Research reveals that Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) can work effectively to whiten your skin. Researchers from Kwangju Women’s University (KWU) tested the extracts of this fungus for their skin whitening abilities. They found that extracts of Chaga mushroom can potentially inhibit the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase.
Tyrosinase is a catalytic enzyme for the amino acid tyrosine. It breaks down tyrosine into pigments such as melanin, which is responsible for the dark coloration of the skin.
Chaga mushroom is a species of wild fungus. It grows on birch trees in the northern part of the world and is prescribed as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and other illnesses.
Investigating it for its healing properties, the researchers have found the Chaga mushroom has,
- Antioxidant potential
- Anti-inflammatory nature
- Immunoregulatory properties
The potential chemicals in the mushroom can benefit situations like cancers and inflammatory diseases, obesity, hyperlipidemia etc. The antioxidant potential of the respective fungus helps to reduce the visible signs of aging like age lines and wrinkles.
What does the study reveal?
The researchers from the KWU compared the antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitory properties of the mushroom. They processed the samples of the mushroom into the distilled water extract and broke down the extract into its ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and aqueous fractions.
Both the extract and fractions underwent a modified gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. This led the researchers to determine the independent components and their abundance in the chaga mushroom-derived solutions.
The fractions were put through two different tests,
- DPPH radical scavenging test
- Tyrosinase inhibitory activity test
The former evaluated the antioxidant ability of a fraction to neutralize harmful free radicals. For this ascorbic acid (vitamin C), a common antioxidant was used as a standard and the fractions were compared to it.
The latter included the application of the extracts and samples to tyrosine samples thereby, evaluating them for their ability to protect tyrosine from the tyrosinase.
Chaga mushroom reverses the sign of aging
The chemical analysis revealed seven different active chemical compounds in the distilled water extract. The three most numerous of them were,
- Syringic acid
- Protocatechuic acid
- Vanillic acid
Furthermore, the aqueous fraction was also analyzed via GC-MS with trimethylsilyl derivatives. Oxalic acid was found to be the most prevalent polyphenol in this fraction. It is a product of the metabolism of vitamin C.
The free radical scavenging test revealed that the ethyl acetate fraction has the highest antioxidant activity. Every milliliter of the fraction successfully scavenged 0.393 milligrams of DPPH radical. Thus, the mushroom extract demonstrates the powerful free radical scavenging abilities. Eliminating free radicals caused the extract to make the skin tissue look healthier and youthful.
The aqueous fraction inhibiting the activity of the tyrosinase has a different chemical composition than its ethyl acetate counterpart.
Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that chaga mushroom promises safe and antiaging effects on an individual. Thus, it can effectively work as a natural skin whitening agent.