Chaga is unique among medicinal mushrooms. In addition to its potent immune stimulating properties Chaga is also a powerful antioxidant. The MushroomScience Chaga extract was tested for its anti-oxidant properties by Brunswick Labs. They performed a test that assigns supplements an “ORAC” score, allowing the comparison of anti-oxidant properties between different types of supplements.
The ORAC value of the MushroomScience Chaga extract was higher than green or black tea extracts and was similar to that of blueberry extracts.
These anti-oxidant properties are attributed to an active compound unique to Chaga mushrooms, a triterpene called “betulinic acid”. The Wikipedia entry for betulinic acid contains interesting information on this active compound.
The function of hyaluronic acid in the body is, amongst other things, to bind water and to lubricate moveable parts in the body such as joints and muscles, and to help keep the skin pliable, firm and moist from within.
Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate, more specifically a mucopolysaccharide occurring naturally throughout the body
Through extensive research over the years, hyaluronic acid has yielded amazing results in various applications and locations throughout the body. Joint cushioning and support, connective tissues, scalp tissue, hair follicles, eyes, gum tissues and skin have all been known to benefit by hyaluronic acid supplementation.
However, Tremella is thought to support the body’s ability to maintain the production of hyaluronic acid from within, without the drop off in production that normally comes with aging. This is a much better option than trying to add hyaluronic acid later, through supplementation, as the body’s production of hyaluronic declines with age.
Mushrooms defined as “medicinal” are those mushrooms that contain immune activating beta glucans and other polysaccharides within their indigestible cell walls. When properly extracted with hot water these polysaccharides are used in supplemental form to maintain, protect and support immune health.
Any of the mushroom extracts can be used for immune support, and the best choice for any individual may rest on some of the additional, non-immune health benefits the various mushroom extracts may provide.
Cordyceps extracts provide immuno-modulating beta glucans that support immune health. Cordyceps extracts also contain adenosine, cordycepic acid, cordycepin and other related compounds.
It is the adenosine and these other related compounds that help with adrenal fatigue and adrenal depletion, and by doing so, can increase energy levels and stamina and endurance.
Continued stress on the body can lead the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol, too much cortisol in the system over time causes adrenal fatigue or exhaustion.
By stress we mean a high stress life style or excessive physical activity. This also applies to athletes that are constantly stressing the body through repeated and intensive physical training and activity.
Cortisol is an important hormone in the body and is involved in many important bodily functions. However, continued excessive levels of cortisol in the system can cause adrenal fatigue or depletion, causing low energy levels, adrenal exhaustion and poor sleep. Cordyceps can break this cycle by replenishing the adrenals and balancing cortisol levels, leading to increased energy, stamina and endurance.
Triterpenes can improve liver function by helping the liver to clear out accumulated toxins. This is especially important for those people that may have impaired liver function.
Shiitake - In addition to the beta glucans Shiitake contains various enzymes that may improve liver function.
Both Reishi and Shiitake are considered to be “tonics” for the liver in Traditional East Asian Medicine.
Along with supporting immune health, the other unique health benefits attributed to Lion’s Mane extracts are what some researchers are calling “Neural Nourishment”. Extracts of the Lion’s Mane mushrooms, and the mycelium grown in liquid (not rice), may enhance cognitive functions such as memory and concentration, promote or accelerate the growth of the myelin sheath (also called myelination), and enhance and promote the production of Nerve Growth Factor.
The myelin sheath surrounds and promotes the normal function of nerve cells. This is essential to the health and normal functioning of the nervous system.
Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is a small secreted protein that is important for the growth, maintenance and survival of certain neurons (nerve cells), and also functions as a signaling molecule. NGF is part of a family or group of similar proteins, also referred to as a neurotrophins, that serve to promote the health and normal function of the brain and nervous system.
Balancing the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA Axis) - Cordyceps Cs-4
Cordyceps extracts provide immuno-modulating beta glucans that support immune health. Cordyceps extracts also contain other actives including adenosine, cordycepic acid, cordycepin and other related compounds.
It is the adenosine and the other related compounds that may help to balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), acting primarily through the adrenal glands, and by doing so, can be helpful to people suffering from prolonged exposure to stress.
The HPA Axis (or HTPA axis), is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands. The interactions among these organs constitute the HPA axis, a major part of the neuroendocrine system that controls reactions to stress, and regulates many of the body’s processes including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality and energy storage and expenditure.
The ability to respond to stress is essential and a normal part of human physiology. Stress can be psychological stress, or physiological stressors such as such as hypoglycemia, illness, fever, trauma, surgery, fear, pain, physical exertion, or temperature extremes.
However, whether from a charging lion, or a pending deadline, the body's response to stress can be both helpful and harmful. The stress response gives us the strength and speed to ward off or flee from an impending threat. But when it persists, stress can put us at risk for a number of health problems. Prolonged exposure to stress can also lead to a persistent feeling of fatigue, and can affect everything from mood to sleep, the immune function and the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients from the diet.
This prolonged exposure to stress can also create an imbalance in the HPA Axis that becomes self-reinforcing, causing the negative symptoms to persist and get worse.
Regular use of Cordyceps, by replenishing the adrenals, may help to break this self-reinforcing imbalance, leading to a balanced HPA Axis and better health by reducing the negative effects of prolonged exposure to stress.Cordyceps Cs-4