Increasingly, researchers are taking seriously the possibility that chaga mushrooms may be able to prevent cancer and slow its growth.Chaga is rich in antioxidants, which are chemicals that help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals or oxidants. When the body is unable to produce enough antioxidants to prevent this damage, oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress can cause cancer and a host of other health problems.
A 2010 study found that chaga could slow the growth of lung, breast, and cervical cancer cells in a petri dish. The same study also found that chaga could slow the growth of tumors in mice.
A 2009 study found that triterpenes, the compounds found in chaga and some other mushrooms, cause tumor cells to self-destruct. Unlike other cancer treatments, however, chaga does not appear to harm healthy cells.
Although other studies have found similarly promising results, they have all been carried out on animals or in a laboratory. To prove the anti-cancer benefits of chaga conclusively, researchers will need to conduct extensive studies on humans.†
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