Currently, more than 700 species of Cordyceps have been found on the planet, mainly in South Asia, Europe and North America, where 35 of these species have been reported in the scientific literature for their various medicinal properties to treat different medical conditions such as respiratory, liver and kidney problems, as well as for its antitumor properties.
Its name comes from the Greek “ kordyle ” meaning “club” and the Latin “-ceps ” meaning “head” because of its distinctive way of growing. Within these species, the most studied and used in Western medicine for hundreds of years have been Cordyceps sinesis and Cordyceps militaris.
This fungus is very particular as it is an endoparasitic species that grows and reproduces in arthropod insects, although it is currently cultivated in vitro for commercial use . The different species that exist are classified depending on where they grow and the host they infect.
Cordyceps contains a great diversity of metabolites that have been isolated and studied in vitro and in vivo. The main bioactive compounds identified and reported are nucleosides and polysaccharides that help regulate and improve the functioning of different systems in the body, including the cardiovascular system and the immune system.
We talk to you about some of the most outstanding and important benefits.
Improves the cardiovascular system and physical performance
Cordyceps is known as the energy mushroom for its functions in improving physical performance, since its active compounds increase blood flow and increase the aerobic capacity of the body.
This mushroom has grown in scientific and commercial interest because in the 1993 Asian Games, the Chinese team of runners broke two world records, where the coach reported that it was due to the consumption of this mushroom as a supplement. [##] Subsequently, the study and analysis of this fungus increased with different publications in different scientific journals.
In 2010 it was reported that the supplementation of this mushroom for 12 weeks in healthy older adults improved their physical performance and general health.
This is due to the bioactive compounds of the fungus, particularly adenosine, which is a precursor of the ATP molecule, which is the energy currency of our cells. In this way, it helps athletes and people in general to maintain a more intense exercise rhythm and time of energy, by providing the body with energy.
In addition, supplementing with Cordyeps has also been shown to help slow heart rate and increase libido possibly via testosterone production in both men and women.
Another of the great benefits of Cordyceps is its ability to lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity thanks to the polysaccharides it contains. This is of great importance to prevent and treat diabetes.
Various studies have shown improvement in fasting glucose and insulin levels, both in diabetic and non-diabetic rats, when supplemented with extract of this fungus, opening different branches of research for these compounds and their applications to treat patients with diabetes.
Improves the immune system
As if that were not enough, this medicinal mushroom has also been widely studied for its ability to improve the immune system through the activation of " Killer cells " and lymphocytes, which are responsible for regulating antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antidiabetic processes, among many others. others.
In addition to being a powerful antioxidant agent, since it helps the production of compounds such as glutathione and enzymes responsible for regulating the production of free radicals such as superoxide dismutase (SOD).
For these reasons, Cordyceps is one of our favorite fungal allies that you can find in our release microdoses .
- Zhu, JS (1998) “ The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis: part I” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9764768/
- Das, G (2021) “Cordyceps spp.: A Review on Its Immune-Stimulatory and Other Biological Potentials” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33628175/
- Martin Popov (2020) “Cordyceps, 3 Reasons Why”. Mushroom Health
- Olatunji, OJ. (2018) “The genus Cordyceps: An extensive review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0367326X18305550?via%3Dihub