Cordyceps sinensis

Background

Cordyceps sinensis, also known with its changed modern name as Ophiocordyceps sinensis, is a well-known insect or caterpillar fungus or mushroom, naturally distributed in the Tibetan Plateau of Asia. With its amazing nootropic properties, Cordyceps sinensis has gained popularity in the fitness industry due to its effects on workout and athletic performance. Cordyceps sinensis has been recommended over 5000 years for “all illnesses” as a tonic, as it helps improve energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance, and sleeping patterns. It is thought to be a rare combination of a caterpillar and fungus found in Sikkim at altitudes above 3,800 m.[1]

Benefits

Cordyceps sinensis is very popular among  the people of both sexes for its multifarious medicinal health benefits, such as it helps regulate blood sugar, supports antioxidant production, acts as an anti-inflammatory, contributes to the health of the immune system and supports kidney and liver function. The other common health benefits of Cordyceps sinensis include

  • Enhance mood and cognition and delay cognitive decline [6]
  • Improve athletic performance and always better at athletics [7]
  • Strengthen the use of oxygen by the heart muscle and increase blood flow [8]
  • Reduce fatigue [9]
  • Improves energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance, and sleeping patterns [10]
  • Promote endurance and longevity [11]
  • Increase immunity against viruses [12]
  • Improve fertility and remove impotence naturally [13]
  • Helps people combat cancer [14]

Cordycep sinensis have anti-aging effects and it is effective for improving functioning of the brain. It may positively impact immune system and benefit the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and reproductive or sexual functions. Many people take Cordyceps sinensis as it can help fight cancer and immunological disorders.[2]
Cordyceps sinensis has also been effective for the treatment of coughs, chronic bronchitis, respiratory disorders, kidney disorders, nighttime urination, male sexual problems, anemia, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, liver disorders, dizziness, weakness, ringing in the ears, unwanted weight loss, and opium addiction.[3]

How it works

From some animal studies it is found that supplementing with Cordyceps sinesis can increase the ATP stores in the liver. It is also a powerful antioxidant and can defend against oxidative damage to our cells and in turn the mitochondria meaning the cells produce more ATP and as a result, we increase the total amount of fuel available to our body. Cordyceps sinensis also helps improve immunity by stimulating cells and precise chemicals in the immune system. It may also have functioning against cancer cells and may shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers.
 Cordyceps sinensis is considered to have anti-aging properties because of improving antioxidant enzyme status in the brains of animals with accelerated d-galactose-induced senescence and promoted sexual function. [4] It can regulate testicular testosterone production.
Some studies show that taking cordyceps sinesis supplements during or following chemotherapy can lower symptoms of the treatment and increase the body’s defense mechanisms. There are also facts that they help restore normal fat mobilization and reduce oxidative damage that contributes to almost every chronic disease from heart disease to cognitive decline.

Considerations

Though Cordyceps sinensis is normally considered well tolerated by humans, there might have some side effects such as nausea and digestive upset. This supplement may also interact with some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, especially ones which are meant to target the immune system, liver, or kidneys.

Recommendations

The dosages for different symptoms vary. It is recommended to take Cordyceps sinesis 3 to 6 g/day has been used in patients with long-term renal failure for periods ranging from days to years and for 2 months has been used in conjunction with chemotherapy in clinical studies involving lung cancer.

In clinical trials evaluating effect on physical performance, cordyceps sinesis 3.15 g taken daily for 5 weeks had no effect compared with placebo. However, the total dose range should be between 500 – 1000 mg per day.[5]

Sources