Discover the health benefits of cordyceps and side effects.
Benefits of cordyceps and the side effects they can cause if taken wrongly, as it is a highly prized fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine.
It is also used to treat inflammation and skin impurities and to enhance athletic performance and the immune system.
Recently, the adaptogenic mushroom has been a trend in the wellness and fitness community. Read on to find out how to use it for everyday wellness and the health benefits of cordyceps :
What is cordyceps?
There are over 400 species of cordyceps, but one of them is supreme for its medicinal properties.
Scientifically known as Ophiocordyceps sinensis, this type of cordyceps has gained the colloquial name “Caterpillar fungus” because it is a parasitic fungus normally collected from caterpillar larvae.
With its long, finger-like body and orange color, the wild mushroom looks like something you would see diving.
And while it can be collected and made into a supplemental powder or pill, most cordyceps we see in the pharmacy don’t come from the floor, they come from the laboratory.
Benefits of cordyceps
While more research is needed to conclusively prove the benefits of cordyceps, preliminary research on the mushroom has shown promise. Here are five of its most popular benefits.
1. Improves athletic performance:
The benefits of cordyceps are best known for their ability to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which our bodies use for energy.
It gives muscles more energy to use during exercise and therefore can improve performance during exercise.
A small study published in china on the many benefits of cordyceps suggests this is true.
The researchers divided the participants into two groups, those who received 3 grams of cordyceps per day and those who received a placebo.
After 60 days, while those taking the placebo saw no change, those taking cordyceps increased their VO2 max, a measure used to establish athletic endurance – by 7%.
And good news, if you enjoy pushing yourself during HIT or CrossFit, a study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplement also found that cordyceps can improve performance during high-intensity exercise.
2. Reduces signs of aging:
The fungi can not be a super modern addition to routine skin care or beauty, but because of its high content of antioxidants, the benefits of cordyceps are effective.
Antioxidants help protect our bodies from harmful compounds called free radicals, which accelerate the aging process.
The use of cordyceps increases your intake of antioxidants, which has been linked to anti-aging and improved hair, skin, and nail health.
3. Benefits of cordyceps for diabetes
It sounds strange, but one of the benefits of cordyceps is that it can help manage diabetes. Cordyceps is thought to mimic insulin, the hormone that manages blood sugar levels. Therefore, it can keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
In addition, by balancing blood sugar levels, cordyceps supplements can help reduce sugar cravings and therefore support healthy eating and weight loss.
4. Contains anti-inflammatory properties:
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to anything it interprets as irritating or harmful to the body.
While some inflammation is good, excess over long periods can lead to inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
The benefits of cordyceps, however, are thought to reduce inflammation. Cordyceps reduces the expression of inflammatory genes and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF, IL8, and COX2. Less systemic inflammation and therefore reduced risk of chronic inflammatory diseases.
5. Helps in heart health:
In China, cordyceps is an approved treatment for cardiac arrhythmia, a condition marked by an irregular pattern of heartbeats.
Its anti-inflammatory properties are believed to be beneficial to people dealing with heart disease because heart disease is a chronic inflammatory infection.
Side effects of Cordyceps
The benefits of cordyceps are safe, but given its long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, it is safe to assume that cordyceps is generally well tolerated by humans as long as it is from a high-quality source.
However, as it can interact with certain prescription drugs, it is best to consult your doctor before adding cordyceps to your routine.
This supplement is not recommended for pregnant women or people with autoimmune problems.
The most common side effect is digestive discomfort. Therefore, if you experience bloating, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps, stop taking it.
How to buy and take cordyceps:
Capsules and teas, you can find cordyceps in various forms. Most cordyceps supplements are not FDA approved. It is important to look at the label and ensure they have been third-party tested.
Powdered supplements can be blended into smoothies, coffee, cookies, and more. Generally, the recommended amount per serving is 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams per day.
We suggest taking it consistently for a few weeks before determining whether it’s working or not because adaptogens need to build up in the system before you notice an effect.