The struggle is real, guys! Somewhere along the way, getting rid of a few extra pounds turned into fending off diabetes, worrying about heart problems, and giving up on fitting into anything within 10 sizes. The obesity issue has ballooned out (all pun intended), and the collective health of America has been hit in the jugular. Products that promise to help often fall short, and the ability to keep weight off becomes harder and harder to do. Perhaps it won’t be the cure-all that people hope for when something new comes out, but it’s possible that magic mushrooms are a new answer to the growing issue of how to lose weight.
If magic mushrooms can help humans lose weight, it will sure shake up the weight loss industry. We’ll find out soon enough how useful these fungi are for keeping the pounds off. This publication reports on the cannabis and psychedelics industries of today, which you can follow along with by subscribing to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. This will put you in first place for all new psychedelic product promotions as they come out, though you can already take advantage of deals for cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC.
Can magic mushrooms help a person lose weight?
Let’s jump right in, shall we? There isn’t a large body of research on mushrooms in general (though it’s certainly growing), and the majority is geared toward mental health issues. This first look into mushrooms as a measure to lose weight is a new concept, and the research on it is sparse. Here is what there is to know.
In 2018, researchers put out this review called Anti-Obesity Effects of Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms, in which they investigated research done into the “cellular mechanisms of obesity that attenuate by antioxidant potentials of medicinal and edible mushrooms.” The idea being that “studies have showed that mushrooms potentially have antioxidant capacities, which increase the antioxidant defense systems in cells.” And that “they boost anti-inflammatory actions and thereby protect against obesity-related hypertension and dyslipidemia.”
It was pointed out within the review that mushrooms “produce low energy which is favorable for weight loss; they contain low glucose, and high mannitol, that is exactly appropriate for diabetics; and have no cholesterol and low sodium, which is good for people suffering from hypertension.”
The authors cite previous research that states “mushrooms help to regulate dysbiosis and augment antiobesity effects.” And that “modulating microbiota with the consumption of mushroom could also help maintain glucose homeostasis and reduce insulin resistance linked to diabetes and obesity.”
They concluded, “mushrooms are highly nutritive species containing enormous amounts of bioactive compounds (polysaccharides, fibers, terpenes, polyphenols, sterols, flavonoids, and alkaloids) that are potentially antioxidant-rich constituents with effects on numerous cardiac biomarkers to treat obesity-related cardiovascular system illnesses.
Various animal studies have demonstrated that regular consumption of mushrooms significantly reduces hypertension, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, inflammation, and obesity. Nevertheless, this practice ought to be combined with regular physical exercise, as well as dietary and lifestyle alterations. The practice of regular consumption of mushroom might however result in synergistic and improved effects.”
Before testing on people is done, there is often experimentation done on animals. As such, whether a person agrees with this idea or not, a lot is often gained from animal research. In this case lab rats were used in trials relating to the use of psilocybin for appetite control, ran by a company called NeonMind.
For the trials, the rats were fed a very high calorie diet of Nutella. Some rats received small doses of psilocybin, some received bigger doses, and some were part of a control group that did not receive psilocybin at all. The results showed that rats fed more psilocybin were less likely to eat as much, with a thought being that the psilocybin might suppress appetite.
This offers two possible benefits. One is the possible ability to suppress the appetite leading to less desire for food. And the other is the ability to change patterned thinking, allowing for new thought processes to be made, which can help a person get out of their old eating habits, and establish new, healthier ones. This ability for neuroplasticity is seen with other hallucinogens as well.
Overall, investigators concluded a few things. First, that there was statistical significance in terms of weight gain between the control group and the experimental groups. Second, that results were seen within a few days. Third, that the experimental groups did consume less food than the control. And four, there weren’t any safety issues with using psilocybin. Next up come clinical trials for humans.
NeonMind wants to use mushrooms to lose weight
Magic mushrooms aren’t legal yet, but there is already a whole industry sprouting up around them. Many companies are currently selling non-psychedelic mushrooms in an effort to get things going while waiting for new regulation. And some companies are already planning for impending legal changes. NeonMind is a company out of Canada which is behind the trials mentioned above.
NeonMind Biosciences is a publicly traded biotech company that is currently examining how magic mushrooms, and specifically psilocybin, can help a person lose weight by helping to improve eating habits, and change patterned thinking about food. The company functions on two main pathways, 1) as a pharmaceutical company developing psychedelic drugs targeting obesity, and 2) providing medical services through specialty mental health clinics.
Says CEO of NeonMind Penny White, “psilocybin causes neuroplasticity, which means it can remove our Pavlovian-like responses to environmental stimuli”, and that “psilocybin has the potential to serve as a new and different tool to help people lose weight and maintain their weight loss by changing neural pathways.” She explained, “changed habits and cognitions can increase caloric expenditure and reset the behaviors and cognitions that link life stress and trauma to eating behavior.”
In terms of clinical trials, White stated, “psilocybin is known to activate serotonin receptors. Serotonin can curb cravings, shut off appetite and reduce eating.” She explained the initial trials, saying, “we are currently conducting a preclinical trial at the University of British Columbia examining psilocybin as a treatment for weight loss. We are also designing a phase 2 human clinical trial which we hope will be application ready by the spring.”
This came from an interview in early 2021, and the Phase I trials were released in 2022. The preclinical trials were done with the backing of Health Canada. NeonMind has since then filed five US provisional patent applications for weight loss therapeutics, including for compulsive eating disorders; obesity or related issues; and for altering diets for better health.
The company completed its IPO in late 2020, raising $4.6 million. The stock is traded under NEON on the Canadian Securities Exchange. This makes them one of the growing number of psychedelics companies that are now publicly traded.
NeonMind isn’t the only organization looking into magic mushrooms for weight-related issues. The company COMPASS Pathways (Nasdaq – CMPS) is investigating treating anorexia-nervosa with psilocybin in Phase II trials, and the company Tryp Therapeutics (CSE – TRYP) (OTCQB – TRYPF) is recruiting for Phase II trials to treat binge eating with its own version of psilocybin.
The overweight epidemic
How big is the overweight issue in America, and how much do we need to pay attention? Oh, it’s pretty bad. First let’s define things. There’s a difference between the terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’. Whereas ‘overweight’ implies a body mass index (BMI) of over 25%, ‘obese’ refers to those who are 30% above the weight they should be. BMI is a measure of a person’s weight (measured in kg), divided by their height (in m2). It’s written like this: mg/kg. Standard BMI’s are about 18.5-24.9%.
In terms of how this problem can be explained for a population, consider that as of a CDC reporting for 2017-2018, 42.4% of the US population weighed in as obese. Not overweight, remember, but obese, meaning this entire 42.4% of the population has a BMI of 30% or more.
This qualifies nearly half the population as being incredibly overweight. Considering the requirement to be called overweight is several percentages less, it implies that over half the population could be considered heavier than what is healthy.
This hasn’t always been a problem, and there’s been a steady increase in the last couple decades. Between 1999-2018, the rate of obesity shot up 30.5% signaling major issues in the food we eat, and the sedentary way we live our lives. Within that period, the incidence of severe obesity (BMI of 40%+) also went up to 9.2% from 4.7%.
I’ll make this even worse. It’s not just the adults it affects, but the children of the country too. From 1975 to 2016, the rate of obesity among children aged 5-19 shot up from 4% to 18%, according to the WHO’s global burden of disease statistics from 2017. This means not only are we not able to control ourselves in terms of what we eat, but we can’t helpfully impact children with healthy eating habits, either.
Though magic mushrooms propose an interesting solution to the problem, possibly offering users a way to lose weight, the entire idea of using them comes with a major stipulation. Just like with tons of other medications, and supplements, how well they work, is often determined by how much effort we’re willing to put in.
Magic mushrooms might prove to be a good aid to lose weight, but it probably won’t be accomplished without changing eating and exercise habits. This might not be the super easy answer hoped for by a country with out-of-control weight issues, but it might be the only one in reality for those who want lasting results.
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