The Cordyceps mushroom is one of a few mushroom varieties that contains special natural compounds which are known to help provide health benefits to those who take them medicinally. These health concerns include Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, fatigue and low sex drive among others.
Discover more about the health benefits of Cordyceps mushrooms below.
What are Cordyceps Mushrooms?
Cordyceps mushrooms are a form of parasitic fungi that can be found growing on insect larvae. They are known to attack their host and replace its tissue with its own fungi cells, and this results in the mushroom growing long, skinny stems that make their way outside of the insect host’s body to the forest floor.
These remains of both the Cordyceps mushroom and its host insect have been collected by Chinese medicinal hunter-gatherers over the centuries to help cure a variety of ailments including, kidney disease, fatigue, and even a low sex drive. In recent years, health food supplements containing Cordyceps mushrooms have become more popular due to their potential many health benefits.
There are over 400 species of Cordyceps mushrooms which have been discovered, but only two varieties are thought to be beneficial when it comes to supporting health. These are Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordyceps Militaris.
Although there have been several scientific and medical trials in lab studies on animals, there isn’t any evidence to suggest their ability to effectively help treat the symptoms of various health conditions in people yet. However, some medical trials involving humans with a synthetic strain of the Cordyceps mushroom, CS-4 have noted various health benefits.
Cordyceps Mushrooms and Exercise Performance
The Cordyceps mushroom has been linked to increasing the body’s natural production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a molecule that delivers energy to muscles. According to a scientific study, the Cordyceps mushroom can help to improve the body’s use of oxygen during exercise.
A recent study tested a synthetic strain of the Cordyceps mushroom named CS-4 on a group of 30 healthy adults using a stationary bike. The study’s participants were either given CS-4 or a placebo pill over a six-week period.
By the end of the study, seven per cent of the participants who had taken CS-4 saw a VO2 increase compared to those who took the placebo. VO2 is the measurement that is used to determine a person’s fitness level.
Cordyceps Mushrooms and Type 2 Diabetes
The Cordyceps mushroom has been shown to contain a unique type of sugar that could be used to help treat diabetes, the condition which is caused when the body doesn’t produce enough or respond correctly to the hormone insulin. When this happens, glucose can’t enter the body’s cells, so it then is left inside the blood which can cause a variety of serious health concerns.
When suffering from Type 2 diabetes, it’s important to make sure that blood sugar levels are well controlled to prevent further damage to the body.
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that Cordyceps mushroom extract could help to regulate blood sugar levels by simulating the effects of insulin. The study involved mice with Type 2 diabetes and their blood sugar levels were shown to decrease after taking Cordyceps mushroom extract.
You can find out more about the health benefits of other mushrooms on our blog. You can also purchase a wide range of superfood supplements, such as Apple Cider Vinegar, Moringa, Turmeric and black pepper and more. Always make sure you purchase your health foods from a reputable supplier to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits.