Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is found mostly on birch trees in cold climates (1).
Chaga Mushroom Extract Benefits
Chaga Mushroom is emerging as a subject of interest in the medical community, but thus far, there has not been reliable studies conducted with humans.
The following are examples of dynamics associated with Chaga Mushroom through the animal model and may not be representative of the effects in the human body:
- Supports energy levels (in mice)(ref)*
- May enhance memory (in mice)(ref)*
- Promotes immune response (in mice)(ref)*
Chaga Mushroom Extract Mode of Action
Chaga Mushroom is found in Canada, northern United States, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Siberia, Japan, China, South Korea, and northern and eastern parts of Europe. It has been used as a folk remedy and is now available as a mushroom extract (2). The mushroom has a conk which is composed of wood from the tree on which it is growing and the mycelium body of the fungus (1).
The compounds believed to be responsible for Chaga’s therapeutic effects are triterpenes, polyphenols, and polysaccharides. Specifically, inotodiol (a tetracyclic triterpene) is beginning to be studied for its antiproliferative properties (2).
As Chaga is mostly found growing on birch trees, Chaga contains 2 derivates of the birch tree, botulin, and betulinic acid. Betulin and betulinic acid have been studied for their anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities. An in-vitro study of betulin and betulinic acid has been conducted, but clinical trials have not begun (2).
Other acids such as oxalic, protocatechuic, gallic, and p-hydroxybenzoic acids are contained in Chaga mushroom. Preliminary understanding of Chaga’s mechanisms also relies on the hypothesis that specific terpenoids inhibit alpha-glucosidase, while the inflammation-relieving properties are believed to occur through inhibition of the enzymes nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 (iNOS and COX-2, respectively)(1).
Scientists are currently attempting to engineer and cultivate substitutes for wild Chaga because almost all of the natural sources for Chaga existing today have been depleted (1).
The antifatigue capabilities of Chaga have been studied in mice and appear to be attributed to its polysaccharides which increase glycogen content of muscle and decrease lactic acid in the blood and serum urea nitrogen levels (1).
The benefits of Chaga for memory enhancement has been studied in mice and is believed to be associated with decreased nitrite and malondialdehyde levels, decreased acetylcholinesterase activity, and increasing glutathione, acetylcholine, and superoxide dismutase levels (1).
Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder Dosage
Pure Nootropics’ Chaga Mushroom Extract Powder provides 1000 mg per (2) level scoops with a 0.625 cc scoop (provided with purchase).
Chaga Mushroom Extract Side Effects and Toxicity
Because Chaga Mushroom is in the infancy of its scientific evaluation and research, information on its side effects and toxicity is scarce. There are concerns that Chaga may elevate oxalate levels adversely (1).
If you are taking any medications, herbs, or supplements, please consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation with Chaga mushroom.
For further information, please see our References Tab above.