Chaga – “Mushroom of Immortality”

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The Chaga mushroom a.k.a “Mushroom of Immortality”  is a cocktail of extraordinary, complex, life-enhancing phytonutrients. Chaga lives as a pest on the trees by sucking the nutrients directly from the trunks and branches.
Here is the list of three important health benefits backed by trials on humans and animals:

Benefits

  • Anti-aging – Skin and hair health and protection. 
  • Anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and immunomodulation.  
  • Critical impact on Higher Brain functions (learning and memory).   

Anti-aging

The ORAC test was developed by the scientists at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scores measure the ability of food, oil, or spice to absorb free radicals.

Researchers have determined that consuming foods with high ORAC scores protects against premature aging, age-related memory loss and neutralizes the damage done by free radicals. Guess who is a category leader? That’s right – Chaga. It has up to 50 times more Superoxide dismutase[1] (SOD) enzymes than wild blueberries, Co Q10, strawberries, leafy greens, truffles, and seaweed. 

In fact, wild-harvested Chaga mushrooms have the highest levels of superoxide dismutase content of any known food[2]! Several studies on aging have found that animals that produce the highest levels of SOD have the longest life spans[3].
In a trial on human cells Cells pretreated with Chaga extract showed over 40% reduction in DNA fragmentation compared with the positive control[4].

Melanin for skin health

On top of that Chaga gets its distinctive dark color because of its very high melanin content. It is the main pigment present in our skin responsible for its health and keeping it beautiful and supple. Not only it helps protect the skin and hair from sun damage, it even helps to diminish already existing age spots!
It is important to note that after you consume Chaga it’s melanin is broken into antioxidants inside your stomach, after which these antioxidants enable your body to produce its own melanin.  It would be great if you would just eat it and boom it is inside your skin but the human body is more complicated than that.

Anti-inflammatory & anti-viral

Chaga contains β-Glucans who belong to a group of active compounds called “biological response modifiers” and represent highly conserved structural components of the cell was in mushrooms. Beta-glucans are the most studied natural immunomodulator on earth. Their healing properties could not fit in this article, but some of them did fit in this one. They are commonly used to boost the immune system and are often prescribed to fight colds (common cold), flu (influenza), allergies, asthma etc.
B-Glucans make our immune system smarter by stimulating and supporting it when necessary, wherefore helping our body get healthy and stay healthy. So Chaga does not fight a specific disease or symptom, but it helps the body to heal itself by triggering the existing immune functions.
Although used for centuries, Chaga has no reported side effects.

Memory & learning

Chaga’s potential reaches further than just protection and prevention. 

After treating mice orally with Chaga extract for only 7 days significant cognitive enhancement was observed stressing the critical impact of Chaga, on the higher brain functions like learning and memory. You can find the study here

Success stories

Lab research showed betulinic acid (compound only found in Chaga mushrooms) has an amazing ability to Treat even more serious diseases. 

Here are four different studies from four different institutions, on such use cases: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2681140/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895696/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26210065

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27441282

P.S. The FDA has recommended that people should increase their antioxidant consumption to 7000 ORAC units a day to help lower their risk of Cancer.

Endnote:

The percentage of polysaccharides is a reasonable measurement for the quality of the product. Mushroom Cups utilizes Chaga extract with 50% of Polysaccharides (more than 60% of which are B-Glucans).
If you consider buying mushroom supplements somewhere else check this article, which will help you get your money’s worth.

  • References:

    1. McCord JM, Fridovich I. Superoxide dismutase. An enzymic function for erythrocuprein (hemocuprein). J Biol Chem 1969;244:6049-55.
    2. Superoxide Dismutase. Dept. of Health and Food Services Research Center. Tokyo, Japan. Dec. 31, 2008.
    3. Faraci FM, Didion SP. Vascular protection: superoxide dismutase isoforms in the vessel wall. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Aug;24(8):1367-73.
    4. Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay. Park YK1, Lee HB, Jeon EJ, Jung HS, Kang MH. 
    5. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2011/FO/C1fo10037h#!divAbstract