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Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria. These germs can enter your body and live in your digestive tract. As the bacteria colonizes, the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced, allowing your stomach acids to eat away at the tissue that line the stomach. This causes sores, called ulcers, forming anywhere along the digestive tract, which includes the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. The most common cause of chronic gastritis is infection with H. pylori. (1) For some people, an infection can lead to stomach cancer.
Several in vitro studies of both water and ethanol extracts of Lion's Mane were tested for growth inhibition ability of over eight different H. pylori strains. The extract exhibited significant growth inhibition effects on all H. pylori strains tested, even at low doses. The results conclude Lion's Mane extract have the ability to prevent the growth of H. pylori. (2)(3)
Animal studies have also found water extracts of Lion's Mane to provide significant reduction of alcohol-induced ulcers, along with maintaining adequate levels of antioxidant enzymes that help protect against gastric mucosa injury. The extract also showed the ability to reduce inflammation and prevent tissue damage in other areas of the intestines. As patients experience unpleasant side effects of the long-term use of commercially available drugs, the extract more importantly showed more positive effects when comparing to traditional acid-lowering drugs from the pharmacy, without the negative effects. (4)
More human studies are needed to fully understand the full potential of Lion's Mane against stomach infections and gastric ulcers. An interesting study focused on people with ulcerative colitis, found that taking a mushroom-based supplement containing 14% Lion’s Mane extract significantly reduced symptoms and improved quality of life only after three weeks of daily use. (5)
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