM-66® greatly improved cardiac endurance for 24 men compared to a placebo group.  There was statistically significant increase in blood oxygen uptake (VO2 max) with the KSM-66® group, compared to the placebo group at 8 weeks and at 12 weeks. Additionally, the KSM-66® group had higher Quality of Life (QOL) scores at 12 weeks compared to placebo. The findings suggest that KSM-66® root extract enhances the cardiorespiratory endurance and improves mood in healthy athletic adults.

KSM-66® Ashwagandha is not limited to effects on sperm count and male fertility. An additional randomized controlled study discovered that men given KSM-66® had significantly greater increases in muscle strength on the bench-press and leg extension exercises compared to a placebo group performing the same exercises. Furthermore, the KSM-66® group had significantly greater muscle size increase in the arms and chest, higher testosterone levels, and greater fat loss while having less muscle damage compared to the placebo group performing the same exercises.

Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps are a diverse group of mushrooms that confer a variety of health benefit to men’s endurance and performance.

In one study, researchers tested the effect of Cordyceps on exercise capacity in healthy adults using a stationary bike. The trial participants received daily Cordyceps capsules or a placebo pill for six weeks. By week 6, blood oxygen uptake (VO2 max) had increased significantly in the Cordyceps group, while the placebo group had no change.

In another study, scientists investigated the effects of a Cordyceps-containing mushroom blend on exercise performance in adults. By week 3, the mushroom group saw a significant increase in blood oxygen uptake (VO2 max) compared to a placebo. Higher resting blood oxygen levels increase you daily energy levels and provide for more efficient work outs.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane is a “hairy” type of mushroom that has been studied for its effects on neurological health in adults. Cognitive performance is inextricably connected to physical performance and health.

One study found that Lion’s Mane may benefit older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Researchers provided 15 adults with a lion’s mane extract and 15 adults with a placebo pill and instructed them to consume it daily for 16 weeks. Participants were assessed for cognitive function at weeks 8, 12, and 16. The Lion’s Mane group showed significantly greater improvements in cognitive performance compared to members of the placebo group.

Maca Root

Maca root is a plant native to South America, grown in the Andes mountains of Peru. It was used as a folk medicine to relieve men of impotence and fertility issues. There is a significant amount of research backing the use of maca root to improve libido and sexual performance.

In a twelve-week, placebo-controlled clinical trial, men taking maca root (on a daily basis) saw a significant increase in sexual desire compared to the placebo group.

Another clinical trial found that maca powder enhanced fertility properties of men by increasing the sperm concentration of their semen significantly when compared to a placebo group.

Several literature reviews of available clinical data suggest that maca root may increase sexual performance and sperm quality, but they recommend additional studies to be completed.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is a species of tree that has been used as traditional Chinese medicine for many different ailments. It contains a variety of phytochemicals including flavonoids, like quercetin, and terpene trilactones that can act as powerful antioxidants.

There have been some studies indicating that Ginkgo can be used to improve blood circulation in the body. One study concluded that Ginkgo can help increase blood flow for older adults with circulation problems.

Another study discovered that Ginkgo Biloba can increase nitric oxide (NO) levels in the blood. Nitric oxide is a chemical messenger our cells use to stimulate blood flow, and it has been implicated as an important component to erections.

Although there are no human studies confirming Ginkgo’s role as supplement for sexual health, there is preliminary research that suggest it could help.

Korean Ginseng – Red Ginseng (Panax)

There are several types of ginseng, including South China ginseng, American ginseng, and Korean, or Panax, ginseng.  All ginseng varieties contain powerful antioxidants called ginsenosides.

Red ginseng is dried and steamed, while white ginseng is only dried, and fresh ginseng is normally paired with a meal.

A recent meta-analysis of twenty-four clinical trials found that Korean ginseng was an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. The contributing authors believe there needs to be additional studies to draw firm conclusions, but it is clear that ginseng improve erectile function significantly compared to all placebo groups in their analysis.

Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum)

Fenugreek is a plant commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat everything from skin disorders to a weakened libido. There have been preliminary studies that have uncovered Fenugreek’s potent ability to enhance male sexual drive.

Scientists studied the effect of fenugreek against a placebo on regular weightlifting. In the 8-week study, 30 college-aged men performed 4 sessions of weightlifting per week, with half of them receiving fenugreek with the other half taking a placebo. The fenugreek group witnessed a significant increase in testosterone levels compared to the placebo group. Additionally, there was increased weight loss in the fenugreek group compared to none in the placebo.

Furthermore, a separate 6-week study assessed the effect of fenugreek extract on sex drive. Most participants reported increased strength and improved sexual function.

Tribulis Terrestris

Like most of our functional ingredients Tribulus terrestris is a botanical extract with a long history as a traditional medicine. It is believed to have a variety of health benefits, including improved hormone levels and increased sexual function.

In one study, scientists discovered that daily consumption of Tribulus increased men’s sexual desire increased by 79% after two months.

A separate group of researchers found significant improvements in erections and sexual satisfaction with daily consumption of Tribulus.

Diiondolylmethane (DIM)

Diondolylmethane (DIM) is a compound produced by our bodies’ digestion of indole-3-carbinol, a naturally occurring compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage. DIM is believed to aid in the process of weight loss.

The mechanism by which DIM aids weight loss is not completely understood in humans. However, scientists believe it plays a role in minimizing men’s estrogen levels. Estrogen plays a key role in metabolism and weight loss in both men and women. In a rodent study, mice placed on a high fat diet, and given daily doses of DIM, significantly reduced the formation of new fat cells.

BioPerine® Black Pepper Fruit Extract

BioPerine® is a proprietary blend of piperine-based black pepper fruit extract. It has been clinically studied as a bioavailability enhancer for over 20 years. In several studies, fat-based and water-based vitamins and supplements are absorbed more effectively by the body when they are paired with BioPerine® black pepper fruit extract.

How Do I Use Men’s Vitality?

Our blends are all designed for daily use. Take our mushroom and plant formulation daily with morning coffee or tea, or pair it with a meal. Everyone is different so find what works best for you.

Most scientific studies with natural supplements are conducted over several months, and the participants take the supplement daily. To get the full benefit of our all-natural ingredient and our powerful KSM-66 Ashwagandha® blend, we recommend you take one serving per day for two to three months.

It can be hard to see clear progress, as our emotions and energy levels change daily depending on our diet, amount of sleep and activities. What I’ve done and suggest is to try and keep a daily journal to track how you feel, your energy levels, and max reps in the gym. Monitoring these trends over time will give you the best way to observe progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is anything worthwhile.

Forge an Ironclad Skeletal Frame

Getting older doesn’t have to hurt. Whether you’re running after the kids or on the treadmill, you shouldn’t let those aches and pains slow you down. This blend has got your back – even on your worst days.

Osteo Performance is a blend of Chaga, Turkey Tail, and Reishi mushrooms that will keep you flexible and active, instead of sore and recovering at home. This powerful formula is enhanced with natural ingredients like Glucosamine, Frankincense, Turmeric, Burdock Root, Calcium and Zinc to help reduce the inflammation that is at the root of joint pain and boost immune function.

Get off the couch and back to living your best life with this joint support blend.

The Science Behind Our Osteo Performance Supplement:

Chaga Mushroom Extract

Chaga Mushrooms are found living on trees in woody forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They have been used for centuries in Asia as a natural supplement for immunity and heart health.

Researchers have studied chaga in lab rats and test tube experiments, and found that the components of chaga extract helped reduce long-lasting inflammation.

Inflammation is not bad – it only becomes harmful to our body when it occurs excessively. Chaga helps immune cells secrete anti-inflammatory proteins (anti-inflammatory cytokines) to reduce inflammation. Excessive inflammation causes several conditions, including osteoarthritis.

These preclinical findings indicate that chaga mushroom extract merits further study in human clinical trials.

Reishi Mushroom Extract 

Reishi mushrooms are native to deciduous forests, and commonly grow at the base of maple trees. Like Chaga, and many other dietary mushrooms, Reishi is considered a traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used for centuries to maintain heart health and boost the immune system.

Although not extensively studied in humans, Reishi mushrooms can beneficially affect bone health in animals. Scientists found that Reishi extracts improved bone formation in rats after 42 days of supplementation.

In fact, they confirmed their findings when they treated bone cells (osteoclasts and osteoblasts) with Reishi extracts in test tubes. They found that Reishi inhibits the bone cells that break down bones (osteoclasts) and promotes the activity of bone cells that build bones (osteoblasts).

In another study, scientists observed that Reishi mushroom powder improved blood mineral content (calcium, iron, and phosphorus) in rats compared to a placebo. These minerals are essential for healthy bone growth.

Preclinical studies suggest that Reishi mushroom extracts should studied for anti-osteoporosis properties.

Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract

Turkey Tail mushrooms are native to many parts of the world. Similar to other mushroom supplements, Turkey Tail contains certain polysaccharides, called beta-glucans, that are implicated in the anti-inflammatory, and anti-osteoporotic activities of Turkey Tail.

Also known by its scientific name, Trametes versicolor, Turkey Tail mushrooms have been investigated for their ability to promote healthy bone growth.

Scientists studied its effect on osteoclasts and osteoblasts in test tubes and animals; they found that it prevented bone loss and could be considered as a supplement to prevent osteoporosis, or the excessive breakdown of bone.

Boswellia Serratta Extract (Frankincense)

Boswellia serratta is the plant that produces frankincense, a coveted spice that was brought to baby Jesus of Nazareth by one of the three wise men.

serratta contains several derivatives of boswellic acid, compounds that have been studied for their effects on joint function and osteoarthritis.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, participants with osteoarthritis taking Boswellia serratta reported less knee pain and farther walking distances than a placebo group.

Scientists propose that Boswellia may be a potential treatment for joint pain due its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, its success with osteoarthritic groups suggest it could be used as a supplemental treatment for rheumatoid arthritis as well.

Burdock Root

Burdock Root is a type of plant native to Europe and Asia. It contains strong anti-oxidant compounds, such as flavonoids and polyphenolic acids, that protect cells in the body from free radical-induced damage.

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial, Burdock root tea was administered to patients with knee osteoarthritis over a 42-day period. Scientists found that the burdock tea group had lower levels of inflammatory markers, like C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, circulating in their blood compared to the control group. They suggest that the burdock root tea possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in patients with joint pain.

Additionally, scientists studied the effect of burdock root on bone marrow cells and found that it increases cartilage production. They conclude that burdock root should be studied as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis.

Turmeric Root (Curcuma Longa)

Turmeric root is the root, or rhizome, of Curcuma longa, a plant in the ginger family. These roots are prepared fresh, boiled in water, or dried and included in many dishes of Asian cuisine.

Turmeric contains curcuminoids, or compounds derived from curcumin, that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

There have been several clinical studies exploring the joint and bone health properties of Turmeric root. One group found that curcumin, complexed with phospholipids, greatly improved the ability of patients with osteoarthritis to walk farther and feel less knee pain.

In another study, scientists replicated findings that associated curcumin consumption with improved quality of life metrics for people suffering from joint pain and osteoarthritis.

Devil’s Claw

Devil’s Claw takes its name from the hook-like appearance of its fruit. It is a plant native to southern Africa and has been used as a folk medicine for its anti-inflammatory effects.

Devil’s claw contains compounds called iridoid glycosides, specifically harpagoside. These compounds have halted the inflammatory response in animal and test-tube experiments.

In fact, scientists discovered that Devil’s claw extract suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokines, or proteins that signal for inflammation, in mice.

Although lacking human studies, some scientists suggest that consuming devil’s claw on a daily basis can fight the inflammation associated with osteoarthritics, lower back pain, and joint pain.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the active compound in chili peppers, like cayenne pepper, that provides the “spicy” taste sensation. There is some evidence that the capsaicin can provide relief for pain.

In a clinical trial, topically administered capsaicin was more effective at relieving chronic back pain than the placebo.

Scientists speculate that capsaicin exerts anti-pain effects through modulation of TRPV channels on our nerve cells. Typically, nerve cells in our body communicate pain to our brain using these channels. Capsaicin actives these channels excessively, causing them to desensitize to activation. This effectively “numbs” the pain signal traveling to your brain.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring, sugar-based compound found in shellfish, animals, and fungi. In fact, it is also found in our bodies and supports the development of tissues in between our joints.

Glucosamine has been extensively studied for its ability to build cartilage and promote healthy joint function. In fact, scientists believe glucosamine supplements allow athletes to build additional joint collagen, as evidenced by studies conducted in elite cyclists and soccer players.

A past animal study found that glucosamine supplements, when combined with other therapies, treated symptoms of osteoporosis in lab rats. Furthermore, a rat study highlighted the use of glucosamine to treat the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Zinc

Zinc is a chemical element naturally found in meats, legumes, seeds and nuts. It is involved in many biochemical processes in the body, including DNA synthesis, enzyme activity, wound healing and growth.

Due to its ability to boost collagen production, zinc is commonly given to hospital patients after major or minor surgeries.

Although inflammation is a natural process, if it occurs excessively it can have detrimental effects on our body. Zinc is known to reduce levels of specific inflammatory biomarkers, like C-reactive protein.

In a clinical study, elderly patients taking zinc supplements for six months had much lower levels of pro-inflammatory proteins (cytokines) detected in their blood compared to the placebo group.

The underlying symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis includes chronic inflammation of the joints and bones. Scientists speculate that the anti-inflammatory power of zinc could quell the excessive inflammation that characterizes these disorders.

Calcium

Calcium is a chemical element naturally found in dairy products, tofu, seeds, nuts and leafy green vegetables. It is vital to many of our innate biological functions like cellular signaling, the growth of blood vessels (angiogenesis), and muscle function. Calcium plays a major role in how our bones and teeth are formed too.

Our bodies do not produce calcium, so we must absorb it from our diet. It is a vital component to our bones because it provides them the structural support to remain solid and strong.

Bone cells, like osteoclasts and osteoblasts, are constantly remodeling our bones in order to balance the levels of calcium in our bodies. The ubiquitous function of calcium in biochemical processes means that if we do not eat enough calcium, our body will take it out of our bones to meet those physiological needs.

Decreased bone density is associated with diseases like osteoporosis. The problem of low bone density and calcium deficits only becomes worse with age.

How Do I Use Osteo Performance?

Our blends are all designed for daily use. Take our mushroom, plant, and mineral-fortified formulation daily with water, your morning coffee or tea, or a little bit of food. Everyone is different so find what works best for you.

Most scientific studies with natural supplements are conducted over several months, and the participants take the supplement daily. To get the full benefit of our all-natural ingredient and our powerful botanical blend, we recommend you take one serving per day for two to three months.

It can be hard to see clear progress, as our emotions and energy levels change daily depending on our diet, amount of sleep and activities. What I’ve done and suggest is to try and keep a daily journal to track how you feel, your energy levels, and the extent of your physical activity, even just tolerance. If you suffer from joint pain, you should make a note of how many steps you took or how long you were able to walk before feeling pain.

Crank Your Oxygen Levels and Increase Your Cardio Performance

Cardiovascular Performance Supplement

Looking for a natural way to protect your heart from stress, lack of sleep, and late-night fast-food meals? This powerful blend of Reishi, Maitake, Chaga, and Shitake mushrooms, and bolstered with other powerful ingredients like CoQ10, Hawthorn Berry, L-Theanine, L-Taurine, Garlic, and B Vitamins that support a healthy heart and boost blood flow. This antioxidant-packed formula helps fight oxidative stress and free radical damage, keeping your heart and brain at peak performance.

  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
  • ANTIOXIDANTS
  • HEART HEALTH
  • CALMING
  • METABOLIC SUPPORT
  • TISSUE GROWTH

Live a long and adventurous life. This powerful blend combines Reishi, Maitake, Chaga, and Shitake mushrooms with powerful plant extracts like Hawthorn Berry and Garlic for a stronger and healthier heart. Our blend fights free radical damage and may reduce risk of cardiovascular issues, such as high cholesterol.

Cardiovascular Performance is formulated with Reishi to keep your immune system at its best, and while we can’t promise you’ll live to 10,000 years old, Reishi can help keep your heart strong as you age. The benefits of Reishi go beyond having a healthy heart, as it helps blood flow throughout the body to nourish your organs, including your brain, and support your overall health.

Never skip a beat with our Cardiovascular Performance blend and be ready for anything that comes your way.

The Science Behind Our Supplement:

Chaga Mushroom Extract

Chaga mushrooms are found living on trees in woody forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They have been used for centuries in Asia as a natural supplement for immunity and heart health.

Although not extensively studied in humans, Chaga confers beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system of rats and mice. Scientists found that rats with high cholesterol levels were able to reduce “unhealthy” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels after consuming chaga extract for eight weeks; increased blood antioxidant level also occurred in these rats.

Similarly, mice taking Chaga mushrooms decreased their LDL cholesterol while increasing their “healthy” HDL cholesterol after three weeks of administration. “Unhealthy” LDL cholesterol is associated with a number of cardiovascular diseases.

Reishi Mushroom Extract

Reishi mushrooms are native to deciduous forests, and commonly grow at the base of maple trees. Like Chaga, and many other dietary mushrooms, Reishi is considered a traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used for centuries to maintain heart health and boost the immune system.

A small, placebo-controlled study showed that people consuming Reishi mushrooms lowered blood triglyceride levels, while increasing “healthy” HDL cholesterol levels. Although the study was small, it showed significant differences in heart health biomarkers when compared to a placebo.

Scientists have reason to believe that Reishi may confer protection against the high blood pressure and oxidative damage associated with cardiovascular diseases. Reishi’s ability to act as an antioxidant allows it to scavenge free radicals throughout the body.

Shitake Mushroom Extract 

Shitake mushrooms are a type of fungus native to East Asia, and they have been treated as traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Shitake are low in calories and they contain significant amounts of fiber, B vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin D

Scientific evidence suggests that Shitake mushrooms positively effect cardiovascular health. They contain compounds like eritadenine, sterols and beta glucans, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

In one rat study, scientists found that rats treated with shitake mushroom powder witnessed significant decreases in blood pressure. These findings suggest that shitake mushrooms should be studied as a supplement to treat hypertension in humans.

Maitake Mushroom Extract

Maitake mushrooms, like Shitake, have been consumed as traditional homeopathic medicine for centuries.

Maitake mushrooms contain an eclectic mixture of bioactive compounds and minerals, such as:

  • Beta-glucans
  • Vitamins B & C
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Amino Acids

There is scientific evidence that demonstrates positive effects of Maitake mushroom on Type 2 diabetes patients. Scientists found that maitake reduced insulin levels, promoted healthy blood sugar levels, and supported weight management.

Another study in mice found that dietary Maitake mushrooms positively affected cholesterol levels compared to a placebo. Although further human research is warranted, there are positive preclinical results highlighting the benefit of consuming dietary mushrooms.

Garlic Powder (Allium Sativum)

Garlic is a flowering plant that originates from Central Asia and the Middle East. The Ancient Egyptians were not strangers to the plant either. It contains a plethora of beneficial plant bioactive compounds, including:

  • Sulfur-containing, allicin and ajoene
  • Flavonoids
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C

There have been several human studies that found garlic supplements have a healthy impact on cardiovascular performance.

One study found that consuming a daily garlic supplement improved blood pressure levels for patients with hypertension. A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial found that hypertensive patients taking garlic supplements over 12 weeks saw a healthy reduction in blood pressure levels.

Another placebo-controlled clinical investigation found that patients taking time-released garlic powder tablets had significant decreases in total cholesterol levels compared to patients taking a pharmaceutical drug (Allicor) to manage their cholesterol levels.

Lastly, a clinical trial found that participants taking garlic oil significantly lowered their resting heart rate and improved their cardio exercise tolerance.

There is ample evidence that garlic confers positive benefits to cardiovascular health and performance.

Hawthorn Berry Extract

Hawthorn berries are found globally in several hundred species of shrubs and trees. They are used in traditional Chinese medicine as a digestive aid and herbal supplement to strengthen cardiovascular function.

Several preclinical and clinical studies have suggested that hawthorn berry supplements improve heart function. Researchers found that daily hawthorn berry supplements caused a slight reduction in diastolic blood pressure after ten weeks. A separate group discovered that daily hawthorn berry consumption greatly reduced both diastolic and systolic blood pressure after 16 weeks.

Furthermore, a recent mouse study found that hawthorn berry supplements decreased “unhealthy” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to mice that did not receive the supplement. Lower LDL cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

L-Theanine

L-theanine, or theanine, is an active constituent of green, black, and white teas. It is a widely consumed supplement and may be beneficial for people who experience situation-based increases in blood pressure.

One study examined the effect of L-theanine on blood pressure when participants were asked to perform cognitively challenging mental tasks. Researchers discovered that L-theanine reduced increases in blood pressure associated with strenuous mental activities. Additionally, they found that caffeine had a similar effect but that it did not reduce blood pressure as effectively as L-theanine.

Another group found that daily supplements of L-theanine reduced resting heart rate in participants, which suggests it may help with overall cardiovascular performance.

L-Taurine

Originally discovered in ox, L-taurine is a naturally occurring compound involved in many cellular processes, such as membrane stabilization, osmoregulation, and anti-oxidation. It is believed to exert positive benefits to the entire cardiovascular system.

Epidemiological research suggests that populations of people with higher L-taurine consumption have significant lower levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and rate of death from cardiovascular diseases.

Scientists speculate that L-taurine lowers blood pressure because it increases the flexibility of blood vessels, making the resistance to blood flow decrease, which drives down blood pressure in our body.

In fact, scientists found that two weeks of daily L-taurine supplementation decreased the rigidity or stiffness of arteries in humans. The greater flexibility of blood vessels makes it easier for blood to flow throughout the body.

Lastly, L-taurine may improve cardiac performance during exercise. Several human studies demonstrate that L-taurine consumption allows runners and cyclists to cover longer distances without feeling fatigued.

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a coenzyme found in everything from animals to most bacteria. It is involved in in cellular respiration, or the process of creating energy currency in cells. CoQ10 has a reputation for improving cardiac function and decreasing the risk of heart failure.

In a large study of people with heart conditions, CoQ10 treatment improved cardiac biomarkers and decreased the risk of these people dying from heart failure.

A separate group of researchers conducted a similar placebo-controlled clinical study; they found that people taking CoQ10 were hospitalized less frequently for heart failure and did not have as serious cardiac health complications as the placebo group. 

Vitamin B2- Riboflavin (Riboflavin 5 Phosphate)

Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, is a vitamin found in eggs, green vegetables, mushrooms, and almonds. It is an essential enzyme how food is broken down into energy by our cells.

Vitamin B2 also acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals, and is necessary for our bodies to break down and absorb certain nutrients like iron. Iron is an important component of our red blood cells, which help deliver oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our body, especially during exercise. Maximizing nutrient absorption is critical to healthy weight management.

Although extensive human studies have not been conducted, scientists found that riboflavin helped reduce hypertension (high blood pressure) in mice. Lower blood pressure is key to exercising effectively and having a healthy heart.

Vitamin B3- Niacin (Nicotinic Acid)

Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is found in a variety of foods like Portobello mushrooms, peanuts, avocado and brown rice. Like Vitamins B1 and B2, Vitamin B3 is essential for our body’s natural process of converting food into energy.

Niacin, riboflavin and thiamin help enzymes involved in cellular metabolism. They are key to your body’s ability to efficiently break down nutrients into energy molecules for your cells. Niacin helps promote healthy metabolic function, especially during high energy activities like exercise.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-phosphate monohydrate)

Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin found in many types of nuts and fruits. Its active form, pyridoxal-5-phosphate monohydrate, serves as a coenzyme for hundreds of cellular reactions involved in protein, sugar and fat metabolism. Vitamin B6 reduces clogged arteries and minimizes cardiac disease.

Scientists discovered that people with low blood levels of Vitamin B6 are at twice the risk of getting heart disease compared to those with higher levels.

In a recent, two-year study, researchers showed that daily Vitamin B6 and folic acid supplementation significantly lowered the risk of heart disease compared to a placebo. They found that participants taking the supplement had much lower heart rates during cardiac exercise, and lower cholesterol levels, than the placebo group

How Do I Use Cardiovascular Performance?

Our blends are all designed for daily use. Take our mushroom and plant formulation daily with water, your morning coffee or tea, or pair it with a meal. Everyone is different so find what works best for you.

Most scientific studies with natural supplements are conducted over several months, and the participants take the supplement daily. To get the full benefit of our all-natural ingredient and our powerful botanical blend, we recommend you take one serving per day for two to three months.

It can be hard to see clear progress, as our emotions and energy levels change daily depending on our diet, amount of sleep and activities. What I’ve done and suggest is to try and keep a daily journal to track how you feel, your energy levels, and cardiac performance. Some smartphone fitness apps and accessories can track heart biomarkers, like heartrate.

Most drugstores and pharmacies provide free blood pressure meters as well. Monitoring these trends over time will give you the best way to observe progress in your cardiovascular health.

Boost and Bolster Energy Levels to Crush Your Weight Goals

Getting into shape doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to do it alone. Your perfect partner in the fight against weight loss, this formula will help curb your appetite and balance blood sugar spikes that could trigger junk food cravings. No more stress eating.

Our blend is powered by Green Coffee, which supports heart health and weight management when combined with a reduced calorie diet and physical exercise. Vitamins like chromium and niacin further support healthy weight management, while the functional mushrooms in our Metabolic Boost blend, including Cordyceps and Maitake boost cellular energy, helping you make the most of the calories you do take in. Cordyceps mushrooms are also scientifically proven to help lungs absorb oxygen more easily at the cellular level, which can help you sweat through harder and longer workouts.

Meet your new gym partner: Metabolic Boost blend.

The Science Behind Our Supplement:

Cordyceps Mushroom Extract

Cordyceps are a diverse group of mushrooms that confer a variety of health benefits to men’s endurance and performance.

In one study, researchers tested the effect of Cordyceps on exercise capacity in healthy adults using a stationary bike. The trial participants received daily Cordyceps capsules or a placebo pill for six weeks. By week six, blood oxygen uptake (VO2 max) had increased significantly in the Cordyceps group, while the placebo group had no change.

In another study, scientists investigated the effects of a Cordyceps-containing mushroom blend on exercise performance in adults. By week three, the mushroom group saw a significant increase in blood oxygen uptake (VO2 max) compared to a placebo. Higher resting blood oxygen levels increase your daily energy levels and provide for more efficient work outs.

Shitake Mushroom Extract

Shitake mushrooms are a type of fungus native to East Asia, and they have been treated as Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. Shitake are low in calories and they contain significant amounts of fiber, B vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin D

Scientific evidence suggests that Shitake mushrooms positively effect cardiovascular health. They contain compounds like eritadenine, sterols and beta glucans, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

In one rat study, scientists found that rats treated with shitake mushroom powder witnessed significant decreases in blood pressure. These findings suggest that shitake mushrooms should be studied as a supplement to treat hypertension in humans.

Maitake Mushroom Extract

Maitake Mushrooms, like Shitake, have been consumed as traditional homeopathic medicine for centuries.

Maitake mushrooms contain an eclectic mixture of bioactive compounds and minerals, such as:

  • Beta-glucans
  • Vitamins B & C
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Amino Acids

There is scientific evidence that demonstrates positive effects of maitake mushroom on Type 2 diabetes patients. Scientists found that maitake reduced insulin levels, promoted healthy blood sugar levels, and supported weight management.

Another study in mice found that dietary maitake mushrooms positively effected cholesterol levels compared to a placebo. Although further human research is warranted, there are positive preclinical results highlighting the benefit of consuming dietary mushrooms.

African Mango

African Mango is a mango-like fruit that is grown throughout Southern Africa and used as a traditional medicine for weight loss.

There is some research confirming African mango as a weight loss aid. A review of existing research found that it can inhibit the growth of fat cells in humans.

A placebo-controlled clinical trial found that twice-daily consumption of African mango extract significantly reduced body weight, body fat, and waist size compared to a placebo. Additionally, participants taking African mango saw significant decreases in plasma total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, glucose, and pro-inflammatory cytokine (C-reactive protein) levels compared to the placebo group.

A more recent clinical trial concluded that twice daily mango supplements, taken over 90 days, significantly improved symptoms of metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion compared to the placebo group.

Garcinia Gummi Gutta

Garcinia gummi gutta is a tropical species of plant native to Indonesia. The fruit of the tree appear as a small green or pale-yellow pumpkin.

There are several animal and human studies that suggest Garcinia may be effective as a healthy weight loss supplement.

In one preclinical study, scientists fed rats either a high sugar (HS), high fat (HF), or high sugar and high fat diet (HFS). They found that Garcinia rind extract effectively reduced appetite, body weight, and body fat only in rats fed a high fat (HF) diet.

A separate group arrived at a similar conclusion: rats on a high fat diet and fed Garcinia will experience less fat gain compared to control groups.

A sixteen-week human clinical trial concluded that daily consumption of Garcinia extract led to reduced abdominal fat accumulation, in obese adults, compared to a placebo group.

A smaller human pilot study found that daily Garcinia consumption lead to suppressed appetite, reduced blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and body mass index (BMI) compared to a placebo. 

Acai Berries

Acai berries are harvested from a species of palm tree, cultivated in the Southern Hemisphere. They are rich in polyphenols that can serve as antioxidants in our body.

Scientists conducted a preclinical study in rats and discovered that acai berries can help reduce the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in their blood.

A preclinical study in rabbits confirmed that acai berries lower cholesterol levels significantly when compared to a placebo.

A small clinical trial concluded that two acai smoothies consumed a day can lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol in obese adults after thirty days. Although the sample size was small, there are promising implications for acai berries’ effect on metabolic function.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is more than just a chili ingredient; the Chinese have used it to treat cardiovascular problems for centuries. There is some evidence that the antioxidants in cayenne pepper can help boost metabolism.

One study demonstrated that one gram of cayenne pepper in a meal caused core body temperature to increase. Calories need to be burned to cause an increase in core body temperature. Additionally, some study participants found they did not crave fat, salt, or sugar-rich foods after consuming cayenne pepper.

More recently, researchers conducted a placebo-controlled experiment with 75 healthy volunteers. After 12 weeks of daily consumption, groups taking two or four milligrams of capsaicinoids witnessed a significant drop in body fat compared to the placebo group.

Cayenne pepper is a crucial ingredient to a healthy weight management plan.

Caffeine

Caffeine has eclipsed its role as just a component of roasted coffee beans. It is one of the most studied scientific supplements and is one of the MOST popular ingredients for weight management supplements.

Scientists have demonstrated that caffeine can significantly boost human metabolic rates for lean (11%) and obese (3%) individuals. Other studies suggest that caffeine can increase metabolic rates by 29% in lean people and 10% in heavier people.

Caffeine’s effect on metabolism is partially responsible for its use as an exercise aid. It signals the body to increase adrenaline levels in the blood, thereby causing improved physical performance.

Given its benefits, caffeine consumption before the gym can help fuel your workout and boost fat loss.

Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D is inextricably tied to sunshine because it is synthesized in your skin with the help of UV light. Most associated with boosting your immune system, it might surprise you that Vitamin D can help with weight loss too.

Scientists conducted a placebo-controlled experiment with Vitamin D and calcium. They found that subjects taking the supplement lost significantly more weight than those taking the placebo. They speculate that Vitamin D and Calcium produced appetite-suppressing effects, causing the participants to feel less hungry and eat less.

Vitamin B1- Thiamin (Thiamin Mononitrate)

Vitamin B1, or Thiamin, is essential for many of the body’s physiological processes. It is found naturally in legumes and whole grains.

Vitamin B1 plays a crucial role in metabolism and how the body breaks down sugars, or carbohydrates, into energy. Furthermore, Thiamin is an essential nutrient for maintaining cardiovascular health.

Thiamin supplements can synergize with other metabolic ingredients in our mix to ensure you are efficiently metabolizing food and working out to your full potential.

Vitamin B2- Riboflavin (Riboflavin 5 Phosphate)

Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, is a vitamin found in eggs, green vegetables, mushrooms, and almonds. It is an essential enzyme how food is broken down into energy by our cells.

Vitamin B2 also acts as an antioxidant, and is necessary for our bodies to break down and absorb certain nutrients like iron. Iron is an important component of our red blood cells, which help deliver oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our body, especially during exercise. Maximizing nutrient absorption is critical to healthy weight management.

Although extensive human studies have not been conducted, scientists found that riboflavin helped reduce hypertension (high blood pressure) in mice. Lower blood pressure is key to exercising effectively.

Vitamin B3- Niacin (Nicotinic Acid)

Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is found in a variety of foods like Portobello mushrooms, peanuts, avocado and brown rice. Like Vitamins B1 and B2, Vitamin B3 is essential for our body’s natural process of converting food into energy.

Niacin, Riboflavin and Thiamin help enzymes involved in cellular metabolism. They are key to your body’s ability to efficiently break down nutrients into energy molecules for your cells. Niacin helps promote healthy metabolic function, especially during high energy activities like exercise. 

Chromium (Chromium Picolinate)

Chromium is a single metallic element found in concentrated fruit juice, apples, grapes, and green beans at very small levels. Scientists believe chromium may play a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.

Some research suggests that Chromium supplements may help some people with weight management, when coupled with exercise. In fact, a recent human study found overweight adults who combined chromium picolinate with amino acids for breakfast were able to improve insulin economy and insulin response.

Green Coffee (50% Chlorogenic)

Green Coffee Beans are “Coffee Beans” that have not yet been roasted to their characteristic brown color. These green coffee beans contain high amounts of chlorogenic acid, a molecule that gets destroyed during the roasting process.

Although the mechanism of action remains unknown, chlorogenic acid is believed to help regulate the metabolism of dietary fats and sugars.

Scientists found preclinical evidence that chlorogenic acid helped improve meal responsiveness (or the sensation of feeling full) while improving fat and sugar regulation to protect against weight gain.

The combination of caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and other plant bioactive create a synergistic effect on metabolism and satiety.

How Do I Use Metabolic Boost?

Our blends are all designed for daily use. Take our synergistic blend of vitamins and mushroom supplements with your first meal of the day, or one-two hours before you anticipate hitting the gym.

Most scientific studies with natural supplements are conducted over several months, and the participants take the supplement daily. To get the full benefit of our all-natural metabolic supplement, we recommend you take one serving per day for two to three months.

It can be hard to see clear progress, as our emotions and energy levels change daily depending on our diet, amount of sleep and activities. What we have done (and suggest) is to try and keep a daily journal to track how you feel, your energy levels, daily weight, and max reps in the gym. Monitoring these trends over time will give you the best way to observe progress.

Defenses Against Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people, including 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50. [1] White and Asian women are most affected, especially post-menopause. Osteoporosis causes a loss of bone mass, destroys bone tissue, and harms bone microstructure, all potentially leading to weakened bones and a greater propensity for fractures, often in the hips, wrists, or spine. [2] Our bones can become so frail, that even a cough can cause a fracture.

Our bone cells continuously go through cycles of degradation and replenishment. Throughout youth, new bone rapidly restores old bone, but this reaches a maximum typically by age 30. When new bone does not replace loss of old bone, osteoporosis results, presenting trademark “silent” symptoms such as a hunched-over posture, a loss of height, back pain, and brittle bones.

Defenses Against Osteoporosis

There are many secondary causes of osteoporosis including lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking, alcoholism, and a high salt intake), genetic conditions (e.g., cystic fibrosis, porphyria), neurological disorders (e.g., epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease), endocrine issues (e.g., hyperthyroidism, central obesity) and gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., celiac disease, gastric bypass, inflammatory bowel disease). [1] Osteoporosis has also been linked to long-term usage of some medications, such as those used to treat acid reflux, seizures, and steroids like prednisone.

So, what can we do to bolster our defense against osteoporosis?

  • Ensure adequate calcium intake. Typically, people under 50 years of age require 1,000 mg of calcium, but when women turn 50 and men turn 70, a 1,200 mg of calcium is recommended. [3] Eat leafy greens like bok choy, collard greens, and kale; low-fat dairy products like yogurt or cottage cheese; tofu; calcium-fortified orange juices; canned fish; and broccoli.
  • Get enough vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption in the intestine. This can come from sunlight, but can also be obtained via foods like milk, egg yolks, fatty fish, and cereal.
  • Temper alcohol consumption.
  • Keep active. Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to increased risk of osteoporosis and being overweight has also been linked to increased likelihood of fractures. Weight-bearing (e.g., walking, running, dancing) and strength training exercise is recommended.
  • If you are vegetarian or vegan, ensure adequate protein intake.
  • Quit smoking cigarettes and avoid secondhand smoke.

Several mushroom species have beneficial properties for osteoporosis, as well. Hen-of-the-woods or maitake mushrooms led to a two-fold increase in bone mineralization when bone cancer cells were incubated with the mushrooms for 21 days. [4] Bone mineralization relates the depositing of minerals on the bone matrix during bone formation.

Water extracts of turkey tail, maitake, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms have been evaluated in animal models of osteoporosis. [5] The turkey tail, maitake, shiitake extracts inhibited osteoclast activity. Osteoclasts are bone cells that help break down bone tissue. The shiitake extract increased osteoblast mineralization (osteoblasts are cells that form new bone), and osteocalcin, a biochemical marker for the formation of bone. A combination of maitake and shiitake extracts reduced lumbar spine bone loss.

Mushrooms can also provide a source of “nutritionally relevant” vitamin D when exposed to an ultraviolet (UV) light source. [6] Scientists evaluated common culinary mushrooms including button, oyster, and shiitake. This is a current practice amongst several large-scale mushroom cultivations in the United States, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Australia. The UV radiation of fresh mushrooms can produce 10 µg of vitamin D2 per 100 g of fresh mushrooms, which means that a 100 g would provide 50-100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D.

There are natural, everyday ways to bolster your bones and control osteoporosis. A proper diet and exercise are a recurring theme. Mushrooms like maitake, shiitake, and turkey tail, all of which are in Spore Life Sciences Mike’s Mushroom Mix, can boost bone mineralization and subsequent formation, inhibit the breaking down of bone by osteoclasts, and reduce lumbar spine bone loss.

References

[1] Sözen T, Özışık L, Başaran NÇ. An overview and management of osteoporosis. Eur J Rheumatol. 2017;4(1):46-56.

[2] NIH consensus development panel on osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. Osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. JAMA. 2001;285(6):785-795.

[3] Mayo Clinic. Osteoporosis. Mayo Clinic website. Accessed April 11, 2021.

[4] Saif A, Lindequist U, Wende K. Stimulating effects of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) on human osteoblastic cell cultures. J Nat Med. 2007;61:231–238.

[5] Erjavec I, Brkljacic J, Vukicevic S, Jakopovic B, Jakopovich I. Mushroom extracts decrease bone resorption and improve bone formation. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(7):559-569.

[6] Cardwell G, Bornman JF, James AP, Black LJ. A review of mushrooms as a potential source of dietary vitamin D. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1498.

Five Habits That Weaken Your Immune System

Most people think they can just pop a pill and everything will get better. But taking a supplement while practicing unhealthy lifestyle habits amounts to putting a band-aid over a bullet wound. This is especially true when it comes to your immune system. If you want to be able to fight off every cold or virus that comes your way, you need to support your immune system with both healthy habits and supplements. Since this past year has been incredibly stressful, it may be easier to eliminate bad habits first than build new healthy ones.

Five Habits That Weaken Your Immune System

Here are five habits you need to drop fast:

Never Exercising

People who never exercise are more likely to catch colds and other infections. Regular exercise reduces inflammation, especially in muscle tissue. [1] 45-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise supports the immune system and is especially helpful for people who have a chronic illness or are seniors. [2] There are both short-term and long-term benefits to stress and immune health from moderate exercise. Be careful though, too long, intense, or frequent exercise can be just as harmful to your immune system as it can be stressful.

Eating Fried Foods

One of the most common fried foods in the American diet is French fries, which is fried potatoes. When the sugars in potatoes are fried, they convert into chemicals that contribute to inflammation and cell damage in the body, harming both the gut and the immune system. [3] Fried foods are also high in fat, which can alter your gut biome and suppress your immune system. [4] Choosing healthier foods like fruits and unfried vegetables can reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.

Living in a Messy Home

Having a messy bedroom or office can weaken your immune system in two ways. First, dust, mites, pollen, mold, and bacteria constantly floating around in the air can wear out your immune system, to the point where it’s not fighting really dangerous pathogens when it encounters them. The real damage of a messy home is how it stresses you out mentally. Clutter can increase levels of the stress hormone as well as increase feelings of depression and anxiety. [5] For stay-at-home moms or those who work from home, a messy home can be even more harmful to your immune health.

Drinking Too Much Coffee

One or two cups of black coffee, taken without sugar or milk, can be anti-inflammatory and helpful to the immune system. But very few people take coffee like that. Most people are drinking high-calorie lattes topped with whipped crème and caramel or knocking back three to four cups of coffee a day. Too much caffeine, whether it’s from coffee, tea, energy drinks, or soda, can hurt your immune system. Caffeine can suppress the immune system by reducing levels of T-cells, antibodies, and key messengers including cytokines and interferon. [6] Another way caffeine can harm your immune system is by preventing good sleep later in the day, which is very bad for your immune health. [7] Finally, excess caffeine consumption can cause chronic release of the stress hormone cortisol, which can suppress your immune system function over time. [8]

Eating Artificial Sweeteners

You may think you’re eating healthy by choosing no-calorie artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, but these chemical majorly mess with your body. One study looked at three types of artificial sweeteners commonly found in diet soda and other diet products, including aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. These artificial sweeteners all suppressed levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine produced by immune cells, and sucralose decreased levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10). [9] This suggests artificial sweeteners suppress your immune system and you won’t be able to easily attack pathogens when you encounter them, making you more likely to come down with that flu.

Other studies suggest artificial sweeteners may also mess up your gut bacteria, which can cause nasty bacteria, yeast, and viruses to flourish. [10] With a weakened immune system, you’ll be even more susceptible to these bugs.

Conclusion

Try to avoid one or more of these bad habits for 21 days straight to rewire your brain and make your new healthy habit stick. Once you’ve committed to stopping at least one of these unhealthy habits, it’s time to support your immune system. Spore’s Protect and Defend Blend is made with turkey tail, chaga, reishi, and maitake mushrooms to keep your immune system running at its best, even under stress.

References
  1. Krüger K, Mooren FC, Pilat C. The Immunomodulatory Effects of Physical Activity. Curr Pharm Des. 2016;22(24):3730-48.
  2. Simpson RJ, Campbell JP, Gleeson M, Krüger K, Nieman DC, Pyne DB, Turner JE, Walsh NP. Can exercise affect immune function to increase susceptibility to infection? Exerc Immunol Rev. 2020;26:8-22.
  3. Uribarri J, Woodruff S, Goodman S, et al. Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(6):911-16.e12.
  4. Murphy EA, Velazquez KT, Herbert KM. Influence of high-fat diet on gut microbiota: a driving force for chronic disease risk. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2015;18(5):515-520.
  5. Saxbe DE, Repetti R. No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2010 Jan;36(1):71-81.
  6. Horrigan LA, Kelly JP, Connor TJ. Immunomodulatory effects of caffeine: friend or foe? Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Sep;111(3):877-92.
  7. NF Watson, MD, MS, D Buchwald, MD, JJ Delrow, PhD, WA Altemeier, MD, MV Vitiello, PhD, AI Pack, MBChB, PhD, M Bamshad, MD, C Noonan, MS, SA Gharib, MD, Transcriptional Signatures of Sleep Duration Discordance in Monozygotic Twins, Sleep, 2017;40:1, 1.
  8. Morey JN, Boggero IA, Scott AB, Segerstrom SC. Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function. Curr Opin Psychol. 2015;5:13-17.
  9. Rahiman F, Pool EJ. The in vitro effects of artificial and natural sweeteners on the immune system using whole blood culture assays. J Immunoassay Immunochem. 2014;35(1):26-36.
  10. Paula Neto HA, Ausina P, Gomez LS, Leandro JGB, Zancan P, Sola-Penna M. Effects of Food Additives on Immune Cells As Contributors to Body Weight Gain and Immune-Mediated Metabolic Dysregulation. Front Immunol. 2017;8:1478.

Week 3 Recap of the Spore 30-Day Mushroom Challenge

Our first 30-Day Mushroom Challenge will help you learn all about mushrooms, incorporate stress management techniques, and track your health to improve your energy and overall health. From connecting with the Spore Mushroom Community on Facebook, to free health coaching and Q&A sessions with Spore Director of Education Dr. Michele Ross, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

If you’re new to the challenge, don’t worry! You can start at any time. Here’s everything you need to start the third week of the Spore 30-Day Mushroom Challenge.

30-Day Mushroom Challenge: Week 3 Recap

download the Spore 30-Day Mushroom Challenge Workbook

Day 15

If you’ve been keeping up with the challenge, congrats, you get a day off! If you need to catch up, here’s your chance. Don’t forget to fill out your Health Tracker & Mushroom Mindset pages either way in the Challenge Workbook.

Subscribe to our new Youtube channel to get notified when the latest episodes of Mushroom Mondays drop live.

scientist testing beta-glucan levels in spore functional mushrooms

Day 16

Which functional mushrooms boost your immune system? Trick question! They all do. Mushrooms are rich in compounds called beta-glucans that modulate the immune system, protecting you against bacteria, viruses, mold and even cancer.

Some specific types of medicinal mushrooms have higher levels of beta-glucans, as well as other unique ingredients that support the immune system. You can find these mushrooms, like Turkey Tail mushrooms, in our Spore Protect & Defend blend.

use spore chill out blend to get 8 hours of solid sleep

Day 17

One of the best ways to protect heart health is to make sure you have a solid 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Read our blog post on “How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule” to get to sleep faster, have more energy in the day, and boost the effects you are seeing from the 30-Day Mushroom Challenge.

Reishi Mushroom that fight cancer growing on tree

Day 18

Almost 1 in 2 people will have cancer in their lifetime. It’s important to reduce your cancer risk by eating healthy, and that includes mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms like reishi work on specific anti-cancer pathways to prevent cancer growth and kill cancer cells.

What are 2 specific ways mushrooms work against cancer? Write the answer in your Challenge Workbook. Check your supplement label to see if your Spore mushroom blend contains cancer fighters.

Dr. Michele Ross, Director of Education at Spore Life Sciences, talks ways to boost energy naturally

Day 19

Many people use medicinal mushrooms to boost energy, reduce stress, and support a healthy immune system. Spore Director of Education, Dr. Michele Ross, goes over tips to boost energy naturally and explains why caffeine isn’t the answer to your fatigue problems.

In this episode of Wellness Wednesdays, available inside our Spore Mushroom Community Facebook group or on our Youtube channel, Dr. Ross shares how natural lifestyle changes like eating blueberries, breathing exercises, and medicinal mushrooms have helped her and her clients boost energy even with chronic illness.

3 ways to reach Spore Director of Education Dr. Michele Ross for questions about mushrooms or health

Day 20

We’re here for you on your wellness journey. Did you know there are 3 ways you can get your questions about mushrooms and health answered from health professionals at Spore?

If you’re shy, don’t worry, you can ask us privately. Learn how by reading our latest Instagram post.

which do you need more of energy or focus

Day 21

Energy, focus, sleep, or pain relief. Almost everyone needs help in one of those buckets. If you need work in more than one area, consider getting an additional Spore blend or two. Mike’s Mushroom Mix is a great way to restore balance to the immune system and boost overall health. It’s a great addition to any Spore blend you’re already taking.

Which of the four areas do you want to improve? Write it in your Challenge Workbook or join the convo in our Spore Mushroom Community Facebook group.

What’s Ahead For Week 4
As we head into Week 4, the final week of the 30-Day Mushroom Challenge, we’ll be diving in deep into medicinal mushroom benefits and providing coaching and support to help you on your wellness journey with mushrooms. We’ll be sharing weekly recaps here on our blog so you can follow along with the challenge no matter when you start.

Looking for the Week 1 Recap or Week 2 Recap of the 30-Day Mushroom Challenge? Click on the link!

How Medicinal Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer

Unfortunately, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that hasn’t been touched by cancer in some way or another. There is a deep need for therapeutic options that can be readily utilized to inhibit Cancer cells.

Fungi may have effective anticancer properties, and the properties that medicinal or functional mushrooms provide demonstrate the fungi’s impressive potential. One can simply visit Semantic Scholar and search for keywords like “mushrooms” and “anticancer” and find thousands of results.

How Medicinal Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer

Reishi mushrooms are one ancient example of a medicinal mushroom, as they are mentioned in the Chinese text Shen Nung Ben Cao Jing (The Classic of Herbal Medicine), thought to be written between 200 and 250 CE. [1] A vigorous immune system is vital in cancer treatment, and reishi mushroom polysaccharides and triterpenes stimulate cancer resistance through their immune-enhancing capabilities. This activity may be caused by inducing apoptosis (cell death) of cancerous cells or through their ability to boost immune response activity. [2,3] Reishi triterpenes, such as ganoderenic acid B, offer anti-cancer properties as well, through their toxicity to cancer cells, anti-metastatic effects, and induction of apoptosis. [4, 5]

Other mushrooms offer anticancer properties as well. An α-glucan from maitake mushrooms offers anti-tumor activity by promoting the production of cells that enhance our immune systems like tumor necrosis factor α, different interleukins, and through macrophage cell activation. [6] Another polysaccharide called maitake Z-fraction (MZF) also inhibited tumor growth in a preclinical model of colon cancer. [7]

Chaga mushrooms contain compounds such as 3β-hydroxy-lanosta-8,24-dien-21-al, inotodiol (a triterpene), and lanosterol, and each of these molecules showed effectiveness against lung, stomach, breast, and cervical cancer cell lines with low toxicity to normal cells. [8] These researchers first extracted the mushrooms, and subsequently purified multiple fractions that contained different phytochemicals. While all fractions had cytotoxic activity against the cancer cells, doses of 100 and 200 micrograms of one of the fractions reduced tumor volume by 24% and 34%, respectively. Molecules extracted from chaga using hot water have also shown anticancer properties against human colon cancer cells. [9]

The polysaccharide called krestin, or PSK in turkey tail mushrooms has also shown powerful anticancer properties, with one study measuring an increased survival in colon cancer patients who received PSK as an adjuvant immunochemotherapy. [10, 11] An adjuvant therapy seeks to keep the cancer from coming back post-treatment, and an immunotherapy targets the immune system. PSK’s effectiveness is thought to stem from its ability to invoke immunomodulation and potentiation of the process by which our immune cells identify and eradicate pre-malignant or malignant cells. [12] PSK from turkey tail mushrooms are regularly used for cancer treatment in Japan. [13]

Beta-glucans in shiitake mushrooms are known to interact with receptors on several types of immune cells. The mushrooms offer anti-tumor properties, not because they directly engage the tumor, but because they activate immune responses in the host. [14] The polysaccharide lentinan, for example, acts as a host defense potentiators which help hosts defend against various types of cancer.

These are just a few examples of the polysaccharides and triterpenes within several mushroom species that have demonstrated anticancer activity. As we rekindle our relationship with nature, it’s important to understand how medicinal fungi like mushrooms can convalesce our well-being. Mushrooms like reishi have been with us for antiquity, and as we evolve into the future, the power of these ancient species are being validated with science.

References

[1] Unschuld, Paul U. Medicine in China: A History of Pharmaceutics. Berkeley: Univ. of California Pr. 1986

[2] Cör D, Knez Ž, Knez Hrnčič M. Antitumour, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antiacetylcholinesterase effect of Ganoderma lucidum terpenoids and polysaccharides: A review. Molecules. 2018;23(3):649

[3] Paterson R.R.M. Ganoderma—A therapeutic fungal biofactory. Phytochemistry. 2006;68:1985–2001

[4] Sohretoglu D, Huang S. Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides as an anti-cancer agent. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2018;18(5):667-674

[5] Liu DL, Li YJ, Yang DH, et al. Ganoderma lucidum derived ganoderenic acid B reverses ABCB1- mediated multidrug resistance in HepG2/ADM cells. Int J Oncol. 2015;46(5):2029-2038

[6] Masuda Y, Nakayama Y, Tanaka A, Naito K, Konishi M. Antitumor activity of orally administered maitake α-glucan by stimulating antitumor immune response in murine tumor. PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0173621

[7] Masuda Y, Ito K, Konishi M, Nanba H. A polysaccharide extracted from Grifola frondosa enhances the anti-tumor activity of bone marrow-derived dendritic cell-based immunotherapy against murine colon cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2010;59(10):1531-1541

[8] Chung MJ, Chung CK, Jeong Y, Ham SS. Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells. Nutr Res Pract. 2010;4(3):177-182

[9] Lee SH, Hwang HS, Yun JW. Antitumor activity of water extract of a mushroom, Inonotus obliquus, against HT-29 human colon cancer cells. Phytother Res. 2009;23(12):1784-1789

[10] Lu H, Yang Y, Gad E, et al. TLR2 agonist PSK activates human NK cells and enhances the antitumor effect of HER2-targeted monoclonal antibody therapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2011;17(21):6742-6753

[11] Sakamoto J, Morita S, Oba K, et al. Efficacy of adjuvant immunochemotherapy with polysaccharide K for patients with curatively resected colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of centrally randomized controlled clinical trials. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2006;55(4):404-411

[12] Fritz H, Kennedy DA, Ishii M, et al. Polysaccharide K and Coriolus versicolor extracts for lung cancer: a systematic review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2015;14(3):201-211

[13] National Cancer Institute. Medicinal Mushrooms (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version. www.cancer.gov; accessed February 24, 2021

[14] Wasser S. Shiitake (Lentinus edodes). In Coates P, Blackman MR, Betz J, Cragg GM, Levine M, Moss J, & White JD. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2010