There is a mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for ages known as cordyceps. Cordyceps is found around the world, with nearly 400 species having been discovered to this day!
The most common of these species that are used are Sinensis, Militaris, and Kyushuensis . Although this mushroom is found across the globe, most of those ~400 species are found in Asian countries, including China, Japan, Nepal, and Vietnam .
There have been many claims made about cordyceps and the benefits that it provides. So much so that it is beyond the scope of this article, unfortunately.
For now, we'll focus on an organ that performs many essential functions for your body, including the production of bile, metabolism of nutrients, and storage of vitamins and minerals. That organ I'm talking about, of course, is your liver!
Quick Liver Facts
Approximately 50,000 people die of liver disease worldwide. This incidence has continued to rise over the years, unfortunately.
China contains up to 40% of liver disease cases in the world, as this is hypothesized to be a result of the prominence of the hepatitis virus .
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
Cordyceps and its involvement with the liver are most prominent in studies involving those who have liver cancer. More specifically, those with the most common type of liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), have been studied the most regarding this topic.
What is HCC? Well, HCC is when there is what's called a malignancy present on the liver, or in other words, a cancerous tumor. This most often develops in people with cirrhosis, which is the formation of scar tissue on the liver over a long period of time .
We’re talking months and years here. When the liver is severely inflamed is when HCC is most prominent. HCC has been linked to hepatitis B and C infections, as well as metabolic syndrome . So as you can see, this is not a disease to mess with.
In one study, researchers had cordyceps interact with cancerous cells in a petri dish.
- Cordyceps was shown to have what's called in scientific cancer literature to reduce cancerous liver cells .
This means that cordyceps was able to slow down the rate at which the cancerous tumors multiplied. This is fascinating news, given that even some drug treatments have trouble accomplishing something to this magnitude, nevermind a good ole' mushroom!
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
As type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome have become more prominent in modern society, a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming more of an issue every day.
This is because NAFLD refers to a broad spectrum of different types of liver diseases, including fibrosis and cirrhosis, and it is the most common cause of liver disease .
Well, cordyceps comes to the rescue here, as studies are showing us that this mushroom has the power to improve biomarkers that are associated with NAFLD.
In a study involving four-week-old mice fed a diet containing cordyceps,
Glucose, cholesterol, and damaging liver enzymes were all lowered.
- It also increased the prominence of an antioxidant in the body, known as glutathione (when talking about the liver, it is often referred to as GSH) .
Glutathione protects the body’s cellular components from becoming damaged by potentially cancer-causing agents such as free radicals and certain metals.
Effects On Other Organs
It’s not just the liver that cordyceps helps out. The kidneys, for example, have been shown to benefit from cordyceps. This is particularly notable in chronic kidney disease (CKD).
In an 8-week study, rats that had CKD were given cordyceps. What occurred after was quite astonishing;
- The mushroom was able to reduce the effect of the injuries to the heart and liver that is associated with CKD .
This occurred due to the cordyceps essentially reversing the modification of certain molecules (often referred to as metabolites) in the body that CKD is responsible for.
So How Does It Work?
Simply put, the component of cordyceps that is primarily responsible for its liver-protectant effect are called polysaccharides.
These polysaccharides remove harmful elements from the liver while simultaneously improving the immune system. Thus, the injury suffered by liver cells is drastically reduced. This mechanism has been proven to be responsible time and time again in the treatments of liver conditions.
A prime example of this is seen with hepatitis B. Cordyceps was used in a study involving 25 patients with chronic hepatitis B.
- After three months of being treated with cordyceps, biomarkers that are associated with this condition were shown to improve significantly against the control group .
Researchers believe that this can be used as a primary treatment to treat hepatic fibrosis in patients with hepatitis B.
In order to treat liver diseases, whatever virus is present must be cleared from the liver. Not only that, the condition(s) that it caused, such as fibrosis (scarring of liver tissue), must be dealt with as well. Cordyceps has shown that it holds the capacity to clear viruses from the liver and body and improve the immune system in organisms overall.
So even if you don't have any liver problems right now, it would probably be wise to take cordyceps as a preventative measure for your liver. After all, it's such a simple step to take for an organ that is vital to your well-being and survival, so why wouldn't you?
The effects of cordyceps is evident, that is why now is the time to ensure you are getting the crucial nutrients from this ingredient.
Our Minister of Power supplement makes use of cordyceps and other ingredients to help the liver and other parts of the body from being riddled with harmful viruses.
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