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Chaga, the Mushroom with Immunomodulatory Effects

The Chaga Mushroom, Inonotus obliquus, is known as an immunomodulator. Immunomodulators are used to help the immune system regulate or normalize it's function. Immunomodulatory substances modify the way the immune system works by increasing or decreasing its response. They are used in the treatment of auto immune diseases, tumors, cancer recovery, allergies and more.

Chaga tea has been shown in studies on mice to positively modulate cells in TNF-α driven immunological diseases such as autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. The study shows a remarkable decrease in TNF-α secretion in the mice treated with Chaga tea. TNF-α (Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha) is a protein in your body that causes inflammation. Having an inflammatory response is a good thing it helps your immune system to combat invaders. However, having too much inflammation, which is what happens with people who have auto immune diseases, is harmful because the immune system attacks the body. In other words the study shows that drinking Chaga tea daily can help lower inflammation by lowering the TNF-α count.

Immunomodulatory effects of Chaga tea have also been seen on tumors and on patients recovering from cancer treatments. Immunomodulators work on cancer cells by blocking the growth signal and by boosting the immune system to attack the cancer cells. The high levels of anti-oxidants found in Chaga protect cells from damaging free radicals like those that can cause cancer.  Lab studies on animals show that Chaga tea can prevent and slow cancer growth, showing reductions in tumor size up to 60%. Human liver cells used in a test tube study showed that Chaga extract could prevent the growth of cancer. Positive data is also available for breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer. Chaga has also been shown to help alleviate symptoms of certain medications such as side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

Studies suggest that the chaga mushroom extract may be used as an anti-allergic functional food. This is based on studies done on mice on the inhibitory effect of Chaga extract on anaphylactic shock response. When treated with Chaga Extract a significant amelioration of allergy symptoms was noted. The therapeutic effect is thanks to the lipophilic compounds and inotodiol found in Chaga which play an active role as a mast cell stabilizer. 

As you can see immunomodulators like the Chaga Mushroom can be helpful in controlling a variety of disease activity and can be beneficial for those recovering from side effects from toxic medications such as Chemotherapy. 

Enjoy your Chaga moment!

 

*As is the case with all natural products, please consult your health care provider for health related concerns.

 

 References

1. Yeon-Ran Kim. Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus. Mycobiology. 2005 Sep; 33(3): 158–162. Published online 2005 Sep 30. 

2. Antonio Bascones-Martinez, Riika Mattila, Rafael Gomez-Font and Jukka H. Meurman. Immunomodulatory drugs: Oral and systemic adverse effects. 

7. Artem Blagodatski, Margarita Yatsunskaya, Valeriia Mikhailova, Vladlena Tiasto, Alexander Kagansky and Vladimir L. KatanaevMedicinal mushrooms as an attractive new source of natural compounds for future cancer therapy. Oncotarget. 2018 Jun 26; 9(49): 29259–29274. Published online 2018 Jun 26.

8. Taek Joon Yoon, Sue Jung Lee, Eun Young Kim, Eun Hee Cho, Tae Bong Kang, Kwang-Won Yu, Hyung Joo Suh. Inhibitory Effect of Chaga Mushroom Extract on Compound 48/80-induced Anaphylactic Shock and IgE Production in Mice. Int Immunopharmacol, 2013 Apr;15(4):666 70.

9. Nguyet, Nguyen & Lomunova, Maria & Le Ba, Vinh & Lee, Ji & Park, Seol & Kang, Jong & Kim, Young Ho & Hwang, Inkyu. (2017). The mast cell stabilizing activity of Chaga mushroom critical for its therapeutic effect on food allergy is derived from inotodiol. International immunopharmacology. 54. 286-295. 10.1016/j.intimp.2017.11.025. 

 

 


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