Cordyceps sinensis, Tibetan gold
Cordyceps sinensis health benefits
Cordyceps sinensis, a medicinal parasitic fungus that grows in the high altitudes of the Tibetan plateau (Tibet, Qinghai, West-Sichuan, SW-Gansu & NW Yunnan) and the Himalayas, also known as DONG CHONG XIA JAO in Chinese, has been commonly used as herbal medicine and a health supplement in China for over two thousand years , however it wasn't until recently that the increadibly high demand for this new traditional herbal medicine increased its price up to a level that it's difficult to believe nowadays. The price per gram payed for Cordyceps sinensis have reached amounts that double the price per gram of that payed for precious metals as gold, something that has indoubtebly forced local rural economies to move towards this new form of income. Image left: Cordyceps sinensis by kohei yamada under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
But there is something that makes this parasitic fungus diferent from others, the way it propagates. Cordyceps sinensis uses its spores to propagate, something that doesn't particularly make it any different from other types of fungi, however in the case of Cordyceps sinensis, known locally by Tibetans as yartsa gunbu or yatsa gunbu , this propagation occurs when the larva of the ghost moth from the Thitarodes genus is infected by the spores of Cordyceps sinensis, then kills the larva and mummifies the insect, growing then from the head of this one upwards to reach the light and continue its live cicle. The new cordyceps will then produce more spores that will infect other larva of the ghost moth and so on.
In spite not all its medicinal properties have been scientifically demonstrated, some others, as its benefits in immunoregulation and anti-inflammation , have indeed some scientific support that have consolidated the believe that Cordyceps sinensis contains some active compounds that are responsible for this beneficial properties. But which active constituents are responsible for such incredible properties and health benefits? Image left: 2007-05-07 13:38 Rafti Institute 1905×1692× (1023695 bytes) Cordyceps sinensis choice specimens, mostly whole. Created by William Rafti of the William Rafti Institute under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.
Some studies performed in order to understand better which active constituents found in Cordyceps sinensis were responsible for this properties, it was found that polysaccharides extracted from the mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis, indicated that Cordyceps sinensis enhanced TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha or TNF-α) production to the highest extent .
Structural analyses demonstrated that it is a 1,3-beta-D-glucan contained some 1,6-branched chains and the mean particle diameter is 1.5 mum . Image right: Cordyceps sinensis by kohei yamada under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
As we already saw in the article about TNF on bananas, Tumor Necrosis Factor primary role is the regulation of immune cells, but it is also able to induce fever, apoptotic cell death (natural cell death), sepsis, cachexia, inflammation, and to inhibit tumorigenesis and viral replication , something that may explain some of the claimed properties exerted by Cordyceps sinensis.
These cell wall polysaccharides from Cordyceps sinensis, obtained from samples of its mycelia (the vegetative part of the fungus), showed that cordyglucans were the unique component, and cordyglucans were found to exhibit potent antitumor activity .
Cordymin, a peptide purified from the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps sinensis, showed potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties  that have a neuroprotective effect in the ischemic brain .
CORDYCEPS SINENSIS AND BREAST CANCER
As part of a blend of several medicinal fungi from the species Agaricus blazei, Cordyceps sinensis, Coriolus versicolor, Ganoderma lucidum, Grifola frondosa and Polyporus umbellatus , Cordyceps sinensis was able to suppresses the metastatic behavior of MDA-MB-231 by the inhibition of cell adhesion, cell migration and cell invasion .
PAECILOMYCES HEPIALI AND LUNG ADENOCARCINOMA
Paecilomyces hepiali is a derivative of Cordyceps sinensis has shown to have anti-cancer and pro-apoptotic effects in vitro treatment with an aqueous extract from Paecilomyces hepiali limits cell proliferation, induces apoptosis, and causes cell cycle arrest of A549 cells; this suggests that it may have potential as a therapy for lung adenocarcinoma .
CORDYCEPS SINENSIS AND LIVER FUNCTION
In a study performed on Xinganbao Capsule (Cordyceps sinensis), it was demonstrated that it could improve the liver function, reduce liver inflammation, and fight against hepatic fibrosis .
CORDYCEPS SINENSIS AND DIABETES TYPE 2
Diabetes mellitus is the most common chronic disease in the world, and Chinese traditional medicine has been treating it with different herbs and other tools as Cordyceps sinensis. At least one study performed on this subject showed that Cordyceps sinensis extract can potentially preserve β-cell function and offer renoprotection, which may afford a promising therapy for Diabetes mellitus .
 Gene Expression Profiling of Dendritic Cells in Different Physiological Stages under Cordyceps sinensis Treatment.
Li CY, Chiang CS, Cheng WC, Wang SC, Cheng HT, Chen CR, Shu WY, Tsai ML, Hseu RS, Chang CW, Huang CY, Fang SH, Hsu IC.
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
 Maturation of Cordyceps sinensis associates with alterations of fungal expressions of multiple Ophiocordyceps sinensis mutants in stroma of Cordyceps sinensis].
[Article in Chinese]
Gao L, Li XH, Zhao JQ, Lu JH, Zhao JG, Zhu JS.
Pharmanex Beijing Clinical Pharmacology Center, Beijing 100088, China.
 [Clinical research of xinganbao capsule on the treatment of chronic hepatitis B liver fibrosis].
[Article in Chinese]
Wang XB, Jiang YY, Zhao CY.
Department of Integrative Medicine, Beijing Ditan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100015.
 [Effects of Cordyceps Sinensis and Tipterygium wilfordii Polyglycosidium on the podocytes in rats with diabetic nephropathy].
[Article in Chinese]
Hao L, Pan MS, Zheng Y.
Department of Nephrology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei (230601).
 Evidence That Naturopathic Therapy Including Cordyceps sinensis Prolongs Survival of Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Niwa Y, Matsuura H, Murakami M, Sato J, Hirai K, Sumi H.
Niwa Institute for Immunology and Tosashimizu Hospital, Tosashimizu, Japan.
 Novel medicinal mushroom blend suppresses growth and invasiveness of human breast cancer cells.
Jiang J, Sliva D.
Cancer Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.
 Structural analysis of monocyte activation constituents in cultured mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis.
Akaki J, Matsui Y, Kojima H, Nakajima S, Kamei K, Tamesada M.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., R&D Company, 1-30-3 Toyokawa, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0057, Japan.
 Wikipedia article on Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF).
 Structural analysis of a neutral (1-->3),(1-->4)-beta-D-glucan from the mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis.
Wu Y, Sun C, Pan Y.
Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, People's Republic of China.
 Wikipedia article on Ophiocordyceps sinensis
 Structure analysis and antitumor activity of (1-->3)-beta-d-glucans (cordyglucans) from the mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis.
Yalin W, Ishurd O, Cuirong S, Yuanjiang P.
Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, PR China.
 Structure and antitumor activity of an alkali-soluble polysaccharide from Cordyceps ophioglossoides.
Yamada H, Kawaguchi N, Ohmori T, Takeshita Y, Taneya S, Miyazaki T.
 Effects of Extract from Solid-State Fermented Cordyceps sinensis on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Kan WC, Wang HY, Chien CC, Li SL, Chen YC, Chang LH, Cheng CH, Tsai WC, Hwang JC, Su SB, Huang LH, Chuu JJ.
Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan
 Highly efficient synthesis and antitumor activity of monosaccharide saponins mimicking components of Chinese folk medicine Cordyceps sinensis.
Zhu ZY, Yao Q, Liu Y, Si CL, Chen J, Liu N, Lian HY, Ding LN, Zhang YM.
Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Ministry of Education, College of Food Science and Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, 300457, China.
 Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of cordymin, a peptide purified from the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps sinensis.
Qian GM, Pan GF, Guo JY.
Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Zhejiang Pharmaceutical College , Ningbo 315100 , People's Republic of China.
 Anti-inflammation and antioxidant effect of Cordymin, a peptide purified from the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps sinensis, in middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced focal cerebral ischemia in rats.
Wang J, Liu YM, Cao W, Yao KW, Liu ZQ, Guo JY.
Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
- Tags: 1, 3-beta-D-glucan, A549, AGARICUS BLAZEI, ANTI-CANCER, BREAST CANCER, BUY CORDYCEPS SINENSIS, CANCER, CARTERPILLAR FUNGI, CATERPILLAR FUNGI, CATERPILLAR FUNGUS, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS BENEFITS, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS CS-4, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS CS-4 MUSHROOM MYCELIA, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS EXTRACT, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS HYPHAS, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS MUSHROOM, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS MYCELIUM, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS SIDE EFFECTS, CORDYCEPS SINENSIS SUPPLIERS, CORIOLUS VERSICOLOR, DONG CHONG XIA CAO JIAO, DONG CHONG XIA CAO JIAO NANG, DONG CHONG XIA JAO, FUNGI, GANODERMA LUCIDUM, GRIFOLA FRONDOSA, LUNG ADENOCARCINOMA, LUNG CANCER, MDA-MB-231, OPHIOCORDYCEPS SINENSIS, PAECILOMYCES HEPIALI, POLYPORUS UMBELLATUS, polysaccharides, XINGANBAO CAPSULE, YARSAGUMBA CORDYCEPS SINENSIS, YARTSA GUNBU, YARTSA GUNBU CAPSULES, 冬虫夏草, 冬虫夏草のイラスト衝動買いした。, 冬蟲草, 菌類のふしぎ展。, 董莊曹霞焦