Experts push for acute trials on mushrooms to support cognitive health claims

“It’s going to beย reallyย important in this cognitive health category to run trials onย healthy subjects to understand both acute and long term benefits,” Jennifer Cooper, chief scientific officer at the American public school program LPS Health Science, said during a panel on โ€˜The Mushroom Revolutionโ€™ at Vitafoods in Geneva.

Cooper suggested measurements, such as quality of life questionnaires, should be introduced earlier in trials to offer quick access to data without compromising the aim of a longer study.

“I’m exhausted by studies that don’t start doing measurements until four-to-eight and 12 weeks, especially because some of this data is on standardized questionnaires and is easy to introduce,” she said. “I beg the researchers to start sooner.”

Earlier measurements will benefit product developers in marketing, Cooper explained, noting that “from a product development standpoint, it’s a tough sell to get people to take something that might help them in the future, especially in mental health.”

“Communicating to a consumer that they may have to wait 12 weeks to feel better is a real barrier, so running these acute studies and quality-of-life questionnaires in tandem with the clinical outcomes I think is going to change how we can get the products to market.”

Current researchโ€‹ย 

Ellen Smith,ย researchย fellow at Northumbria University, UK, explained that existing research on the effects of lion’s mane mushroom on cognitive function and mood is limited and has primarily focused on older adults with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease.ย 

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