New Study: Chaga Mushroom Drives Muscle Rebuilding, Increases Muscle Stem Cell Proliferation

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Ironically enough, I found this study that was published . And yea I know it was on mice and not humans, but as muscle-seeking humans, if we were to wait for human studies, it might be never, so we must experiment with remarkable products like this.

Insights from Korean Study: Chaga Mushroom Promotes Muscle Regeneration to Counteract Frailty*

The chaga mushroom drives muscle rebuilding, increases muscle stem cell proliferation, and boosts the cell’s powerhouse — mitochondria — in a mouse model for muscle injury.

(Sungkyunkwan University |

By Brett J. Weiss

Published: 4:03 p.m. PST Oct 10, 2023 | Updated: 4:03 p.m. PST Oct 10, 2023


  • Supplementing with an extract from the chaga mushroom increases muscle size.
  • The chaga mushroom extract drastically increases muscle stem cell proliferation.
  • Chaga mushroom extract spurs a ~40% increase in muscle mitochondria abundance.

Endemic to the forests of Northern Europe, inonotus obliquus — the chaga mushroom — is a parasitic fungus widely known in Russian folk medicine for its anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, and metabolic benefits. Along those lines, those who consume chaga use it in teas, syrups, and bath agents. Although chaga is known to promote health and wellbeing, whether it stimulates muscle regeneration for individuals trying to ward off age-related muscle weakening — frailty — hasn’t been explored.

Published in the International Journal of Biomedical Sciences, Kang and colleagues from the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Korea show that chaga extract increases muscle size in a mouse model for muscle injury. Moreover, chaga extract stimulates gene activity associated with muscle stem cell proliferation. Furthermore, chaga extract increases muscle mitochondria abundance, an indicator of improved muscle metabolism. These findings suggest that chaga extract promotes muscle rebuilding and metabolism to potentially stave off age-related frailty.

Chaga Mushroom Increases Muscle Size, Enhances Gene Activity for Muscle Stem Cells, and Boosts Mitochondria

To determine whether chaga extract propels muscle rebuilding, Kang and colleagues used a mouse model injected with an agent called cardiotoxin to induce muscle injury. Interestingly, supplementing these mice with chaga extract significantly increased the sizes of their leg muscles. These results provide evidence that chaga extract stimulates muscle repair and rebuilding.

(You et al., 2023 | International Journal of Biomedical Sciences) Chaga drives muscle regeneration in a mouse model for muscle injury. Muscle size as measured with the area of a leg muscle section (Average CSA [µm2]) was significantly higher for mice treated with chaga (IO) compared to mice that consumed water only (Veh).

Since muscle stem cells give rise to mature muscle fibers, Kang and colleagues assessed how chaga extract influences muscle stem cell proliferation. To do so, the researchers measured the activity of genes associated with muscle stem cell proliferation. They found that chaga extract more than tripled gene activity for two such genes — Pax7 and MyoD. These data support that chaga extract increases muscle stem cell proliferation, which would lead to increased muscle stem cell numbers and boost muscle rebuilding.

(You et al., 2023 | International Journal of Biomedical Sciences) Chaga more than triples gene activity associated with muscle stem cell proliferation. Treating mice with chaga (IO) more than triples gene activity (rel. Level [fold]) for two genes associated with stem cell proliferation — Pax7 and MyoD — compared to mice that only consumed water (Veh).

Not only is muscle rebuilding important to prevent age-related frailty but muscle metabolism also contributes to healthy musculature. Along those lines, Kang and colleagues measured the concentrations of muscle mitochondrial DNA, an indicator of mitochondrial abundance. They found that chaga extract increased muscle mitochondrial DNA concentrations almost 50%. These findings suggest that, in addition to increasing muscle size, chaga boosts muscle metabolism.

(You et al., 2023 | International Journal of Biomedical Sciences) Chaga extract increases leg muscle mitochondria by ~50%. Chaga extract (IO) increased mouse mitochondrial DNA concentration (mtDNA/nDNA)  about 50% compared to water only consumption (Veh).

The study shows that chaga extract stimulates muscle regeneration, muscle stem cell proliferation, and increased muscle mitochondrial concentrations in a mouse model for muscle injury. Since impaired muscle regeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction are hallmarks of aging and disease-ridden muscle, these findings suggest that chaga mushrooms can be used to prevent age-related frailty.

Determining Whether Chaga Boosts Human Muscle Growth

The next step for researchers would be to perform a clinical trial including human participants who consume chaga mushrooms or extract. If chaga mushrooms stimulate muscle repair and rebuilding in humans, people could start using the fungus to enhance muscle synthesis from gym workouts, along with using it to prevent age-related frailty.

Consuming chaga mushrooms to enhance muscle building and performance serves as an exciting possibility. In the US, chaga mushrooms are available in coffees and teas.

*The article below is from: