For purchase over S$120
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The high quality strain of Lifestream Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma™ originates from Qinghai. Using latest biotechnology, this fungus is cultivated in a controlled environment to produce Cordyceps stroma containing pharmacologically active components similar to those of the wild Cordyceps. The potency of Lifestream Cordyceps stroma is, however, more stable and safer than that of wild Cordyceps. Lifestream Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma™ has been internationally tested to exceed the criteria of medicinal grade cordyceps (according to the Chinese Pharmacopeoia) by an impressive 28 times.
Examined by an independent International Testing Group, Lifestream Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma™ consists of 18 Amino Acids, 12 Vitamins, and is also rich in Polysaccharides, Cordycepin, Cordycepic Acid (D-Mannitol), Adenosine and Adenine. Lifestream Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma™ is superior to wild Cordyceps in the following capacities:
(1) selection of high quality strains;
(2) unique organic nutrition for development of stroma;
(3) environmental parameters control such as light intensity, temperature, and humidity;
(4) extremely high sterilization standard;
(5) best biotechnology in process control for development of the stroma.
Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma™ 600mg
Green Tea Extract (Decaffeinated)(Polyphenols > 98%, Catechins > 70%) 100mg
No fillers, stimulants, additives, artificial flavors or preservatives added
Cordyceps is known as “legendary treasure of the East”. Cordyceps, in Chinese called “Winter Worm, Summer Grass”, belongs to the family of fungus (Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. Clavicipitaceae). As the name implies, Cordyceps is a caterpillar in Winter which evolves into a “grass” in summer. The fungus is parasitic on the larva of the bat moth (Hepialus armoricanus Oberthur, Hepialidae). The parasitic fungus invades the body of caterpillar when it is hibernating during winter and consumes its soft tissue. Finally, the caterpillar dies. During summer, the stroma which is about 3-5 cm long, grows from the head of the larva.
It is occasionally found growing on other moth species as well. The normal range of this fungus is above 2000 meters elevation, and it has been found as high as 6,000 meters. There are also many other species of the genus Cordyceps. About 250 species of the Cordyceps are distributed worldwide, about 65 of them in China, 100 in Japan, and about 70 in Korea.
Cordyceps has long been used by Chinese physicians as an herbal medicine and food that promotes longevity. It is used in the treatment of fatigue, debility, impotence, kidney diseases, and ailments of the upper respiratory tract. Cordyceps was first recorded in the ‘General Historical Records of Sichuan’. However, old medical record revealed that the healing power of Cordyceps has been used since the Qian Long period before the Qing Dynasty. It was first recorded in Wu Yilui’s ‘Ben Chao Cong Xin’, (New Compilation of Materia Medica) in 1757 AD during the Qing Dynasty, which is the early medical text lists the traditional usage of Cordyceps as going to the Lung and Kidney meridian and being useful as a “Lung Protectorate”, for “Kidney Improvement” and as a “Yin Yang double invigorant”. Other works subsequently published in various ancient literature like ‘Qian Nang’ (Drugs of Sichuan), ‘Qing Li Yu Zhao’ (The Remaining Sunshine in the Morning), ‘Wen Fang Si Kao’ (Research in the Bookroom), ‘Liu Ya Wai Bian’, ‘Gan Yuan Xiao Shi’ and ‘Ben Chao Gang Mu Shi Yi’ etc.
In the early 1700s, a French historian, P. Du Halde, had experienced the effect of Cordyceps in China after long and exhausted explorations. In those days, Cordyceps was tributes to the Emperor. Du Halde wrote that “Even black, old and rotten, it sold for over four times its weight in silver” The earliest article published in the West about Cordyceps was found in the New York Journal of Medicine in 1843 where it described Cordyceps as a rare item of medicinal importance that grew in Tibet.
A few hundred year later, the status and price of Cordyceps remained unchanged where only the upper classes could afford it as a “tonic food”.
Contraindications. None Known. However, caution should be taken when patients are insulin dependent diabetics (Type 1) as hypoglycemia can occur in diabetics taking insulin or other anti-diabetes drugs due to Cordyceps increasing the insulin receptivity of the cells.
So far there are no detrimental drug interactions have yet been reported in the scientific literature. However, caution should be taken where Cordyceps can alter the body’s blood glucose metabolism leading to a possibility of less oral or injected anti-diabetic medications required.
No adverse side effects have been reported. Few people may experience feelings of slight heatiness, drier throat or mild diarrhea. These effects are normal and temporary, and will usually clear up within a couple of days. There is no need to stop cordyceps administration. On the plus side, most people will discover that they are more energetic and are able to concentrate better. The quality of their sleep will also improve.
Cordyceps has proven to be a non-toxic herbal supplement for thousands of years. No human toxicity has been reported. In experiments with animals, it was found that intensive administraton of Cordyceps at 80 grams/day per 1000 g body mass has not resulted in abnomalities in blood tests, kidney or liver functions.
Wild Cordyceps can be found primarily at high altitude on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Due to rarity and difficulties in harvesting, it is very expensive. Its quality and purity is also varied from time to time. It is highly susceptible to environmental toxicity and other factors. There are numerous reports of wild Cordyceps that were heavily contaminated with toxic metals resulting in lead poisoning. There are also reported cases of the quality and weight of wild Cordyceps being artificially altered through insertions of harmful substances such as lead and metal. The Cordyceps could have been soaked in salt, sulphur or other harmful solution in the preservation process.
Many consumers prefer their supplements to come in clean white bottles with neat little capsule rather than in the raw form. This makes it possible for dishonest suppliers to sell anything under the label of “Cordyceps”. In one study, researchers tested and analyzed all of the available Cordyceps capsules. It is shocking to know that nearly all of the commercially available Cordyceps products available in the United Stated that were imported from China, contained minimal or no detectable amounts of Cordyceps whatsoever. Some specimens of “Cordyceps Capsules” were analyzed as contained nothing but rice flour or nutmeg.
Natural Cordyceps resources are quickly becoming scarce and its ecological environment is substantially damaged through over-harvesting. The Chinese government has announced prohibition to public excavation of Cordyceps. The development of artificial cultivation of Cordyceps not only help in the promotion of good health and quality of life, it also help in the preservation of wild Cordyceps and its natural ecological environment.
In looking at the variations in quality from different strains and producers of Cordyceps, one must wonder what is it that causes this to be so. After all, a tomato is a tomato, no matter where it is grown. Yet with Cordyceps, even the same strain (CS-4) grown by different growers turns out to be entirely different from a standpoint of active ingredients. There are two different methods used today in the cultivation of Cordyceps.
(i) Mycelium Cultivation through Liquid Culture
Liquid culture or Fermentation, in which the organism is introduced into a tank of sterilized liquid medium, which has been formulated to provide all of the necessary nutritional components for rapid growth of the mycelium. After growth in the liquid medium, the mycelium is harvested by straining out of the liquid broth and dried and ground into fine powder. Essential bio-active extra-cellular compounds such as Cordycepin produced during the growth process are discarded with the spent both. In other words, mycelium products lack many unique metabolites produced by Cordyceps that have potent medicinal effects. It is estimated by researchers that as much as 90% of the bioactive compounds that are produced by the Cordyceps are discarded after the mycelium is harvested. The majority of Cordyceps product available in capsule or liquid forms is liquid cultured mycelium.
(ii) Stroma Cultivation through Solid-Substrate Culture
The second method of cultivating Cordyceps uses some type of sterilized solid nutrient source, usually a cereal grain or mixture of grains, for inoculation. Cultivation period is much longer on solid material but in this way, it is possible to capture all the unique compounds, which is naturally lost when cultivated by liquid or fermentation technique.
However, it is important to note that the quality potential of Cordyceps cultivated under solid substrate may also vary among different cultivators. The final quality of cultivated Cordyceps is determined by the following factors:
i. the particular strain chosen for cultivation
ii. the substrate composition
iii. the culture parameters, e.g. temperature and oxygen content
iv. the length of time that it is grown. Optimum harvesting period is crucial to the potency of the stroma. Longer harvesting period implies higher costing as another round of cultivation could have taken place. Stroma that has been harvested too early is usually cream coloured. At the optimum harvesting period, it should be golden-orange in colour. Therefore, it is important for customers to demand independent analytical reports on the chemical compounds in order to ensure quality and value.
Asexual reproduction. Production of Cordyceps mycelium, mainly in China, using artificial medium as host. The mycelium is cultivated in huge tanks using liquid fermentation method. It is sold in the market as capsules or wine or drinks only.
Sexual reproduction using silkworm as hosts. Scientists in Japan and Korea used silkworm puma as host to cultivate the stroma (or the fruit body) of Cordyceps.
Direct cultivation of Cordyceps stroma. Involves sexual reproduction with specially formulated medium which replaces the bat-moth caterpillar. The fruit body cultivation is based on organic medium developed by scientists. This is the most advanced stage of cultivation which engages the highest level of technology application. Only a small number of quality strains can be successfully cultivated into stroma.
The cultivation process is very complicated but the following basic environmental parameters must be controlled and regulated precisely.
Cordyceps stroma or "fruit body" is the mushroom part of the Cordyceps. The stroma grows from the head of the caterpillar corpse (which has been replaced by organic medium) when the Cordyceps becomes mature. In fact, the stroma is equivalent to the fruit on the fruit tree, and the mycelium of the caterpillar corpse (which has been replaced by the organic medium in our stroma cultivation process) serves to provide nutrition to the fruit. In fact, the most effective and potent elements are concentrated inside the fruit body.
According to ancient medical literatures such as Revised compendium of Materia Medica, Cordyceps is “sweet,” “warm,” and “mild” in nature. It benefits the lungs, kidneys and sperm-production. It can dissolve sputum, stop hemorrhage, treat coughs and diaphragm diseases. Cordyceps was also used to treat cancer and tuberculosis patients, to promote the “essence,” and benefit the “vital energy.”
The main action of Cordyceps in traditional Chinese medicine is the kidneys. In traditional Chinese medicine theory, the kidneys represent the place Chi/Qi (life energy) is “grasped.” It is believed that the chi brought into the body by the lungs depends on the kidneys to allow it to “adhere”. Therefore, kidney imbalances are attributed to chronic asthma and respiratory ailments.
Traditionally Cordyceps is used as a relief of bronchial inflammation, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, pulmonary emphysema, and tuberculosis. Other applications of Cordyceps include the treatment of bloody sputum in tuberculosis patients, debility following illness, night sweets, weakness, anemia, spontaneous sweating, and malignancies.
Cordyceps is revered by traditional Chinese Physicians as one of the most valued herbs, even more so than Ginseng and Deer Antler in terms of its dietetic and therapeutic effect. According to the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and the Compendium of Materia Medica, Cordyceps is a gentle tonic, with no adverse side effects and is said to improve the functions of the major body organs, enhance mental and physical energy as well as the immune system. It is considered the "best of the best" traditional Chinese herb.
It is also one of the most valued medicinal fungi in all of Chinese medicine and among the most potent. The ancients claimed that the "qualities" of Cordyceps were like those of Ginseng and that the beneficial effect of 8.85 grams of Cordyceps cooked in a duck were equal to taking a 50 gram dose of Ginseng. In fact, modern research has proved that many pharmacological activities of Cordyceps are similar to those found in Ginseng including simulation of the immune system.
Cordyceps is ranked as a superior herb in the Chinese herbal system because it aids in the attainment of a long life. Cordyceps has the following characteristics:
* It delivers broad and profound health-promoting actions that result in a radiantly healthy life.
* It has no negative side-effect and therefore may be taken continuously over a long period of time. It is a totally safe nutraceutical supplement. A 7-day exposure to 80 g/kg Cordyceps did not result in any negative effects in a recent laboratory study.
* It regulates and normalizes body functions, yielding significant and cumulative benefits conducive to long-term health when consumed on a regular basis.
* Help balance our inner body energy so as to help improve one's state of mental and physical well- being.
* Taste good enough to be consumed easily and is easily digestible and assimilable when prepared.
Summary of Traditional Uses of Cordyceps
|Cough||Supporting and strengthening adrenal glands|
|Asthma||Supporting and strengthening testes and ovaries|
|Dissolving phlegm||Loin pains|
|Allergic diseases||Debility after illness|
|Replenishing bone||Supporting and strengthening vital energy|
Cordyceps has been known to the West as a rare herbal medicine in only from the past twenty years or so. During that time, research in China, Japan, Korea, U.S. and even Europe have carried into seemingly miraculous range of healing powers and has proved what Chinese practitioners have noted for centuries – Cordyceps works very well in combating a myriad of medicals problems.
According to research conduced in Europe, China, Japan and the United states, Cordyceps consists of various Amino Acids, Cordyceps Acid, Polysaccharides, Cordycepin, Adenine, and Adenosine. Research has confirmed that Cordyceps help strengthen the immune system, increase the body's endurance against strain, reduce stress levels and improve the functions of its organs. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
Recent research and clinical findings on the effect of Cordyceps on major illnesses are summaried by Yoshirhiro Takahashi in his book "Kiseki Wo Yobu Tochukaso" as follows:
|Erectile Dysfunction||40 days||64.1%|
|Coronary Heart Disease||4 weeks||90.5%|
|Hepatitis B||3 months||78.56%|
|Malignant Tumor||2 months||93%|
Depending on the source of Cordyceps and the disease under studied, recommended dosage may vary. It is a norm to prescribe about 3 to 4.5 grams of Cordyceps per day, except in cases of severe liver disease and cancer disease, when dosage administrated can be higher in the range of 6 to 9 grams per day. Some Chinese practitioners even prescribed as much as 30 to 50 grams of Cordyceps per day for cancer patients. It was reported that the extraordinary dosage gave no Cordyceps related toxicity and generated excellent results.
Below is a table setting out general suggestions on the dosages of specific disorders and general health maintenance extracted from scientific studies. Final prescription is subjective to individual differences. If you are on medication, please make sure you consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplement, including Cordyceps.
Acute pulmonary heart disease
1 gram 3 times daily
1.5 gram daily
1-2 grams, 3 times daily
Cancer therapy side effect
2-3 grams daily
1 grams 3 times daily
Chronic kidney failure
3-6 grams daily
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
1 gram 3 times daily
1 gram 3 times daily
2 grams daily
1.5 grams daily
High blood viscosity
1 gram 3 times daily
High cholesterol levels
1 gram 3 times daily
High lipoperoxide levels
1 gram 3 times daily
Increased SOD levels
1 gram 3 times daily
Kidneys – to protect against antibiotics
4.5 grams daily
Kidneys – to protect against cyclosporine
1 gram 3 times daily
6 to 9 grams daily
Male erectile dysfunction
1 gram 3 times daily
Quality of life in chronic heart failure
3-4 grams daily
There are many different types of Cordyceps in the markets. Generally, Cordyceps comes in different forms (i.e.: Traditional wild cordyceps, cordyceps mycelium and cordyceps stroma.) The grade, quality and efficacy of Cordyceps differ substantially. This has a direct bearing on its efficacy and safety.
Cordyceps is one of the most treasured and safest medicinal mushrooms. Researches have proven the wonderful benefits of Cordyceps. It is beneficial to the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and immune system.
Cordyceps is also highly recommended to increase vitality and energy; it is perfect for people who are recovering from illness. Numerous researches in America, Japan and China have indicated that Cordyceps delivers the most comprehensive spectrum of health benefits as compared to all other medicinal mushrooms.
Found primarily at high altitude on the Qinghai Tibetans Plateaus.
Generally priced from S$120 to S$600 per tael, or higher.
Potency varies substantially, depending on the location, the time of picking and the quality of the carcass.
No safety assurance, due to uncontrolled environmental factors or possible adulteration, unless safety tests are conducted.
Long preparation time of 2 to 3 hours required.
In Singapore, the Lianhe Zaobao and Streats (Today) newspapers have reported, in 2002 and 2003, cases of lead and metal being inserted into Wild Cordyceps.
Employ innovative proprietary bio- technology and cultivated in organic solid substrate culture in greenhouse where all parameters such lightings, temperature, humidity, etc, are stringently controlled.
Harvested at the most appropriate time to ensure its efficacy and high potency.
High potency assurance. It has been tested internationally and independently (by SGS Group) to contain high level of essential constituent of cordyceps (such as Adenosine, Cordcyepin, Cordycepic Acid (D-Mannitol) and Polysaccharides), and falls into the category of the best quality wild cordyceps.
100% Safety assurance. Every batch is tested for safety by recognized and independent testing bodies in Singapore.
Pharmaceutical grade and 100% GMP manufactured in Singapore.
More economical than wild cordyceps.
All Lifestream products are pharmaceutically manufactured in Singapore, in 100% GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certified Facilities.
Both types of Cordyceps are organically cultivated under stringent greenhouse environments and they contain all essential constituent of premium quality Cordyceps. (They are Adenosine, Cordycepin, Cordycepic Acid and Polysaccharides, etc). Both are cultivated differently, but with organic solid substrate culture. As a result, the content of cordyceps constituents is slightly different. Cordyceps Stroma™ is very rich in Adenosine which is the key quality marker of Cordyceps. Adenosine works to provide our body with overall therapeutic support and improves our body functioning.
Cordyceps COMPLETE™ is richer in Polysaccharides which is traditionally known for its immune enhancing properties.
All Lifestream products are excellent functional food, and are suitable for vegetarians and long-term consumption.
If you are frequently tired, have low energy level, and feel stressed out easily, Greenhouse Rhodiola Rosea Cordyceps COMPLETE™ will be your ideal choice. It is effective for age and weight management too.
If you fall sick easily and need a boost to your immune system or have a family history of cancer, choose Greenhouse Agaricus Blazei Murill Cordyceps COMPLETE™. It is also suitable for children, and is an important supplement for patients before/undergoing treatments for cancer.
For anyone who would like to address all their health issues comprehensively and effectively, Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma™ is the ideal choice with tremendous therapeutic potential.
You may also take a combination of all or either item(s) depending on individual needs and health conditions and lifestyle. They can be mixed and matched easily.
Decaffeinated Green Tea Polyphenols -98 is the best grades of its kind in Polyphenols, Catechins and EGCG contents that you can possibly find in the market.
Green Tea is a very potent antioxidant, alongside Pycnogenol, SOD and Grapeseed extract, and is many times higher than Vitamins C and E in terms of its antioxidant properties. It protects healthy cells against free radicals, promotes healthier skin and stronger bones and offers a host of other health benefits. As an important bioflavanoid, it plays a crucial role in helping with the absorption of Cordyceps.
Green Tea Polyphenols -98 is decaffeinated and is in the form of an extract. It does not have cooling properties. However, for consumers who do not prefer products containing green tea, Gold blend, which is 100% cordyceps in powder form, does not contain green tea.
It is perfectly fine for individuals who are on western medication to consume Lifestream products approximately 1-1/2 hour before or after medication, in order to minimize the likelihood of western medication affecting the potency of the Cordyceps.
Cordyceps also plays an important role in neutralizing the side effects of western medicine on the body, in particular on the liver and kidney.
All Lifestream products manufactured in Singapore are certified Halal, except for BRM360°™. BRM360°™ is a multiple mushroom supertonic manufactured in USA, where there is no Halal certification available. All Lifestream products are plant-based and do not contain any animal by-products. In addition, the capsules are also 100% vegetarian.
If you suspect that you (or your child) may be coming down with flu or are having flu, take Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma capsules. It may help you to ward it off. However, if you are currently having fever or bad sore throat, we suggest that you wait until you have recovered before taking Lifestream products as they boost the body’s immune system in resisting bacteria and virus. Therefore, it may increase the likelihood of driving the temperature or fever up.
Take 3 to 4 vegecaps, two to three times daily or as advised by qualified healthcare practitioners
Adults: Take 2 to 3 vegecaps daily Children (2-12 years): Take 1- 2 vegecaps. For young children, vegecaps may be opened and contents poured into food or beverages for easier consumption
Lifestream Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma™ can be taken anytime, in the morning, afternoon or before retiring at night. Unlike western medicine, Cordyceps may be taken anytime before or after food. If you have very sensitive stomach constitution, you may take it with food if necessary. If you are on western medication, do take it 1.5 hours apart so that the efficacy of cordyceps would not be compromised.
Yes, Lifestream Greenhouse Cordyceps Stroma products are very suitable for children. You may administer it to them from the age of two. Dosage will vary depending on child’s age and health needs. In general, 1 vegecap a day or a small teaspoon once to twice a week (for Gold blend), is sufficient.
The nature of Cordyceps is neither heaty nor cooling. In fact, Cordyceps is a gentle tonic with no adverse side effects and may be taken on a regular basis over a prolonged period of time.
Adults : Take 2-3 capsules daily.
Children (2-12 years) : Take 1-2 capsules daily.
Take 3-4 capsules, two or three times daily or as advised by qualified healthcare practitioners.
For young children, capsules may be opened up and contents poured into food, clear chicken broth or beverages for easier consumption.
Take the capsules with warm water*.
*excluding beverage with caffeine (e.g. coffee), as it reduces the potency of Cordyceps.
Mr Fazill (Age: 60s) from Singapore
I have been taking Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma™ for over 6 months now. I was so delighted with the positive effect on my health that I went down to Lifestream’s booth at World Food Fair 2006 held at Singapore Expo this September to meet the people from the company and to share my experience with them. At the road show, I spoke to Ms Rachel Ng (CEO of Lifestream group) and had a photo taken with her at the booth. I find that after taking Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma™ my overall health has improved and I even noticed significant improvement for my joint problem. I feel healthier then before and will continue to make Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma™ an integral part of my health care regime.
About 4 years ago, we discovered that our son, Royce had symptoms of crusted and rash-like skin on both his arms and realized later that he has eczema. He also have areas of discoloration around his neck and face. Royce suffers from itchiness all the time, especially when he is sleeping and sometimes when he scratches himself too much his skin will bleed. As his parents, we have abstain him from foods that aggravate his skin conditions, which means he is not allowed to eat mushroom, soy sauce, BBQ meat and related food, not even his favourite Campbell mushroom soup. We have tried to consult doctors and even Chinese physicians but had no luck controlling the symptoms. We can only apply lotion everyday after shower to keep his skin moist, besides which we do not know of any other ways to help ease Royce’s condition. When we were introduced to Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma™ in Summer 2006, we were skeptic at first, but tried anyway. Miraculously, Royce fully recovered after taking 1 capsule daily for 7 days straight. His skin turned smooth and even the discoloration disappeared. We were all extremely happy and let Royce started to binge on all the foods he was not allowed to have previously and even allowed him to stop his cordyceps consumption. Regrettably, his skin condition took a turn for the worse. So Royce had to resume his cordyceps consumption once again and we increased the dosage to 2 capsules daily. By day 7, about 80% of his skin has recovered. We cannot thank our relative enough for introducing us to this miracle herb and we will continue to make sure Royce takes Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma™ on a regular basis to strengthen his immune system and keep his skin problems at bay.
Click below to see his amazing progress at high resolution photos at PDF format.
My husband is a Diabetic and his blood sugar level has been very high for many years. In 2005, his condition worsened.
I was introduced to Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma Capsules in 2006. As my husband’s case was pretty serious and I was aware that the maintenance dosage of 2 capsules daily would be insufficient for him, I gave him 2 capsules, 3 times per day from February 2006.
He went for his routine medical check-up in April 2006 and the results were surprisingly good. His blood sugar level reading has dropped from 11.5 to 5.8 mmol/l. His regular doctor, who has been following his case over the past years, was so impressed with the results that he has suggested reducing his daily dosage of his prescribed medication. Lifestream Cordyceps Stroma capsules has not only reduced his blood sugar level, it has also improved his energy and endurance level.
I trust Lifestream quality products that I have recommended it to several of my friends. I am also giving my grown up children Lifestream ABM capsules to enhance their immunity. Thumbs up, Lifestream.
In the United States, kidney disease is the eighth leading cause of death among people age 65 to 74, and the cost of treating kidney disease is at least 11 billion dollars a year.
The kidneys regulate fluid balance in the body, which of course affects all the organs and systems of the body. In addition, damage to the kidneys can lead to bone disorders such as steoporosis and osteosclerosis. Fatigue, impotence, joint and back pain, even ringing in the ears are all symptoms of degenerative kidney health.
For hundreds of years, Cordyceps has been prescribed as a kidney-strengthening herbal medicine, but until recently few Western doctors knew anything about it. In China, Cordyceps is one of the main ingredients in an herbal formula used for treatment of chronic kidney failure and other kidney diseases. Yet many doctors prescribe Cordyceps alone without other herbs or drugs. Extensive research has been conducted in China, Japan, Korea and U.S. that confirms the effectiveness of Cordyceps in treating kidney diseases. The potential of using Cordyceps for the treatment of kidney diseases comes from its ability to increase 17-hydroxy-corticosteroid and 17-ketosteroid levels.
Chronic Renal Failure
Chronic renal failure, or CRF, is a progressive kidney disease that can be caused by a number of other diseases. Patients suffering from CRF are not able to eliminate excess salt and water from their bodies. These cause extensive damage to all systems and organs of the body. Most cases result from diabetes, high blood pressure, and obstructions in the urinary tract. Atherosclerosis, cardiac arrest, depression, excess body weight, and a number of other disorders can also cause the disease.
In a clinical study of 37 CRF patients for treatment with a daily dosage of 5 grams of Cordyceps for 30 days, the results demonstrated significant improvements. Compared with the pre-treatment, here are the indications of the improvement.
In another similar clinical studies of CRF patients, researchers noted there was a great improvement in the rate of lymphocyte transformation (A low rate indicates poor immune function and is typically seen in chemotherapy patients and in people suffering from AIDS, lymphoma, burns and malnutrition) and improvement in T-lymphocyte cells (T-lymphocyte helps other immune cells protect the body).
Acute Kidney Failure
Acute kidney failure causes rapid deterioration of the kidneys, which impairs the ability to clear toxic substances from the blood. As a result, waste products such as urea accumulate in the blood. If it is treated before it damages the other organs, acute kidney failure has a 90% cure rate. Cordyceps can relieve acute kidney failure brought on by an adverse reaction to antibiotics such as aminoglycosides, gentamicin, kanamycin. In a controlled study of patients who had developed a condition called gentamicin kidney toxicity, which is the adverse reaction to the adminoglycoside gentamicin, half of the patients were given Cordyceps (4.5 grams per day) while taking gentamicin. By the sixth day, 89% of the Cordyceps group had made a complete clinical recovery from the toxicity of gentamicin. It was also reported that the time-to-recovery was also significantly shorter in the Cordyceps group when compared to the control group.
Berger’s disease is one of the most common form of a kidney disease called glomerulonephritis, which damages the basic filtering units of the kidneys. Berger’s disease is featured with constant deposits in the kidneys of a class of antibodies known as immunoglobilin (IgA). The deposits cause a constant cycle of deposits, inflammations and lesions. In about one-third of cases, it can take up to twenty-five years to develop. Signs associated with the disease include high blood pressure, a decrease in kidney function, and the presence of blood and high amounts of protein in the urine. It is estimated that about 10 to 40% of Berger’s disease will eventually develop end-stage kidney disease which requires a kidney transplant in order to survive.
A specialist in Taiwan Veterans General Hospital pioneered in using extracts from Cordyceps in treatment of Berger’s disease. It appears that Cordyceps extracts can alleviate the symptoms of Berger’s disease and prevent the disease from progressing to a more severe stage.
Research indicated that Cordyceps produces definite beneficial effects on the kidney. Cordyceps promote DNA synthesis in kidney cells, which indicates enhanced regeneration of damaged cells. The protection of kidney may be associated with an increase in a protein known as epidermal growth factor (EGF) as several groups of researchers have found that in acute kidney failure in animals, the administration of EGF speeded up the rate of recovery.
There are extensive researches on the bi-directional regulation of immune function in relation to Cordyceps, which is either up-regulated or down-regulated. It is amazing to note that when Cordyceps is given to patients suffering from an immune-deficient state, e.g. cancer, hepatitis or HIV infection, the number and activity of white cells increase. On the other hand, when Cordyceps is given to patients suffering from a hyper-immune state, e.g. Lupus, Lymphoma or Rheumatoid arthritis, the number and activity of white blood cells drop while the red blood cells increase in number.
Research shows that the greater the amount of Cordyceps taken, the more one can fight off bacterial and viral diseases. Cordyceps also enhances the natural antioxidant systems in the body.
Cordyceps exhibits one or more of those inhibitory and stimulatory functions in immune systems under different experimental conditions. Some of the immune effects observed, including the following Immunological Activities of Cordyceps
* Increase populations of helper T-cells, leukocytes and large lymphocytes
* Improved immune cell functions in chronic kidney failure patients
* Improved immune cell functions in chronic hepatitis B patients.
* Augments activity of human natural killer (NK) cells
* Stimulates immunoglobulins G and M
* Stimulates macrophage activity
* Enhances Gamma-interferon activity
* Increase interleukin-1 activity
* Stimulates NK cell activity
* Activates T-cells activity
* Activates T-cells and B-cells
* Anti-tumor activity
* Increase in the production of IFN
Kanazawa Medical University reported in experiment with mice that Cordyceps caused a dramatic increase in survival time with tumors. Dr. N. Yamaguchi at Kanazawa Medical University reported that Cordyceps stimulated two types of anti-body forming cells: immunoglobulines M and G. Deficiencies of immunoglobulin M are seen in people with extreme bacterial infections or with autoimmune diseases. Immunoglobulin G deficiencies are found in people who have autoimmune diseases or recurrent infections of the upper respiratory tract.
The Department of Immunology at Shanghai Medical University reported the in vitro activation of T-cells and B-cells by Cordyceps. A high level of interleukin-1 activity and of Gamma-interferon activity enhancement, which activate the major cells of the immune system, was reported. Researchers at the Sichuan Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine successfully isolated a polysaccharide from Cordyceps that had the effect of activating immune cells known as macrophages. Macrophages protect the body by "eating" foreign cells such as bacteria and virus. Macrophages are even capable of killing tumor cells. The polysaccharides can also stimulate lymphocytes, a vital group of infection-fighting white blood cells produced in lymphoid tissue. They can provide protection against damage caused by radiation and demonstrate anti-tumor activity. Cordyceps also augmented the activity of human natural killer (NK) cells and prevented NK cells decrease as well as reduced the formation of lung tumors. Researchers at Hunan Medical University concluded in their researches that Cordyceps could be used as an "immunopotentiating agent", both in the treatment of cancer and in patients with deficient immune systems.
As Cordyceps effectively augmented natural killer cell activity without toxicity to normal cells, it could be applied in the treatment of leukemia. Many studies now indicate that Cordyceps can help the body resist a wide range of pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses. Cordyceps is used in Asia to help treat fungus and yeast infections, and intensive research is being conducted at dozens of institutions in Japan and China relating to the potential of Cordyceps to treat cancer and HIV infection. Maintaining the immune system is one of the mechanisms that can slow down aging and prevent both degenerative and acquired diseases.
Cordyceps is traditionally used for treating respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary and congestive heart diseases, and tuberculosis. It can help to stop continual coughing, reduce phlegm, and cure illness of the diaphragm. It also uses to relieve bronchial inflammation and acts as an expectorant. The effectiveness of Cordyceps on lung protection comes from its ability to promote enhanced oxygen utilization efficacy. Researchers in animal trial experiments showed that mice treated with Cordyceps were able to survive up to 3 times longer than untreated under a limited oxygen environment.
Respiratory system includes the lungs, the bronchi, the tonsils, the larynx and all airways. It exchanges carbon dioxide and oxygen between a living organism and the environment.
About 25% of adults are affected by chronic bronchitis. The incidence of chronic bronchitis is particularly high if people work in dusty environments and they are over 40 years old. The chronic coughing in bronchitis is the result of an accumulation of lung secretions.
Cordyceps works on an immunological level in treating bronchitis by calming the hyper-responses of the respiratory immune system, which lead to inflammation and reduced airflow.
In a study for comparing the effectiveness for treating chronic bronchitis by using Cordyceps and Oleum viticis negundo (which is commonly used in China to treat coughs, colds, wheezing, and bronchitis. The result concluded that 21 patients from the Cordyceps found relief from their symptoms, and only 8 patients in the control group felt any improvement.
In a one month trial conducted by Jiangxi Medical College, it was reported that 90% of patients shown a significant increase in pulmonary function, experienced fewer bronchial spasms, coughing spells, and incidences of airway resistance. There were also significant increases in maximum breathing capacity and forced expiratory volume, or FEV1, tests (the test measures the amount of air that a patient can expel in one second).
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease features obstruction of the air passages caused by disorders such as emphysema and bronchitis. For patients with hyperactive airways, exposure to irritants can cause smooth-muscle constriction and excess production of mucus and swelling of the bronchial walls. When these spasms become recurrent, the condition becomes asthmatic bronchitis. Patients with asthmatic bronchitis cough al l the time and suffer from airway obstruction.
In one study for patients suffering from COPD with treatment of Cordyceps, all 35 patients had been hospitalized after acute symptoms of emphysema with persistent cough, excessive production of phlegm, pulmonary infections, grasping and hypoxia. After 21 days’ treatment, the level of antioxidant SOD increased by 35.7% which indicated that tissue repair and protective mechanisms had gone into higher gear. By the end of the study, all the patients showed a marked improvement in pulmonary signs of COPD, appetite and general physical problems including coughing, gasping and the production of phlegm.
Asthma refers to a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways, which results in their narrowing. An allergic reaction to dust and pollen, smoke, pollutants and other stimuli may cause the narrowing. The inflammatory nature of asthma is seen in recurring spells of wheezing, cough, tightness in the chest, and breathlessness. The disorder is brought about by various cells of the immune system that appear to have gone into overdrive and remain in a chronically activated state. Certain commonly used drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can also exacerbate the symptoms of asthma.
In one clinical study of Cordyceps conducted by Beijing Medical University, Cordyceps provided to be beneficial to asthma patients. All patients under this study had been treated unsuccessfully with antibiotics and other Western medications. It was reported that the total effective rate for the Cordyceps group was 81.3% measured by FEV1 scores within an average of 5 days’ treatment.
Researchers at Meiji Institute of Health Science in Japan in 1995 found that Cordyceps can inhibit tracheal muscle contractions and relax the airways of mice. This is particularly important to asthma patients as it allows for increased airflow to the lungs. Moreover, Cordyceps’ anti-inflammatory properties bring further relief to asthma patients whose airways become obstructed, due to an allergic reaction resulting in swelling of the bronchial pathways.
Cordyceps increases respiratory secretions to facilitate expectoration, while calming cough. Several clinical studies have confirmed its beneficial effects in patients with chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and cor pulmonale, with improvement of pulmonary function. In patients with a cough as an equivalent of asthma, Cordyceps provided better, faster relief.
What Are Arrhythmias?
The heart is a muscle that works like a pump. It is divided into four chambers — two atria at the top of the heart and two ventricles at the bottom. The heart beats (contracts) when an electrical impulse from the heart's "natural pacemaker" — the sinoatrial or SA node — moves through it. The normal sequence begins in the right atrium, spreads throughout the atria and to the atrioventricular (AV) node. From the AV node, the impulses (signals) travel down a group of specialized fibers (the His-Purkinje system) to all parts of the ventricles. This exact route must be followed for the heart to pump properly. As long as the electrical impulse is transmitted normally, the heart pumps and beats at a regular pace. A normal heart beats 60 to 100 times a minute.
The term arrhythmia refers to any change from the normal sequence of electrical impulses, causing abnormal heart rhythms. This can cause the heart to pump less effectively. Some arrhythmias are so brief (for example, a temporary pause or premature beat) that the overall heart rate or rhythm isn't greatly affected. But if arrhythmias last for some time, they may cause the heart rate to be too slow or too fast or the heart rhythm to be erratic.
In a simple term, cardiac arrhythmia is just a disturbed or abnormal heartbeat or rhythm. Currently over two million people in the United States are affected by the most common type of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation. About 65% of all arrhythmias are caused by hypertension, cardiac surgery, and coronary artery disease under older individual group. Individuals suffering from arrhythmia are at a higher risk for stroke, about 5 times more than the normal rate. In the United Stated alone, 15 to 20% of the strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation.
Major causes of arrhythmia listed by medical professional are : lack of oxygen, acute intoxication, hyperthyroidism, rheumatic valvular disease, artificial heart attacks, metabolic disorders and other heart-related disorders. Some medications such as cardiovascular agents, antipsychotic drugs, certain antidepressants and high doses of nicotine or caffeine can increase the risk of arrhythmias. It is obvious that more effective treatments and means of preventing arrhythmias are greatly required. Unfortunately, many of the modern drug therapies for arrhythmia carries with major risks including heart failure and even the worsening of certain kinds of arrhythmias.
Cordyceps and Arrhythmias
Cordyceps is an excellent choice for heart arrhythmias because it contains a substantial amount of adenosine, deoxyadenosine and related adenosine type nucleotides and nucleosides present. According to the research these compounds have a widespread effect on coronary and cerebral circulation. It is very unusual that a patient’s arrhythmia does not benefit from the treatment with Cordyceps. It becomes a must in China today to prescribe Cordyceps by Chinese physician for controlling arrhythmias because of its ability to stabilize the heart and correct heart arrhythmias.
Clinical Studies of Cordyceps on Arrhythmias
A clinical study conducted by the Department of Internal Medicine at Hunan Medical University in 1990 about using Cordyceps in the treatment of 37 arrhythmia patients. The results were encouraging with 19 patients were cured after 1 to 3 weeks treatment and the remaining patients showed positive improvement.
Another study of 200 patients with arrhythmia was conducted by Guangzhou Medical College in China. Patients took 1.5g of Cordyceps per day for a period of 2 weeks. An amazing result was reported showing 74.5 % of patients indicated improvements after treatment with Cordyceps.
In 1994, another clinical study involving 38 elderly patients with treatment of 3 grams of Cordyceps everyday for three months. Proved by electrocardiograms or ECGs, showed the following results:
Complete blockage of the right branch of cardiac nervous system
No of patients
A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 1994 to determine the effectiveness of Cordyceps in treating ventricular arrhythmia. An incredible result of more than 80% of patients in Cordyceps group partially or completely recovered, whereas only 10% of patients in the placebo group showed similar improvement.
Chronic Heart Failure
Chronic heart failure represents dysfunctional in the pumping action of the heart usually because the heart has been damaged in some way. So far we have yet to know the real causes of it. Because of its dysfunction, water and salt are retained in the body, which causes a reduction in cardiac performance. Consequently, fluid leaks into the lungs and or the lower part of the body, which causes edema, fatigue and difficulty in breathing. To compensate for these changes, the body retains fluids to help maintain pressure in the tissues. Eventually, the arteries become constricted, and this puts more of a burden on the heart, which then becomes arrhythmic.
For patients who have chronic heart failure and had at least one heart attack have a two to four times greater risk of dying from another heart attack. About one-third of patients die from circulatory failure, and approximately another one-third die suddenly.
In studies of the long-term administration of Cordyceps in combination with conventional treatments including digoxin, hydrochlorothiaside, depomine, and dobutamine for patients suffering from chronic heart failure, it is proven that the addition of Cordyceps with conventional medicine promoted an increase in the overall quality of life. Compared to control group, this treatment would improve general physical condition, mental health, sexual drive, and cardiac function.
Pulmonary Heart Disease
Pulmonary heart disease is a result of problems in the respiratory tract where healthy heart becomes impaired because of a persistent disorder of the lungs, bronchi or other respiratory organs.
It is not uncommon that we can find this disease in elderly patients who have repeatedly suffered from emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or bronchial asthma. When it reaches an acute stage where patients develop a bacterial infection in the respiratory tract as the result of catching a cold, the airways of the patients would be obstructed with phlegm for a long time. This leads to chronic deficiency of oxygen and increases the workload of the heart.
A study was recently conducted by the Department of Medicine at Shandong Provincial Hospital in China for the treatment of acute pulmonary heart disease in 50 patients. It seems that poor nutrition is one of the major reasons behind pulmonary heart disease. It is estimated that 90% of pulmonary heart disease patients are malnourished in one way or another. Malnutrition deceases patients’ immunity and exacerbates their heart condition because it weakens the respiratory muscles. Consequently, asthmatic symptoms, coughing, sleep disturbance, and an already poor mental state become more severe. In this study, the patients were randomly divided into two groups. One administrated with oxygen by way of a nasal tube and intravenous antibiotics for thirty days. The another group received the same treatments plus 1 gram of Cordyceps three times a day for 30 days. The researcher in the study concluded that Cordyceps group indicated much better than the control group with positive changes in patients’ heart and respiratory functions, productive cough, shortness of breath, mental state, and sleep.
Atherosclerosis is a result of formation of fatty deposits on the artery walls, which leads to their scarring, and finally to their thickening and hardening. Atherosclerosis is not an inevitable result of aging as its development is closely related to lifestyle and diet.
Atherosclerosis develops when excess fat is stored in the body. When the amount of fat in the blood reaches unhealthy level over time, the lining of the arteries may develop deposits of fibrous plaques. These are mainly lesions or abrasions in the artery wall formed from fatty deposits that attract various cells of the immune system. Once these cells begin to attach themselves to the plaque, they bore into the inner wall of the arteries where they alter the normal cellular makeup to the point that the smooth-muscle cells of the arteries start to push inward. This starts a cycle of abnormal cell migration and the further accumulation of fatty cells, especially LDL cholesterol.
The situation get worse when immune system cells such as macrophages attack the LDL cholesterol in the plaque with blasts of free-radical electrons that oxidize the fat deposits. Oxidation produces more free-radical electrons, which can further damage artery walls. Eventually, the accumulation of deposits enlarges the plaques. They can grow so large that they block the flow of blood to vital areas of the body, including the heart, brain, lower legs, and upper arms. In addition to droplets of cholesterol, the plaques attract immature immune cells and muscle cells that would normally have served to keep the arteries healthy and supple. In time, the plaques grow so hard that they become brittle and can break away and enter the bloodstream. This leaves a hole in the artery wall, which can result in hemorrhaging and sudden death.
Atherosclerosis and Hypercholesterolemia
Hypercholesterolemia is not considered as a disease in its own right, but it is a good indicator of dysfunction of the metabolism and an indicator of increased cardiovascular risk. Researchers have yet discovered the mechanism by which cholesterol and all blood lipids become out of balance. As liver is the main organ for both cholesterol production and elimination, it is likely that any disorders of the liver may affect the blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. It is well known fact the diabetes can lead to hyperlipidemia. While we know that dietary fats can influence the amounts of lipids in the blood, but latest research showed that dietary fat consumption is not as great a factor in hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia as was once thought.
Cordyceps has been proven to be a powerful cholesterol-lowering agent. However, researchers have yet unlocked it causative mechanism, whether it is due to lipid balancing effect via blood sugar stabilization, or enhancing liver function. However, there are mounting researches in both human and animal studies on using Cordyceps in cholesterol and triglyceride reduction and an increase in ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol.
In a large study of Cordyceps for the treatment of high cholesterol (excluding those patients whose high cholesterol resulted from diabetes mellitus, liver and liver-related diseases, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism) involving 273 patients at nine hospitals in China, patients received 1 gram of Cordyceps three times a day. After 4 to 8 weeks, it was found that their cholesterol levels had dropped by an average of over 17%.
Cordyceps is also used for treatment of a type of hyperlipidemia (high level of fat in the blood) that resists treatment by other agents. In a clinical trials with two placebo-controlled groups, Cordyceps reduced age-related oxidation of fats in patients aged 60 and 84. After taking Cordyceps, the patients’ red blood cells had shown significantly higher levels of one of the body’s natural antioxidants, an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, or SOD. It is amazing to note that the SOD levels of the patients after taking Cordyceps increased to a level comparable to a group of young people aged 17 to 20.
Cordyceps helps prevent atherosclerosis by decreasing the number of platelets that can get caught in the plaques. It reduces the viscosity, or stickiness, of the blood. In a clinical study relating to coronar heart disease patients who was administrated with 3 grams of Cordyceps a day for three months showed a significantly decrease in blood viscosity and a drop in total cholesterol of 21%. In combination with changes in diet and exercise, Cordyceps has proven to be a highly effective agent in lowering cholesterol. We now realize that atherosclerosis can be prevented and, perhaps more importantly, it can be reversed.
Liver stores and filters the blood, and it secretes the bile necessary for breaking down fats into very small, easily digestible units. The liver is the main site of fat synthesis and the source of cholesterol, of which about 30% is synthesized by the liver. The liver is also the source of blood glucose. It converts sugars into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and in the muscles. Glycogen is turned into glucose and distributed to meet the body’s energy requirements. Dietary sugars are either stored in the form of glycogen or turned into fatty acids, most of which are secreted by the liver in forms known as triglycerides, which are stored into our fatty tissues.
The liver is the only source of many of our plasma proteins and the main sites where external and internal chemicals undergo transformation. Through transformative processes, it inactivates or detoxifies chemicals such as steroid hormones, toxins, and drugs before the body uses them.
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Cirrhosis is a degenerative disease of the liver in which healthy cells that are damaged by other problems such as hepatitis or excessive alcohol consumption are replaced by scar tissue. Even the cirrhosis cannot be cued or reversed, but its process can be slowed or even stopped. Cirrhosis patients have 100 times the normal risk of developing liver cancer, and about 30% eventually die from liver complications such as liver cancer or chronic active hepatitis.
A study by Japanese and Chinese researchers concluded that one of the main effects of taking Cordyceps on a repeated basis might be a higher metabolic state of the liver. Cordyceps helps the liver regenerate by activating the cells of the liver. This in turn boosts concentrations of an essential enzyme.
In 1986, Cordyceps was tested in 22 patients with post hepatitis cirrhosis. Patients took 6 to 9 grams of Cordyceps every day for 3 months, and by end of the study, their symptoms had improved dramatically. Cirrhotic cells had disappeared in fifteen patients, and had decreased significantly in another six patients.
According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that there are more than 350 million people in the world infected with hepatitis B this number will soon reach 400 million. In most cases, hepatitis B is contracted from sexual contact and exposure to infected blood or needles. It is a major cause of liver cancer, cirrhosis, and chronic hepatitis. It is estimated that over 8% of the population in the world are chronic carriers of the virus, and over 50% of the population will become infected during their lifetime. In the United States, about 1.25 millions people are suffering from hepatitis B.
One of the biggest problem with hepatitis B is that even if the immune system is able to destroy infected cells and stop the virus from replicating, certain immune cells, known as cytotoxic T lymphocytes, may act against the virus without destroying infected cells in the liver. The main treatment for hepatitis B is an immunostimulating drug alpha-interferon. However, it is only effective in about 30% of cases, and it is very expensive.
In one study by using Cordyceps in helping treatment of hepatitis B, 83 patients, who were carriers of the hepatitis B virus, but without symptoms of the infection, were treated with Cordyceps for 3 months. A complete conversion of antibodies to the virus were found in 33 of the test subjects, which indicates that the infection had been completely resolved and the virus was no longer contagious. In another study with 32 patients with hepatitis B, with 3 months administration of 3.75 grams of Cordyceps a day, positive antibodies to the virus changed to negative in 21 patients, and tests showed liver function had improved or recovered completely in as many as 23 patients out of the 32 patients.
Another study was conducted in China in 1994 for comparing the effectiveness of treating hepatitis B and post hepatic cirrhosis between Cordyceps and Ganoderma applanatum (a type of Reishi). In this study a significant clinical response was seen in 68% of the Cordyceps patients and in 57% of the Ganoderma patients.
Diabetes is an immune-system disorder in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high, either because the body doesn’t produce insulin or because the body isn’t able to use insulin effectively. Some environmental factors like, chemicals, viruses, poor nutrition may trigger immune system cells that target beta cells in the pancreas (these cells are responsible for production of insulin in human body). Subsequently, an autoimmune reaction happens with a message going into the immune system to capture beta cells, dead or alive. Macrophages and helper T cells also attack the beta cells causing the body to be unable to regulate the build up of sugar in the bloodstream.
Diabetes has been classified into two main types (Type 1 and Type 2). Patients with Type 1 diabetes have to depend on the use of insulin for life. It usually begins early in life and is caused when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. It is estimated that Type 1 Diabetes accounts for 10% of all people who have the disease. Type 2 accounts for the other 90%. In the United States alone, there is more than 25 million people suffering from this disease. In the world, the number of diabetics is estimated to be more than 350 million. According to survey, it seems that alcoholism is closely related to diabetes where alcoholics tend to have much higher rate of diabetes and hypoglycemia than the average number in society as a whole. Type 2 Diabetes is caused by the development of cellular resistance to the action of insulin (insulin desensitization). Some researchers argue that it is caused by over consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrate over long period of time. While no definite conclusion can be drawn about the cause and effect relationship, there is enough evidence to suggest that over-consumption of refined carbohydrates will cause a state of chronic hyperinsulinemia in the body, which in turn causes the loss of insulin sensitivity at the cellular level.
Research in China and Japan reported Cordyceps as a significant sugar-lowing, or hypoglycemic effects from sugars isolated from Cordyceps, known as polysaccharides. In 1995, a group of researchers in China arranged a clinical trial with 42 diabetics by using Cordyceps (3 grams a day) under a controlled group environment. An incredible result of 95% patients indicated improvement for proteinuria test (test for the urinary excretion of proteins) with only half of the patients in the Cordyceps group showed any proteinuria after treatment.
Researcher has showed in animal trial experiments where Cordyceps can improve blood glucose metabolism by increasing livers’ output of the glucose regulating enzymes glucokinase and hexokinase, and increase insulin sensitivity.
It is a well-known fact that many more patients die of opportunistic infections during chemotherapy than ever die of the cancer itself. In the last twenty years, there are many human clinical trials for the effectiveness of Cordyceps on preventive effect from chemo and radiation therapy on a double blind placebo-controlled basis with encouraging results. Nowadays, vast majority of cancer patients in Japan, Korea and China are taking Cordyceps while taking conventional treatment. Research has showed that polysaccharide immunomodulators derived from Cordyceps reduces the severity and duration of side effects associated with Chemo and Radiation therapy.
The major concern of chemotherapy treatment for cancer is its toxic destruction of the patient’s immune system. That is the reason why the white blood cell count of the cancer patient is to be carefully monitored during chemotherapy. Dosage and schedule of treatment have to be adjusted to ensure sufficient time is given for patients to recover from the toxic destruction of the immune system. The basic idea of chemotherapy is to introduce a toxic compound into the body in order to kill off the tumor cells faster than it kills off the healthy cells. However, it is very likely that the white cells die off much faster than other healthy tissue cells leading to an immune-deficient state. The reduction in chemo and radiation side effect through administration of Cordyceps in order to maintain of a stronger immune function. Indirectly, this can increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy by increasing the dosage and frequency of treatment.
Cancer is a complex immune-associated disease that can affect any organ or system of the body. It is caused by uncontrolled cell growth resulting from a genetic defect or cellular damage due to radiation or toxins in the environment. Unfortunately, treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy can be as debilitating to the patient as the cancer itself.
Several cases of lung carcinoma treated with Cordyceps were reported to have shown significant improvements. In one study of 50 patients with lung cancer who took Cordyceps at 6 grams per day in conjunction with chemotherapy, size of tumors were reduced by 46% at end of the study. Another clinical study of patients with several different types of tumors, the symptoms in the majority of patients improved after two months administration of 6 grams of Cordyceps per day. It was reported that white blood cell counts were kept high while tumor size was significantly reduced in approximately half of the patients.
Laboratory tests have shown that Cordyceps has anti-immunosuppressive and immunopotentiating influences. This means that Cordyceps seems to have increased the responsiveness of the immune system and counteracted the immune system-suppressing effects of cancer. Furthermore, Cordyceps has shown bone marrow-protective and antileukemic activities. Other tests have demonstrated that Cordyceps can inhibit the growth of a wide range of tumors such as lymphomas, melanomas, and sarcomas. Cordyceps can also counteract the immunosuppressing effects of agents such as cortisone, prednisolone, and others.
Researchers in the National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine discovered two elements in Cordyceps that inhibit growth of tumors. When they exposed tumor cells to these inhibitors, there was a significant decrease in the growth rates of different cancer cells: (1) a type of red blood leukemia cell, (2) kidney tumor cell, (3) lung cancer cells, (4) skin tumor cells. As contrary to what the researchers expect, there was no cell destructive action noted in the process. Instead, Cordyceps acted by inhibiting the production of DNA in the tumor cells, which effectively stopped the cells from growing.
Mechanisms of anti-tumor action by Cordyceps
It is well accepted by researchers that fungal derived polysaccharides exerts a significant potentiation of immune function. Among the multiple polysaccharides produced by Cordyceps, beta-d-glucans are one class of polymers that have been seen to increase both innate and cell-mediated immune response. These polysaccharides increase the production of such cytokines as TNF-a, interleukins, and interferons, NO, and antibodies by the activated immune cells.
Another mechanism of anti-tumor is related to the altered nucleosides found in Cordyceps – Cordycepin [3’ deoxyadenosine]. This is a molecule almost identical to normal adenosine, with the exception that it is lacking an oxygen atom on the ribose portion of the molecule at the 3’ position. The structure of DNA depends on the oxygen to create the bond between adjacent nucleosides. This bond is between the 3’ and 5’ positions on the ribose portion of the nucleosides, effectively forming the ‘ladder structure’ that holds the DNA together. The replication of the new DNA molecule stops when a 3’ deoxyadenosine (Cordycepin) molecule is pulled in as no oxygen present at the vital position to form the 3’ and 5’ bond. Eventually, the DNA synthesis stops, the cell cannot continue to divide and no new cell is formed. The termination of DNA synthesis is of little value to healthy cells as healthy cells have an inherent DNA repair mechanism where as cancer cells have lost the DNA repair mechanism. (If cells can correct their DNA errors, they would not be cancer cells). Most bacteria and all viruses (including the HIV virus) lack this DNA repair mechanism. It is astounding to see the rate cancer cells replicate. For example, normal healthy breast tissue cells have an average life span of about 10 days, after that a new cell is replicated and formed. However, breast cancer cells multiply on average of 20 minutes, that means breast cancer cells are replicating about 750 times faster than the surrounding healthy issues. Since Cordycepin does not interfere with the healthy cell replication, it interrupts the DNA synthesis of the cancer cells, and thus kill the tumor-cell.
Fatigue is characterized by a temporary reduction in energy following a period of prolonged activity, stimulation, or illness. It can be mental or physical exhaustion. It can be repetitive work for a prolonged periods leading to a state of tiredness. However, patients suffering from fatigue may not recover even after plenty of rest.
One study indicated that patients with severe chronic fatigue were disabled in areas of vitality, social functioning, and the ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Symptoms of chronic fatigues include the following:
One good indicator of the effectiveness of Cordyceps in curing chronic fatigue is its use by Chinese athletes as a sport supplement for post-exercise recovery purpose. In fact, it is a common sport supplement for athletes in the United States. It is also a common herb for people living in the high mountains as it gives them energy and cure the symptoms of altitude sickness. Cordyceps is also used by most high altitude mountain climbers on a regular basis.