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Chaga Mushroom

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Chaga mushroom - health benefits

Although much of the research is ongoing, some studies indicate that Chaga extract may offer certain health benefits:


#1. It stimulates the immune system and fights inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system that is meant to protect against disease. However, long-term inflammation is linked to conditions such as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Animal and test-tube studies suggest that chaga extract can have a positive impact on immunity by reducing long-term inflammation and fighting harmful bacteria and viruses.

By promoting the formation of beneficial cytokines – specialized proteins that regulate the immune system – chaga stimulates white blood cells, which are essential for fighting harmful bacteria or viruses.
As a result, this mushroom could help fight infections – from minor colds to serious illnesses.

In addition, other animal and test-tube studies demonstrate that chaga can prevent the production of harmful cytokines, which trigger inflammation and are associated with disease. For example, in a study in mice, chaga extract reduced inflammation and intestinal damage by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines.


#2. It also prevents the fight against cancer

Several animal and test-tube studies show that chaga can prevent and slow the growth of cancer.

In a study on mice with cancer, chaga supplements resulted in a 60% reduction in tumor size.

In a test-tube study, chaga extract prevented the development of cancer in human liver cells. Similar results were observed with lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer cells.

It is believed that the anticancer effect of chaga is partially due to its high content of antioxidants, which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Chaga contains especially the triterpene antioxidant. Test-tube studies show that the highly concentrated triterpene extract can help destroy cancer cells.

However, more human studies are needed to make strong conclusions about chaga's anticancer potential.


#3. It lowers the blood sugar level

Several animal studies link chaga to lower blood sugar levels. Therefore, it can help manage diabetes.

A recent study in obese, diabetic mice found that chaga extract reduced blood sugar and insulin resistance compared to diabetic mice that did not receive the supplement.

In another study on diabetic mice, chaga supplements led to a 31% drop in blood sugar levels within three weeks.

Similar results were observed in other studies.

However, because human research is not available, it is not clear whether chaga can help manage diabetes in humans.


#4. Lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood

Chaga extract can also lower cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

In an eight-week study in rats with high cholesterol, chaga extract reduced "bad" LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, while increasing antioxidant levels.

Similar studies gave the same results and observed that - in addition to reducing "bad" LDL cholesterol - chaga increases "good" HDL cholesterol.

Researchers believe that the antioxidants present in chaga are responsible for its effects on cholesterol.

Again, more human research is needed to clearly understand the impact of the chaga mushroom on cholesterol.


#5. Strong antiviral

This mushroom seems to have antiviral abilities when it comes to several viruses.

Scientific research published in 2015 found that chaga extracts had an antiviral effect on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1.

It has also been shown in animal studies to have anti-viral effects when it comes to the hepatitis C virus.
Using animal cells, the researchers discovered that the chaga extract managed to decrease the infectious properties of the hepatitis C virus by 100 times in just 10 minutes.

Studies continue, but it seems that this fungus is a worthy candidate for use in the development of new antiviral drugs.


#6. Improves physical resistance

In animal studies, this mushroom significantly improved physical resistance.
A study published in 2015 found that when mice were given chaga mushroom polysaccharides, the mice were able to swim more, the glycogen (fuel) content of their muscles and liver increased, while lactic acid levels in blood has dropped.

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