Health & NutritionCordyceps Explained

Cordyceps Explained

Cordyceps mushroom has been widely used as a traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, but gained widespread popularity through the western world predominantly after the Chinese National Games of 1993, where the Chinese track and field team famously smashed 9 world records by jaw dropping margins, and attributed their success largely to this ancient fungus as part of their diet. Some traditional uses included protection of the liver, improved kidney function, increasing energy, exercise performance, stamina and enhancing libido.

Multiple studies have been carried out since, to put these claims to the test, and the results have proved very positive for this weird and wonderful mushroom.

Immune boosting:

Cordyceps is a powerful immune booster due to it stimulating the immune system by increasing the number and supporting the activity of natural killer cells which protect the body from viruses and harmful bacteria. A recent study showed that Cordyceps increased the levels of these white blood cells by 74%. There are also a number of polysaccharides found in Cordyceps, believed to play an important role in enhancing the immune systems defensive power.

Increased exercise performance:

Originally discovered by the Yak herders of Tibet and ingested to assist the herders at high altitude where oxygen levels are thin. The Cordyceps mushroom has since been found to enhance cells’ ability to utilise oxygen, and thus help in protecting the lungs and improving respiratory function.

Another benefit of this enhanced oxygen use is the effect it has on athletic performance (as previously referenced regarding the Chinese track and field team of 1993). Recent research has confirmed that Cordyceps usage also increases cellular ATP levels, the molecule that actually releases energy into the cell. Increased ATP and oxygen utilisation make for a power couple of more fuel to burn, and more oxygen to burn it with.

In two separate studies including 30 healthy adults (over 6 weeks) and 20 younger adults (over 12 weeks), where participants were either given Cordyceps extract or a placebo every day, the VO2 max of the Cordyceps groups improved by 7% and 11% respectively compared to no improvement in the placebo group. (VO2 max being a common measurement used to determine fitness level).

Anti-ageing effects:

A powerful antioxidant, Cordyceps increases the action of super-oxide-dismutase (SOD). SOD plays a major role in quenching the free radicals and other toxins that can cause premature aging and degenerative diseases. Animal studies reported mice given Cordyceps mushroom lived significantly longer and had improved virility and memory compared to mice given a placebo.

Sexual function and libido:

Taken traditionally for centuries as a natural libido enhancer, science and studies are now able to back up the claims. Cordyceps highly influences the release of testosterone by increasing blood flow, enhancing sexual organ function, virility and stamina. Testosterone being the key male hormone which plays a major role in overall virility, not just in males but females also.

Studies on male rats given Cordyceps supplements reported better health, higher testosterone levels and higher sperm quality and quantity.

*Some research is based on animal studies with very similar biochemistry to humans. Cannadonia Limited make no claims as to any medical properties of this product. Consult your doctor for any medical advice.


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