Benifits of cordyceps
- Thus far, research into the performance-enhancing effects of cordyceps has yielded mixed results.
In a 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a daily cordyceps supplement appeared to improve exercise performance, albeit modestly, in a small group of older adults, ages 50 to 75.
Meanwhile, a 2016 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that daily cordyceps supplementation gradually increased the maximum oxygen intake (VO2 max) in young adults after three weeks.
Cordyceps are thought to increase the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for delivering energy to the muscles.
This may improve the way your body uses oxygen, especially during exercise (1Trusted Source, 2).
In one study, researchers tested their effects on exercise capacity in 30 healthy older adults using a stationary bike. Participants received either 3 grams per day of a synthetic strain of Cordyceps called CS-4 or a placebo pill for six weeks.
By the end of the study, VO2 max had increased by 7% in participants who had taken CS-4, while participants given the placebo pill showed no change (3).
VO2 max is a measurement used to determine fitness level (4Trusted Source).
In a similar study, 20 healthy older adults received either 1 gram of CS-4 or a placebo pill for 12 weeks (5Trusted Source).
While researchers found no change in VO2 max in either group, participants given CS-4 improved other measures of exercise performance.One study also tested the effects of a Cordyceps-containing mushroom blend on exercise performance in younger adults (6Trusted Source).
After three weeks, participants’ VO2 max had increased by 11%, compared to a placebo.
Cordyceps is most effective against type 2 diabetes. It keeps the blood sugar levels within a healthy range by mimicking the action of insulin. It also prevents kidney disease, a common complication of diabetes.
- High Blood Pressure:
Cordyceps are believed to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, both of which may help prevent or treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Many of these benefits have been attributed to a compound known as cordycepin, which is similar in molecular composition to adenosine. Like adenosine, cordycepin appears able to relax blood vessels, improving circulation and lowering blood pressure.
The same benefits may be extended to the respiratory tract, according to a 2017 study from China.5 When taken daily, a cordyceps extract appears to relax airway constriction and improve quality of life measures in people with moderate to severe asthma.
Preliminary studies suggest that cordyceps may offer protection against certain types of cancer.6
According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, a cordyceps extract was able to trigger apoptosis (cell death) in breast cancer cells in test tube studies.
Similar results have been seen with colon cancer cells. The cordycepins in the cordyceps mushroom also appear to be toxic to leukemia cells.
Standard treatment options for asthma include various anti-inflammatory drugs. As noted by this study, polysaccharide extracts of Cordyceps mushrooms showed surprising anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, this suggests that using Cordyceps could reduce inflammation throughout the body and alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Additionally, a separate study suggested that Cordyceps might be beneficial in combating one of the aggravating causes of asthma directly: allergens. As the study discusses, “Results suggest that [Cordyceps extract] has the potential to alleviate immune hypersensitivity reactions in AR and asthma.” Essentially, the study found that Cordyceps can be beneficial for allergic reactions by suppressing the release of histamine, a compound that aggravates asthma symptoms.
Finally, Cordyceps is often characterised by giving individuals a stamina boost by improving the body’s ability to transport oxygen to the muscles, as noted by this study. Since one of the triggers for asthma attacks is physical activity, a boost to your physical performance could suppress the risk of an attack. This is one of the reasons that so many people advocate for using Cordyceps for working out.
Early evidence shows that taking cordyceps by mouth during or after chemotherapy might improve quality of life and improve tolerance to the treatments.
- Kidney damage caused by the drug cyclosporine:
There is early evidence that taking cordyceps with cyclosporine can reduce kidney damage caused by cyclosporine in people with kidney transplants.
- Hepatitis B:
Early evidence shows that taking cordyceps by mouth might improve liver function in people with hepatitis B. However, cordyceps seems to be less effective than astragalus and polygonum.
- Sexual desire:
Early research suggests that taking a specific cordyceps product (Cordy Max ) daily for 40 days can improve sex drive in people with low sex drive.
- Kidney transplant:
- Promoting longevity.
- Decreasing fatigue.
- Breathing disorders.
- Male sexual dysfunction.
- Heart arrhythmias.
- High cholesterol.
- Liver disorders.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Other conditions.