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Are Cordyceps Good for You?


Eastern medicine has for a long time touted the massive and widespread benefits of the cordyceps mushroom, and this sentiment is now growing in the Western world as well.

Many people wonder whether or not cordyceps are good and if they have health benefits. When it comes to the question “are cordyceps good for you?”,  the answer is a definite yes, and this applies to both your mind and body.

As you’ll see below, there is a rich collection of literature and scientific evidence that strongly indicates that cordyceps have a plethora of health benefits. Let’s find out exactly what cordyceps are and why they’re one of the best natural health foods that you’ll ever come across.


Key Takeaways

  • Cordyceps have for centuries been used in Eastern medicine, as they are believed to have great physical and mental health benefits.
  • Cordyceps are good for you, as they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, anti-aging and anti-tumor potential, they may lower blood sugar levels, aid in cognition, protect the heart, and more.
  • Between three and six grams of cordyceps is recommended per day to start seeing any potential benefits.


Cordyceps 101

Cordyceps is a type of parasitic fungus that grows naturally on the larvae of some insects. The fungus is collected, dried, and used to treat various medical conditions.

Traditional Chinese medicine has used this type of mushroom for centuries. Now, supplements containing cordyceps are becoming increasingly popular in the West due to the potential health benefits they may provide. That said, we must emphasize that the effects of cordyceps are quite complex since they can work differently for each individual.


Are Cordyceps Psychedelic?

Short answer, no. Although cordyceps carry a range of effects, they do not cause any kind of psychedelic or hallucinogenic effects, as they do not contain psilocybin or any other psychoactive compounds.


Are Cordyceps Good For You? - The Potential Health Benefits of Cordyceps

From being anti-inflammatory and helping with weight loss goals, to possible anti-aging effects, increased brain health and cognitive function, and more, it would appear that cordyceps are one of the best natural health foods out there! Let’s take a closer look to see why.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

One of the reasons why cordyceps are thought to be beneficial is because of their anti-inflammatory effects. There is a wide range of research, which strongly indicate that cordyceps have anti-inflammatory effects.

Specifically, when cells in human beings are exposed to cordyceps, the proteins that cause inflammation become suppressed.

Inflammation can affect many parts of the body, from your bones and joints to your skin and more. For instance, there are indications that cordyceps may be able to reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis, specifically rheumatoid arthritis.

There is also further evidence that shows that cordyceps can reduce inflammation in the airways, having been explored as a treatment for respiratory illnesses, although this was an animal trial. Another study performed on mice indicated that cordyceps may also be able to act as a topical agent to reduce skin inflammation.

Cardiovascular Health Benefits

Another body of research examines the link between cordyceps and heart health, with indications pointing towards a great potential to maintain the health of your cardiovascular system. 

For instance, cordyceps contain a substance known as adenosine, and this is known for having heart-protective benefits. Adenosine itself has the ability to slow the heart rhythm while also decreasing blood pressure, both of which may be beneficial.

It doesn’t end there though, because research shows that cordyceps also help to decrease LDL or bad cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for heart health as well. High levels of LDL cholesterol are linked to heart disease and stroke, which means that consuming cordyceps to lower LDL directly benefits your heart.

Simultaneously, cordyceps can also decrease triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood, with high levels being linked to heart disease. What it comes down to is that cordyceps can indeed help protect your heart and overall cardiovascular system.

Cordyceps and Weight Loss

Cordyceps also show great potential on the front of maintaining a healthy weight. Starting with blood sugar, if you have too much of it, glucose, and your body cannot properly process it, that glucose gets stored in your tissues as fat, and this can lead to weight gain. Therefore, if cordyceps help to lower blood sugar levels, they should also make it easier for you to lose weight and to keep it off.

However, cordyceps also have other benefits as far as weight management is concerned. For instance, cordyceps are shown to reduce adipogenesis and fat deposition in the body, meaning that much less of the food you eat turns into fatty tissue that is stored in the body.

At the same time, cordyceps may also regulate your gut microbiotaimproving nutrient acquisition and energy regulation, while also potentially improving your metabolism or the rate at which your body burns calories. Cordyceps can also lead to something known as fat oxidation, which is when your body converts fat into energy. There are indeed studies that confirm that cordyceps have this potential.

Potential Anti-Aging Properties – Antioxidants

There are plenty of studies out there which show that cordyceps increase the overall antioxidant levels found in the body (in mice), which in these studies specifically, helps to improve both the sexual function and memory in these mice.

The reason for this is because agents known as free radicals, very unstable molecules that often interact negatively with DNA, proteins, and lipids, causing great damage to the human body. However, cordyceps and the antioxidants they contain may be able to neutralize these free radicals, therefore preventing such damage from occurring, and ultimately may be able to combat the signs of aging.

Boosting Exercise Performance

Something else that stands out as far as cordyceps are concerned is that they have the potential to improve your physical performance, something that athletes should want to take advantage of. The main reason for this is because of the way that cordyceps affect ATP or adenosine triphosphate levels.

ATP is crucial for protein synthesis and other muscle functions. To be specific, when you exercise, your lungs pull oxygen into your body, which travels to your muscles, and causes glucose to convert into ATP.

Therefore, the more ATP you have, the more protein synthesis your body can engage in, ultimately resulting in greater physical performance and bigger muscle growth benefits. To link this back to cordyceps, they are shown to increase VO2 max, which is the level of oxygen found in the blood.

If cordyceps increase blood oxygen levels, and oxygen is required to turn glucose into ATP, and ATP is responsible for muscle growth and performance, then it serves to reason that cordyceps can directly benefit the amount and intensity of physical output that you are capable of.

Acting as Immunity Boosters

Yet another physical health benefit of cordyceps has to do with their potential to boost the overall function of your immune system. There is research that indicates that cordyceps can increase the function and responsiveness of the immune system against various pathogens and invaders.

There are many types of cells and chemicals that make up the immune system, and cordyceps may stimulate these, mainly lymphocytes, immunoglobulins, and antiapoptotic proteins.

Furthermore, cordyceps may stimulate both innate and adaptive immunity, with the former being your body’s response to any general pathogen, and the latter being your body’s response to specific pathogens.

Cordyceps for Brain Health and Cognitive Function

Although we already touched on this above in the section on anti-aging benefits, it is worth noting that cordyceps have the potential to increase your cognitive function.

There are studies that show that cordyceps can lead to both improved learning and memory. Although more research is needed, cordyceps may also improve mental clarity while reducing fatigue.


Are Cordyceps Safe to Eat?

Currently, there are no specific studies looking at the safety of cordyceps in humans. But a long tradition of cordyceps in traditional Chinese medicine suggests that this type of fungus is not toxic or dangerous for human consumption. 

Although cordyceps consumption is generally safe, user reports suggest it may cause nausea, upset stomach, or dry mouth in some people.

There also appears to be a contraindication to taking cordyceps for people suffering from bleeding disorders, diabetes, and cancer. Pregnant or lactating women, as well as children, are also advised to avoid taking cordyceps.

In any case, if you consider incorporating cordyceps as a supplement to your diet, it is best to consult your doctor to determine if taking them is safe for you.


Can You Take Cordyceps Every Day?

Yes. In fact, to enjoy the potential benefits that cordyceps could bring to health, it is recommended to take cordyceps supplements daily for at least a couple of weeks to start noticing any changes.

This is because the natural compounds in cordyceps take time to build up and begin to exert their effects.

Nonetheless, currently, existing evidence only studies the impact of consuming cordyceps daily for up to a year at a time. We need more research examining the effects of long-term cordyceps use in humans in order to determine the safety of long-term cordyceps use.


How to Consume Cordyceps

In China, where this type of functional mushroom is native, people often collect the fruiting bodies of cordyceps and then dry them to use them therapeutically in the form of tea or add them to foods or drinks to enjoy the potential benefits that they could toast.

In the West, cordyceps fruiting bodies can be somewhat challenging to obtain and, if found, can be considerably expensive since they are generally imported from the mountainous areas of Asia. Most of the cordyceps commercialized in America are cultivated in laboratories in the form of mycelium.

We can usually find cordyceps supplements in powder form, which can be easily added to any type of food or drink to obtain these mushrooms' benefits.

There still need to be more studies to determine the ideal universal dose of cordyceps. However, most existing studies agree that a sufficient quantity to start noticing the effects of cordyceps is 3-6 grams in adults.

We also find cordyceps powder in capsules. Capsules present a convenient option to consume the cordyceps since it is easier to determine the doses you will consume each time.

Cordyceps capsules usually come in doses of 400 mg to 600 mg, and experts recommend taking 2-3 tablets daily to enjoy the benefits of cordyceps.

The popularization of cordyceps in the West has also led many manufacturers to develop edible products such as cordyceps gummies or functional mushroom blends that contain cordyceps in their formulas.

It is also possible to find cordyceps extract in the form of a tincture with different concentration percentages.

If you want to harness the power of cordyceps, combined with other energy-boosting ingredients like ashwagandha, lions main, and a whole host of vitamins, superfoods, and nootropics, check out TUNE IN from VYU. A fast-acting mental performance drink for all-day focus and energy.

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The information provided on the VYU blog is intended solely for informational and entertainment purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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