How Mushrooms Support Men's Health

How Mushrooms Support Men's Health

Men’s health doesn’t always have to be so complicated. Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest ones. Mushrooms, known for their array of health benefits, can offer a natural approach to addressing some of the most common health issues men face today. From enhancing sexual health to supporting mental clarity, functional mushrooms can be a great addition to any man’s wellness routine.

Energy and Physical Performance

Testosterone levels in men typically decrease by one to two percent every year after age 30. Reduced energy, muscle mass, and physical performance have all been linked to this hormonal decline. A decreased basal metabolic rate (BMR) is also linked to reduced energy levels. The BMR of men typically declines by around one to two percent per decade after age 20, meaning less energy availability and potential reductions in physical performance.

Cordyceps has been found to significantly affect energy recovery and stamina. Regular cordyceps supplementation has the potential to boost endurance and reduce fatigue, particularly during strenuous exercise. The fungus has also been shown to stimulate testosterone production, which could help raise testosterone levels and improve overall energy.

Other mushrooms like reishi, shiitake, and turkey tail are known for their immune-boosting capabilities, which could help maintain higher energy levels.

Sexual Health and Hormone Balance

Reduced sexual function is another common symptom that men deal with as they age. As hormone levels change, many men face low testosterone. Hypogonadism, a condition that can significantly lower testosterone, affects around 35% of men aged 45 and up, leading to reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and fatigue. 40% of men are also affected by ED by 40 years old, and nearly 70% by age 80.

Reishi mushrooms contain compounds that can regulate hormone levels, including testosterone. Their adaptogenic properties help balance the endocrine system and reduce stress, which can benefit sexual health in general. 

Chaga extracts can stimulate the production of nitric oxide levels, which can help improve blood flow and support erectile function. 

Cordyceps is well known for its ability to boost testosterone levels and increase libido. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years as a treatment for enhancing sexual function. Studies suggest that cordyceps can boost sexual performance, improve sperm quality, and raise testosterone levels. 

Prostate Health and Disease Prevention

According to the American Cancer Society,  around one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. When skin cancer is taken out of the picture, this is the most common cancer among men in the U.S.

Reishi mushrooms contain compounds that modulate androgen receptors, essential for reducing prostate cancer cell growth.

The nitric oxide inhibiting effects of chaga mushrooms have also been found to reduce inflammation and kill off prostate cancer cells.

Turkey tail has shown outstanding potential in treating various cancers, including prostate cancer. An extract of turkey tail, called PSK, is currently being used as an adjunct cancer therapy in Japan due to its high amounts of beneficial polysaccharides.

Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for American men, accounting for approximately one in four of every male death. Men are statistically more likely to experience a heart attack than women, with men under 65 nearly twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to women of the same age. 

Shiitake mushrooms are rich in certain compounds that can help lower cholesterol levels and improve lipid profiles. Shiitake also has anti-inflammatory properties to support heart health.

Reishi has been found to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and improve overall cardiovascular health. The triterpenes found in reishi have antihypertensive effects and can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Additionally, reishi has been found to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol).

Maitake mushrooms have shown promise for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Their beta-glucans can also support cardiovascular health by improving lipid profiles and reducing blood pressure. 

Cognitive Function and Mental Clarity

As we age, cognitive functions like attention and memory begin to decline. Men usually experience a noticeable reduction in these abilities by their late 50s and 60s. While reductions in cognitive function can be mild, in some cases, cognitive decline can be more prevalent and interfere with daily life.

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been well-studied for their neuroprotective effects. Research has found that lion’s mane supplementation can stimulate the creation of nerve growth factor, a process crucial for the growth and maintenance of neurons. These effects have been linked to a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment

Maitake mushrooms have demonstrated the potential to improve cognition. Certain bioactive components found in maitake can help promote the growth of new neurons, which can support the maintenance of cognitive functions.

Other functional mushrooms, like reishi and shiitake, can also support cognitive health due to their strong anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline and reduced brain function. By reducing inflammation, these mushrooms can protect the brain from neurodegeneration and diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Are functional mushrooms right for you?

As research suggests, functional mushrooms have the capability to treat a multitude of issues related to men’s health. However, before starting any type of supplement, it’s important to discuss your health needs with a medical provider first to ensure you are safely and effectively managing your symptoms.

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