The unique, amazing Cordyceps mushroom had aroused interest in the world when Chinese athletes broke two world records with incredible results at the 1993 Asian Games. It seems that the secret of their extraordinary athletic results was the use of Cordyceps.
As it turned out, Cordyceps (Latin name Cordyceps Sinensis) has been used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine since the 15th century. A scarce combination of caterpillars and mushrooms is located at altitudes above 4,500 meters in the Himalayas, on the Tibetan plateau, and in other high altitude locations around the world.
In Tibet, this fungus is known as yartsa gunbu, or “summer grass, winter worm.” Initially, its properties were noticed when local shepherds noticed that yaks, goats, and sheep grazing Cordyceps became very strong and powerful while they were on the pastures. This fact has led to a deeper examination and eventual understanding of its many benefits and advantages.
Even today, traditional healers in many East Asian cultures recommend Cordyceps as a tonic and claim that its use gives the body more energy levels, appetite, endurance, libido, and improved sleep quality.
How is Cordyceps formed?
Cordyceps has an extraordinary life cycle. It is parasitic in nature, with its spores landing on certain moths’ larvae and entering their bodies. Infected caterpillars are then buried in the ground before they die.
In summer, fungi appear from each infected caterpillar’s head, looking like thin, orange fingers. As the fungus approaches maturity, it consumes more than 90 percent of the infected insect, effectively mummifying its host.
Despite the unusual growth cycle, scientific research has shown that Cordyceps has several potential health benefits over the past few years. Here are the 6 best ways Cordyceps helps maintain your body’s health.
Cordyceps helps regulate blood sugar levels
Several studies have shown that Cordyceps can help safely regulate blood sugar levels. For example, in a laboratory study, a long-chain polysaccharide (a natural compound composed of sugars chemically linked to each other) isolated from Cordyceps was shown to reduce blood sugar levels in mice predisposed to high blood sugar levels. This polysaccharide also lowers triglyceride levels blood cholesterol.
Studies in normal rats have shown that Cordyceps extract consumption helps to improve tissue sensitivity to insulin and reduces the insulin response to the carbohydrate challenge.
Cordyceps extracts have been shown to slow weight loss, reduce excessive thirst, improve glucose tolerance, and maintain blood sugar levels in a variable range in laboratory rats.
Heart health support
Cordyceps is approved for the treatment of various types of arrhythmias in China. In laboratory experiments with rats and guinea pigs, Cordyceps extract was found to help maintain regular heart rhythms. In fact, preparations made from cultured cordyceps mycelium – a part of the fungus composed of fine white segments – have been approved as a heart remedy in China.
Furthermore, it has been observed that the use of Cordyceps prevents a large part of the metabolic damage to the liver and heart of rats with chronic kidney disease.
Treatments for improving the immune system are routinely used to prevent the body from rejecting a new heart after a heart transplant. However, prolonged use of so-called “immunosuppressants” after transplant surgery leads to significant problems.
Laboratory research from 2008 showed that Cordyceps extract helped reduce heart transplant rejection rate in laboratory rats.
Kordicpes promotes kidney health
In China, cordyceps are routinely used to maintain kidney health. The laboratory research and clinical trials results indicate that Cordyceps can help protect the kidneys after transplantation. For example, a preparation made from Cordyceps mycelium has reduced the rate of organ rejection after kidney transplantation and helps maintain kidney and liver function and the production of red blood cells within healthy limits.
Similarly, another Cordyceps product known as CS-4 has been shown to help maintain urea, creatinine, total blood protein, and calcium levels at a safe, normal level. In the laboratory research from 2016. In mice, Cordyceps extracts were found to help maintain kidney health.
Strengthening the immune system
A survey conducted in 2012 showed that Cordyceps polysaccharides overcame induced immunosuppression and helped maintain lymphocyte and macrophage function at normal levels in mice. Lymphocytes are known to be strong triggers of the immune system’s reaction to infections and injuries. Macrophages are a type of cell responsible for detecting, capturing, and destroying pathogens and damaged and dying cells in the body.
Cordyceps polysaccharides also enhance antioxidant activity in mice with weakened immune systems and raise the natural antioxidants superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.
The use of Cordyceps is beneficial in increasing libido.
Cordyceps is traditionally used to maintain libido and sexual function in many Eastern societies.
Laboratory experiments on animals confirm that Cordyceps can help improve reproductive activity. It has also been shown that consuming Cordyceps helped maintain libido and sexual activity in men and women.
Help fight fatigue
A survey conducted in 2010 showed that the use of a supplement with Cordyceps extract CS-4 for 12 weeks helped fight fatigue and improve exercise. Also, it helped maintain overall health in 20 healthy elderly adults.
Cordyceps contains adenosine and is known to stimulate ATP production, one of the primary sources of energy in the cells of our body.
2007 study concluded that higher ATP production due to Cordyceps’ use helped athletes maintain intensive training while extending the time periods of high-intensity activity.
Finally, research has shown that using Cordyceps as a supplement can help reduce heart rate, which probably explains why people can train more when using Cordyceps.
Cordyceps in the fight against cancer
According to the Memorial Catering Cancer Center’s latest research, cordyceps has pronounced antitumor effects. This research center published a study on cordyceps toxic to lung cancer cells and is confirmed to help the body fight lymphocyte infection, reduce the proliferation of cancerous cells and enhance the activity of healthy cells.
It has been reported that many results have improved in cancer patients, and this preparation is also recommended when taken chemotherapy because it increases the body’s resistance and tolerance in this way of treatment, and at the same time, increases the renewal of white blood cells.
The structure of the cordyceps
Koridceps it is not toxic and it is recommended to be consumed by healthy people because it is extremely nutritious. The fungus contains essential amino acids, vitamin B complex, vitamin EIK, fatty acids including oleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids that are also found in olives.
The most important characteristic of cordyceps are nucleosides. Researchers believe that nucleosides help the body fight cancer the most. Nucleotide analogues are used in medicine as anticancer and antiviral agents.
In addition, cordyceps contains nucleosides including gravindinum and the strongest of them, on which extensive research is being done on 3-deoxyadeonosine, which the researchers called cordycepine.
Coridceps and chemotherapy
Although funding for clinical trials has been minimal, animal studies have shown that cordyceps has a powerful potential to destroy cancer cells, normalize white blood cell counts when using chemotherapy. Even many cytostatics are more effective on cancer cells.
In a study published in 2008, researchers examined the effects of cordyceps on mice that had a white blood cell infection in their bone marrow due to taking chemotherapy and the drug taxol. It was given to mice cordyceps every day for three weeks in a row. It was noticed that their white blood cells were returned to normal levels. The level of white blood cells in mice that did not use cordyceps was drastically lower and even up to 50% of normal.
Another preparation that reduces chemotherapy’s side effects, such as hair loss, dry mouth, and weakness, and increases the effect on cancer by several times, is DMSO. Read more about DMSO in the following article DMSO / CD protocol for cleansing the body of microbes.
Cordyceps improves recovery and affects bone formation and development, and affects proteins that help bone marrow formation.
In a study published in 2007, cordycepin had a perfect effect on tongue and mouth cancer cells, causing self-destruction in them. It has also been shown that the survival of cancer cells in other cancers is significantly reduced due to cordyceps.
Scientists are trying to isolate new useful ingredients from cordyceps.
In another study published in 2009, scientists were able to isolate two new anticancer agents from cordyceps and called them gliocladicillins A and B. These two compounds reduced cancer cells’ growth. These two compounds are still being investigated as potential additions to other cancer treatments.
Cordyceps Anyone can be used, and the permitted dose for use is between 2 and 3 grams per day. This preparation is safe to use, but you should consult a doctor before use, especially in people with diabetes.
Cordyceps: side effects
Cordyceps is associated with a relatively small number of side effects, including gastrointestinal upset or discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, or dry mouth. It is also known to interact with caffeine, immunosuppressants, and anticoagulants.
Health experts recommend that you not take this supplement if you have autoimmune conditions or bleeding disorders because Cordyceps can make your symptoms worse. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking any supplements, including Cordyceps.