Cordyceps Health Benefits
Cordyceps health benefits include an ability to raise testosterone levels and affect sexual function as well as benefits for treatment of erectile dysfunction. Caterpillar larvae are the source of cordyceps, which is a type of fungus that grows on the insect.
Cordyceps has a long history of use for a range of conditions, including sexual dysfunction, high cholesterol, fatigue, cough, immune system enhancement, and hepatitis. At least two recent studies have explored the potential advantages of cordyceps in prostate health.
Cordyceps and Prostate Health
Some research has explored how cordyceps health benefits might extend to prostate cancer, but the studies are preliminary. In one study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the scientists looked at how extracts of constituents of cordyceps had anti-inflammatory activity and also an impact on prostate cancer cell lines. The scientists concluded that their findings provided evidence to support further research into the use of cordyceps as an anti-cancer agent.
A subsequent article appeared in the International Journal of Oncology. The investigators found that a major active ingredient in cordyceps, called cordycepin, has an ability to inhibit the movement and invasion of certain prostate cancer cells. This is an important finding regarding cordyceps healt benefits and its potential as an anti-cancer agent.
Several studies demonstrated that cordyceps raised testosterone levels in mice or mouse cells, but no human studies have been done. In a subsequent study, cordyceps militaris supplements were administered to 60 rats for six weeks. Thirty additional rats served as controls. At the end of the study, rats that had received cordyceps had significantly higher sperm counts that were maintained for two weeks after stopping treatment. The cordyceps-treated rats also had increases in both testosterone and estradiol-17 compared with control rats, as well as significantly enhanced sperm quality.
A study at Peking University explored the antiaging effect of cordyceps sinensis extract in rats. One of the factors the scientists investigated was sexual function. Use of cordyceps sinensis extract appeared to promote sexual function in castrated rats.
Other Cordyceps Health Benefits
A number of studies have suggested cordyceps may improve performance, endurance, and stamina among athletes, although not all studies have been positive. Cordyceps health benefits may also apply to renal (kidney) problems, as research indicates that cordyceps extracts may help fight renal fibrosis. Scientific studies to support these and other cordyceps health benefits claims are lacking, however.
Taking Cordyceps Supplements
Cordyceps supplements are available standardized to 0.1% adenosine. No recommended dose has been established, but 1,500 mg daily is typical. When you purchase a cordyceps supplement, the product contains both the larvae and the fungus. Consult a physician before taking cordyceps supplements.